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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Right-wing thuggishness triumphs again
Posted by Jill | 8:17 AM
Isn't it funny how the Republican party embraces its members who buy into the insanity about Barack Obama's citizenship, and "death panels", and the rest of the dogwhistling that is really just code for 'ZOMG THERE'S A [insert your own racial slur here] IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!", while Democrats throw the targets of the insanity under the bus in a vain attempt to silence voices that will only be silenced when everyone is marching under their theocratic Banner o'Hypocrisy?

Now we have another casualty of the Obama Administration's craven willingness to sacrifice everything that got this president elected because the right-wing noise machine is upset. The White House Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Van Jones, has "resigned". Gawker, of all places, has a good rundown of what the fuss is all about and how the fall of Van Jones emboldens the right-wing noise machine to attempt to silence us all:

Here's the biography of Van Jones: he was a bookish black kid from Tennessee who went to Yale Law and moved to San Francisco and became a radical. Then he decided to use his law degree and smarts to clean up and make things better from inside the establishment.

He was, he openly acknowledges, a "full-on Marxist" in early '90s California. He joined a revolutionary Marxist group and protested police brutality. Then he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which combats over-incarceration, police brutality, and urban poverty and violence.

Running a civil rights group dedicated to producing real and immediate improvements in urban life will make a revolutionary Marxist a bit more pragmatic. Jones began focusing on job creation, and, with a bit of prognostic intuition that ought to put Thomas Friedman to shame, he decided, in the late-'90s, to focus on "Green Jobs." This is, you know, capitalism—he wants to create wealth, and use market forces to make the world and black communities better places!

And in 2008 he wrote a book called The Green Collar Economy, and it made the Times best-seller list, making him as much of a figure of the mainstream as Sean Hannity or Malcolm Gladwell.

So here we have a radical youth turned respectable liberal. Respectable enough to be on Time magazine listicles and win World Economic Forum prizes and everything. Respectable enough for Tom Friedman to profile him. And The New Yorker. Respectable enough for Meg Whitman, as in former eBay CEO and wealthy Republican California gubernatorial candidate and John McCain advisor Meg Whitman, to proclaim herself "a huge fan of Van Jones."

And for both his activism and his charm he was rewarded with a White House job with the Council on Environmental Quality. He was tasked with making sure stimulus money for green jobs actually went to green jobs. And he's a great person to have in this administration—he is a genuine environmentalist and the only special interest he's beholden to is poor people. He is the sort of person we were all praying Obama would bring with him to DC, instead of Larry Summers.

And that is one of the reasons he is now being ritually and savagely demonized.

To understand why and how he's being demonized, we have to look at the way information and misinformation makes it way from crazy blogs to crazy pundits to crazy citizens to, suddenly, the non-crazy regular media.

Go read the whole thing.

If you watched Countdown on Thursday and Friday nights, with Keith Olbermann's masterful skewering of Glenn Beck's tirade against the "socialist-fascist" artwork in Rockefeller Center that was commissioned by that great socialist, oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, in the 1930's, you should have a good idea of what we're dealing with in Glenn Beck. The only question is whether Beck is really as utterly batshit crazy as he seems, or if Beck is the second coming of Andy Kaufman and this is all a kind of gonzo performance art that's gone completely out of control. But does it matter at this point, when the Obama White House has shown its complete willingness to dance to the tune of a party that has become now the exclusive province of racists, thugs, religious nutjobs, and other people you wouldn't want to run into on a dark country road?

Why on earth does Barack Obama care about what these people say? Is there something in the water at the White House that makes Democrats shut off their ability for independent thought and turns them into hapless slaves of Republican Mojo Mind Control? What the hell is going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Whatever it is, it's infecting the outside world as well. I was just listening to "Morning Edition" on WNYC and heard Leann Hansen say in regard to health care reform that "There doesn't seem to be a lot of support for a public option". And this is National Public Radio, that old supposedly liberal bastion. Either Leann Hansen has joined the ranks of Laziest So-Called Journalists in America, or the corporations that help subsidize NPR have given their marching orders. Or both.

The reality is that when polls are worded with the word "choice" (because Americans are too damn stupid to know that "option" and "choice" are the same thing), support for the "public option" is at 77 percent. So is Leann Hansen saying that most Americans don't want a public option but they do want the choice of a public plan? What the hell is the difference? And why is Leann Hansen parroting this GOP talking point? Why is it that among the journalistic community, only Sam Stein, reviled by the Washington Press Weenie-Nibblers as being not a real journalist, has the gray matter in his head to point this out?

So now we have a Democratic Administration and Democratic Congress that has told its own foot soldiers to go fuck ourselves while it dances to Glenn Beck's tune.

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Blogger Barry said...
Yes, this is another scalp in the right-wing belt, because conservatives were the only ones who bothered to Google the guy. The media didn't. The White House obviously didn't. But remember! John McCain was supposed to vet a plumber who encountered Barack Obama randomly.

Anonymous gyma said...
I happen to agree with Jones that Republicans are assholes and I found it refreshing that someone had the balls to say it. Of course he said as much way before he was tagged to work at the WH.

It appears that politics are now rooted in middle school behavior. The Republicans are the bullies and the Democrats are the very uncool kids who desperately want to be liked and will do most anything the bullies tell them to do. [please like me, please? pretty please??]

I don't see how the country can survive if this continues to be the norm while the media celebrities spew Republican talking points.

Blogger Bob said...
Heavens, the story of Rockefeller Center art (including destruction of Diego Rivera's mural) is ancient history. Stylistically, the art is varied & reflects the era as much as the buildings themselves.

The neocon warmongers used to be Troskyites.

Anonymous tata said...
I can't figure out why anyone in the administration is stupid enough in 2009 to believe that Jones's resignation will do anything but encourage this cycle.

In fact, Obama just announced that his lunch is anyone's to eat. Depressing.

Blogger Ryan said...
"But remember! John McCain was supposed to vet a plumber who encountered Barack Obama randomly."

Are you sure you've never heard of Sarah Palin?

Anonymous Anonymous said...



Anonymous Anonymous said...
NPR is bought and paid for by the corporations that subsidize it. It is no different than "commercial" media. Someone gives you a bunch of money so you do what they say. 30 years of republicans infiltrating it in all levels of management does not help. I rarely listen to NPR anymore. If I do, I end up turning it off after yelling at the radio, not good for the blood preassure.