Obama's Green Czar Resigns

Van Jones was Obama’s green czar and I found myself impressed by his innovative approach of seeing green jobs as a way to provide employment to those in urban areas.   As I recollect, Van Jones had only been appointed to this position for a couple of months before having to resign under a cloud created by Glenn Beck and the Faux News team in yet another created controversy.

One of the problems I have with Obama is that he’s allowing these right wing zealots to force his hand.  They’re never going to vote or support him, so there’s no point in allowing them to shape anything by responding to these attacks.  They’re not going to be satisfied until they overturn the results of the election and none of this is going to stop, so he might as well just dig in his heels, say the hell with them and do what he needs to do.  He can’t be concerned about the poll numbers or his favorability rating on a daily basis and you don’t just throw people under the bus because they insulted republicans or think that  the full truth is not out about September 11.   Hell, my own opinion of the republicans is definitely not favorable and there are plenty of unanswered questions about September 11th.

The Obama administration needs to take a hard unwavering  stand on what they believe and if Beck and his ilk want to get their panties in a bunch and throw a hissy fit, let them, but no more waffling and wavering to please folks who are never going to be pleased.

Glenn Beck Gets First Scalp: Van Jones Resigns

Van Jones

Glenn Beck has his first scalp. Van Jones, under fire from the extremist television show host for his background in radical activism, has resigned from the administration.

Jones was Special Adviser for Green Jobs at the Council on Environmental Quality – the so-called ‘Green Jobs’ Czar. Jones’ 2008 book, The Green Collar Economy, was a New York Times best-seller. Beck is a talk show host for Fox News.

Jones never denied his past affiliation with the radical left. In the ’90s, he was involved with the group Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), which sympathized with Maoist-inspired peasant movements throughout the world and was organized to protest police brutality.

Jones, however, left radical politics and made the decision to work within the system, rather than try to overthrow it. For Beck, however, Jones’ past statements were evidence that Obama is secretly marshaling a cadre of lieutenants pushing an agenda that is “radical, revolutionary and in some cases Marxist.” (Meanwhile, in reality, Obama is backing away from even including a public health insurance option as part of health care reform. How that squares with Obama’s Marxist agenda Beck has yet to explain.)

Before Beck mentioned Jones in the last few weeks on his Fox News television show, Jones remained an obscure figure in the administration. After Beck mentioned him, protesters at town hall meetings made Jones a staple of their complaints.

 Jones, in a statement, said he no longer wanted to be a distraction.

“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide. I have been inundated with calls – from across the political spectrum — urging me to ‘stay and fight.’ But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.”

It’s exceedingly unlikely that Beck will be satisfied by Jones’ resignation, seeing in it evidence that he was correct in his assessment of Obama’s supposed radical lieutenants. “Jones is the tip of the iceberg,” Beck has said.

Once Beck made Jones a target, a series of revelations put him in political danger. Asked in February of this year why Democrats were having trouble pushing through legislation despite overwhelming majorities, he said, “The answer to that is, they’re assholes.” He was presumably referring to the GOP minority but may also have been roping in conservative Democrats.

Jones went on: “And Barack Obama is not an asshole. So, now, I will say this: I can be an asshole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama, are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity.”

It also emerged that Jones had signed a “truther” petition back in 2004. Truthers insist that there are unanswered questions about what U.S. officials knew about the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks before they occurred and want further investigations. Truthers are the left-wing version of birthers, people who believe that Obama was born in Kenya, is not a citizen and his presidency is illegitimate.

There’s nothing inherently left-wing about 9/11 conspiracy theorists or right-wing about birthers; rather, they tend to fall on opposite ideological extremes because of mistrust of the president in question, be he Bush or Obama. But the birther movement includes prominent Republicans, including members of Congress, while connection to the truther movement can help cost a relatively obscure administration official his job.

There’s a lesson to be learned. “If you want to say batsh*t-crazy stuff and still be treated as a respectable participant in the national debate, you’d better be a Republican,” gaugedblogger Mark Kleiman after hearing the news of Jones’ resignation. “Suggesting that President Bush invited the 9/11 attacks in order to start a war is really no crazier than suggesting that President Obama wants to let terrorists loose in the United States, or that he plans to kill old people and disabled children, or that there’s something sinister about his encouraging schoolkids to study hard.”

Those latter three charges, of course, have been leveled recently by elected Republican members of Congress.

A Jones remark about environmental justice also landed him in trouble. He was accused of race-baiting for suggesting that “[t]he white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of color’s communities because they don’t have a racial justice frame.”

During the presidential campaign, Obama repeatedly threw aides overboard who became political liabilities; White House observers saw Jones’ departure more as a matter of when rather than if.

