Color me particularly stupid, in what is now becoming a bad pun. I had failed to make the connection between Color of Change (the organization that started an advertiser boycott of Glenn Beck’s program after he called President Obama a racist) and Van Jones (a co-founder of Color of Change, now not affiliated with it).
The parenthetical remarks covered it all.
The NYTimes Opinionator had an interesting compilation of various points of view entitled “Is it because he’s black?”, on an obvious topic. The last entry, a comment made by a reader of Andrew Sullivan’s Atlantic column, was, to me, the most interesting. He suggests that the Republican/conservative hatred of Obama is deeper than mere racism. This commenter called it "shadow projection", and he started with one of my favorite themes, that no one thinks of themselves as a bad person. But the US, under the Republicans for the last eight years (yeah, yeah, Congress for four) has done bad things to itself and others. Two wars, at least one justified with lies, the patriot act (wiretapping ourselves), spending, rolling back regulation with predictable results of an economic meltdown… In the past, these sorts of things would have been projected (essentially blamed or at least justified by) on an external opponent, such at the Soviet Union or maybe Iran. But now we have no credible external opponent (China can only threaten us economically, and instead they are buying our T-bills). Instead, the threat has been chosen from within: Obama. So now Obama is accused of financial irresponsibility with the stimulus package despite the spending during the Bush years, Obama is accused of trying to indoctrinate our children with his speech despite the indoctrination during the Bush years of a particular sort of Bush-worshiping patriotism, Obama is accused of trying to destroy the economy with new regulation when the deregulation of the Bush years nearly caused a depression. As Obama tries to move forward with new proposals (that try to address past failings of government), they are cast by Republicans/conservatives as some new evil having some negative consequence As the commenter puts it “The more evil revealed about the right’s excesses on torture, or wars of choice, or nearly destroying the economy, the more evil Obama will look in their eyes, as they cannot tolerate owning responsibility, because in their own minds they are only good.” And the commenter ends with “This will not end well. Now that Obama is carrying their shadow, only a dramatic event from outside could change it. . . . The more those on the right deny their own failings, the more their internal unease will increase, the more the hatred to Obama will grow, and the more the need to do something will increase.”