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Accountabilitiness

Photo by ruminatrix

Photo by ruminatrix

Used to be that only Republicans could say things contradictory and incoherent enough to make my head explode.  Not any more:

Addressing the issue four days after he initially chastised liberal (cable news) critics for having demands of the White House that he deemed “crazy,” [White House Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs once again stood by those remarks.

“There are a small number of people on cable and elsewhere who will never be happy, who will never give the President credit for anything, and who will always look for some cardinal sin to be upset about,” the press secretary said in an email to the Huffington Post.

But, from there, he offered a far more conciliatory if not diplomatic reflection on the riff that briefly dominated macro-political debate within the Democratic Party.

“I also stand by my statement… that the vast majority of progressives and those on the left, whether that’s bloggers or groups or what have you, do not hold those beliefs and are pushing in good faith for a better country as they see it,” Gibbs added. “The President has urged those who want change to push for it and hold him accountable, and that’s how he feels.”

So let me see if I have this straight: The White House’s official spokesman criticizes “the professional left” for pointing out that Obama has broken his promises on the public option, Medicare drug reimportation and price negotiation, EFCA, DADT, closing Gitmo, restoring government transparency and respect for the Constitution, cleaning up Wall Street, challenging “the broken system in Washington” and, arguably, immigration and climate reform… and then tells us that Obama wants us to push for change and “hold him accountable”?

But what does pushing for change mean if not demanding more than incrementalist status quo-preserving weak tea?  And what does holding Obama accountable mean if not calling him out for all his broken promises?

Obama can’t have it both ways, trotting Gibbs out to brag about how much his boss wants progressives to hold him accountable… while simultaneously smearing everyone who’s tried to do so as irrational commie whiners.  Either he wants to hear what we have to say, or he doesn’t.

Maybe if Gibbs had just said that Obama is a “fierce advocate” for change and accountability, I would have been a lot less confused.

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