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How Many Democrats Does It Take to Stand Up to Andrew Breitbart?

Perhaps the Democrats believe they are riding a roller coaster. (photo: Leo Reynolds on Flickr)

Barack Obama ran his campaign on progressive messaging, but he basically despises liberals and hired a White House staff full of people who share those sentiments.

Rahm Emanuel’s “f*&king r%!rds” comment is symbolic of a multitude of anonymous slams against the left that are readily offered up by administration staffers to any member of the press willing to transcribe them. The White House does not want any whiff of association with the people who gave them their jobs, and it’s no wonder the President’s biggest supporters in the blogosphere are former Republicans.

A few months ago we edited together a video of Republicans, including Roy Blunt, who were asked by Mike Stark if they believed Barack Obama was born in the United States. Blunt claimed that the video was unfairly edited, and so we quickly released the entire video to show that it was not. The controversy died immediately.

If Obama had the least little bit of interest in protecting his staff, he too would have demanded that Breitbart release the entire video before making any decision regarding Shirley Sherrod. And until Brietbart complied, he would have rightly been able to claim that with conflicting stories about the true content of her statements, it was not possible to make an informed decision.

Instead, Obama made a knee-jerk decision to distance himself from any association with Sherrod’s brave comments (as someone said this morning, so much for the great conversation we were going to have about race in this country). And Jim Messina was high-fiving the staff for acting so swiftly.

Obama is always conscious of right-wing criticism, but rarely treats criticism from the left with anything but scorn.

Now that the full video is out there and Sherrod’s version of events is vindicated, Obama looks foolish, impulsive and reactive. And he has only empowered Breitbart, who will continue to employ the same tactics until someone stands up to him. You would hope the President of the United States could manage that.

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How Many Democrats Does It Take to Stand Up to Andrew Breitbart?

Barack Obama ran his campaign on progressive messaging, but he basically despises liberals and hired a White House staff full of people who share those sentiments.

Rahm Emanuel’s “f*&king r%!rds” comment is symbolic of a multitude of anonymous slams against the left that are readily offered up by administration staffers to any member of the press willing to transcribe them. The White House does not want any whiff of association with the people who gave them their jobs, and it’s no wonder the President’s biggest supporters in the blogosphere are former Republicans.

A few months ago we edited together a video of Republicans, including Roy Blunt, who were asked by Mike Stark if they believed Barack Obama was born in the United States. Blunt claimed that the video was unfairly edited, and so we quickly released the entire video to show that it was not. The controversy died immediately.

If Obama had the least little bit of interest in protecting his staff, he too would have demanded that Breitbart release the entire video before making any decision regarding Shirley Sherrod. And until Brietbart complied, he would have rightly been able to claim that with conflicting stories about the true content of her statements, it was not possible to make an informed decision.

Instead, Obama made a knee-jerk decision to distance himself from any association with Sherrod’s brave comments (as someone said this morning, so much for the great conversation we were going to have about race in this country). And Jim Messina was high-fiving the staff for acting so swiftly.

Obama  is always conscious of right-wing criticism, but rarely treats criticism from the left with anything but scorn.

Now that the full video is out there and Sherrod’s version of events is vindicated, Obama looks foolish, impulsive and reactive.  And he has only empowered Breitbart, who will continue to employ the same tactics until someone stands up to him. You would hope the President of the United States could manage that.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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