Fallout from ‘affaire Van Jones


by Jeff Fecke | September 7, 2009 • I think publius has pretty much the right take on l’affaire de Van Jones:

[H]e’s a guy with some amazing accomplishments who simply never should have signed on in light of his 9/11 comments. There’s just no way you can ask an administration with such big issues on its plate to take the time to fight this battle. And honestly, truthers give me the willies. So regardless of whether he read what he signed or not, this is not a battle I want to fight with health coverage reform in the balance.

Yup. Yes, it’s annoying for the right to get a scalp, but given that Jones at the very least played footsie with Truthers, I really can’t work up that much energy handwringing about it. Some things — Birtherism, Trutherism, support for torture — should disqualify you from public service, as they prove you’re not a critical thinker.

Jeff Fecke is a freelance writer who lives in Eagan, Minnesota.In addition to his own blog, Blog of the Moderate Left, he also contributes to Alas, a Blog, Minnesota Campaign Report, and AlterNet. Fecke has appeared as a guest on the “Today” show, the Alan Colmes radio show, and the Mark Heaney Show. Fecke is divorced, and the father of one really terrific daughter. His debut novel, The Valkyrie’s Tale, is now available.

The Bush Administration would have doubled down on Van Jones, and I know it’s frustrating that the Obama Administration didn’t. But the Bush Administration was a lousy frickin’ administration, the worst in my lifetime. They defended the indefensible repeatedly, simply because they could. That’s neither sane nor a recipe for good governance, and it’s certainly nothing the Obama Administration should emulate.

Yeah, it’s annoying that Glenn Beck won this round. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a particularly bad loss, or that Democrats should be rending our garments in bitterness. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just have the distracting guy go, in the middle of a holiday weekend. There are bigger fish to fry right now.

Incidentally, I agree wholeheartedly with John Cole here — this won’t embolden the right. They’re already in full anger mode, all the time, about absolutely everything. They’ve spent the entire Obama Administration complaining about absolutely everything that happens, up to and including fighting Obama’s message to kids that personal responsibility is a good thing. You think Michelle Malkin hasn’t been looking at the counter-tops of Obama Administration officials already? Of course she has. And she’ll continue to. Nothing has changed, except for the fact that a guy who probably shouldn’t have taken an appointment in the first place isn’t in the Obama Administration anymore. Life goes on.