by Victor Davis Hanson
NRO’s The Corner
‘Oooh. Van Jones, alright!’
Ah, the Dividends of a Yale Law degree:
The problems with Van “change the system” Jones are not just his serial slurs against much of American society (“an apartheid regime”) as we know it (e.g., capitalism, the coal industry, American farming, the white population, the Bush administration (for causing 9/11), the Republican “***holes”, etc. — but that he simply cannot tell the truth about his own history, in disavowing almost everything he has said, written, or signed in the recent past. (His involvement with the 9/11 “Bush did it” lunacy has a heritage beyond just his written endorsement).
Worse still, by its own admission, the Obama administration seems to have monitored Jones and selected him for his czardom precisely because of, not despite, his flamboyant past.
Cf. Obama guru Valerie Jarrett’s gush: “Oooh. Van Jones, alright! So, Van Jones. We were so delighted to be able to recruit him into the White House. We were watching him, uh, really, he’s not that old, for as long as he’s been active out in Oakland. And all the creative ideas he has. And so now, we have captured that. And we have all that energy in the White House.”
Jones and other Obama radicals (the more middle- and upper-middle class the pedigree, the angrier the denunciations) have a strange tendency in the past to have slandered much of American society, then abruptly — once anointed into its highest echelons — to equate their own careerist ascendency with a positive referendum on America’s sudden deliverance (the “apartheid” U.S. in need of having its entire system “changed” is now okay since a Van Jones is in the White House.)
Michelle Obama articulated that view with her trope about not previously being proud of America until her husband became a serious candidate, but apparently for the next few years we are supposed to endure lectures from a variety of leftists like Jones that their own success allows us to find (temporary) redemption from them.
I would assume that Jones will have resigned within 24 hours, given the crudity, surrealism, and venom of his serial invective.
I Could No More Disown Van Jones Than . . .
When Van Jones talks of the aims of the civil rights movement and its initial minimalist agenda, he references the ultimate desire of ‘redistributing all wealth.’ When one collates that revelation with Obama’s own off-handed “spread the wealth” comment, his ‘fair share’ sermons, and his 2001 public radio interview thoughts on “the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society,” we begin to see a pattern in which one’s income and wealth do not properly belong to the earner, but are seen as illegitimate and thus legitimately can be redistributed to others.
What is interesting about Van Jones’ supposedly divisive comments are that many in fact dovetail with Obama’s past revelations in more indiscreet moments. Aside from a shared rhetoric of spreading and redistributing wealth, I don’t see how white polluters of the ghetto is that much different from anything Rev. Wright said, Obama’s own ‘typical white person’, or his stereotyping of the Pennsylvania clingers or the Cambridge police.
Jones’ own deprecations of the U.S. are no more extreme than Michelle Obama’s ‘downright mean country’ and for the first time she has become proud of America. When Van Jones talks about coal, he is simply amplifying Obama’s own suggestion that he would “bankrupt” those who wished to build new plants.
So I do believe Valerie Jarrett that the administration had been looking at Van Jones for a long time, and liked what they saw.
©2009 Victor Davis Hanson