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Van Jones Resigns and Whines

van jones truther nutOne of the curious controversies I’ve been half-following on Twitter but haven’t been motivated to write about is the case of Van Jones, a leader of the 9/11 “Truther” movement who has served since March as President Obama’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, or “Green Jobs Tsar” for short. After several days of denials and revelations proving he was a liar, he “resigned” overnight:

White House environmental adviser Van Jones resigned Saturday after weeks of controversy stemming from his past activism.

“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones, special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a statement announcing his resignation just after midnight Saturday. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”  He continued: “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.”

Jones issued two public apologies in recent days, one for signing a petition that questioned whether Bush administration officials “may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war” and the other for using a crude term to describe Republicans in a speech he gave before joining the administration.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) called on Jones to resign Friday, saying in a statement, “His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate.”  Senator Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.) urged Congress to investigate Jones’s “fitness” for the position, writing in an open letter, “Can the American people trust a senior White House official that is so cavalier in his association with such radical and repugnant sentiments?” On Saturday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote on his Twitter account, “Van Jones has to go.”

I haven’t been particularly agitated over this because:

  1. It’s theoretically possible to both be a respected expert in one’s field and a genuine nut on an unrelated issue.  And, frankly, in the case of environmentalists, it’s possible to be a respected expert in the field and a nut on that issue.
  2. I figured that, if there was enough substance to the criticism, Obama would pull the plug on Jones just as he has with virtually every other controversial advisor or appointee who threatened to distract him from accomplishing his goals.

Oddly, the local NBC affiliate reports it wasn’t his Trutherism that got him but his temperament:

President Obama‘s environmental adviser Van Jones resigned from his post late Saturday evening after he came under fire for a series of inflammatory statements he made about Republicans, the White House said early Sunday morning. Jones, Obama’s green jobs “czar,” was caught on tape in an expletive-packed rant, directly attacking Republicans in the Senate who he said abused their majority position in the past to push legislation through. He told Politico after the statements were released that the comments were “inappropriate” and “offensive.”

Jones’ victim mentality here is rich.  Of course people who engage in bizarre conspiracy theories that only the nuttiest members of their party adhere to are going to come under scrutiny when appointed to high positions in government.  (Although, as Rick Moran points out, some will slip through the cracks. In administrations of both parties.) Of course the opposition party is going to launch inquiries and call your fitness into question.  It’s best to just go quietly into that good night when you’re caught.

I’m a bit surprised that Kevin Drum is upset by this development.  So what if Glenn Beck was one of the loudest voices calling for Jones to go?  Stopped clocks and all that.  And Beck has been on this since July 23 and it’s just coming to a head now; methinks Beck wasn’t the main factor.  And “our effort to generate green jobs during a recession will be just a little less effective”?  Hardly.  First, I’m skeptical that a White House advisor is going to create these jobs, anyway.  Second, to the degree that high level leadership is going to help, it’s not going to come from a lunatic.

That said, I think Jim Geraghty goes too far in closing this circle:

Last year, many at NRO and other conservative news organizations, including myself, wrote quite a bit about William Ayers, and Jeremiah Wright, and Michael Pfleger, and Tony Rezko, etc. And more than a few Obama supporters, and more than a few mainstream media voices, thought that the criticism was wildly overhyped and Obama’s ties to those types were irrelevant, because as president, Barack Obama would never put anyone in his administration with such controversial, paranoid, extreme, and anti-American views.

In light of Van Jones, all of those folks who said we made too much out of Ayers and Wright and the rest are invited to dine on a heaping platter of crow; it goes well with the egg on their faces.

There’s little evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, or an extremist.  There is, however, plenty of evidence that he’s been willing to make alliances for political convenience — which means associating with some unsavory characters, especially in the Chicago political machine — and that his team is unusually sloppy in vetting appointees.   Given that Jones fits the latter pattern, there’s not much need to go looking further for clues.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. G.A.Phillips says:

    “On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones, special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said

    lol,Just like a liberal, lying to himself and everyone he can talk to all the way to the end. Don’t let the door hit you in the Repub.

    I’m sure he will be their new martyr,oops I meant cause celeb.

    Let the Donkeydoer defending begin.

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  2. Stefano says:

    You write: “a leader of the 9/11 “Truther” movement “. Do you have any evidence for this claim, other than his signature? One thing is to sign a petition, another is to be a leader. You also conveniently forget to mention that he not only insulted republicans, but he used the same derogatory term towards himself. Are you stretching the truth, or maybe lying for political purposes?

