Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Van Jones forced out of Obama administration

The right-wing, "conservative" nutbars succeeded in forcing the resignation of Van Jones, President Obama's "green jobs czar".

Van Jones is Dead. Long Live Van Jones!

I had heard a lot about him (Van Jones); read his speeches; was incredibly impressed with his courage and articulate vision in taking on some of the world’s most serious problems: poverty, environmental racism, and climate change. More importantly, he understood the relationship between those issues, and that they could be confronted in the most efficient and just manner if seen as one problem: bring the manufacturers of green energy equipment into the poor and despairing ghetto where the jobs are most needed, educate poor minorities to do these jobs ( thus providing hope), and then construct the solar panels, windmills, and geothermal machinery that will be needed to power our future in a sustainable way. Everybody wins. Right? Van Jones invited the people of this country to begin dreaming again --- to dream that a future based in justice and sustainability was possible. He said, “Dr. King didn’t get famous giving a speech that said, ‘I have a complaint.’”...

One might wonder why Obama did not do more to protect Van Jones. But when Jones referred to Republicans as “assholes” as a euphemism for ruthless, he was beyond protecting. It didn’t matter that Jones said he would have to become an asshole himself to fight for his policies. The soundbite was history. Nothing to do but cut him loose. But the deeper reason he had to be cut loose was that Obama would have had to tell the truth to protect him: yes, Van Jones is for economic justice; he is for conservation and alternative energy; he’s for prison reform; he’s for a re-structured economy based in sustainability, not exploitation and profit; he’s for a serious investigation of 9/11; he believes that ‘clean coal’ is absurd, etc. Obama could not protect him, because to do so he would have had to endorse Van Jones’ beliefs. He was not about to do that.

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