The Spectacle Blog

Moving Van, the Mainstream Green Man

By on 9.6.09 | 10:30AM

I'll admit, I'm surprised Van Jones is out of the White House. After all, they had already overlooked his batty theories about government involvement in creating economic growth.

I kid, of course. Van Jones is a radical, and is surely an extremist in the eyes of most Americans and, having been outed as such, he was quickly shown the door. On the heels of Jones saying that airing his  flamboyantly serial outrageousness constituted "a vicious smear campaign", I suggest Jones will soon be busy spouting anew all of that which he spent a few days distancing himself from in attempting to keep that job. 

But this isn't really the issue or the lesson to be drawn from l'affaire Jones

The lesson not to be missed in the rush to "move on" is that Van Jones is fairly mainstream when it comes to modern environmentalism. By this I don't necessarily mean the suburban Volvo (or even Subaru wagon) drivers with bumper stickers advertising their empathy. I mean the movement environmentalists, the establishment groups driving the policy agenda.

Here's Exhibit A.

As Ground Zero smoldered, on September 14, 2001 Jones' fellow Bay Area greens (and Jones fans), the Earth Island Institute, threw a telling green tantrum on their website: "U.S. Responds to Terrorist Attacks with Self-Righteous Arrogance." Steeped in self-righteous arrogance, this bilge denied that the September 11 attacks represented an act of war. Rather, it was "an act of anger, desperation and indignation." We asked for it.

"This was not an 'attack on all American people,'" fumed EII - because those who died were mostly Pentagon and "multinational financial empire" types. Plus, we should get over it because "[t]his was not the sort of flat-out terrorism that targets random innocents at a disco or a beach."

OK, so someone whose belief system allows ready acceptance of don't cry for these people they worked for multinational corporations and the Pentagon all perpetuating a petroleum-based economy is not precisely the same as Bush killed these people perpetuating a petroleum-based economy for dark purposes, but they certainly are birds of a feather. Besides, before Jones was blaming the U.S. government for enabling 9/11 he spent a couple of years -- beginning on 9/13/01 -- touting a "chickens have come home to roost" line.

Note how, after EII's grotesque spasm - which was followed by backpedalling not unlike that now coming from Jones - one of its organizations, the "Bluewater Network", went on to draft California's global warming law according to the official author of the legislation, Assemblywoman Fran Pavley. 

California's law is now in the process of being imported to the federal level, thanks to the administration employing Van Jones, and their congressional enablers. Van Jones, as batty and nasty as he is, is adored by these people for a reason. He represents them. He was no stranger to the White House and he was not chosen for this position in spite or in ignorance of his views. He was chosen for these views and his ability to proselytize about them. Just ask Obama senior advisor and administration-builder Valerie Jarrett.

Van Jones is gone - Obama proving just as able to throw him under the bus as his grandmother, Rev. Wright, and I'm guessing a few more staffers to come - but the shared philosophy stays. And this is something to bear in mind as the Van Jones agenda makes its way through federal agencies and Congress.

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