On Van Jones

John McWhorter doesn't see much sense in dismissing Van Jones. I'm not crying over this one, nor am I surprised. I think some of us want Obama to fight every single fight, to be a George Bush for liberals, as someone put it. That strikes me as a bad idea. It's not clear to me that Dubya was "good" for the future of the right. Anyway, this caught my eye:

Jones was wrong, actually, in disavowing his support for 9/11 conspiracy theory. He signed the document, which can only mean that he supports the idea that 9/11 was planned, or that the Bushies knew something more than they have said, or at least that the charge is plausible enough to require investigation.

 

But support for that idea is hardly unknown among people of the left - and often gestural in its own way; look one of these types in the eye and ask "Do you really think George Bush and his cabinet engineered the murder of thousands and have kept the secret for eight years?" and watch the nervous pause and the look off into the distance. Speculations in this vein hardly meant that Jones was not sincerely committed to working within the government to do good.

I don't have much sense of "the left," sinceI mostly experience my fellow lefties in cyberspace. But, speaking for myself, when I hear "9/11 was an inside job," I start thinking that debates about Area 51 aren't far behind.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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