Personnel Is Policy

The bloggers and detractors can say I'm targeting Van Jones, but too many things have been happening in this country that just don't make sense. Amazing things like President Bush telling us he's all about security, but leaving our borders wide open. All the way down to the latest: Medicare and Medicaid are broke, so let's double-down and have an even bigger system modeled on that.

It doesn't make sense.

During the campaign, the president said, you want to know what my policies are, look to the people I surround myself. So we did.

Van Jones said the same thing: "personnel is policy." What does this tell us? Well, in the case of Jones and several others in the administration, it says the president has an agenda that is radical, revolutionary and in some cases, Marxist.

We've laid this all out in their own words, for weeks. But, for the last 24 hours, everybody has been talking about the Republicans instead. Apparently what's captured the notice of so many people since we played the video on Wednesday, is the fact that Van Jones called Republicans a naughty name in February of this year.

Well, Jones has apologized. He's sorry he said the A-word about Republicans.

He is not sorry however, about any of these things:

— That he's an avowed communist

— That he believes we need a "whole new system"

— No apology for his campaign to free communist cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal

— Not a word from Van Jones about being a member of the revolutionary, communist group, STORM

— He has not apologized for his radical past as a black nationalist

There's been no apology for saying that we should redistribute wealth to Indians:


JONES: No more broken treaties. No more broken treaties. Give them the wealth! Give them the wealth!


He's not sorry for that.

Not a word from Jones concerning his remarks that whites are purposely poisoning minority neighborhoods:


JONES: The white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of color communities.


He's not sorry for that.

He hasn't apologized for saying that immigrants are being sprayed with toxins by Americans:


JONES: What about our immigrant sisters and brothers? What about our immigrant sisters and brothers? What about people who come here from all around the world who we're willing to have out in the field, with poison being sprayed on them, poison being sprayed on them because we have the wrong agricultural system.


Nor has he expressed any misgivings over his ranting about "changing our whole system":


JONES: This movement is deeper than a solar panel! Deeper than a solar panel! Don't stop there! Don't stop there! We're going to change the whole system! We're going to change the whole thing. We want a new system. We want a new system!


But, he has apologized for using a disparaging word to describe Republicans.

Who cares?

I couldn't care less what he thinks about members of any political party. My concern is this guy's vision for America as a "special adviser" to the president. I mean, especially since "personnel is policy."

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Why doesn't he apologize for this?



JONES: One of the things that has happened I think to often to progressives is that we don't understand the relationship between minimum goals and maximum goals. Right after Rosa Parks, refused to give up her seat, if the civil rights leaders had jumped out and said, OK, now we want reparations for slavery, we want redistribution of all wealth, and we want to legalize mixed marriages, had that had been there, if they would have come out with a maximum program the very next day, they would have been laughed at. Instead they came out with a very minimum program, you know, we just want to integrate these buses. The students a few years later came out with a very minimum program. We just want to sit at the lunch counter, but, inside that minimum demand was a very radical kernel that eventually meant that from 1954-1968, you know, complete revolution was on the table for this country and I think this green movement has to pursue those same steps and stages. Right now we're saying we want to move from suicidal gray capitalism to some kind of eco-capitalism where, you know, at least we're not, you know, fast-tracking destruction of the whole planet. Will that be enough? No, it won't be enough. We want to go beyond ex-systems of exploitation and oppression altogether. But that's a process and I think what's great about the movement that beginning to emerge is that the crisis is so severe in terms of joblessness, violence and now ecological threats that people are willing to be both very pragmatic and very visionary. And so the green economy will start off as a small subset and we're going to push it and push it and push it, until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society.



From that clip we get a pretty strong understanding of Jones' feelings about capitalism. So much for "he's a great big capitalist now." From his own mouth: "suicidal gray capitalism."

He mentions that "right now" we're transitioning to eco-capitalism, but as he said that's not enough. He wasn't to "go beyond systems of exploitation and oppression." Got that? He's talking about finding ways and planting the seeds to "change the whole system" — that doesn't sound like he's content with just tweaking the current one.

I also found it interesting, if you caught it, that he mentioned how the public is faced with "severe joblessness and violence." He said that in April of 2008. The unemployment rate was under 6 percent at the time.

And violence? What violence is he talking about? Does he know something we don't? I've seen a couple people get snippy with Arlen Specter at town halls, but is that violence in Van's world? Maybe if he'd talked about severe, scattered, rudeness — I might give him that point.

Or is he foreshadowing one the necessary steps on the way to that radical kernel transforming into a beautiful, mighty communist oak tree?

Look, this is not about Van Jones; he is only one of the new radical appointees in this administration. This is about the policies of this administration. We didn't set out to find some special adviser to the president and then see if we could just mess with him. We set out to do what Barack Obama told us to do: Judge him by those he surrounds himself with:


THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: Who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed chairman, Paul Volcker. If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden or with Dick Lugar, the Republican-ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO. Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House.


So that leads me to these two questions: One, did the White house not vet this guy? That would seem irresponsible and quite frankly dangerous. Or two: Is this what Obama actually believes?

Quoting Van Jones again: "Personnel is policy." It's one of the two: Either the president is in trouble or the country and the world are.

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