Okay, so maybe Van Jones never really went away. But if you read the San Francisco Chronicle this weekend, you would know that the former green jobs czar who resigned after he was exposed as a 9/11 truther is back on the rise.* In fact, one of the paper's blogs dubbed him a "star" again after his speech at the California Democratic Convention -- a convention, mind you, filled with praise for the Occupy Movement. A movement that, ironically, was protesting the event.
"Van Jones, the former Obama Administration green czar who resigned in controversy, appears on the fast track to a political comeback — emerging as a star at this weekend’s California Democratic convention and lauded by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as a 'leader of the future,'" writes Carla Marinucci of the Chronicle.
Why all the nice things? Well, here's what he had to say:
To the cheers of the grassroots activists, Jones endorsed a “millionaires’ tax” as a means of firing up younger voters in the 2012 election, saying “that will get their attention.”
While Jones didn’t specify if he was referring to a specific ballot initiative titled the “Millionaire’s Tax,” or the general idea of taxing the top 1 percent income earners, he argued that under-30 voters critical to Democratic successes in 2012 will find appealing “the idea that the people that already climbed that ladder (of success) will give something back.”
Jones repeatedly won cheers when he defined what he said were the issues and challenges faced by Democrats — and President Barack Obama — as the 2012 election approaches.
“I’m tired of being accused of being anti-American,” said Jones. “”They call it class warfare…if anything, it’s warfare against people who have no class…they won’t even return our phone calls when our houses are underwater.”
The effusive reception given to Jones underscores that the former community activist appears in resurgence since the days after the Obama Administration green czar was forced to resign after controversial statements and ties with grassroots groups that Republicans claimed had radical roots.
According to the Chronicle, Pelosi even called herself a "fan" of Jones. She's also the same one who said "God bless them" when asked about the Occupiers a few months ago.
But we should point out a few odd things here. First, if you look at the convention's video section on its website, Jones's apparently rousing speech isn't available. Interesting. Second, the Occupiers Jones praised so much were actually outside protesting the convention.
The Associated Press provides the irony:
Even with Democrats supporting higher taxes on the wealthy this November, Occupy protesters still found fault with California's majority party at their annual convention in San Diego on Saturday.
About 100 Occupy members protested outside the San Diego Convention Center, where the state party was holding the convention, sounding off on themes similar to those being discussed inside. But protesters said some Democrats had let them down by supporting the indefinite detention of terror suspects and spending millions on political campaigns.
"Don't just watch us, come and join us," and "Get up, get down, there's revolution in this town," they chanted.
Democratic delegates had to push through the crowd as they returned from lunch, but many stopped to talk to the protesters. Some of them also wore buttons saying "We are the 99 percent" and "Millionaire's tax of 2012."
Those protests, however, didn't stop Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom from saying the Democrats owe thanks to the Occupiers.
On behalf of his two young children, the AP reports, he said, "I want to thank the Occupy movement for stepping up and stepping into this space and doing more than we have in 30 years for putting the focus on the growing income inequality gap."
And that's despite the Occupiers chanting outside: "Feinstein, come out! We got some shit to talk about!"
Intrepid blogger Zombie, who first noted the head-scratcher, is appalled.
"It’s absolutely astonishing that the California Democrats are embracing the Occupy movement even long after it has crashed and burned, and even as those very same Occupiers are hurling abuse and vulgarities at the people praising them," he writes.
"Everyone knows that politicians are a bit slow on the uptake, but I mean this is ridiculous. It’s almost as if the left believes its own propaganda: the media intentionally misrepresents the Occupiers and their behavior and message so as to dupe middle America, even though anyone with one eye half open could see that the Occupiers were nothing but a motley crew of scatterbrained Marxists and smelly bums (and that’s being kind, frankly)."
Read all of Zombie's thoughts here.
*Note: It should be said that Jones reportedly apologized for being a truther at the convention. From the Chronicle:
Jones apologized for some of his actions, including signing a petition for 911Truth.org which appeared to suggest the Bush Administration “may indeed deliberately have allowed 9/11 to happen.”