    Van Jones has explained in one case, and apologized for the other, but for you he’s just a loon who has crazy ideas on the environment. Could you be a little more explicit? Could you for instance explain what his goals are, and explain to me why his desire of a better, cleaner world is really that crazy? Could you also, just out of curiosity, compare his views and those of Glenn Beck, and see which one of the two is more on the lunatic side?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughtful reply!

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  3. odograph says:

    Good title, but I think there is less to stick to Obama than you think. The line “his team is unusually sloppy in vetting appointees” is quite a stretch.

    The “truther” thing was too weird and too in the past to be on their 200 page or whatever vetting form. That’s all.

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  4. ggr says:

    Could you also, just out of curiosity, compare his views and those of Glenn Beck, and see which one of the two is more on the lunatic side?

    Glenn Beck is definitely missing a few cards from his deck, but he doesn’t have a presidential appointment.

    There’s little evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, or an extremist. There is, however, plenty of evidence that he’s been willing to make alliances for political convenience — which means associating with some unsavory characters, especially in the Chicago political machine — and that his team is unusually sloppy in vetting appointees.

    Definitely agree with this. Obama is also quick to throw inconvenient people under the bus – he seems to be a pragmatist rather than an idealist, and attempts to paint him as an extremist are going to fail pretty badly.

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  5. odograph says:

    BTW, in fourth grade I signed a petition for less homework. This led to big trouble. Perhaps Mr. Jones missed this kind of formative experience.

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  6. kth says:

    I, too, would like to see some attribution or evidence for the claim that Van Jones was a leader of the truther movement. And the involvement better be way more substantial than signing a petition.

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  7. Stefano says:

    ggr: “Glenn Beck is definitely missing a few cards from his deck, but he doesn’t have a presidential appointment.”

    Agree on both counts. Still, to know what kind of influence Van Jones would have had as an appointee we’d need to know something more than “he’s a communist!” or “he’s a truther!”. What was important was to know his ideas and what he actually did, and why he was chosen (no, to say that he was chosen because he’s a lunatic communist is not a good answer). On the other hand, Beck, with his few and bizarre cards on his deck, does have a big influence on the opinion of many of his listeners, and it would be interesting to see some comment on his conspiracy theories, or on his way of discussing people he does not like just on the basis of a few data, picked just for effect.

    This is indeed my real problem with the whole Van Jones story: the tendency to judge a political opponent just on the base of few, cherry-picked elements of his or her biography. I find it remarkably stupid and partisan, and in the end damaging for the whole society.

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  8. Jay Dubbs says:

    Questions for vetting forms in the current (and future) administration:

    Do you now, or have you ever, believed that the President of the United States:
    a) Knew about an impending attack on the US and did nothing;
    b) Was not a citizen;
    c) Brought the country to war to benefit some country club cronies;
    d) Wants to overthrow the current form of government and put in place a fascist/communist state

    If you answered yes to any of the above, please hand in your application and answer no further questions. And don’t call us, we’ll call you.

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  9. G.A.Phillips says:

    c) Brought the country to war to benefit some country club cronies;

    d) Wants to overthrow the current form of government and put in place a fascist/communist state

    I think these two are going to cause trouble.

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  10. Democrats get rid of their lunatic fringe.

    Republicans are led by theirs.

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  11. G.A.Phillips says:

    Democrats get rid of their lunatic fringe.

    Were did you see these thousands of resignations at? link?

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  12. Phil Smith says:

    So, Reynolds, you agree then that Van Jones is fringe. I’m curious how many more of your ideological brethren are willing to step up to that particular plate. Just a couple weeks ago, it was argued in these comments that there just aren’t enough Truthers to matter. One commenter claimed that they were only 2 or 3 percent at most.

    So. A member of a tiny fringe – and organizer of at least on march for that tiny fringe – managed to secure a post under the president. I mean, what are the odds of that?

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  13. floyd says:

    “”There’s little evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, or an extremist.””
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    You lay down with dogs , you get up with fleas!
    Jones is clearly a racist lunatic.

    Democrats don’t have a “lunatic fringe”, they have a “lunatic fabric”.

