If you were to search Google News this morning for the word “vetting”, you’d find well over 1500 hits in relation to that word and the Van Jones story. The current meme is that Jones was not sufficiently vetted by the Obama administration – that his shortcomings and controversial positions were not exposed, primarily because he was an appointed “czar” with no Congressional approval or oversight.
Earlier today, Erick asked “Who created this special job for Van Jones and what vetting of any sort did he get?” The implication, of course, is that Jones was not vetted. But is that true?
Over at The Corner at NRO, Andy McCarthy has a different take – one that I believe is quite accurate. McCarthy asserts that Jones was chosen precisely because of his controversial background. He says:
The point, of course, is that Obama vetted Jones just fine. President Obama is not Mr. Magoo — haplessly gravitating to Truther Van and Ayers and Dohrn and Klonsky and Davis and Wright and the Chicago New Party and ACORN, etc. Jones is a kindred spirit. Obama knows exactly who he is. Jones was given a non-confirmation job precisely because that circumvented the vetting process. This isn’t one of those things that just happen. This is Barack “Transparency” Obama gaming the system.
A “kindred spirit”. The two have the same kinds of backgrounds. They were both community organizers of some ilk. It only makes sense that Obama would seek someone with the same background to pursue one of his pet policies – “green jobs.”
McCarthy also points out that the White House had to be familiar with Jones’ background, or he wouldn’t have been given access to the WH in the first place.
As former Reagan staffer Jeffrey Lord explains at the Spectator, the Secret Service carefully scrutinizes the background of everyone who works at the White House. With his background, Van Jones couldn’t possibly have gotten into the White House, much less had physical access to the president, unless the top echelon of the administration (I’d wager, the very top) overrode any objections.
There is some possibility that the Secret Service simply fell down on the job and neglected to check out Jones sufficiently. There’s a chance that the Secret Service is in dire need of LMGTFY. But the higher likelihood is that the Obama staff simply told them to give him a pass.
In the aftermath of the Jones story, conservatives are no doubt emboldened to go after more of Obama’s czars, with the expectation that they, too, are “under-vetted.” Indeed, there are several who appear to have questionable backgrounds – from our perspective. But do they from Obama’s perspective?
In a wonderfully biting article on the UK Telegraph web site, James Delingpole points out that Jones’ mistake was trying to hide his agenda. He notes that appointing guys like Van Jones is “what socialist regimes do.”
Simple. Because this is what socialist regimes do, as I tried to explain earlier this year in my book Welcome To Obamaland: I’ve Seen Your Future And It Doesn’t Work.
In it, I warned the US of the “smorgasbord of scuzzballs, incompetents, time servers, Communists, class warriors, eco-loons, single-issue rabble-rousers, malcontents and losers who always rise to the surface during a left-liberal administration.”
It’s a pattern. Delingpole describes how the same kind of whack-job appointments occurred under the Blair administration:
Making these predictions was a no-brainer because it’s exactly the same process as we’ve witnessed in Britain these last twelve years under New Labour. Rather than having all his cronies go through the tedious and unedifying process of having to stand for parliamentary election, Tony Blair simply handed them their political jobs on a plate by appointing them Health Czar, or Race Czar, or Climate Change Czar or whatever. In this way, he could stuff his new governing class with politically-sympathetic placemen – with the added advantage that they were completely unaccountable to the democratic process.
This was not a mistake by Obama. The appointments of Jones, Mark Lloyd, and other “Czars of the Obama Underworld” were quite intentional. While some will simply write off these extremists as mistakes, they underestimate Obama. As McCarthy says, “he is not Mr. Magoo.” Rather, he is a socialist ideologue who has a mission to transform America into a weath-redistributing, big-government nanny state – and has built the team (without oversight that would expose their backgrounds and ideology) that he believes can help him accomplish that objective.