There is some serious wagging of the dog going on.
Professional Mad Man Glenn Beck has claimed his first scalp in his efforts to “purge” the Obama Administration of its Stark Raving Socialists. Or Marxists. Or Nazis. I can’t keep track of what they’re supposed to be this week. Anyway. This past weekend’s victim was one Van Jones, a guy I just had a cursory knowledge of, and didn’t realize was in Beck’s sights until I read up on the situation on Jack & Jill Politics. (I was still recovering from the NOTPiggy Flu.)
From Jack and Jill Politics:
For the past couple of weeks, Glenn Beck, and really, Fox News as a whole has been going after Van Jones because of his association with Color of Change and the boycott they’ve been running. Beck has employed a number of nutty conspiracy theories about Jones in order to discredit him–but Jones is probably in serious trouble now, and it’s not because of Beck’s conspiracy theories. It’s because of Jones’.
The conspiracy theory J&J was speaking of was Jones signature on a 9/11 “Truther” petition accusing the federal government of being behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. (Yeah … what the hell brah?) While it seems odd for a crazy person like Beck to slam someone else for believing in fairy tales (see “birthers”), Beck has been beating the Van Jones Is A Dangerous Radical piñata for weeks and this weekend it finally yielded bountiful rivers of resignation candy.
From Huffington Post:
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.
The saga began with Glenn Beck, a talk show host for Fox News, who hammered at Jones relentlessly the last several weeks for his radical past.
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.)
Hmmm. He once dabbled in some Maoist-inspired peasant movement folks and was against police brutality. Dear Lord … nearly EVERY OTHER BLACK INTELLECTUAL I’VE DATED SECRETLY HATES AMERICA!!!! Someone hide my ex-boyfriends! With their copies of “The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual” and collections Paul Roberson records! Run, brothers, run! Is it possible we can actually hide the entire campus of Morehouse?
That said, if you’re a black American and you haven’t gone through a militant phase of some kind. (Often spurred after some form of police interaction.) Even if it just involved flirting with the Nation of Islam or dreaming of moving to the Islands, something is seriously wrong with you. But, as my father said, there’s a reason why Barack Obama is president and not Jesse Jackson or Action Jackson. He managed to skip the “Fuck All Ya’ll Phase” of young black male intellectual development. That moment when a young black man finally notices the gross inequities in the world and starts questioning things. Sure, Barack went through a questioning phase and a disappointed phase, but “angry?” Just how angry could that angry phase have been and he STILL managed to get elected? Van Jones went through his “angry” phase and he’s taking an exit, stage right.
Either way, this has worked smashingly for Beck, who despite the fact that he’s lost advertisers for the whole “The President is a racist” thingy, his ratings remain high and now his caterwauling is actually yielding RESULTS. Scary, considering bitching from the fringe rarely stopped any Bush appointee, no matter how ridiculous. (Chris Matthews can keep asking if Eric Holder is going to put Dick Cheney on trial. That shit is never gonna happen.) This latest resignation does not portend well for others if they’ve got any kind of peppery political past.
This is all about bitch-slap politics. If Jones drops out, think Beck or the right-wing slime industry will stop? Think they won’t keep going after Carol Browner, John Holdren, and the rest—twisting and attacking every word and gesture from the Obama administration? “Uncovering” people as wildly caricatured leftists? Faux-populist fear merchants are like sharks; they have to keep moving, keep eating. There’s no sating them. Letting Beck bag Jones would be like chum in the water.