If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the movies, it’s that “The United States of America does not negotiate with terrorists.” Yet this White House is willing to let these psychological terrorists set the terms of the debate and negotiate from their insane positions. One group of people is trying to talk about co-pays. The other thinks the president is a secret Kenyan. One group of people sees the creation of domestic, sustainable jobs as a cornerstone of the 21st century economy. The other thinks the president is going to murder your grandmother. This is not legitimate political discourse and to make decisions acknowledging terms so far apart in their reality is just plain stupid.
Van Jones was one of the good guys. A really, really good guy. He used his education and his passion to combat police brutality and the massive, wasteful incarceration of so many of this nation’s young, brown people. Having fought in the trenches for so long, he saw an opportunity to build hope and jobs and tangible communities as the world responds to the climate crisis. He connected the dots and inspired action and had a vision. He was the rare outsider who got a chance to move inside, and move he did.
Van was the kind of guy that gave me real confidence in this administration’s seriousness. President Obama meets with generals every day and sees scary reports and wants to get re-elected. I can always make some politics-based allowances for his underwhelming actions. Van, however, was truly one of us. He got it. And to give someone like him power gave me more faith in the president. So when the lynch mob came after Van, it was a test. The same test so many Democratic administrations have failed time and time again. When the going gets tough, do you back your people, or do you fall back on excuses.
Not much of a surprise, but the following might be somewhat related to the previous passage:
No longer are we talking policy, but rather, Obama's inability to fight for what he believes in has now turned the debate to a discussion of whether our president is a "wuss." People don't like having discussions about whether their leader is a wuss. The very fact of having the discussion is trouble in and of itself. Particularly troubling, the administration still thinks the president is playing some game of ten dimensional chess that only he can see.In my relatively short lifetime, the last time the nation had a conversation about whether the president was a "wuss" and a "wimp," that president was a one-termer.
I don't think Obama is a wuss - at all (you don't make it from Chicago to D.C. without a stainless steel spine) - but I'm not really part of the demographic that needs convincing. And kowtowing to the likes of Beck and Grassley and their ilk won't do much to shore up the progressive support for his major initiatives or the '10 elections.
Sure, it's hard to defend someone who was even tangentially affiliated with the 9-11 truther movement. But things are different in Washington, where you can ask the president to produce his birth certificate, cheer on torture, make casual jokes about assassination, claim Obama wants your grandmama to die or even mount a soft defense of Hitler.
Had Obama, his administration and the Left in general dug in and insisted that Jones stay in the White House, there wouldn't have been one iota of difference in the intensity of the opposition. Instead, the lynch mob rounded up a posse and got themselves a scalp.
And they'll be coming back for more. Because that's how this works. John Cole:
We are dealing with crazy people. Even if Jones did not step down, they would be behaving the same exact way, BECAUSE THEY ARE CRAZY PEOPLE.
Also, they're assholes.