A lot of us have feared from the get-go that, when it comes to dealing with the viciousness, mendacity and absolute ruthlessness of the wingnuts running the Republican Party, President Obama is bringing a Smurf doll to a street fight, trying to beat shivs and guns with lollipops.
Those fears were fully realized last night:
Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, resigned Saturday, following weeks of pressure from the right and a flurry of revelations about his past statements.
"I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today," Jones said in a statement dated Sept 5 released around midnight on Sept 6.
"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me.They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide," he continued. "I have been inundated with calls -- from across the political spectrum -- urging me to 'stay and fight.' But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future."
White House officials had offered tepid support last week Jones after he issued two public apologies in recent days, 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."
So this is what we can expect from Obama: When the right gets into full-froth rabid attack-dog mode, he folds. He'll even throw one of his best friends and most loyal liberal allies under the bus.
Best of all, he's just handed the most rabid of the haters who are undermining his agenda -- namely, Glenn Beck and the rest of the Fox crew -- their biggest scalp yet. The crowing that will follow is just the start.
They certainly won't be satisfied with this. Hell, this is just the appetizer. Beck has already made clear that Valerie Jarrett is the next one in his sights.
If President Obama and Rahm Emanuel think that letting the Fox crew drive out his appointees is going to help him win his legislative battles -- this was clearly the product of a White House more intent on trying to get its health-care reform package passed than dealing with the larger, more pervasive problem that threatens not just health-care reform but all of his initiatives -- he is sadly and badly mistaken.
Indeed, this whole fustercluck is an ill omen for health-care reform as well. It sure looks like Van Jones is just a precursor for the eventual fate of a public option, isn't it?
Well, Obama and Co. may get a white feather for their complete and utter lack of spine on this, but the rest of us don't have to take this lying down.
It's time for all-out political war with these wingnuts. Just boycotting Glenn Beck isn't going to be enough; sure, Jones' old organization, Color of Change, may have convinced 57 advertisers to drop out of supporting Beck, but all they did was shift their advertising dollars to other Fox programs. Rupert Murdoch still got their money, and thus eventually so did Beck.
If progressives want to have any hope of enacting their agenda, they have to do something about Fox News and its advertisers. And we obviously are going to have to do it without any help from this weak-kneed White House.