"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide,” Jones bemoaned. “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."
But despite the attempt to blame his problems on a supposed “vicious smear campaign” by “opponents of reform,” analysts contend that Jones’ actions and words were responsible for the storm of controversy that embroiled him. Questions and complaints about Jones and his views were pushed into the public spotlight by Fox News host Glenn Beck and other commentators, but the facts are what eventually did him in.
The former “special advisor” for the White House council on environmental quality was caught on video using extremely foul language to describe Republicans, prompting critics and legislators to call for investigations and Jones’ resignation.
"His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate," explained Republican U.S. Representative Michael Pence of Indiana. Senator John Cornyn of Texas said Jones had to go, while Republican Senator Kit Bond of Missouri called for an investigation, asking: "Can the American people trust a senior White House official that is so cavalier in his association with such radical and repugnant sentiments?"
The controversial figure also drew fire from some critics for having signed a petition calling for a new investigation into the events of September 11, 2001, though according to a New York Times/CBS poll only 16 percent of Americans believe the Bush administration was telling the whole truth about the attacks. Jones explained that the petition did not represent his views “now or ever.”
Others point to past statements about being a communist, reparations for slavery, wealth redistribution and even pushing the “green economy” concept until it becomes the engine for “transforming” the whole society. In a 2005 interview highlighted by Glenn Beck, Jones said he was willing to forego the “radical pose” for the satisfaction of achieving “radical ends.”
His racially charged rhetoric has also come back to haunt him — statements such as: “White polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of color's communities because they don't have a racial justice frame."
Jones has acknowledged working for over a decade with radical communists “of color” whom he met in jail. He helped found the Color of Change, an “African American advocacy group” that mounted a boycott campaign against Beck after Beck started exposing Jones. The group has been accused of serving as a racist attack dog for the current administration.
The Yale Law School graduate also created other leftist organizations and has been involved with extremist, Maoist groups like Standing Together to Organize Revolutionary Movement (STORM).
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs thanked Jones for his “service” but explained that Obama did not agree with his views. "What Van Jones decided was that the agenda of this president was bigger than any one individual," he told ABC's ‘This Week.’
Some commentators wondered how and why he was selected in the first place if Obama did not agree with him. The Los Angeles Times reported that “a White House official acknowledged Sunday that Jones had been vetted less rigorously than other officials.” But of course, as one of more than 30 so-called “czars,” he was never confirmed by the Senate.
"It has been a great honor to serve my country and my President in this capacity. I thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement,” said Jones, who also apologized if he offended anyone with past statements. “I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the clean energy future. I will continue to do so, in the months and years ahead."
Jones’ resignation is a good sign. Not only is there one less radical subversive in the halls of power, it signals growing outrage and resistance to the administration and the federal government’s perpetual and unconstitutional expansion of power. Admittedly, as Glenn Beck points out, “Jones is the tip of the iceberg.”
Despite the attempt to let Jones go under the radar by sending out the announcement around midnight over a long weekend, the resignation has generated wide-spread coverage and celebration. With continued activism, the entire agenda to socialize America can be stopped in its tracks. As the plans become further exposed and citizens continue rallying to stop the takeover, true change may be just around the corner.
Photo of Van Jones: AP Images