Sunday, September 13, 2009

Van Jones Succumbs to Republican Pressure

White House Green Jobs Czar Van Jones was forced to resign despite his profound knowledge of the green economy and his impressive resume of vision and leadership.

Republicans attribute his forced resignation to a petition he signed in 2004 and a disparaging comment he made about Republicans. When Rebublican Vice Presidential candidate Dick Cheney made a similar comment in 2000, he was subsequently elected Vice President.

More recently Rep. Joe Wilson screamed "you lie" during the President's televised address to Congress and received little more than a proverbial slap on the wrist. Yesterday the Associated Press reported that Joe Wilson has refused to apologize on the House floor. Although Van Jones repeatedly apologized, Republicans were unswerving in their efforts to force Jones' resignation and on Labor Day weekend they succeeded in bringing him down.

The Washington Post quotes Van Jones as saying, "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."

The health care debate has only highlighted the fact that Republicans are not interested in the issues, they appear more interested in undermining this President and his legislative agenda. With Republicans pledging to make health care reform, "Obama's Waterloo," their partisan interests are increasingly evident.

Rather then engage in a rational debate they cannot win, the Republican strategy is based on lies and misinformation. Others may have a more personal axe to grind, the Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck--the same man who called the President a racist--led the right's media drive against Jones.

In an article entitled, "Conservatives March on Washington" Alex Koppelman indicates that a crowd of between 60,000 and 75,000 people gathered in front of the Capitol on Saturday for an anti-Obama rally that was part Tea Party and part Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project.

"[T]here were certainly a lot of people there who seemed like they'd fall under the "nuts" category....There was one with a sign that asked, "Whose spirit is in the White House?" and included photos of Adolf Hitler, Karl Marx, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Obama. Another sign borrowed the Joker Obama poster...adding a Hitler mustache to the president's face; underneath the image were the words "Obamacare is Eugenics." One man held a sign reading, "Transparent? I see through your socialist lies, fool."

One woman pulled Koppelman aside, but declined to give her name for fear of Obama's "snitches," she explained."I studied Nazi Germany, I read the story of how they took over. From the very beginning I heard it with Obama ... I've studied the camps. That's why people are here, because they're afraid of the death camps that are coming." The woman also said she believed liberals had "voted for a hijacker ... voted for al-Qaida,"

"Many of those signs linked the presence of those czars to Communism -- it was unclear if any of the protesters holding them were aware of the real history of Russia, in which the Communists overthrew and replaced the czars."

Opposition to health care and the resignation of Jones does not bode well for the Senate’s vote on the clean energy act. Thanks in large measure to Republican distortion and misrepresentation, it is evident that some Americans are very confused about the President's legislative agenda.

Another Associated Press report indicates that Jones, "understood that he was going to get in the way" of President Obama's agenda, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs ."What Van Jones decided was that the agenda of this president was bigger than any one individual." Obama's top political adviser, David Axelrod, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Jones "showed his commitment to the cause of creating green jobs in this country by removing himself as an issue."

Like Jones, many Democrats have worked selflessly towards crucial changes that will improve the lives of Americans. Conversely Republicans appear transfixed by their efforts to undermine change.

A couple of Republicans who contributed to Jones' resignation are quoted by the Washington Post as offering some rather ironic advice. "[Jones'] extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate," (Rep. Mike Pence). "Can the American people trust a senior White House official that is so cavalier in his association with such radical and repugnant sentiments?" (Senator Christopher S. Bond).

It is the Republicans who are proving they have no place in a civil debate, nor can the American people trust a party that looks to the "radical and repugnant" views of men like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh has infamously indicated that he wants the Obama administration's economic policies to fail. A political TV ad released by Americans United for Change, asked viewers to "just say no to the politics of Rush Limbaugh." This is sound advice, for eight years Republicans deceived the American people and the world, now they are using the same tactics to malign the Obama Administration. Van Jones' comment describing the Republicans is sadly accurate.

Political partisanship is one thing, but with important legislation pending enough is enough, we must put an end to the subterfuge and "say no" to Republican lies.

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Green Stimulus Spending and Republican Opposition
What is Wrong with the Right
Green Bubble?
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2 comments:

Dago B said...

thank you for the bit of thoughtful discourse among the cacophony of ignorance and fear

Anonymous said...

Van Jones has invented a modern form of suicide: Self-immolation by Youtube. It's especially popular with narcissists.