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  14. devildog666 says:

    It’s theoretically possible to both be a respected expert in one’s field and a genuine nut on an unrelated issue. And, frankly, in the case of environmentalists, it’s possible to be a respected expert in the field and a nut on that issue.

    Spoken like a true beltway pundit. We all know it’s impossible for a liberal or black to be racist or just a nut including his theoretical field of expertise. Obviously we just lost another genius expert.

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  15. Davebo says:

    If Jones is indeed “a leader” of the truther group wouldn’t that, by all logic, make James a leader of the birther group?

    I mean seriously, that is the company he seems to keep right?

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  16. Davebo says:

    Wow, the comments posted while I was writing my really substantiate it don’t they?

    Will the last sane republican please turn out the lights as they proceed to the loony tunes?

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  17. Phil:

    I don’t see even the Kos people exactly leaping to defend this guy. The simple truth is: we are the party of sane. The GOP is the party of crazy.

    Of the crazy, by the crazy, for the crazy.

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  18. Phil Smith says:

    Hilarious. A truther makes it to be one of Obama’s czars, but we’re the loons. Brilliant logic, and exactly the level of intellectual maturity and honesty that we’ve learned to expect from you, davebo. Which is to say, none at all.

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  19. Davebo says:

    I’m crushed Phil.

    Seriously, crushed.

    But your self awareness is a good sign.

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  20. floyd says:

    Michael;
    You can be really hilarious when you try…subtle, but hilarious!

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  21. Davebo says:

    The GOP is the party of crazy

    At least in the 90′s it was mostly just the fringe.

    Now it seems it’s the whole party, including the leadership.

    Sad when it’s a big deal that a Senator comes out and states that he thinks Obama is an American.

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  22. Phil Smith says:

    Let’s see what memeorandum has to say, MR.

    Open Left is actually claiming today that, well, Bush and company actually DID allow 9-11.

    Mark Kleiman is claiming that Jones was “snookered” into signing that petition.

    Huffpo blames Glenn Beck.

    Nope, nobody defending Jones at all. Too funny.

    Michael, you’re the only commenter HERE that has had the honesty to say that Jones was crazy. Well, you implied it, you didn’t state it directly, but close enough. Stefano excuses it, davebo goes on a rant over one ill-chosen word in James’ original post, and then does engages in projection – but not one word about Jones. You know, the guy who organized the Truther parade and signed the Truther petition.

    And that’s the general tenor of the port side commentary – he didn’t know, he didn’t mean it, it was somebody elses’ fault, or damn those racists for pointing out his words.

    Oh well, have a good labor day weekend.

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  23. DougEMI says:

    Michael Reynolds claims the Kos people aren’t defending the guy and this is proof that they aren’t nuts on that side.

    Here is a whole bunch of Kossack Kraziness defending Jones

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/9/6/777715/-Van-Jones-Resigns

    I guess your party is sane no more after the widespread left wing rants around the blogosphere

    Here us some more, proving that the left wingers don’t like the crazy is something they tell themselves to make them feel better

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/chicago-way-by-digby-it-looks-like.html

    http://www.openleft.com/diary/14957/obama-idiocyfeeding-the-sharks

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  24. G.A.Phillips says:

    LOL, I guess it don’t matter at all that this was Obusa’s green stimulus package job czar and that he was a communist.Or that Obusa’s closest and most trusted personal adviser czar picking czar said they have had their eyes on him since his days in Oakland.

    Some of you people need to actually watch Beck instead of telling lies about him.

    One of the only true reporters out there and he’s a comedic rightishwing talk show host, go figure.

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  25. [...] –James Joyner: There’s little evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, or an extremist. There is, however, plenty of evidence that he’s been willing to make alliances for political convenience — which means associating with some unsavory characters, especially in the Chicago political machine — and that his team is unusually sloppy in vetting appointees. Given that Jones fits the latter pattern, there’s not much need to go looking further for clues. [...]

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  26. Doug:

    Yeah, nice try. No sale.

    On our side you have to resort to comment-writers to find the loons.

    On your side we have the leaders of your party: Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity. You know, the race-baiting, fear-mongering clowns who are the intellectual heavyweights of the party of Lincoln.

    We just dumped our crazy person.

    Who have you guys fired for backing birthers, deathers and assorted other racist buffoons? Would it be, no one? In fact, have you elevated the craziest among you to the positions of leadership?

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  27. Phil:

    We dumped him.

