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Kevin Grandia

Kevin Grandia

Posted: September 9, 2009 11:27 AM

The Right Wing Attack Machine Behind the Van Jones Affair


You probably won't be surprised when I tell you that Glenn Beck wasn't the mastermind behind the campaign to remove Van Jones from his position as the head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. That would be giving Beck way too much credit.

Turns out that the attack was orchestrated by a fringe group of free-marketeers called the Americans for Prosperity (AFP), who describe themselves as "grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels." You can read a complete backgrounder on AFP here. It suffices to say they get a lot of money from some of the biggest players in the right-wing attack machine.

It will also come as no surprise that AFP is also behind much of the health care reform town hall shenanigans

On Fox News Forum AFP's director of policy, Phil Kerpen, brags about how his organization brought down Van Jones:

"I spent the next two weeks researching everything I could find about Jones and the Apollo Alliance (much of which is still to be published, including a forthcoming paper from the Capital Research Center next month), the national umbrella organization for coordinating between the environmentalists, the labor unions, and the social justice street organizers that Jones has served as a board member and a primary national spokesman for."

This was all then fed to Glenn Beck, who gleefully took it to town and hammered away on Van Jones. No kidding, Beck is bent on bringing this administration to its knees and rallying the right-wing fringe players to follow suit. And it won't stop here> The likes of Kerpen and AFP have found their rallying cry: "Don't argue clean energy, but instead paint Obama's policies as a socialist/communist plot to control America."

To quote Kerpen's Fox Forum article:

"There was so much material there, but what really stood out is what I used the next day on F&F: the "green jobs" concept was merely a new face on the old ideology of central economic planning and control, an alternative and a threat to free market capitalism."

And,

"Please share with Glenn this article about green jobs czar Van Jones, a self-described communist who was radicalized in jail. Confirms "watermelon" hypothesis."  (I was referring to an explanation we had offered on his show of the cap-and-trade bill as a "watermelon," green on the outside but Communist red to the core.)"

I hate to echo Kerpen's overheated rhetoric but he's showed us his hand and we now know where the attack is coming from. We also know that their strategy moving forward will be to frame green jobs and the clean energy bill as a radical socialist plot. So the question is, what do we do about it?

I have my ideas, but I would love to hear yours.

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