September 9, 2009
After a firestorm of criticism from conservatives, Van Jones, President Obama's "green jobs czar," was forced to resign over the weekend. Jones issued two public apologies in recent days, but it was too little too late. In 2004 he had signed a petition charging that the Bush administration had deliberately allowed the 9/11 terrorist attacks to happen, as a pretext for war. He also made a speech insinuating that only white boys would be capable of a Columbine-style massacre, and in February this year referred to Republicans in a profane way. Clearly, he was an irresponsible extremist who has no business occupying a high government position. See the Washington Post [updated link] and 911Truth.org, the fringe group that circulated that petition he signed.
The question is, are there more like Van Jones? Here's one disturbing example: Obama's science czar, John Holdren, advocated compulsory sterilization and forced abortion. See Investors' Business Daily; hat tip to Stacey Morris. The fact that Obama cut Van Jones loose so quickly and surreptitiously may indicate his fear of being exposed for sympathizing with left-wing extremists. [Those who argue that this was a mere lapse in White House "vetting procedures" neglect the possibility that Obama's staff knew exactly what kind of person Van Jones was, and approved of him anyway.]
For a comprehensive list of Obama's "czars," see politico.com. Six of them have been confirmed by Congress, and one of them is a post created by congressional statute. The other 21, however, are basically unaccountable to anyone but President Obama himself. That is not a wise or proper way to build an effective administration, bypassing normal bureaucratic channels, and it undermines public confidence in government. Conservative critics are right to be wary of Obama's use of "czars."
Attorney General Eric Holder recently decided to broaden the investigation of CIA operatives who were involved in "enhanced interrogation techniques" of terrorists and suspected terrorists. See the Washington Post. What is particularly galling about this is that President Obama disavows any role in proceeding with the apparent purge/witch hunt, and made a big point to try to raise morale during a visit to CIA headquarters earlier this summer. I hope this is not a sign of more such double-dealing and politicization to come. The men and women who serve our nation in the Intelligence Community deserve a lot more respect than that.
Yesterday President Obama spoke to school children all across America via a live video feed. Was this a sinister attempt to manipulate and indoctrinate tender young minds, or was it something more ordinary, akin to what former presidents Reagan and Bush (the elder) did? In his daily "video rant," Chris Graham thinks the hubbub from many conservatives is grossly misplaced (see facebook.com), to which I commented:
Personally, I couldn't see any harm in Obama's speech to the kids either, and I agree that many of his opponents are way out of line. Like you, I respect the office of the President, but you have to admit that Obama's effort to "transform the nation" is bound to elicit fear, especially given the leftists he has associated with. I think he is part of the problem of polarization.
As for the historical background, I don't think there was a pathological "delegitimizing" campaign against Clinton such as you describe, at least not until the latter years of his presidency. Whenever it started, and whoever bears more of the blame, the problem is rife in both parties now. Unless moderates regain control on both sides, our future as a democracy is in jeopardy.
Is Creigh Deeds "on record for murdering unborn babies," as stated in a letter to the editor today? Not as far as I know. Allegations of such an extreme nature should be supported by factual evidence, if the letter writer seeks to persuade undecided voters. In my opinion, such inflammatory words are damaging to Republican Party candidates and to the conservative cause in general.