    You promote your crazies. We fire ours.

    Dance around all you like but that’s the bottom line: we dump our crazies, you follow yours. In fact, you force your elected officials to publicly bow down and lick the shoes of your crazies. Just ask Michael Steele, the “chairman” of the RNC.

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  28. DougEMI says:

    Reynolds, you claimed Kossites weren’t backing Jones, you were wrong, admit it. It is all in the link I posted. Markos says his people are mainstream, so you can’t dismiss his loons as outside of the democratic party.

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  29. ggr says:

    On your side we have the leaders of your party: Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity.

    Last I checked, they were entertainers, not policy makers or officials of the party … like Michael Moore, who despite what the GOP says, isn’t actually an official of the Democrats. The reason most people don’t bother voting for either party is that both parties make up facts as they go along …

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  30. JohnR says:

    Has Jones played the race card yet? It’s just a matter of time. Doesn’t matter that Obama’s black, or that Jones is in hot water because of his own stupid, juvenile, paranoid antics…oh no we’ll be told…it’s only beccause he’s black that he’s being “persecuted”.

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  31. Doug:

    What I wrote:

    I don’t see even the Kos people exactly leaping to defend this guy.

    Read what Markos or his editors have said. If you find evidence that they are backing this guy, point it out.

    Editors are not comment-writers, otherwise I would be Joyner and he would be responsible for what I write.

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  32. GGR:

    Yeah, they’re just entertainers.

    What a load. Do you even believe it, or are you just throwing it there to see if it sticks?

    In any organization, no matter what the official titles are, the boss is he whose ass must be kissed. Now, why don’t you make me a list of people in the GOP whose ass must be kissed.

    I’ll get you started:

    Steele? No.
    Boehner? No.
    McConnell? No.
    Limbaugh? Yes.

    So, who’s the boss?

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  33. [...] Van (I am out of here) Jones-Not only did he prove he could put his foot in his mouth but he proved that when the going got tough for him he got going. All the while blaming the “smear” when the only thing smearing him was his words and signature. See you around Van thanks for the memories. [...]

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  34. Gibbs on the resignation:

    On “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, Gibbs told Stephanopoulos that Obama thanks Jones for his service but doesn’t endorse his views or object to his resignation.

    “What Van Jones decided was that the agenda of this president was bigger than any one individual. The president thanks Van Jones for his service in the first eight months,” Gibbs said.

    Once again making the point: we fire our crazies.

    The GOP elevates theirs.

    Because while the Democrats have crazies, the GOP is crazies.

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  35. Steve W from Ford says:

    I recall seeing polls showing that 35% of Democrats believed that Bush was involved in causing the 9/11 attacks. Lunatic “fringe”? Not quite, just a lunatic party.

    IMHO there seems to be plenty of evidence that Obama may be a “conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, or an extremist” and this guy is just one more bit of evidence. You need to look at more of the videos of Van Jones explaining his goals and how he intends to get there and then look at Valerie Jarrett talking about how Obama has been watching Jones for years and how happy they are to get him in the administration. After you do this then tell us how there is no evidence about Obama being a radical.

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  36. G.A.Phillips says:

    Limbaugh Rules!!!!!!!!!

    Now I do love me some Rush, but in all Honesty, I am sad say, that I am my own leader.

    Then again I have had my Eye on Triumph since Iraq.

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  37. Steve W:

    Show us that poll.

    Because I believe the poll you’re referencing asked whether Bush had some knowledge about 9/11 or some wording close to that. I would have answered yes because of the famous “Osama determined to strike” memo.

    The question was not on point. So it does not show what you’d like it to show.

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  38. anjin-san says:

    Last I checked, they were entertainers, not policy makers or officials

    Is there a senior member of the GOP who has not yet prostrated him/herself at Rush’s feet? Names please…

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  39. DougEMI says:

    Reynolds, there is a difference between commenters here and commenters at Kos. Right wing views are not welcomed at Daily Kos. I would agree with you that the commenters aren’t the site if there were many views in that thread that supported the resignation of Jones, but if there are, they are few and far between.

    Also, the Osama determined to strike evidence was no different than the intelligence we had about him previously. We knew he wanted to hit us long before, but the memo in question was actually wrong about using planes because it dealt with hijacking planes to negociate a release of terrorists held in US custody. Then again, the memo also stated it could not confirm such rumors.

