Longtime readers and followers of various squabbles with FDL bloggers will know that I have some sympathy with the substance of what Gibbs has to say here. But you don’t improve your relationship with same-team ideological activists by attacking them in red-baiting terms. What’s more, we’re seeing a serious confusion here on the role of political activists in the system. As I said during the health care debate, it’s not the job of the President of the United States to stand up for a pure ideological vision—his job is to cut compromises to implement policies that improve on the status quo. But by the same token, it’s not the job of activists to be “satisfied” with compromises premised on the current boundaries of political feasibility.
I’m excited about the Affordable Care Act, but it’s completely true that I won’t be “satisfied” with American health care policy until it’s made much much better. What’s wrong with that? Being satisfied with the status quo never got anyone anywhere.
I want to paraphrase something I said to a commenter not too long ago.
The President is trapped between the Party of "No" on the right, and the Party of "Right Now!" on the left. We're not going to make it as the party of "Right Now". We will make it as the Party of "What's Next?"
If we need to revisit Health Care, so be it. Let's fix what we didn't get to the first time. You want to improve Financial Regulation, get out of Afghanistan, pass Card Check, repeal DADT? Fine, but all of these things require at least some action from Congress. Time has proven you can move the Democrats on these issues, you can't move Republicans. Giving them Congress is not an option.