Fox News host Glenn Beck, who led the charge calling for the resignation of President Barack Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones said Sunday that Jones is only the first of many radicals in the administration who should be facing questions.
“The American people stood up and demanded answers," Beck wrote in a statement. “Instead of providing them, the Administration had Jones resign under cover of darkness. I continue to be amazed by the power of everyday Americans to initiate change in our government through honest questioning, and judging by the other radicals in the administration, I expect that questioning to continue for the foreseeable future."
Jones resigned late Saturday following mounting criticism over his past statements and associations. The tipping point came when it was discovered that he signed a petition in 2004 supporting the "9/11 truther" movement, which believes the Bush administration may have been complicit in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
“Much of the credit for Jones resigning should go to Fox's Glenn Beck, who as HuffPo's Ryan Grim notes, has his "first scalp,” Politico reported Sunday.
Beck’s victory was being lauded by conservative columnists and grudgingly acknowledged by liberals across the country Sunday.
“Face it, Glenn Beck won a big victory for conservative America with the resignation of Van Jones,” wrote Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist.
“Beck kept up the pressure, and the mainstream media reported on it. As a result, Jones couldn't really muster any effective counter-attack. He had made mistakes, tried to apologize for them but was too late,” Abouhalkah added.
“As scary as this may sound… Glenn Beck might actually have more power than anybody else representing the Republican Party,” the Web site Political Lore.com wrote Sunday. “As the Republican Party seemingly has no leader in their ranks, at least one that can represent the voice of the people. Even though Glenn Beck is an independent, he represents more Republicans than the Republican party.”
“The resignation of Van Jones signals that Glenn Beck’s words do not fall on deaf ears. The view’s of Glenn Beck have been labeled “extreme” from just about everyone on the left. Van Jones views are arguably just as extreme, if not more so,” the article continued.
It was Beck who repeatedly called attention to a series of statements by Jones that suggested Republicans were incompetent and bad in their opposition to Obama’s liberal agenda. Among other things, Jones called GOP members racists and a**holes.
Jones was also the co-founder of ColorOfChange, the African-American activist group that attempted to lead a boycott against Beck. But the boycott had the opposite of the intended effect – many advertisers denied they were boycotting Beck and his grassroots support surged. In the traditionally weak, non-prime time slot at 5 p.m., Beck is now drawing more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined get in their prime time hours.
Even before the attempted boycott, Beck mentioned Jones twice on his radio show and twice on television. The boycott started after Beck called Obama "a racist" on Fox & Friends, but the comment occurred in the context of the racial controversy surrounding the arrest of Obama friend Henry Louis Gates by a white Cambridge police officer.
Beck mentioned Jones on 14 episodes, according to the Washington Independent's Dave Weigel, while also railing against him on "The O'Reilly Factor."
Beck also succeeded in keeping the national debate focused on the far left tendencies embodied in many of Obama’s policies and nominees, Politico pointed out. Now Obama is going into a key health reform speech before Congress on Wednesday with the taint of the Van Jones scandal marring his agenda.
“Between Cambridge cops; whether administration officials are or are not for the public option; right wing mobbing at town halls; and the back to school welcome contretemps, the White House has been forced to play defense and loose-ball control over [the summer],” former Clinton White House aide Chris Lehane told Politico. He noted that a “very important week” could have been consumed by “ a discussion related to an obscure staffer who no one has ever really heard of.”
But even before his resignation, critics said the controversy surrounding Jones was indicative of the fundamental problem with the administration's reliance on such advisers.
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., the first lawmaker to call for Jones' resignation, told Fox News that in light of the controversy Obama should suspend the appointment of additional "czars" until Congress has a chance to examine the background and responsibilities of such individuals, as well as determine the constitutionality of such appointments.
Now that Jones is out of the way, Republicans are turning their fire on czars in general.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, called the czars "an affront to the Constitution" since they are not approved by Congress.
"I don't think (Jones is) the issue. I think the czars are the issue," Alexander, R-Tenn., said on "FOX News Sunday." "We have about two dozen so-called czars -- the pay czar, the car czar, all these czars in the White House."
Republican strategist Ed Rollins said the administration needs to focus on bringing people on board who are competent and not controversial.
"(Jones) got out of there, but the more fundamental thing is there are 31 czars in that White House," he said.
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