    Knowing someone wants to kill you isn’t the same as knowing that on a given date at a given time, an assailant is going to drive to point x and open fire.

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  40. Phil Smith says:

    Michael, the question was “Did Bush Know About the 9/11 Attacks in Advance?” That’s pretty straightforward, and pretty specific. Like the previous commenter says, it’s just not the same as “Osama determined to strike” – which is a vague, nebulous, and non-actionable tautology. No shit, Osama, a guy who has stated over and over that he is determined to strike the US, is determined to strike the US. News. Flash.

    “Did Bush Know About the 9/11 Attacks in Advance?” 35% of Democrats answered yes to that question. In my opinion, people who answer “yes” to that question are truthers. Or illiterate morons who cannot understand a simple question, take your pick.

    Now, I have enough respect for you that I don’t think you would have answered yes to that question. I don’t have enough respect for you to think that you’ll manage to refrain from excusing the morons and truthers who did, though.

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  41. ggr says:

    What a load. Do you even believe it, or are you just throwing it there to see if it sticks?

    Actually, yes I do believe it … I believe the same thing about Michael Moore and Jon Stewart. Their paycheck depends upon people coming back to listen to them again, and they gear their shows to ensuring just that. They’re into entertainment, not policy.

    The problem with both the democrats and the republicans is that they have a very hard time differentiating between fiction (entertainment) and non-fiction (actual legislation). They both sell a fantasy world which speaks to their fans – and together leave about half the population thinking both sides are slightly nuts, because the fantasies have very little to do with the real world. Its the major reason half the population can’t be bothered to vote for either, because its like having to choose between Captain America and Batman while knowing both are just comic book characters … its hard to take seriously.

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  42. Mitty says:

    Dude, I think Geraghty got it right. The Prez is just more polished & surreptitious.

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  43. joh says:

    There’s little evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, or an extremist.

    al-Mansour (Warden)
    Asbahi
    Ayers
    Davis
    Dohrn
    Jones
    Khalidi
    Mason
    Rezko
    Said
    Soros
    Wright

    Nope. Nothing.

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  44. Phil:

    Do you have a link to that poll? Because I don’t recall that being the exact wording.

    Doug:

    Explain to me why commenters at Kos can be taken to be the official voice of that site, but we aren’t in the same situation here.

    So far as I’ve seen the actual Kos response has been a simple factual announcement followed by a clip of the WaPo story.

    So, as of right now my statement is correct. While yours relies on a very convenient and indefensible differentiation between one set of commenters and another.

    GGR:

    Why does your party chairman have to lick the boots of your “entertainer?” I don’t recall Howard Dean ever having to apologize to Keith Olbermann.

    Limbaugh is the GOP. You’re kidding yourself.

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  45. Drew says:

    Looks like Limbaugh derangement syndrome has replaced Bush derangement syndrome.

    But now, a serious news flash. Press Secy Gibbs announced today that a new green jobs czar has been appointed. His name: Joe Vans.

    Gibbs noted that Mr. Vans is experienced in the solar power sector, and has a fascinating account of his 2004 abduction by space aliens…..

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  46. ggr says:

    GGR:

    Why does your party chairman have to lick the boots of your “entertainer?” I don’t recall Howard Dean ever having to apologize to Keith Olbermann.

    Limbaugh is the GOP. You’re kidding yourself.

    That’s another interesting similarity between the democrats and republicans: you both assume anyone who criticizes any aspect of your party belongs to the other party.

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  47. TangoMan says:

    There’s little evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, or an extremist.

    Obama asked us to judge him by the company he keeps. He also ran on the claim that he had superb judgment.

    Obama allowed Van Jones to bypass the regular vetting process.

    Van Jones was a self-avowed communist. I’m completely befuddled why people are pooh-poohing this. Most would be aghast if Van Jones was a self-avowed Nazi. Communism is a far, far worse ideology than Nazism. The body count of Communism is north of 100 million.

    Obama might not be an extremist, but he has a demonstrated soft spot for them and loves to have them in his orbit.

    I like your qualification, little evidence, because I think that, at this point, with so little information about Obama being in the public domain, that this is a safe and accurate description. There is evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, and an extremist, but the level of evidence still leaves a lot of room for ambiguity and plausible denial.

