In a sad and tragic turn of events, the Obama administration just threw Van Jones, and with him the heart and soul of the green movement, under the bus after refusing to defend Jones from viscous partisan attacks. Around midnight last night, Jones submitted his resignation along with this statement.
In the early days of the administration, advocates for greening the American economy (including this one) were ecstatic over the appointment of Van Jones to the new position of "Green Jobs Czar." Finally, after years of rudderless inattention, we had the hope and promise of proactive efforts to promote green jobs in all sectors of the economy. At long last, all Americans stood to benefit from brainpower inside the federal government dedicated to expanding the green economy.
Jones' crime - wearing his heart on his sleeve. Jones lives and breathes the ethic of empowering ALL of our citizens through education, training, and the creation of green jobs with special emphasis on those who do not have the means to lobby Washington for just that. Equipped with a Yale law degree, Jones could have chosen a path in corporate America or on Wall Street with the accompanying personal enrichment. He didn't. Instead he has devoted his professional life to lifting the disenfranchised out of poverty by equipping eager-to-learn individuals with skills that (ironically considering right-wing cries of "Marxist!") allow them to compete in our capitalist economy.
Over the past several months, I have attempted in vain to find out what green jobs initiatives were in the works. In the age of the Internet, that should not have been a very hard task. Seems, in retrospect, that Van Jones has been kept under wraps by this administration, and never had the respect or solid backing of the president.
Jones' ideas on greening the American economy are not only defendable, they are a moral imperative. Why not, instead of sacrificing the good, demand that opponents defend their positions, which have turned out to be disastrous.
It's hard to imagine how Jones' resignation will do anything but enable and empower those who are hell-bent on killing the green movement. (The Luddites have already started celebrating and now they're looking for more scalps.)
This is a sad day for America, and a telling move from an administration that - until now - this green Architect has doggedly defended in the face of lies and slander by those who despise progressive values.