August 16, 2010 1:57PM

The Professional Left

As a former conservative (and a former leftist; I got around), I have noticed that the mainstream media often use the term “ultra‐​conservative” but rarely apply any equivalent term to extremists on the Left. (I use Left/​leftist because I mean to reclaim the term “liberal” for libertarians.) Evidently, there are no left‐​wing extremists, only right‐​wing extremists.

But maybe President Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs gave the mainstream media a term they can use: “the professional left.” Venting about these left‐​wing extremists in his own party, Gibbs said:

They will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon.

President Obama has repeatedly stated his preference for a single‐​payer health care system, such as they have in Canada. Does that make him a semi‐​professional leftist?