Amid a controversy stirred largely by conservative nut-case ideologues like Glenn Beck, Van Jones announced his resignation as White House Special Advisor on green jobs in the Council on Environmental Quality late Saturday evening.
On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in a statement released to the press. ”They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide. 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.”
Jones had come under fire recently, apologizing for referring to Republicans as “a–holes” in a speech given last March before joining the Obama administration (he also referred to himself as an a-hole in the same speech), and for signing a petition in 2004 calling for an investigation into the actions of the Bush administration around the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.
Jones’ work promoting a green economy and green jobs has focused on his work as founder of Green for All and as author of the book The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems. Jones also founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, based in Oakland, California.
Many progressives are upset with the Obama administration for buckling under pressure from what has been characterized as a conservative “witch hunt.”
Some of the most rabid right-wing media pundits continue to make outrageous and baseless claims about the green economy and the vision of people like Van Jones. Whether these people actually believe what they say or are simply appealing to the politics of fear I can’t say. But as Joe Romm wrote in his blog Climate Progress, “when the global Ponzi scheme collapses, the only jobs left will be green.”
Beck, Kerpen, Hannity, Limbaugh and all the rest have no real ideas, no solutions, and no vision for a sustainable future. All they know are the politics and rhetoric of destruction, lies, fear and distortion. That it brought down Van Jones, at least as an advisor to the president, is a sad commentary on the ability of this nation to make real change.