Skip to comments.Deconstructing the "Whup Ass" -Victor Davis Hanson: Obama & Jones’ lucrative anti-capitalist careers
Posted on 09/09/2009 5:09:30 AM PDT by Tolik
|Van Jones is the latest romantic, pseudo-revolutionary surrounding Obama to carve out a capitalist career in the field of duping liberals.|
New Communiqué from the Ministry of Truth
At one point, the Obama administration was bragging about bagging one Van Jones; Valerie Jarrett, in fact, even gushed that they had been scouting the erstwhile mostly unknown Jones for quite a while. The word czar was employed of his new responsibilities, and we were subsequently lectured that over $80 million in stimulus money was going to be under Joness controlgiven his innovative green jobs approach that married civil rights with radical environmentalism.
And now? The ministry has downgraded that now inoperative statement, and insisted that Jones, after all, was not really an unexamined czar, but rather a mere informal advisor.
Himselfor in the Stars?
Jones himself, without any introspection, alleged that some vicious smear campaign did him in, but did not elaborate on what he meant. Is it not one thing to invoke the bogeyman Glenn Beck, but quite another to list in detail the ways in which Jones had been defamed and lied about?
Had Jones not signed a Truther petition, asking to investigate George Bushs supposed role in 9/11 (Re: on the one hand, we are supposed to believe that Jones was a brilliant Yale law graduate,* on the other that he did not understand the simple English wording of the petition?), he might have survived the other inanities.
One Act Too Many?
We can attribute his Republicans are aholes remark to lecture theatrics. I dont care whether he fashionably claims he was some sort of radicalized communist, or even worry much about all the other silly, melodramatic self-characterizations of his own would-be importance. But the racist slurs about white polluters of the ghetto, the white mass murderers in the schools, and George Bush the petroleum crack-head were the sort of things that usually get one fired or demoted (cf. Trent Lotts remark).
Bill Carter Redux
What we are now seeing with Obamas coterie is a sort of Billy Carterismafter a while what seems at first outlandish gradually becomes repugnant. Half of the country is now furious at Obama because they are starting to see that Ayers, Khalidi, Meeks, Pfleger, and Wright were representational, rather than aberrational; that is, the associates that for 30 years were the natural friends and role models of Obama proved hard to shake and appear buffoonish 24/7. And stranger still, Obama himself seems surprised that they keep reappearing, as if one so easily can throw under the bus decades of choices, attitudes, and second natures.
What do I mean by representational?
There is a strange pseudo-culture in America, of which Obama is a perfect example. Millionaire Michael Moore announces, Capitalism is evil as he hypes promotion of his moneymaking new movie. Oliver Stones praises Chavez, as the dictator shuts down voices of dissentyet Stone himself could not make a movie in Venezuela as he does here. So too the murderer Che becomes a popular T-shirt emblem among the college elite. Van Jones calls Bush a crackhead but then in self-important style flashes on his website, As a tireless advocate for disadvantaged people and the environment, Van helped to pass Americas first green job training legislation: the Green Jobs Act, which George W. Bush signed into law as a part of the 2007 Energy Bill. Bush is a crackhead in front of some audiences, compliant supporter to others?
Otherwise quite content Americans, getting rich and famous in the free market under the aegis of U.S. freedom and security, have not only the luxury to play the court jester, but see it as a wise investment. Moore would never go to Cuba for brain surgery. Stone would never criticize the Bolivian government while he was living in Bolivia. No Harvard undergraduate would have liked to join occasionally murderous Che in the jungle.
So too it is with middle-class guys like Jones and Obama. Barack Obama, raised by white grandparents, sent to prep school, and educated at the Ivy League, realized that avenues are not so easily opened to the nerdy Barry Dunhams of the world. Jones grasped that one Anthony Jones who was admitted to Yale Law School might actually have to study, compete for grades, and then go apprentice at a grinding law firm entry-level job.
But as Jones relates, it was far easier to be a hell raiser at Yale. What that meant I think was that in lieu of studying (Yale didnt have any grades), Jones knew that he could say and do almost anything he wished among rather wealthy (and to be honest, rather nerdy) white and Asian people, playing on both their guilt, and on their vicarious sense of adventure and cutting-age revolutionary romanceand do pretty well. And so he did.
Very quickly, as his subsequent career attests in a variety of organizing jobs, Jones discovered that he could tease and provoke white liberals by posing as some sort of wild (but actually quite safe) revolutionary figure who would call America an apartheid system, or dream of a redistribution of wealth or praise the advantages of social revolution through hip hop music (I dont believe the true power of the people can be confined to a ballot box We need to be about the whup-ass. Somebodys f***in up somewhere They have names and job descriptions. You have to be creative about how you engage the enemy, because if you do it on his terms, the outcome is already known.)all the while living a rather mundane bourgeois existence jetting around for princely lecture fees, hyping a book, trying to button-hole celebrities, and finally getting close to his exemplar Barack Obamawho likewise had parlayed Barry Dunham of a Honolulu prep school into Barack Obama, exotic avatar of revolutionary hope and change.
