SEPTEMBER 8, 2009
I see John McWhorter has a blog item arguing that Van Jones should not have resigned. I don't follow McWhorter's logic at all. He makes two main points. First:
Jones was wrong, actually, in disavowing his support for 9/11 conspiracy theory. He signed the document, which can only mean that he supports the idea that 9/11 was planned, or that the Bushies knew something more than they have said, or at least that the charge is plausible enough to require investigation.
But support for that idea is hardly unknown among people of the left – and often gestural in its own way; look one of these types in the eye and ask “Do you really think George Bush and his cabinet engineered the murder of thousands and have kept the secret for eight years?” and watch the nervous pause and the look off into the distance. Speculations in this vein hardly meant that Jones was not sincerely committed to working within the government to do good.
No, Trutherism is not unknown on the left. But it is unknown within the Democratic Party. That is indeed a crucial difference between the two parties. Right-wing paranoid radicals partner with the GOP, while left-wing paranoid radicals tend to operate outside the two-party system, and view both parties as equally corrupt.
Seocndly, McWhorter argues:
Not too far back, I argued that going crazy and having earnest national “discussions” every time some hooligan hangs a noose somewhere only encourages the perpetrators, as making a stir and offending people is just what they want. Silence would be a more potent weapon in such cases than many consider.
In that vein, Glenn Beck should not be able to affect White House staffing decisions.
No, Glenn Beck per se should have no impact. But everybody Glenn Beck hates is not necessarily a good person to have in government. If Obama appointed Charles Manson to his cabinet, Beck would go nuts. That's not a good argument for keeping Manson.