Thursday, August 18, 2011


There's a lot of chatter right now about Ray Sandoval, the New Mexico state director for Obama for America, who, in an e-mail to supporters, recommmended a blog post that bashes Paul Krugman and the "Firebagger lefty blogosphere," in the course of defending Obama.

What amuses me is this reaction from Ezra Klein:

Paul Krugman is one op-ed columnist. Firedog Lake is one Web site. They have readers. But they are not the state of Ohio. Time and again, however, we see evidence that they have gotten deep inside the White House's head. In letters, in offhand comments, in outbursts at press conferences, in my personal reporting, members of the Obama administration and members of the Obama reelection campaign will let slip that they are dwelling and worrying over these arguments. They may not agree with them. They may not think they're fair, or sophisticated, or useful. But they're thinking about them. And if you're the "professional left," that's exactly what you want.

Digby agrees, and even pulls out this old saw:

What's the old saying? First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Oh, please.

I'm looking for evidence that the administration is taking the arguments of its left-wing critics seriously. I'm not seeing it. What I'm seeing is the administration getting hammered from all sides, but mostly from the right, and not really being willing to take on the right. And you know -- what do you do when your boss chews you out every day at work? You go home and, as soon as the dog does something to annoy you, you kick the dog.

Well, the right is Obama's boss. And Krugman and FDL and "the professional left" are the dog. Lefty critics are the annoyers the White House isn't afraid of. I'd love to think the lashing out at the left is a sign that lefty critics have gotten to the administration, but I think it's just a case of punching down.

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