The two almost on spec can turn on the authentic street talk cadences when they wish to seem romantic to liberals and authentic to minorities, and then without thinking switch into nerdese when they wish to convince politicians and the public at large that they are properly circumspect and wonikishand they can do all this in the classical delusion that one who creates inauthentic identities at opportune times, will not himself finally be disbelieved by all. In short, I think Obama has become Geraldo at month nine of his four-year term.
A Modest Suggestion
Had Van Jones wished to help Americans transcend its energy crisis by marrying minority concerns with environmentalism, he could have quietly dropped all the police-monitoring, race-baiting, and narcissistic agitation, and simply stayed hard at work in Oakland, convincing residents to curtail drug usage, illegitimacy, and gang violence and instead install solar panels, use hybrids, and fix up energy-inefficient homesthe sort of things that corporations are eager to subsidize. Such workmanlike public service, however, does not really allow one to change ones name, reinvent oneself as Trotsky on the barricades, and tease out of liberals a quite good career.
None of this is really new. Bill Ayers went right back to Chicago for his inheritance and influence-peddling and resumed the prep-school existence bequeathed to him by his father that alone offered the platform and subsidies to spout off in praise of Hugo Chavez. Such a faux-persona made him romantic and neat in the way a tweedy liberal professor in the school of education churning out studies supporting affirmative action is not.
Live and Let Live?
I have no problem with all of the above.
If the corporate-created money in the Ivy League, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the George Soros think-tanks, or NPR wishes to either subsidize or publicize radical-chic agit-prop, it seems no different than the networks running sitcoms, that likewise are sometimes funny, but usually banal.
No, the rub in my mind comes in when the public is asked to accept a Czar who boasts about the whup-ass. Somebodys f***in up somewhere They have names and job descriptions. You have to be creative about how you engage the enemy, because if you do it on his terms, the outcome is already known. I prefer that our taxes not go to subsidize that world view, or for that matter anyone who promotes the lie that his own government was responsible for murdering 3,000 of its own, rather than radical Islamic killers led by Mohammed Atta on the orders of Osama bin Laden.
The Whup Ass
Van Jones can do his whup ass through corporate benefactions, but not on Joe Sixpacks weekly tax deductions. At least I think that is what the controversy is all about. Had Jones been white, Asian, or Hispanic, and in his many diatribes just substituted the word black when he employed white, and replaced Bush with Obama, then the Left would really have conducted a smear campaign. But such are the times we live in, that a Jones feels he can abuse the public discourse and insult the intelligence of the public, confident that when called on it, the refuge of racist! is always there.
What to make of all this, the rather insignificant firing of a rather insignificant administration official?
Barak Obama did not transcend race as promised. Nor was there a racial backlash against him as his supporters both feared and now charge.
Rather the mood is weariness. One major reason Obamas polls have dropped is the public resentment of this spate of allegations of racism.
The slurring of the police in response to the Gatess rants seems to be amplified ad nauseam by others around Obama or his supporters in general. Racism we are told explains why the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee wont pay his taxes (at least I think his own sinking star is why Rangel lashed out at supposedly racist Americans opposed to the health care bill). Racism accounts for the poor political skills of the Governor of New York. Racism is the font of the Town Hall movement. And racism explains why one must resign from a US government that he has accused of murdering 3,000 of his own, when bin Laden himself had repeatedly bragged of his authorship of such mass destruction.
Nothing is so fatal to a con as boredom. Tragically, when a Rangel, Paterson, Jones, or Obama - all enjoying privileges and successes that 300 million Americans might only dream of - start in on the now accustomed trope, the public turns the channel and sighs Been there, done that. And I think they really mean it this time.
*Here is Jones on his Yale Law education, a version of the Jason Blair post facto trashing of the New York Times: I was accepted to both places, and decided to go to Yale because Yale didnt have any grades and was smaller than Harvard. I figured, once I enroll Im guaranteed to graduate, so I can just go and be a radical hell raiser student, and they cant do anything about it. Which is pretty much what happened.
