Saturday, July 24, 2010

Do you miss Van Jones?

The last time I saw Van Jones speak was in Washington DC early on inauguration day, Jan. 20, 2009, and the world was going to be all right with him in the White House as the "Green Jobs" czar. We remember how the far right hated the very idea of the black lefty firebrand from Oakland with some authority. Glenn Beck raged, and in not too long a time Van Jones was out. It was one of my early disappointments with the Obama era. How could this happen?

So it was good on Friday to have Van Jones giving the post-breakfast keynote at Netroots Nation, the DailyKos-sponsored bloggers' convention. Bittersweet to hear him say, "In the last two years all my dreams came true, and my nightmares, too."

You can see the whole speech at this link from Netroots Nation.

Keep on watching into his interview done by Ari Melber of The Nation, who asked Van Jones whether Big Ed Schultz had been correct in his fierce speech the night before, when he insinuated there was a "sissy room" in the White House. "This is harder than it looks," Jones said of life in the White House. It's one thing to perform strongly in an election campaign, and another much more difficult thing to have won and then have to govern and legislate and face "a toxic and hostile media environment."

Jones also said that what we're dealing with now is "a ferocious backlash." Yet he tries to keep his sunny personality in good order and urges us to be more beautiful, keep the hope alive. "You have the power to do it."

He was introduced in a recorded video statement by Howard Dean. "Our job," Dean said, "is to keep their feet to the fire in Washington."

To quote Van Jones (from a different context), "This is harder than it looks."


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