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Robert Gibbs: Spokesman for the Great Divider

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:56 am - March 5, 2009.
Filed under: Mean-spirited leftists,Media Bias,Obama Watch

Remember how, during (to borrow the president’s favorite expression) “the past eight years,” Democrats and the media constantly carped about then-President Bush’s “divisive’ tactics.  Despite the constant repetition of this mantra, they’d be hard pressed to come up with any Bush Administration official who in that Republican’s two terms, so regularly and publicly trashed critics as current White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has gone after Obama Administration critics in the past two weeks.

Earlier this week, Gibbs used a line more appropriate for a partisan blogger or talk show host than for a White House Press Secretary:  “I was a little surprised [at] the speed with which Mr. Steele, the head of the RNC, apologized to the head of the Republican Party.

I thought the job of the President’s Press Secretary was to promote Administration policies rather than atempt to define the leadership of the opposing party, particularly when that definition serves as a means of discrediting the opposition.  Isn’t his job to counter the arguments made by the opposition rather than attack the messenger articulating them?

It’s one thing to take issue with your critics’ arguments, it’s quite another to attack those critics personally.  It’s unbecoming of a Chief Executive and his Press Secretary.   These are more the tactics of a campaign aide going after a political rival than an Administrative Spokesman promoting his boss’s agenda.

No wonder some wise pundits are wondering whether or not the President The Great Divider.



  1. Mr Gibbs fails to take to heart, as a public official in govt paid by the taxpayers, that he’s first a public servant and that demands a different mindset from when he was a campaign spokesman and political hack.

    Even in his worst days, Scott McClellan wasn’t this much of a partisan tool for the Bush-Cheney Administration or even the Bush-Cheney political campaigns.

    Gibbs knows better… he just can’t do better. Like his boss, the perpetual campaign is in his blood, his mind, his heart, his soul and it defines him.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 5, 2009 @ 10:15 am - March 5, 2009

  2. #1 – Hear, hear.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 5, 2009 @ 11:12 am - March 5, 2009

  3. I am not sure if the Alinsky model for the Ministry of Truth is compatible with the traditions of the office Gibbs occupies.

    Gibbs comes across more as a bumbler than a slick propagandist. Perhaps he should work from a teleprompter and answer questions submitted in advance and chosen by the people behind the curtain.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 5, 2009 @ 11:21 am - March 5, 2009

  4. His approval ratings are still in the high 60s to low 70s, thanks but try again.

    Bush was a uniter in his own way, just the opposite direction. It will get worse as time goes by, just look at those memos that got declassified. How does it feel, small government conservatives, to know that your President had considered that he might have to SUBORDINATE the 1st amendment? And it hasn’t even been two months since he left office.

    You guys might be totally hopeless.

    Comment by Levi — March 5, 2009 @ 12:31 pm - March 5, 2009

  5. Levi, is that your drive-by comment for the day? Do I get your point correct: WH Press Secy Gibbs is right in turning his govt-paid, taxpayer funded, public servant position into an extension of his prior job as Obama Campaign hack and spinMaster?

    I’m sorry that you think that’s ok just because Obama’s favorable ratings are now in the low 60s.

    If you knew your political history, you’d know that all Presidents have a period of high favorables (it’s called a honeymoon, Levi) because voter remorse hasn’t set in yet and Americans are inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to underperformers and under-dawgs.

    WH Press Secy Gibbs should have said “I’ll leave the politics to guys like Carville and Begala; I’m here to serve our President and the American people”. But he didn’t. He even brought out, while responding, that well-worn, now infamous smirk of Gibbs that drips insincerity like nothing else.

    You might have a low standard of conduct for a WH official. I don’t; he’s on my dime, too.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 5, 2009 @ 12:57 pm - March 5, 2009

  6. Um, Levi, go compare Obama’s approval ratings to George W. Bush’s at the same point in his first term. They’re nearly identical.

    And please provide evidence by linking the text of those memos–and not their spin on left-wing blogs–to show that W wanted to subordinate the 1st Amendment.

    And please address the point of this post, the divisive snipes of the White House Press Secretary. And please tell me if W’s press team ever acted in such a partisan manner. Thanks.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 5, 2009 @ 1:06 pm - March 5, 2009

  7. And his job approval ratings are at 60% (aggrigate 59.8%)

    His ‘do you think he’s a nice guy’ rating is ‘in the high 60’s’

    Roman Polanski has a high favourable rating in Hollywood and Cannes. I still don’t want him babysitting my god-daughter.

    Though Levi won’t look at links by his own admission, so heaven forbid facts get in the way of the arguement.

    Comment by The Livewire — March 5, 2009 @ 1:27 pm - March 5, 2009

  8. Gene in PA (or another commenter) had a great observation in the last thread – when did you ever see Scott McClellan, Tony Snow or Ari Fleischer go after the trash-talking libtards in the Drive-By Media with as much animus as Gibbs has gone after El Rushbo?

    Never. And that’s where the similiarity ends.

    In fact, the only time I can EVER recall a WH spokesman going after a media person was when the late Tony Snow (God bless him), upon hearing a 60-second “question” from Helen Thomas (you know, the “alleged” journalist) regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, stated: “And thank you for the Hezbollah view, Helen.”

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 5, 2009 @ 3:24 pm - March 5, 2009

  9. Peter… that was me. Above. This thread. You agreed by saying “Hear, Hear”.

    You know you shouldn’t drink before 3PM. Mix the damn Manhattans if you must, but don’t pour til after 3 because it will addle the mind, temper the soul and play games with your memory.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 5, 2009 @ 5:03 pm - March 5, 2009

  10. Or is this just a residual infarct from seeing Bear Grylls shirtless and all manly the other day?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 5, 2009 @ 5:05 pm - March 5, 2009

  11. #9-10: Okay, I covered the bases by thinking it was a commenter, and my apologies for not remembering it was you. Don’t blame the manhattans; I gave them up for Lent.

    And yes, it was on this thread. I had a bunch of windows open and was trying to multi-task. So sue me.

    Finally – it would take a lot more than just pics of Bear Grylls to get me completely befuddled. We’re talking a Kristen Bjorn flick set in the Brazilian beaches filled with at least four exotic Latin hunks to totally make me lose my composure. 😉

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 5, 2009 @ 6:23 pm - March 5, 2009

  12. Peter offers: “Don’t blame the manhattans; I gave them up for Lent.”

    See, there’s the beginning of your problem right there. I don’t give up drinks or chocolate or grilled steaks for Lent… I chose to work volunteer at our local Soup kitchen three 3 hr days/wk for Lent. Do something constructive and positive, Peter. Your bishop will love ya more.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 6, 2009 @ 7:43 am - March 6, 2009

  13. #12- M-Matt, thanks for the advice but I already have my game plan for the next 40 days, which includes time spent with others less fortunate.

    Most of them type on this blog in lower-case-letters.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. BAD Peter, bad boy! 😉

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 6, 2009 @ 11:33 am - March 6, 2009

  14. Good one, though. Very good wit.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 6, 2009 @ 12:11 pm - March 6, 2009

  15. #14 – I learned from the best. Again, the ones on this board. (You all know who you are!) 😉

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 6, 2009 @ 12:18 pm - March 6, 2009

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