It’s always risking disagreeing with Harold, because the odds of being wrong asymptotically approach 100%. But I’m going to, anyway: I think that Jones should stay.
This is all in the manner of Inside-the-Beltway scalp-chasing: you give them one, they’ll ask for another. Van did something really stupid five years ago. That does not disqualify him for public service.
Put another way: until James Inhofe, Tom Coburn, and Charles Grassley resign from the Senate for stoking fears of Obama death-panels; until Wally Herger resigns from the House for approving right-wing terrorists; and until Jay Bybee resigns from the federal bench for approving a torture memo that was so shoddily written and morally bankrupt that it was withdrawn by his Republican successor, I think Jones is within his rights to stay.
I’ve known Van for nearly 20 years; we were law school classmates. We were not friends; indeed, it’s hard to imagine anyone from my law school class who really was friends with him. Back then, Van was arrogant, obnoxious, and self-promoting. I’ve heard he’s changed, although I would also be willing to trade Van for Bob Mcdonnell. I hope so.
But let’s be serious: when Dick Cheney is talked up as a Presidential candidate, and given fawning interviews in the national press, then it is obscene for the political commentariat to say that Van Jones is a problem.
At some point, someone has to tell the press corps that they should stop taking journalism lessons from Glenn Beck, and start paying attention to a real issue. This is not one of them. As Republicans would say, it’s old news. End of story.