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Special Comment: On Robert Gibbs And The "Professional Left"

[media id=17785] (h/t Heather at VideoCafe) A noticeably subdued Keith Olbermann, acknowledging his membership in the 'professional left' about whi

(h/t Heather at VideoCafe)

A noticeably subdued Keith Olbermann, acknowledging his membership in the 'professional left' about which Robert Gibbs groused, set the record straight on whom to blame for the slings and arrows constantly suffered by the Obama administration since entering the White House.

In Olbermann's mind, the fault lies not so much with the left, but with the administration expecting a mirror image of party loyalty from the left as Bush enjoyed from the right.

Olbermann's distinction is an important one. The authoritarian mindset of the right wing base demands fealty, even when undeserved. Their brains will turn themselves into logic pretzels to rationalize away anything that undermines that loyalty. The left, however, has no such need to compartmentalize and rationalize. We can appreciate the job that Obama has done and yet still wish it to be more progressive simultaneously. Yes, it's wonderful that the country was pulled back from the brink of another Great Depression, but does that mean that we're not allowed to voice our dissatisfaction that the health care reform has been watered down to its current tepid state or that Guantanamo remains open?

Moreover, much of the frustration, not only on the part of the professional left (which I take to mean MSNBC, as their self-identified anchors on the left have taken some legitimate and not legitimate shots at the White House, not the progressive blogosphere, as important as some of us want to make ourselves), but all of Obama's base is that in some backwards notion of "bipartisanship", Obama has not only given the right wing--whose openly expressed sole purpose is to derail any success Obama and his party might have--seats at the table, but all the seats, and the table and the carpet on which it rests. Anyone knows that when you negotiate, you don't start from a compromised center and move further right.

And for that, the Obama administration has no one to blame but themselves.

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