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  48. James,

    Like you, this has been a peripheral story to me. However, I will say that as best as I can tell, it is inaccurate to say that Jones was a leader of the Truthers. Instead, it appear that he signed a Truther petition (and he disputes his motivation for doing do). However, even if we assume that he knew exactly what he was doing, I can’t say as this constitutes “leadership” (unless, there is something here that I am missing).

    S

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  49. steve says:

    “There’s little evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, or an extremist.”

    This still plays well with the base, but is unlikely to win elections much anymore. Extensive list making of everyone a person has ever worked with or known is getting blown up with the advent of the internet. It is pretty easy to find out whether they had and have real influence. It is also pretty easy to look for specific legislation or acts to confirm that influence.

    Steve

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  50. Phil Smith says:

    You’re probably thinking of a different poll, then. And that actually is the funniest part – there are literally dozens of polls, worded in all sorts of ways, repeated over various timeframes, showing the same thing or worse. As I pointed out to you a couple weeks ago, in 2004 49% of New York state residents believed that Bush had an ACTIVE part in planning 9-11. So let me reiterate – you’ve got your own loons, and plenty of them. Not only that, but let’s just be honest here – there is an unbridgeable gap in the odiousness of the offense being alleged by the Birthers vs. the Truthers. There is a HUGE difference between “that guy cheated” and “that guy murdered or allowed to be murdered 3000 of my fellow citizens”. Your loonies (the current ones anyway) are just a hell of a lot uglier than mine. The biggest difference between you and me on this point is that I’m honest enough to admit that if Gore had been president on 9-11, the truthers would be Republicans instead.

    I’ll give you the link, though. But first – what does that wording mean to you? I genuinely want to know.

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  51. TangoMan says:

    However, even if we assume that he knew exactly what he was doing, I can’t say as this constitutes “leadership” (unless, there is something here that I am missing).

    He marched in a truther protest, he organized a pro-jihad magazine, War Times, and sat on its board for a few years, he endorsed an anti-police day protest organized by a Maoist group, he wrote and sang some anti-white rap song on his album.

    The guy is a gift that keeps on giving.

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  52. Maggie Mama says:

    Ooooh, plaaaease. You couldn’t dig up that this guy was a “commie”.

    My parents and my grandparents were rollin over in their graves.

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  53. Phil:
    Then where are the links? If you’re quoting the polls you should have links, right? If you’re just repeating something you heard on Glen Beck then you’re going to have to do better.

    I’ll respond to the wording when I see the wording and not your interpretation of same.

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  54. Phil Smith says:

    It’s a direct quote. I’ve got the link open in another tab as I type. Don’t weasel.

    What does that wording mean to you, Michael Reynolds?

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  55. Phil Smith says:

    Ah, the hell with it. Who give a shit what you think? Here’s the link; I wish you joy of it.

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  56. Phil:

    In other words: no link.

    Which leaves me to wonder what you were “quoting.”

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  57. Phil Smith says:

    Look again, Mikey.

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  58. Phil Smith says:

    Right there at at 4:29, two minutes before your last post.

    That will teach me to give you any credit at all. I was genuinely curious what you thought. I won’t make that mistake again.

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  59. The link showed up while I was answering the previous comment.

    “Did Bush Know About the 9/11 Attacks in Advance?”is the wording, which means yes, you quoted it accurately. You also quoted the numbers accurately.

    What do I think the question meant? It meant that some portion of that responding audience took it to mean that Bush knew AQ was planning attacks. Of course he did. We all did.

    It also means a significant number of Democrats are batshit.

    But I’ve never denied that. I used to know a Truther. She was batshit.

    The question is not whether there are crazy Dems, the question is whether we let them drive the bus. We don’t. To quote from Nate Silver:

    However, I don’t buy that the two phenomena are entirely equivalent. For one, there are some quantitative differences. In the Research 2000 poll, only 7 percent of Democrats have doubts about Barack Obama’s origins. That compares, in the Rasmussen poll, to 26 percent of Republicans who had doubts about George Bush’s role in 9/11, and 43 percent who had doubts about whether the CIA had advanced knowledge of the attacks. Trutherism is pathetically widespread — somewhat more so than birtherism — and is also somewhat more “bipartisan” than its counterpart. By the way, I’d expect that you’d find a pretty wide overlap between the two groups — that controlling for party ID and other factors, truthers are much more likely to be birthers and vice versa.

