What do you get when you cross Van Jones, the Occupy movement, Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom and the rest of the California Democratic Party? Why, a veritable orgy of mutual admiration and clueless self-congratulation.
It all came to a head this weekend at the California Democratic Convention in San Diego, where Van Jones was treated like a rock star even as he sang the praises of the Occupiers and engaged in blatant class warfare.
Two articles set the scene. First, a blog post eyewitness account from SFGate’s Carla Marinucci:
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.”
Jones, who as head of an activist group called “Rebuild the Dream” has become a leading voice of the Occupy movement, was given the star speaking slot to address hundreds at the kickoff Friday night reception here sponsored by state party chair John Burton.
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.”
“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.
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.”
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told the Chronicle this week that he was so impressed with Jones that, as the former mayor of San Francisco, “I tried to offer him a job too when they fired him…because I was so upset with Glenn Beck” and other Republicans who demanded his ouster.
Jones, Newsom said, is “passionate and he’s been a leader on the Occupy movement. A strong voice, a rational, reasonable voice on the issue of income and inequality…and he’s as eloquent and effective a speaker as there is is out there.”
If that wasn’t enough proof that the Democrats have thrown in their lot with the Occupiers and Van Jones, an Associated Press report from the same convention seals the deal — as a small band of narcissistic Occupiers protested the very people praising them and enacting their demands, the Democrats wore buttons saying “We Are the 99%”:
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.”
The Occupy movement began as a protest against the widening gap between the very wealthy and everyone else.
Speaking to convention participants, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Democrats owe thanks to the Occupy protesters. The former San Francisco mayor said they drew attention to income inequality, which he called “the greatest threat to democracy.”
On behalf of his two young children, 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.”
Mike Oren of Los Angeles said he was among 34 people who traveled on a bus from Southern California to the convention Saturday morning.
“We’re here to protest the National Defense Authorization Act,” he said.
That law, signed by President Barack Obama in December, authorizes the indefinite detention of American citizens suspected of terrorism. Many civil liberties activists believe the law is unconstitutional.
Activists held signs with vulgarities denouncing the law and criticizing Democratic leaders for supporting it. “The Democrats also serve the 1 percent,” said one sign.
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.
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).
But hey, Dems, go for it: Nominate “ex” (sic) communist Van Jones to the party leadership, muss the hair of your beloved Occupy rascals, and keep turning left, just keep turning left.