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Big Business's Hidden Hand in the Smear Job on Van Jones

How Americans for Prosperity, the astroturf group that organized town-hall thuggery, teamed up with FOX News to force out Van Jones.

| Tue Sep. 8, 2009 6:45 PM EDT
He urged adoption of a carbon cap-and-trade program, renewable electricity mandates, including Al Gore's outlandish and impossible goal of eliminating fossil fuel use by 2018, large taxpayer-funded green jobs programs, a so-called smart grid for electricity, more mass-transit subsidies, higher fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, federal funding for organic farms, a ban on new coal plants, expanded ethanol mandates, and even a spirited, multiple page pitch for a cash-for-clunkers program — he called it "Hoopties for Hybrids."

Kerpen's problem with this agenda?

As I explained previously on the FOX Forum, the push for "green jobs" has everything to do with funding the far-left political activities that Van Jones so adamantly believed in. Green jobs are not economic jobs but political jobs, designed to funnel vast sums of taxpayer money to left-wing labor unions, environmental groups, and social justice community organizers.

Kerpen goes on to complain that "cap-and-trade…could send these Green groups trillions…" And they stand to gain "billions," he writes, from "the unspent portion of the stimulus bill," which he wants to see repealed.

In essence, Kerpen's modus operandi is the latter-day equivalent of the "Defund the Left" campaign embarked on by Howard Phillips, a founder of the religious right, during his short stint in the Nixon administration.

In addition to Glenn Beck and Americans for Prosperity, a less-noticed player in the health-care drama is Grassfire, another astroturfing outfit, which, as AlterNet reported, organized town-hall disrupters through its ResisNet site. Grassfire is endosed by Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, who on September 4, called upon Van Jones to resign, citing Jones' "extremist views".

ResistNet is a social-networking hub for the armed patriot movement, as well as racists and paranoids of all stripes. (On the day we visited, we found one video comparing Obama to Hitler, and another featuring a preacher who called him "a half-breed MacDaddy" and called upon "white folks"; to "riot in the streets.") Grassfire is also organizing its members for a ground assault on cap-and-trade.

The Stop-Obama Alliance

Make no mistake: Van Jones' resignation from the White House was the work of the very same forces that brought you the rage of August's town-hall meetings, where a rude and sometimes violent minority, using the tactics of thugs, convinced mainstream media that the American people rejected efforts by Obama and congressional Democrats to reform health care. (Played over and over, that theme began to convinced even Americans who thought they had wanted health-care reform began to doubt themselves, thanks to the lies advanced by the town-hall screamers.)

Though these forces are most recognizably felt in the health-care debate, stopping health-care reform is likely a means to a greater end. It's far easier to upset people over their personal health care than it is to get them ginned up over something as esoteric as cap-and-trade or net neutrality (also targeted for legislative defeat by Americans for Prosperity). But once you've used health-care reform to convince the frightened and paranoid that the president is a white-people-hating socialist (or fascist, depending on the day) who wants to kill off Grandma, it's a lot easier to get them to oppose just about anything he might propose.

A very powerful alliance, designed to motivate various iterations of the grass roots of the right wing, is taking shape, and its players are determined to win by any means necessary — be they racism, red-baiting, violence or lies. Americans for Prosperity, Grassfire, Freedom Works (the Astroturf group led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey) and the Murdoch empire — especially as represented by Glenn Beck — have teamed up to keep the air dirty, the poor in their place and more people dying every day for lack of health care. But more than anything, they've joined hands to keep the preponderance of the earth's riches in the hands of a very few—the rest of us be damned. They're determined to die with the most toys, leaving a poisoned and impoverished planet as their legacy.

Mother Jones' Josh Harkinson also has a piece on Americans for Prosperity. Read it here.

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