The Left v. Obama Aide, Not Yet A Flamewar

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Steve Hildebrand’s piece in Huffington Post is just the sort of thing to get the blogging juices going. As a former deputy director of the Obama campaign, he delivers a blunt message to the left: Sit tight. Everything will be alright.

This is not a time for the left wing of our Party to draw conclusions about the Cabinet and White House appointments that President-Elect Obama is making. Some believe the appointments generally aren’t progressive enough. Having worked with former Senator Obama for the last two years, I can tell you, that isn’t the way he thinks and it’s not likely the way he will lead. The problems I mentioned above and the many I didn’t, suggest that our president surround himself with the most qualified people to address these challenges. After all, he was elected to be the president of all the people – not just those on the left.

This turns out to be the kind of message that calms nobody’s nerves, especially since the criticism of Obama from the left has hardly been that loud. But now the volume increases: David Sirota responds by suggesting that Hildebrand is just telling the dirty hippies to “STFU.” Jane Hamsher says Hildebrand is “hectoring, finger wagging.” Atrios says he will sacrifice some “magic ponies” for good liberal policy. Tim Fernholz over at Tapped argues that this is not an attack at all on the left, but rather a “fairly conventional dog-whistle.” Dog whistle or a warning shot across the bow? All we know is that people are paying attention.