In a statement Saturday night, the White House said Jones was giving up his post at the Council on Environmental Quality, where he helped coordinate government agencies focused on delivering millions of green jobs to the ailing U.S. economy.
"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said in the statement. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."
Adding that he came to Washington to "fight for others, not for myself," Jones said in the statement, "I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.
Jones stepped into a firestorm of a situation created by President Obama as Obama stood up for his buddy, professor Henry Louis Gates, rather than remaining neutral until all the facts came to light in the dispute between Gates and Sgt. James Crowley. Because of President Obama's irresponsible posturing, radio and television host Glenn Beck said, amongst other things, that he believed Barack Obama "has a deep seeded hatred for White people or the White culture" and that he believed "President Obama is a racist."
Enter Van Jones. Through a non-profit he co-founded, ColorOfChange, Jones publicly (yet invisibly) railed against Beck, pushing Beck's advertising sponsors to pull their spots with him in an effort to affect Beck's personal finance, as well as his stature in the media. Jones was joined by the usual liberal suspects; Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and MSNBC as well as others claimed Beck was out of line, and that he was the real racist. During the height of the controversy, Huffington Post had as many as five (negative) front page articles about Beck, and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC kept a running tally of advertisers who had pulled their spots from Beck's programming (although Olbermann's count was often largely inaccurate).
Beck responded by doing the work not being done by the media today - he began to research and find FACTS about Jones, including but not limited to the fact that Jones is a self-proclaimed Communist, statements made about Columbine-style shootings in White neighborhoods, and the idea that President George W. Bush allowed the attacks of September 11th, 2001 happen. Jones signed a petition at 911Truth.org, but has since claimed he was not fully aware of what he was signing.
Glenn Beck issued the following statement regarding the resignation of Jones:
"The American people stood up and demanded answers. Instead of providing them, the Administration had Jones resign under cover of darkness. I continue to be amazed by the power of everyday Americans to initiate change in our government through honest questioning, and judging by the other radicals in the administration, I expect that questioning to continue for the foreseeable future."
Thanks to Beck's hard work and persistence, as well as the dedication and hard work of relentless Americans (including bloggers - pat yourselves on the back!) Jones was put into a position where he felt the best thing to do was to step down. He did so on a Saturday night during a four-day holiday weekend, as the nation awaits the return of Congress and The President to continue the ongoing debate about "health care reform."
I would like to personally thank Jones and President Obama for showing us exactly what they are made of and who they are. These two men have shown us exactly what cowardice is.
Rather than accepting responsibility for his poor decision making, President Obama stood by silently and put Jones in the awkward position of taking responsibility for the situation. To his credit, Jones finally did so. However, to step aside under the cover of night, over an extended holiday weekend, tells me that you do not have the mettle to stand by the statements you have made, nor do you have the credibility to warrant the actions you have taken against Glen Beck in an effort to discredit him.
I call on all my friends, family, and fellow bloggers who care about this situation - now is not the time to sit back and relish the moment. This is only one small battle in a larger war. We must continue to expose all of the appointments with which we take issue. For me, this is all "special advisers" or "czars" - not just for this administration, but for any future administrations as well. The President has a cabinet; these are his advisers. Should a President feel the need for a larger staff of advisers, he should do exactly as did George W. Bush with regard to Homeland Security - present his or her case through the legislature, and have a new cabinet position created - legally, without the possibility of question for person or position. This will ensure the American people that all persons advising The President in a legitimate manner are fully vetted by Congress and the FBI.