The resignation of Van Jones, President Obama’s “Green Jobs” advisor, was a key test of the administration’s political will, and they failed miserably. One can only think that either there was more in Jones’ past that he doesn’t want revealed, or the administration simply rolled-over to avoid a distraction from health care reform. The Republicans smell blood either way, and I’m sure this will be only the first challenge to the integrity of the people surrounding the President.
What did Jones actually do? He exercised his rights as a free American and signed a petition; in this case one calling for an investigation into the possibility that Bush administration officials knew the September 11, 2001 attacks were coming.
While that may sound far-fetched, it wouldn’t be the first time an American executive branch allowed such events to occur. FDR’s people certainly knew the Japanese were planning an attack in 1941 – and did little to avoid it in order to bring Americans into the War. Combine such history with the “we need a Terrorist Pearl Harbor” mentality that was active in the Bush White House, and perhaps an investigation would be prudent.
Regardless of what side of that fence you’re on, all Jones did was electronically sign an Internet petition – hardly the kind of thing you would expect the Obama crew to cave-in to. The obvious response of “let’s not get sidetracked from health care” should have have come long before a resignation, but Jones did the opposition’s job for them by resigning because he didn’t want to create a distraction (or so the official account goes). But this is America in the 21st century: everyone is guilty – period. Any slip of the tongue, any questions raised by any group, any small mis-step in the present or past and you’re tossed on the fire by a mob. The innovation the Obama administration brings to this is, they are jumping into the fire first.
This mentality goes much deeper that just the circus that is politics: this is a national plague, and is the direct consequence of the oppressive doctrine of Political Correctness (which should more accurately be termed “Social Indoctrination”). The ability, the right to speak your mind, no matter how unsavory the commentary might be, has become a thought crime.
The logic goes like this: if you said it, you must believe it, and if you believe it and a small group of “opinion minders” disagrees, you are subject to losing your job, being outcast in your community, perhaps even direct attack. And of course the News Media™ are the front-line minders here. They will report your opinions before you have even formed them.
This all started nobly enough as an attempt to quash racist, sexist, and homophobic expression in public. But it has gone much farther that that. Now it’s a tactic. And no one employs this tactic quite as effectively as the Republican Party. They used it brilliantly to get George W. Bush appointed once, and then actually elected. They have manipulated communities like Vietnam veterans to lend credence to their attacks. The Democrats just don’t have the stomach for this kind of fight anymore, even though throughout the 20th century they were the masters of the smear campaign.
If Obama doesn’t want to be subjected to a tsunami of this kind of below-the-belt wrangling, he’d better stand up to it now, or he risks having his entire adminstration drowned in side-track attacks like the one used against Van Jones. Politicians are like sharks, and if they smell blood in the water they’ll start snapping at everything.