His fate was sealed when Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs declined to defend him at a recent press conference.

QUESTION: Van Jones. I know he has issued an apology for his proctological remarks, but apparently there is also video of him accusing white polluters of poisoning people of color communities. Does the president still have confidence in this guy?

GIBBS: He continues to work in the administration, and I would refer you to the statement that CEQ put out last night about this.

QUESTION: CEQ?

GIBBS: That’s the Council on Environmental Quality

QUESTION: Yeah, but Robert is that as far as you are going to go with this?

GIBBS: That is the statement that has been put out last night.

QUESTION: The stories on television have been pretty offensive.

GIBBS: And I think if you refer to the statement, he apologized.

[snip]

QUESTION: Van Jones. His name appears on a 2004 petition, demanding to know the truth about 9/11, whether or not the Bush Administration played a role in 9/11 so as to justify a war for oil. He said in his statement yesterday that he doesn’t agree with that, and an administration source said he didn’t fully read it before he signed it, he agreed to have his name signed to it. Now it comes out today that in 2002 he was on an organizing committee for a 9/11 Truther march. Your administration has been very active in knocking down the so-called Birthers, the people who allege without any evidence, and despite all evidence to the contrary, that the president was not born in the United States. How can the administration tolerate somebody who subscribes to a different insane conspiracy theory, as a senior adviser?

GIBBS: Again, it is not something that the president agrees with, and again I would point you to the statement from CEQ.

QUESTION: How many past statements have to emerge before he no longer has the confidence of the president?

GIBBS: A good question for next time.

Jones’ resignation, coming around midnight on the Saturday of a three-day weekend, minimizes the amount of time Beck and his allies can spend celebrating.

“It has been a great honor to serve my country and my President in this capacity. I thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement. I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the clean energy future. I will continue to do so, in the months and years ahead,” Jones said.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/06/glenn-beck-gets-first-sca_n_278281.html

 

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6 Responses to “Obama's Green Czar Resigns”
  1. Don Power says:

    Why do Americans have to pretend that they ‘support the troops’ when there is so much evidence of racism and civilian murder in theatres like Iraq and Afgahanistan.

    Why do Americans have to pretend that the Official 9/11 conclusions are the only facts that explain what happened? It’s just a modern dat redux of the magic bullet conclusions of the Warren Commission.

    American society is such a BS, hypocritical mess. I suppose all democrzacies are though, where a pretty picture has been painted for us by our leaders that we freely elect them and that we actually have some control over our political fate.

    Wake up! Why is Glenn Beck allowed to get away with treason while a black man can’t even make a comment that is true without getting the ax?

    – Don Power

  2. Gregory says:

    Don,

    Thanks for you comments and you’re spot on with your analysis. The main objective of the far right wing element is to limit debate and discussion on the issues that really matter while forcing meaningless issues to the surface; a case in point being recent incidents with the town hall protesters. Here we have a bunch of folks protesting in essence about “big government”, yet their silence is deafening when the same “big government” is spending nearly half of their dollars on the military industrial complex. Why is it that no one questions if that spending is effective?

    The bottom line is that they want to shut down the “why” question. You can’t ask “why” about 9/11, you can’t ask “why” about health care, you can’t ask “why” about 44% of our tax dollars going for military spending and it goes on and on. The American citizen has been dumbed down to the extent that most don’t care to ask the right questions.

    You can’t have a democracy when the citzenry has been so dumbed down that they only want information in soundbites and emotional appeals.

  3. Don Power says:

    You are welcome. I wish I could speak to every rational person in the US at the same time. It is so infuriating – and I’m not even an American (I’m Canadian – and an avid user and supporter of government funded Health Care by the way!).

    Perhaps equally infuriating is Obama’s apparent capitulation to the Repugnicans -oops better watch out – they might kick me off the internets for calling them bad names.

    Obama has a bloody supermajority – why doesn’t he just say goodnight, goodbye and good riddence to the Republicans and govern for God’s sake? Who exactly is he trying to appease – the Democratic party? Don’t the DEMS realize the government is theirs to lose? Jesus, they;re losing a ground war to the likes of Glenn Beck???!!! What fresh hell is this world we live in when his insane ramblings are applauded and viewed as legitimate opposition. No wonder Rush Limbaugh is the dafacto leader of the GOP (Grand Oligary Party).

    I fear the Americans are losing whatever international reputation they may have snatched away from the departing Bushites. But the veil has been drawn back now – the world knows the US is broke.

    When I think of the US now, I envision a disgraced gunslinger who, having lost his last dollar at the saloon, asks the shop keeper for a loan to by bullets so he can shoot up the town.

