The Chicago Way
It looks like the hissy purges have begun:
White House officials offered tepid support Friday for Van Jones, the administration's embattled energy efficiency guru, who has issued two public apologies this week, 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."
Earlier, Jones said he was "clearly inappropriate" in using a crude term to describe Republicans in a speech he gave before joining the administration.
The apologies did little to quell objections from Republicans, several of whom demanded Friday further action against Jones. Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.) called on the adviser to resign or be fired, saying in a statement, "His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate."
Wow. "Extremist views and coarse rhetoric" have no place in the public debate? Some people don't seem to have gotten the memo.
I certainly hope this makes it quite clear that consistency is not something Obama should count upon from his enemies. Indeed, I fully expect that the next time the Republicans take office they will launch several investigations of the previous Democratic administration (assuming they haven't already taken over congress, in which case they will begin while he's still in office.) They do not observe the self-imposed rules the Democrats put upon themselves. That should be obvious by now.
As for Jones, he says he signed that Truther petition without really reading it and thought he was signing something that merely requested further investigation. Who cares? We have people in the congress right now who assert that the president is an illegal alien and that the Democrats are going to euthanize old people. it's hard for me to give a damn about some stupid petition from a few years ago.
As for him calling the Republicans assholes, well ... they are assholes. I'm sorry if that's "coarse" but maybe somebody should have a little chat with former Vice President Cheney to see what the proper protocol is for telling Jones to go fuck himself. Then we can call it even.
This is a witch hunt and it's quite depressing because Jones is a truly inspirational, exciting thinker and speaker and it looks like they are going to get his scalp and marginalize him --- with the help of the timorous Democrats who know less about loyalty and solidarity than your average cat in heat.
But there's more to this story than just the usual Lani Guanier human sacrifice ritual:
Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck all but declared war on Jones after a group the adviser founded in 2005, ColorofChange.org, led an advertising boycott against Beck's show to protest his claim that Obama is a racist.
This is yet another example of Fox News annihilation strategy against anyone who criticizes them. And it works.
It's kind of ironic that they constantly accuse Obama of being a "Chicago" politician when it Roger Ailes who adheres to the classic dictum from The Untouchables:
Malone:You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That's* the *Chicago* way!
Murdoch and Ailes have made it quite clear that if you mess with Fox they will unleash the crazies. They're taking Van Jones' scalp to send that message. He won't be the last. It's not a coincidence that the Washington Post put this surprisingly insightful paragraph far down in the story. In fact, I'm a bit surprised they let it slip through at all.