Now that the Van Jones issue is completely over, I am getting around to commenting on it. There is something in the brazen way he lies about the issue that compels a certain admiration, the same way that I admire Alger Hiss for maintaining his lack of Communist ties until the day he died. Here is Jones's defense: "On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me." [Translation: I should get away with my views because everyone should be focussed on the issues.] "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide." [Translation: they are telling the truth about my background, turning respectable Democrats against me.] "I have been inundated with calls -- from across the political spectrum -- urging me to 'stay and fight.'" [Translation: a few left-wing nutjobs have asked me to stay.] In his "apology," Jones also stated, "In recent days some in the news media have reported on past statements I made before I joined the administration – some of which were made years ago." [Translation: hey, I would never make those kinds of statements now that I have an important position, even though I still believe them.]
Probably the most blatant single lie concerned his signature of a "truther" petition in 2004, of which he said, "the petition that was circulated today, I do not agree with this statement and it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever." This is the kind of unbelievable statement you get from someone who has become famous by making outrageous statements. His radical views don't bother many Democrats; a large proportion of Democrats agree with the petition that Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance. But no one could ever get elected to office running on that sort of platform, and no one can stay in office if he has views like that and they become known to the general public. This is because, thankfully, most citizens -- even Democrats -- are still sane. When someone like Jones gets in a public office behind the scenes and is then outed as a nutcase (a process that he refers to as "a vicious smear campaign"), his only recourse is to pretend that he is someone that he is not. We can at least be grateful that he has that much shame -- when people like him start flaunting their crazy views and getting away with it, our country will have taken one more step down the road to destruction.