    The other difference is qualitative. I can’t recall any sitting Congressmen raising doubts about 9/11 (if I’ve forgotten one or two instances, I’m sure someone will remind me in the comments). On the other hand, quite a few Republican Congressmen have mimicked the birthers’ doubts about Obama’s place of origin. So, indeed, let’s not give Taitz any more facetime. Instead, let’s give Senators Jim Inhofe and Richard Shelby, and Represenatives John Campbell, Marsha Blackburn, Bill Posey, Roy Blunt and Dan Burton the ridicule they deserve for enabling these unpatriotic and malicious conspiracy theories.

    So, I repeat: The Democrats have crazies. The Republicans are crazies.

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  60. DougEMI says:

    Isn’t Daily Kos a Democratic blog for Democrats? That means Kos isn’t like this one by the fact that Democrats, Republicans, Independents post here pushing their party’s views. People there posting in support of Republicans or Independents will be banished. This site is about discussing issues, while Daily Kos is about Democrats electing Democrats, there is a difference.

    If a few people on Kos say anti-semitic things, that is not a reflection of the people who run it or participate in it. When a whole flock of followers have the same talking points in a thread that now has over 1000 comments, there is a hint and a half for your *&& that such thinking is fairly common across the site.

    I am not sure why Kos or the front pagers haven’t commented. Maybe Kos is on vacation. Maybe he is gutless, or maybe the commenters want his permission to criticize a decision by Obama (assuming Obama forced the guy to quit).

    I should be complimenting you though, most of the liberals I have read have been claiming that Jones was fired for speaking the truth and I should compliment Obama for getting rid of a guy who is now seen as a liberal martyr, a victim of racism, and victim of the vast right wing conspiracy. You and Obama have seen through the massive idiocy that has struck most of the left wing blogosphere today.

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  61. Phil:

    There you just did exactly what I did, which was comment while an opposing commenter was commenting.

    We should probably come up with some word to describe the phenomenon. “Blinded comment?”

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  62. Rich Marshall says:

    Michael Reynolds, you asked for a sitting Congressman raising doubts about 9/11, let’s start with Cynthia McKinney, D-GA.

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  63. Phil Smith says:

    Well, MR, regardless of cross-posts, your point would be a great deal stronger if we weren’t talking about a guy at the tippy-top of the food chain in the Democratic party who had to resign because he espoused a “batshit crazy” position. Not some blowhard on talk radio, but a top position in the Democratic presidential administration.

    But whatever. You go ahead with your manichean fantasy, and have a lovely labor day.

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  64. Larry says:

    Good to see this black militant get dumped.

    He continues his victimized vitriol even in his resignation!

    InaneObama should resign too.

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  65. anjin-san says:

    I guess this will give far right looney tunes something to rant about for a while. Not much significance beyond that…

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  66. Arizona says:

    How predictable that the White House, the MSM, and their blogosphere constituents emphasize the least important flaws of Mr. Jones: his “truther” connections and bad-language name-calling, and utterly ignore his sloppy fantasy-land “green jobs” book, that is presumably his “expertise” that got him the job (not his high position in the Apollo Alliance), nor his avowed communism right up to the present, nor his cop-hating (which seems to be White House standard, given the earlier dust-up), nor his blatant racism.
    That is partly because since they agree with him, they don’t see him as radical, and partly because the commissars, er, organizers want to sweep it under the rug because they know it will offend Middle America. They don’t mind going toe-to-toe with the Right, but they need to pull the wool over the eyes of the Middle a bit longer to achieve their “remaking” of America into something else.
    It’s sad, because the inhumanity of Statism results in such oppression and slavery, under an anonymous master. So ironic that someone as angry with America as Van Jones thinks the solution to poverty is grinding subsistence dependency, rather than liberty, and all he and his supporters can do to show their wisdom and understanding of complex issues is call radio personalities in the loyal opposition dirty names and clamor for The Fairness Doctrine – more statist control that won’t bring about “social justice,” just tyranny. Sigh.

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  67. donnaw says:

    You write, “there’s little evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti white racist or an extremist”. You are correct there is little evidence of Mr. Obama views, as he has sealed all his records, from Columbia, Harvard Law Review, his law practice days, his time in the IL Senate, and everything and anything in between. His life has been scrubbed, so how would we know?

    How does Mr. Obama know so many anti-American persons, who want to re-shape our country. Mr. Obama during the campaign said, “we live in the greatest country in the world, and that is why I want to change it”. He told us what he was going to do, but no one was listening, other than us Hillary supporters.

