Van Jones: Plucking the Leaves but Leaving the Roots

I recall reading well over a year go about a guy from California who was spearheading the "Green Collar Economy." It was a popular new catchphrase and I believe I heard about it first either on NPR or in the Boston Globe. I went to the website and read about someone named Van Jones who was organizing and trying to spread his terrible environmentalist and statist views on a national scale, with a book and a bunch of slick marketing and social media activities. Still, he was local from way across on the Left Coast, and I put it out of my mind.

Then Obama won. Eventually, I heard of a new "Green Jobs Czar" named... Van Jones. Yup, same guy. On top of all the other horrendous appointments he was making, it was hard to say he was any worse than the likes of Cass Sunstein or tax cheat Tim Geithner. Then recently, conservative commentators started digging into Jones' background, he became a liability, and over the weekend he resigned. (Expect a cacophony of claims that the Right was motivated by racism -- I'm betting on a Paul Krugman piece trumpeting that angle in the Times in the next day or two.)

Of course his resignation won't make a bit of difference. In fact, it may be a bad thing, because all that will happen is that Obama will search out a non-controversial person to hide in the background while he doles out billions of dollars of redistributed wealth, stolen from productive enterprises and tossed down the Green Hole of "sustainable" industry.

The Wall St. Journal appears to be cautioning Obama from its editorial page, but all it's doing is asking him to govern from the middle:
No President is responsible for all of the views of his appointees, but the rise and fall of Mr. Jones is one more warning that Mr. Obama can't succeed on his current course of governing from the left. He is running into political trouble not because his own message is unclear, or because his opposition is better organized. Mr. Obama is falling in the polls because last year he didn't tell the American people that the "change" they were asked to believe in included trillions of dollars in new spending, deferring to the most liberal Members of Congress, a government takeover of health care, and appointees with the views of Van Jones. [bold added]
The only item in that list that a Republican administration wouldn't be guilty of is appointing someone like Van Jones (though they'd likely go in the opposite direction and appoint a Christian Fundamentalist).

Still, the longer the radical leftists are sitting in positions of power in Washington, and the longer their explicit and implicit political philosophies are exposed to the harsh sunlight, it is more likely that the American people will start to wonder if there is a real, philosophical antidote more substantial than Reagan-era conservatism. They may, just may, start thinking about individual rights and questioning why both parties are so hellbent on violating them.

It's good to see someone like Jones get run out of town, but until the opposition starts fighting for individual rights and fully laissez-faire capitalism instead of complaining that one of Obama's czars said "Republicans are a-holes," there will be no alteration in the course of the country as it plunges into socialism. Because environmentalist and statist policies were not attacked at their rights-violating roots, one green czarist weed was pulled and we can expect another, stronger, harder-to-pull weed to spring up in its place.

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