There's nothing like dropping a big announcement at midnight on the Saturday of a holiday weekend for making a media splash.
Taking a cue from Sarah Palin, who announced her resignation as governor of Alaska on the Friday afternoon on the 4th of July weekend, Van Jones, the self-proclaimed non-czar of green jobs, chose midnight on Saturday to resign from his position working on green jobs for the Obama administration after a vicious smear campaign lead by right-wing media clown Glenn Beck and his legion of vacuous followers.
There have been a lot of people chiming in with thoughts on this one since it dropped (thanks for ruining a lot of blogger vacations, Mr. Jones -- wait, who am I kidding? Bloggers don't take vacation!) David Roberts over at Grist had a particularly compelling line o' thought that placed a lot of the blame on the steps of the White House. Also check out what my fellow MNN bloggers Karl and Melissa think about the whole thing.
Say what you will about George Bush (and there was/is a LOT to be said), but the guy stuck with his guns (and his people). True, this was often to tragically comic effect -- who can forget "heck of a job, Brownie" or him pinning the Presidential Medal of Freedom on George Tenet's chest after he resigned for his part in ginning up pre-war intelligence -- but through thick and thin, George stuck with his people.
Obama, not so much.
In the face of a bunch of Fox Nation yahoos screaming "he's a commie!!!!", the Obama administration cut and ran from Van Jones, walking back verbal support until finally washing their hands of him entirely.
No, the right thing to do would be to tell Glenn Beck and the rest of the extreme right GOP masses to shut their crazy delusional pie holes.
One of the most galling things about the modern day Republican Party is that they don't even bother to cover up their glaring hypocrisies. One of the attacks hurled at Mr. Jones was over his signature on a 9/11 "Truthers" petition, a signature that he's since explained was misrepresented -- he supported the call of the 9/11 families for the attacks to be further investigated. Compare that to the ridiculous flap around President Obama's birth certificate and the very much mainstream (in the GOP) "birthers" movement. Over half of registered Republicans (and seemingly all of their shrieking pundits) believe that President Obama was born in Kenya, despite overwelming evidence to the contrary.
They think Obama faked his birth certificate and they want to rip on a guy calling for more investigative attention for the most serious attack in modern U.S. history?
And can a party with such a rich history of white supremacy and conservative radicalism really get away with faulting a guy for a history of being a leftie radical concerned about the people in his community who have been getting crapped on by society's majority for the past couple hundred years or so? In a sane political environment, they couldn't.
But of course, we don't live in a sane political environment. Political discourse has been corrupted by right-wing savagery and left-wing retreat.
A lot of my greener friends are trying to look on the bright side of this political tragedy with the thinking that Van is more effective outside Washington. While that may be true, the damage to Obama's ability to drive his agenda outweighs any extra efficiency Mr. Jones might find outside the Beltway.
Mr. Jones's exit from D.C. is not going to sooth the savage Beck. He already has his next targets lined up. It's hard to understand how President Obama expects to get anything done when it's so very easy to shut down his operation.
I'm bummed out and a little scared, to be honest. They might not have demographic majorities, but the GOP is more than making up for it with their willingness to do or say anything to regain power. How do you fight a political machine that eats up fact and reality and poops out spurious attacks, vicious hypocrisy and crazy conspiracies?
Tom Tomorrow, as he nearly always does, hits the difference between Bush haters and Obama haters spot on. It's a crazy, messed-up world. May we live in interesting times.
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