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  68. sub says:

    Stefano -

    Van Jones’ history is replete with evidence of his fringe mentality.

    Glenn Beck is an entertainer. He doesn’t work for the Whitehouse. Your point?…..

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  69. TangoMan says:

    Van Jones, besides being a communist and truther and black racist, is now a quitter. We all know that leftists hate quitters. This guy’s life is now washed up. None of his leftist allies will have anything to do with a quitter.

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  70. Tom says:

    Fringe? Joyner, you’ve given the Democratic Party another big pass. In fact, Van Jones was feted by top-ranking Democrats the same way Michael Moore was. His views on race and 9/11 were widely known at the National Convention and Rocky Mountain Roundtable in Denver. Trutherism is not outside of the mainstream of the Democratic Party. As you well know, a 2007 Rasmussen survey found that “Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.” In other words, at the time, 61% of Democrats believed Bush likely knew about the attacks and did nothing. A few years ago, Democrats in Florida’s 15th district nominated Bob Bowman, a loony 9/11 conspiracy theorist, to run for Congress. Jones is a symptom of what ails the Democratic Party and American body politic.

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  71. Steve Teagan says:

    “There’s little evidence that Obama is a conspiracy loon, an anti-white racist, or an extremist.”

    This is where you lost me. If you are unable to open your eyes we cannot make you see. Keep drinking the kool-aid….

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  72. odograph says:

    Tom, the difficulty polling the questions surrounding 9/11 is that the “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US” report was real. Unfortunately it wasn’t released until 2004, leading to much confusion about what was in it.

    A pollster can skew his questions to get the answers he wants out of that confusion – and of course the confusion itself is going to skew with trust people had in Bush (higher in Repubs and lower in Dems).

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  73. G.A.Phillips says:

    How does Mr. Obama know so many anti-American persons, who want to re-shape our country.

    He went to Collage?

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  74. G.A.Phillips says:

    How does Mr. Obama know so many anti-American persons, who want to re-shape our country.

    He is a Democrat?

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  75. G.A.Phillips says:

    How does Mr. Obama know so many anti-American persons, who want to re-shape our country.

    Church?

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  76. ggr says:

    How does Mr. Obama know so many anti-American persons, who want to re-shape our country.

    He’s a politician? Cheney wanted to re-shape the country as well. And given how little he seemed to respect the constitution, he’s arguably quite anti-American himself.

    Most politicians can be accused of wanting to re-shape the country. In most cases, those who don’t like the changes will call them anti-American (everything from prayer in public schools to abortion rights to overseas military duty to gun control).

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  77. Mom says:

    How about referring to GW as a crackhead, or that only white kids do Columbine style killings? He is a radical racist. Period. He is on youtube saying these things yet no one wants to report them, only that Jones was taken down by the right-wingers b/c he called Republicans as*holes. There is more to it than that.

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  78. G.A.Phillips says:

    How about referring to GW as a crackhead, or that only white kids do Columbine style killings? He is a radical racist. Period. He is on youtube saying these things yet no one wants to report them, only that Jones was taken down by the right-wingers b/c he called Republicans as*holes. There is more to it than that.

    He said that rich white people are spraying toxic chemicals on the minority’s that pick their crops, or something like that, and your right there is much much more…

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  79. [...] Van Jones Resigns and Whines After several days of denials and revelations proving he was a liar, he “resigned” overnight: [...]

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  80. davod says:

    Why did President Obama choose a communist-Van Jones to be his “Green Jobs Komissar”?

    “Seven years ago Van Jones was a San Francisco hardcore Alinskyite street communist. After hooking up with the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Democratic Socialists of America, former ’60s Maoists, Weather Underground supporters and Demos he managed to land a job in the White House.

    Twenty two years ago Barack Obama was a Chicago Alinskyite “community organiser”. After hooking up with the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Democratic Socialists of America, former ’60s Maoists, Weather Underground supporters and Demos he managed to land a job in the White House.”

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  81. An Interested Party says:

    Whatever else he has done, Van Jones certainly has served as a catalyst for comic relief from some conservatives…I mean, really, who do you think actually takes seriously all these ridiculous claims some of you are making about the president, other than the right-wing fringe…

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  82. [...] Van Jones Resigns and Whines (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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