With Glenn Beck, it's not about Van Jones. It's not about the "green" adviser to President Obama at all.
It's about proving Obama a communist. That and the spirit of Dallas . . . and of right-wing nutism.
FROM A TRANSCRIPT of Beck's show this afternoon on the Fox News Channel:
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.BECK, BY HIS own admission, is using people like Van Jones to "prove" the president of the United States is a communist. Communist.
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:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: No more broken treaties. No more broken treaties. Give them the wealth! Give them the wealth!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
He's not sorry for that.
In the modern American lexicon, can there be anything worse than that? Communist. The word we can't say without a sneer.
Communist. The Soviet Union was communist. Ronald Reagan called it the "Evil Empire." For more than 40 years, we were prepared to blow up the world, if need be, to protect ourselves from it.
Communist. What can be worse than that in the all-American, pro-capitalist universe. Communist equals tyranny. Communist equals totalitarianism.
"Better dead than red." Better yet, "Better dead Reds," right?
This is the uniquely American context in which the unfortunately American Mr. Beck makes his accusations against Jones and the president.
When the right called Bill Clinton a communist, you always got the sense -- or at least I always got the sense -- that it was in the "hippie pinko commie lib" sense of the word. With Obama, I think people like Beck and his fellow travelers really, really mean it.
And you have to wonder how much of this is just an extension of the "Obama is a Muslim" paranoia accompanying the rise of The Other -- the rise of a black man -- to the pinnacle of American politics and, now, to head of state.
I think the last time the right was this unhinged -- and this serious with its "communist" talk -- was the ascension of another Other to the presidency . . . the nation's first Catholic in the White House, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
We remember the kind of rhetoric unleashed against him, particularly across the segregated South. And we remember what happened to him, and how some on the right cheered that the fringe-leftist Lee Harvey Oswald got to the pinko first.
This is the kind of fire with which Glenn Beck is playing. Somebody's going to get burned.
Probably all of us.