In the Arena

The Republican Response

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Last week I said that it would probably be best for Van Jones–who used to go around saying that he was a communist and then signed a “truther” petition–to resign his job as one of the President’s environmental advisers.

Now, it seems, the Republicans have designated a former birther–that is, one of those paranoid nitwits who doesn’t believe Barack Obama is an American citizen,born in Hawaii–to deliver their official response to the President’s speech tonight. It should be noted that Rep. Boustany retracted his statement, but I’m told that Van Jones had come to realize the value of market economics and was saying so in recent speeches. If the Republicans wish to be considered credible in the eyes of the vast majority of Americans, they will ditch this turkey right now. They won’t, of course. Boss Rush would disapprove. But I suspect the G.O.P. will pay the price for courting this sort of insanity soon enough.

By the way, kudos to David Frum–an honest conservative who told the truth about Sarah Palin’s non-credentials for high office last year, and who now has started this website http://www.newmajority.com/ to present the conservative point of view minus the obscene garbage that has marked the Limbaugh-Beck Republicans. In a party that has little tolerance of even mild heresy, this is an act of courage and it deserves support. I look forward to sparring with Frum on a range of issues in the future, as we have in the past, from a position of mutual respect.

And Finally: Van Jones has returned to his old job at the Center for American Progress. As I wrote last week, though I disapprove of Jones’s rhetoric and tendency toward radical politics, I think his work attempting bringing green jobs to the poor is valuable and admirable. He will be able to continue it now, which is a good thing.

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