The resignation of Van Jones marks some sort of turning point. And the Democrats know this, consciously or not. One advantage Democrats have had over Republicans for some time is confidence. They are much more confident as a party, they make the stronger moves, and they thumb their noses at the opposition. And with the support of a compliant mainstream media, it seems to work.
But the Van Jones resignation suggests that Democrats may be losing that crucial characteristic which has made them a formidable political force, and the Republicans are gaining it.
For some time now, the Republicans have been the party that throws their bad apples to the wolves, and the Democrats have been the ones that protect their own and don't care what anyone thinks about it. Consider Mark Foley from Florida. Though there was talk of a cover-up, there was little evidence of it, and nobody, and I mean nobody supported him. He resigned in shame, and hasn't been seen since. Newt Gingrich, whose Contract With America made him a serious contender for Presidency, resigned after being plagued by scandal (84 ethics complaints, 83 dropped), and a Congress dominated by his own party members voted 325-28 to impose a first-ever penalty on a Speaker of the House in the amount of $300,000.00 for misuse of tax-exempt funds for a college course. Compare this to Ron Kirk, former Dallas mayor whom the President nominated for Trade Representative, and who owes $10k in back taxes due to "mistakes." Kirk filed an amended (in other words, truthful) tax return, and then got confirmed. Tim Geithner, whose credentials in matters financial and economic are too numerous to even mention, made similar "tax mistakes" but paid what he owed and all was well.
The examples of the disparity between the parties in how they treat their bad boys are as numerous as the reasons to think that Geithner did what he did on purpose. Barney Frank had a gay escort service run out of his DC apartment, and got away with claiming ignorance. Bill Clinton had inappropriate relations with a subordinate (not to mention other conduct causing distress to cigar smokers everywhere) and questioned what the definition of "is" is in front of millions -- a word whose use is known to even the poor benighted souls in the rural red states. Both of those guys are politically alive and doing just dandily.
The best explanation of this phenomenon: Democrats, notwithstanding control of various branches of government, have been confident. Confident that they could back their bad boys in spite of their acting out and get away with it. Confident they could explain it all away and have the good press necessary to back that up. Republicans on the other hand have been just the opposite. They have been fearful of their own being involved in misbehavior, and distanced themselves accordingly. Fearful of abuse at the hand of liberal media, Republicans demonstrated their lack of confidence and their fearful, loser mentality thereby.
So what did Van Jones do that was so bad? He was a 9/11 "truther," and he referred to himself as a "communist." And he made some fairly nasty comments about George Bush (in Ebonics) and Republicans (in gutter language). But Obama also had some really serious ties with radicals like Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright, whose church Obama attended for 20 years yet managed to still not know about his preacher's radical beliefs. Lame excuses have worked for Democrats for some time. Look at Ted Kennedy.
Van Jones's misbehavior, while certainly egregious, was well within acceptable bounds for Democrats. And yet he has now stepped down in shame? Why doesn't the party have the confidence to take the heat anymore? Why don't all the apparatchiks just assassinate the character of his accusers, put the best spin on it they can, and just move on as they have so often?
Confidence. Confidence is the reason -- they no longer believe that they can get away with it. There has been too much backlash recently, too much free flow of truthful information over the Internet to the point where Democrats cannot get away with the equivocations and prevarications they have come to rely on so much, without getting a harrowing at a town meeting, and/or a blizzard of criticism from other sources.
Andrew Brietbart of Big Hollywood aptly referred to the Van Jones debacle as a media "non-feeding frenzy" -- getting ZERO mentions in the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC, NBC, and CBS. And yet, he gets the Mark Foley treatment. The alternative media, including internet sites, talk radio, and Fox News, have sufficiently broken the mainstream media monopoly to the point that stories hurting Democrats can no longer be embargoed.
Opinions about political tides and trends and electoral predictions are just that: opinions. They are rational interpretations of insufficient facts in order to come to certain conclusions; and thus they are subject to major errors. Obama's apparent failure on healthcare, for example, extrapolated into his failure as a president and Democrats failure as a party requires quite a few presumptions and logical leaps.
However, there are many in the political know who are much more aware of the inner workings on the hill, and the secret facts that we lay folks can only guess at, and come to conclusions accordingly.
One fact though, is clearly in evidence: that those supposedly in the know have lost a good measure of confidence in their party, and their abilities to overcome political adversity. If such powers that be, who know better than we do, are fearful for the future of their party and this presidency and are showing a lack of confidence, then there must be quite a few underlying problems.
When those who know more than you do are showing weakness and uncertainty, you don't need to know the specifics to know that they are in trouble. The only question that remains is: How do we capitalize on the weakness of our opponents? Fearless confidence and pushing of agenda always worked for the Democrats in situations like this. Now is our time to do the same.
Rich Evanns has passed the CA bar exam and is awaiting admission to practice law. He currently runs his business and pays his taxes out of Beverly Hills, CA and can be reached at Zarathustra_1844@yahoo.com.