    I also fear that us ‘Internationalists’ (read non Americans) are forgetting once again that rational people like you, Jon Stewart, Michael Moore et al still exist in the United States. Your message is being drowned out by Glenn Beck! How can you let this happen? How can Obama let this happen?

    Please answer me this – Obama seems like such an intelligent person – surely he knows that he is being viewed as a weakling who won’t stand up to the schoolyard bully. Is he ever gonna just throw down the books and crack someone in the jaw? He’s got the majority of the school behind him – but not forever.

    – Don

    • Gregory says:

      Don,

      You raise some excellent questions and I agree, Obama needs to say to hell with accomodating the likes of Glenn Beck & Co. I believe the administration is too overly concerned about the power of the conservative media and the ability of these folks to marshall their forces. In a way, we have a situation here similar to when Abraham Lincoln took office. Although he was an abolitionist, he attempted to placate the southern states by moving slowly against slavery in an effort to preserve the union. Clearly, that strategy failed and we wound up with a bloody civil war. The vestiges of the old confederency have found a home in the republican party; a party which has run its politics on every possible divisive issue since the formation of the southern strategy under Nixon. That strategy was turned on its head by Obama in the past election and the far right wing has not accepted the result and is seeking to effectively overturn it. IMO, some of this borders on being subversive. It’s almost as if they want to trigger some sort of draconian response so they can claim that they’ve been attacked and hence justify what they want to do. I hope I’m wrong on that. I really do.

      I think the administration is seeking to “preserve the union” so to speak, so they don’t want to be seen as aggressively going after the right wing. I suppose that they’re hoping that these guys will shoot themselves in the foot in the public opinion arena, which is entirely possible. That’s the wimpish approach however. He needs to go right at them with both barrels and let the dust settle wherever it may.

      I can’t begin to tell you how dismaying it is for fools like Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and etc to be considered the legitimate voice of anything. It’s all manufactured bullshit

  4. Don Power says:

    You wrote: “…It’s almost as if they want to trigger some sort of draconian response so they can claim that they’ve been attacked and hence justify what they want to do…”

    You mean like the Nazi’s who dressed up like Polish soldiers and killed their own troops so that the Germans could justify invading Poland – beginning WWII?

    You mean like the faking of the attack on a US ship by the NVA in the Gulf of Tonkin that allowed Lyndon Johnson to escalate the Vietnam War?

    You mean like the conspiracy to make the world believe that Iraq had something to with the 9/11 attacks to justify the invasion of that country and the control of its oil supplies?

    The Republicans are masters of the Big Lie. Only now, they’re cultivating mastership of death by a thousand Little Lies – in the form of ‘missing birth certificates’, ‘death panels’, ‘indoctrinating school children’ – and the list goes on. Man you don’t even need to be a ‘religionist’ to think that if there is indeed an anti-christ – he is drooling at the mouth right now. the Republicans used to be the unabashed wolves but they’ve now come full circle and hidden under the cloak of an oppressed flock of sheep.

    Michael Moore is the first public figure (and certainly the first rich person) that I’ve seen to call for an end to Capitalism (I was hoping that the recent teetering on the abyss of Depression would force us all to come to this conclusion). Thank God for Canada where Liberal is not a McCarthyist epithet. In fact, the Liberal party (capital ‘L’ Liberal – that’s the actual name of the party) is about to contest the legitimacy of the current Conservative government and force an election via a vote of non confidence in the House of Parliament. We don’t have all the answers in Canada but at least we have a nicer picture of democracy to appease us (while we wait in line to have our children born and our broken bones mended – all free of charge!).

    – Don

    • Gregory says:

      Don,

      You have me laughing out loud here as I read this. This is really on point.

      Yes, the republicans are now acting like an “oppressed flock of sheep”. This would really be funny if people if these folks weren’t so hell bent on sedition. There’s a reason why folks are showing up at heath care forums with loaded guns and I don’t put anything past these people.

      The problem for the republicans is a shrinking demographic and they must make themselves appear to be more numerous than they are, hence all the loud mouthed protests. That’s the main reason Obama & Co. needs to act in accord with the mandate they have and take these boys to the mat.

      I’m not familiar with Moore’s stance, but I believe that capitalism as we know it is on its death bed and no amount of financial alchemy is going to resuscitate it. The exploitive nature of the system almost ensures its death at its own hand. Our banking system is basically insolvent at present, even before the next round of loan losses start hitting. Our only “hope” here in the US is to inflate ourselves out of this mess, but the risk there is debasement of our currency. There are few, if any, viable paths of escape, IMO.

      I agree that it seems that Canada has a much purer form of democracy than we do here. My perception is that the citizens are much more intellectually engaged than we generally are here.

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