Just a partial list. Much more at the link: http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/victordavishanson/index
Once Upon a Time... Whatever happened to the old Barack Obama? The Second World War 70 Years Later From Preparedness to Appeasement What We Are Learning About the Era of Obama War What War? We have public confusion about both wars: Iraq and Afghanistan Obama and "Redistributive Change". His real agenda Obama vs. Obama "The fault, dear Barack, is not in our stars, But in ourselves" The Strange Case of the Obama Meltdown The Obama Administration : What Went Wrong Our Road to Oceania When America Will Become Europe. Thoughts of Our European Future to Come Bullying Israel-only country with which the U.S. has worse relations since Obama took office Prairie-Fire Anger. Why Are People in Revolt? Obama's Great Race to Change America Obamas Path Not Taken. What Might Have Happened On Shearing Sheep (relentless hostility to small business) The War Against the Producers A Thugs Primer - How to win liberal friends and oppress your people What Do these First Six Months Mean? Where Are We Going? The New Orwellianism Our Historically Challenged President. A list of distortions I No Longer Quite Believe ... [Victor Davis Hanson on Orwellian media & science, race relations] The Reckoning. Obama Versus the Way of the Universe President Palins First 100 Days. Imagine if Sarah Palin had Obamas record Confessions of a Contrarian [deconstructing Obama, the Left and more] Thoughts About Depressed Americans Bush Did It. What a difference an election makes [Brilliant Parody] Our Battered American [gets angrier - Must Read Rant]
Let me know if you want in or out.
FR Index of his articles: http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/victordavishanson/index NRO archive: http://author.nationalreview.com/?q=MjI1MQ== Pajamasmedia: http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/ His website: http://victorhanson.com/
I long for the days when I didn't wake up and wonder "What constitutional right will they try to erase today?"
One of the main lies told during Obama’s prez campaign was that all the old radicalism and associating with leftist nuts was a thing of the past. When elected he would be mainstream and seek advice from conservatives as well as liberals. So he gets elected and what does he do: he appoints an endless stream of leftist wackos and assorted weirdos. I thought this guy was supposed to be so politcally adept. Instead he’s doing everything those nasty conservatives said he was going to do. In short, he’s being himself. The real Barack Obama is himself a leftist nut.
This is quality commentary.
I'm having this laminated.
OUTSTANDING article by VDH! Thanks for posting.
Inspecting the con-game of these chameleon-like neo-marxists and their enablers.
“Everything about socialism is sham and affectation” - 23.11 Evil “Economic Harmonies” - Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850
We've got to change that. Personally, I recognize black racism as an ongoing problem. But I laugh at anyone who suggests that white racism is a problem worth talking about. It isn't. I don't tolerate anyone who wants to make race a big deal.
Does anyone know if Van Jones passed the bar in any state? He may have gone to law school, but is he an attorney?
I have done a google and it seems no one can find evidence that he passed the bar anywhere.
So much for Howard Dean’s comment that Jones is ‘brilliant’ and a grad from Yale Law School....I understand Yale Law School does not give grades to their students.
So much for ‘brilliant’.
Thanks for your ongoing service to truth.
I’ll bet you are correct (about him not passing the bar)...which is why he turned to the lucrative business of racial and radical opportunism.
Lest we forget Geraldo's vaulted leap to irrelevance...
He surely did inflate his own image for gain, but on the way to fame he supported, in some cases created organizations that drew together and encouraged people who he then agitated to the point that they became dangerous.
The Rodney King riots certainly were not insignificant and toothless. Real people died.
Jones was not a blowhard. He was and is an agitator; a race baiter; a hate monger of the worst kind.
That he conned the liberals and filled his pockets as a con man, I agree.
But on the way up, he did a lot to increase the climate of class warfare and hatred for “whitey”.
VDH is, as usual, excellent and on point. While he’s right about Jones, Obama, et al playing a double game, I think he’s underestimating the danger to our republic that could result from that game. If revolutionary rhetoric brings us to flame and rubble, it won’t matter much whether the revolutionaries were just trying to cash in on liberal guilt to make a buck or to actually radically transform society.
Take a look again at Yugoslavia in the early 90’s: Milosevic rose to power by embracing Serbian nationalism. He wasn’t really a nationalist; he just wanted the power that came with the popularity nationalism can bring. Tell that to the survivors of the now-vanished villages all over that former country. The original intentions have no meaning to them.
Obama himself doesn’t engage in inflammatory speech, but many around him do. We shouldn’t discount the potential harm they could cause simply because they’re making money now.
"What we are now seeing with Obamas coterie is a sort of Billy Carterismafter a while what seems at first outlandish gradually becomes repugnant. Half of the country is now furious at Obama because they are starting to see that Ayers, Khalidi, Meeks, Pfleger, and Wright were representational, rather than aberrational; that is, the associates that for 30 years were the natural friends and role models of Obama proved hard to shake and appear buffoonish 24/7. And stranger still, Obama himself seems surprised that they keep reappearing, as if one so easily can throw under the bus decades of choices, attitudes, and second natures."
It's the final act of a satyr play. Obama & friends are playing the roles of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.And Billy Carter. Fred and Lamont Sanford and Urkel. The revival of Aristophanes and the Satyricon should bring back discussion of classical comedy.
Excellent VDH articlegets to the core(s) of it all......Thank you.
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