Are liberals waking up to how thin-skinned the White House is? UPDATED! 

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has done a lot of backpedaling since he referred to the “professional left” as “crazy” for not being more supportive of the White House. There ’s been a flurry n flurry of indignant responses from the left. Today, Paul Krugman comments on the “matter of Robert Gibbs“:

What gets me is how unprofessional the whole thing is.

Look, if you’re a public figure of any kind, you’re going to face a lot of criticism. Much of it will seem unfair to you; some of the unfair criticism will come from people you expected to take your side; you’ll be angry, you’ll feel that people are putting their egos or their personal aggrandizement above the cause.

Welcome to reality. It’s my reality — and I’m just a professor/columnist. Someone actually in the White House has to be prepared for much more of this kind of thing — and if you don’t have a thick enough skin to take it, find another form of employment.

You know what gets me? That liberals are just waking up to this. And this isn’t just about Gibbs — it’s the whole White House that’s thin-skinned, and the tone is set by the president himself. Remember how it went when Republicans met with the President in May?:

“He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans,” Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told reporters. “He’s pretty thin-skinned.”

No kidding. Conservatives have been noting the immature prickliness emanating from the West Wing for some time now. It didn’t bother liberals when they were hurling accusations of bad faith at the Republican opposition. However, now that it’s obvious the White House isn’t above lashing out at their ostensible supporters, perhaps everyone can be clear-eyed about how the White House’s defensive posture and unprofessional comments are hurting there ability to govern.

Of course, the episode also illustrates how thin-skinned a lot of liberals are. Washington D.C. is full of people who proudly boast of careers spent about agitating politicians on behalf of labor unions, the environment, or other interest groups that align with their broader liberal economic and political goals — and they go ballistic when someone refers to them as the “professional left”? They may not be happy with Obama in a lot of ways, but in this sense maybe liberals have gotten the president they deserve.

UPDATE — Give that man a cigar! Howard Dean seems to recognize the problem is the whole White House, not just Gibbs:

“Part of it is the kind of in-your-face attitude of the White House staff, and I’m not just talking about Rahm,” Dean added. “I think it’s pretty universal.”

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