That’s right, you heard me. Van Jones defeats Glenn Beck.
The big news of the night is that Van Jones, the President’s advisor on green jobs and the economy, has resigned under pressure from far-right brownshirts. On the surface this is disappointing, to say the least. Jones has proven himself to be a creative and effective advocate for environmental reform. His book, “The Green Collar Economy,” became a best-seller despite having little support from the conventional publishing circles. But after weeks of battling rightist slander and disinformation, Jones issued this statement:
I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today.
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 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.
The near-term downside to this is that the residents of the Beck Asylum for Paranoid Thumb Suckers are going to be celebrating triumphantly for a while. That will be annoying but bearable. Beck himself will feel emboldened and anxious to take aim at a new target. He has already laid the ground work for post-Jones assaults on Valerie Jarrett and Mark Lloyd. (Do I need to point out that Jones, Jarrett and Lloyd are all African American members of the Obama administration?)
My personal regret is centered on what I consider to be a flaw in the administration’s strategy. I suspect that they view this matter as a distraction and want to focus on health care. That is a worthy goal. However, to the extent that this is a distraction, it will not be alleviated by jettisoning Jones. For the rightist bullies Jones was not really the issue. He was a symbol and, with him out of the way, they will just find another symbol to attack. Consequently, Obama will not be relieved of the so-called distraction. It will just have a new face attached to it. The question is, how will he respond to the next contrived controversy? How many qualified and capable advisors will be hung out to dry in a vain search for comity – an outcome for which Republicans have zero interest.
But Beck and his ilk may rue the day they set Jones free. As a private citizen he will not be constrained by diplomacy and the political fear of controversy. He will be able to speak with conviction and take aim at the real villains in our midst. The organization he co-founded, Color of Change, was largely responsible for Beck losing 57 advertisers (so far). And, let’s face, Beck’s obsession with Jones was driven by vengeance for that association, even though Jones has not been affiliated with the group for over two years. Clearly Beck is afraid of Jones, hence the incessant coverage. But Beck has made a serious strategic error, because Jones is a far bigger threat to Beck outside of government than inside of it.
The effectiveness of the advertiser boycott can now be expanded upon by an unfettered Jones, who can bring his skill, experience, and passion to a new field of battle. He will be joined by an invigorated community of reform-minded Americans who believe that aggressive advocacy will lead to social, political, and legislative victories. Beck has given Jones a gift of sorts, in the form of valuable and hard to procure media attention. If Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber can parley their media notoriety into national prominence, despite their abundance of ignorance and deficit of charisma, just imagine what Jones can do. This fight has only just begun, and progressive activists are committed to principle, not President or party. We will not be cowed by demagogues and fear mongers.
If Glenn Beck is proud that he was able to demonize an honest and patriotic man like Van Jones, he may soon discover that he is not immune from the hardball tactics he employed to tarnish this man’s reputation. There is plenty of video evidence of Beck’s repulsive commentaries wherein he…
- agreed that America’s only hope is for Bin Laden to blow us up.
- fantasized about choking Michael Moore to death.
- advocated beating Rep. Charles Rangel with a shovel.
- declared that he hated the families of 9/11 survivors.
- declared that he hated Katrina victims, whom he called scumbags.
- incited people to commit tax evasion.
- accused Obama of having a deep seated hatred of white people (but isn’t a racist?).
Glenn Beck hates America. He has said so explicitly. He proves it everyday with his hate-filled screeds and his promotion of anti-American rhetoric. His show is a compendium of insults, provocations to violence, secession, and revolt. It is imperative that his treasonous ravings be exposed so that the people can make an informed judgment of him. And Fox News must be held accountable as well for their complicity in this abomination of truth and justice. Even though the inanity of Fox News has done more to hurt the Republican Party than anything the Democrats have done, they must still shoulder the responsibility for the harm they produce to civil discourse and honest journalism.
If you believe this country is great but it is suffering from a tiny but virulent infection of hatred and stupidity, then stand up and, come on, follow me.
Update: Beck responds to Van Jones resignation – and proves my point:
“The American people stood up and demanded answers. Instead of providing them, the Administration had Jones resign under cover of darkness. I continue to be amazed by the power of everyday Americans to initiate change in our government through honest questioning, and judging by the other radicals in the administration, I expect that questioning to continue for the foreseeable future.”
As I said above, this distraction will not be alleviated by Jones’ resignation. Beck will continue to make mischief for “the foreseeable future” regardless of what Obama does. Therefore, Obama should just Ignore Beck and Fox News altogether.