By Robert Wallace
As many of our commenters have pointed out, Van Jones has officially resigned from his post at the White House. If you think that politicians like to drop uncomfortable news on a Friday afternoon to try and avoid the media limelight, how about announcing a resignation in an email just after midnight on Sunday during a holiday weekend? Now that’s what I call leaving through the back door.
[A communist resigning on Labor Day weekend. There's a joke in there somewhere, I know it. -- Jeff]
The reasons for the departure are obvious from Gibbs comments:
After the resignation, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama did not endorse Van Jones’ comments but thanked him for his service.
Translation: We did this to prevent the damage to Van Jones’ reputation from spreading to the president.
Here’s where this goes from here.
The Obama Strategy
Along with a complicit media, the Obama administration and their allies are going to spin this as an episode of “When Right-Wing Talkshow Hosts Attack”. They will make two basic points:
- Glenn Beck was motivated by a personal grudge
- Alternative media is too powerful
- Glenn Beck is the new head of the Republican Party
The reason they want to shift attention to the question of Glenn Beck’s motives is because shifting the focus to an allegation that Beck was just being vindictive is a ploy to avoid having a discussion about what Van Jones actually said or believed. Look for lots more references to the laughably irrelevant Color of Change boycott. Van Jones left to protect the president, and that is still priority number one.
The second basic point plays directly into their pre-existing strategy to shut down the alternative media. This has always been a two-pronged attack. Divide and conquer. They attempt to divide by marginalizing important conservative voices, and they attempt to conquer by legislating those voices into silence.
Until now Rush Limbaugh has been Public Enemy No. 1, at least as far as the left is concerned. That is why the White House went after him as the “head of the Republican Party”. After Van Jones’ resignation, I’m fairly certain Glenn Beck has replaced Rush Limbaugh at the top of Obama’s Most Wanted list. And that means that you should expect personal attacks on Beck to tick up. It’s pretty hard to attack a recovered alcoholic who is faithful to his wife and family on moral grounds, so expect to see more of the Colbert/Stewart strategy. Maybe they’ll find a Tina Fey to Beck’s Palin, and get someone to spout a few absurd “I can see Russia from my house” type comments on Saturday Night Live. Ridicule is the key.
When it comes to conquering, the plan hasn’t changed. Outright censorship is a no-go and even the Fairness Doctrine is politically toxic. That is why the template for state control over the media is based on localization and diversity. They will cast Glenn Beck – and media “conglomerates” – as being all-powerful juggernauts that squeeze smaller competitors out of the market. Just look at FCC Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd’s comments:
Poor, poor oppressed Chavez, right? If they can portray a communist dictator who oppresses his own people as a victim, they can believe anyone is a victim.
First off, I have to say I’m grateful it was Glenn Beck. I don’t think I’ve seen any celebrity handle criticism the way he has. He gets angry at people distorting the truth, but when it comes to personal attacks on himself and his family he handles it with a kind of civility and grace that this country could use more of.
Now here’s the way that conservatives – especially Glenn Beck – need to respond to this strategy. We need to point out that Sarah Palin and Van Jones both gave essentially the same reason for resigning: attacks on them were detracting from their job.
But where the attacks on Palin were unfounded nuisance lawsuits, caricatures on Saturday Night Live, and sexual jokes targeting her teenage daughters the attacks on Van Jones were attacks based on the things he stood for in his own words. No one impersonated him for laughs. No one said a single word about his family. No one made it a discussion of his personal character. It was about political issues from the start to the finish, and that’s where the emphasis needs to remain.
The key is to refuse to allow Obama and his remaining allies in the mainstream press to set the parameters for this debate. It’s not about Glenn Beck being angry, or about talk show hosts with too much power. It’s about Van Jones being a radical, and the questions that raises about Obama himself. And if all we can do is blog posts and emails and conversations with friends and acquaintances to get the word out, then that is exactly what we need to do.
This is a victory for Glenn Beck, for conservatives, and for America. But this means that the Obama administration has yet one more reason to play dirty. Their bag of tricks is nowhere near empty, and we need to keep the pressure on.
With any luck there will be another Obama adviser leaving by the back door in the coming weeks, and Americans far and wide will start to question how these guys got into the White House in the first place.
Robert Wallace is classical liberal studying economics in graduate school. He and his wife work as business analysis consultants, and they live as undercover conservatives with their two small children in a socialist bastion of a college town. He has been writing for America’s Right since December 2008.