“Is the Van Jones saga a turning point for Barack Obama?”
Toby Harnden of the UK Telegraph makes some interesting points re the Van Jones scandal.
The White House tried to bury the news of Van Jones’s resignation…by announcing it after midnight on Sunday on a Labour Day weekend. But that hasn’t stopped the Right from trumpeting a major victory or the Left from gnashing its teeth over what it regards as a craven capitulation.
…the White House’s handling of the affair tells us a lot about Barack Obama and the weaknesses that could result in disaster for him this autumn if does not put his terrible summer firmly behind him…
When the going gets tough, Obama does not hesitate to dump someone who has become a liability. This has been a trait throughout his career. It could be seen as a strength but it can also be short-sighted. There will come a time when Obama will need unswerving loyalty from those Democrats who have not always been his supporters. Will the fate of Van Jones help him?
Whichever way you slice it, it was not difficult to work out that Van Jones was way out of the mainstream of the Democratic party and held views that are objectionable to the vast majority of Americans. The White House must have been aware of this but went ahead anyway. None of those who are complaining that he was victimised can explain away the 9/11 truther petition he signed.
Vetting. There wasn’t any, or very little. Apparently he wasn’t required to fill out a vetting form because he was a czar. This is an indication of disorganisation.
Czars. There are some 30 of these in the Obama administration – unelected, not subject to Senate confirmation and therefore relatively unaccountable. Czars also have the potential to add an additional layer of bureaucracy and blur lines of authority.
Angering the Left. There are parts of the Left-wing blogosphere that are frothing at the mouth at what they view as a betrayal. The Left is already angered by the likely abandonment of the public option in the health care stakes. The White House seems to have calculated it doesn’t have to worry too much about the Left. Are they right?
Emboldening the Right. Although the Republican party itself was behind the curve on this one, removing Jones was a major coup for the Right. In particular, Fox News in general and Glenn Beck in particular are cock-a-hoop. After months and months of demoralisation, the Right seems much more energised than the Left.
Arrogance. Obama won the election by seven points but he seems to have treated that as a mandate to do whatever he likes. OK, he isn’t the first President to do that – and, let’s face it, Bush pushed a pretty radical agenda on the basis of a popular vote defeat. But the appointment of Van Jones is yet another sign of over-reaching.
Slowness to react. During the election campaign, Obama was not always nimble in responding. Remember the “celebrity” meme from Team McCain that discomforted him so greatly? When it comes down to the wire on health care reform, Obama will have to be a lot in pivoting and being decisive than he was over Van Jones – the White House didn’t take the assault on him seriously until it was too late.
…having he likes of Van Jones on his staff does make one wonder. If it’s part of a trend then Obama could be very damaged because he already has the likes of Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright in his background.
A US friend tells me that the Van Jones affair has resonated well beyond the Blogosphere and Fox News’ constituency.
Hopefully Obama and his remaining radical Czars will take heed and back off on their arrogant headlong rush to American socialism.
Hopefully the US freedom forces will be further emboldened to take their country back from Obama and his cronies.