Van Jones

97 House Republicans Join Latest Mob Attack on African-American Obama Appointee

Van Jones

Eric Holder

Valerie Jarrett

Shirley Sherrod

And now, Susan Rice.

Republicans are orchestrating yet another mob attack on one of President Obama’s African-American appointees. In this case, 97 House Republicans have signed a letter imploring Obama not to nominate Rice to replace Hillary Clinton. Yet they don’t raise any of the possibly legitimate reasons to oppose Rice’s appointment–her troubling record on Africa, her closeness to Obama.


These 97 Republicans don’t even try to make this look like legitimate opposition. Instead, they rehash a Benghazi attack that hearings last week debunked.

Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American people in the Benghazi matter. Her actions plausibly give the U.S. (and rivals) abroad reason to question U.S. commitment and credibility when needed.

They don’t know what the problem with Rice is, this mob of frothing Republicans. But if she’s black, they seem to be saying, she must be either incompetent or deceitful.

This frothing mob includes such leading lights of the racist right as Steve King, Ted Poe, Louie Gohmert, Michelle Bachmann, and Tim Griffin, and such discredited hacks as Scott DesJarlais and Joe Wilson.

While Alan West signed the letter, along with several Latinos, the letter largely pits a bunch of white radicals against a single black woman whom they claim is not credible because she read talking points developed by the CIA.

This is not the act of reasoned legislators. It’s a mob attack. A mob attack, like so many others, targeted blindly at an African-American professional appointed by our nation’s first African-American President.

Take Back the American Dream Conference Next Week


One of the highlights of Netroots Nation this year was Van Jones’ way-too-early keynote. He offered a speech–and an organizing opportunity, Rebuild the Dream Movement–that addressed a lot of the angst of progressives. Since that time, there have been a series of Rebuild the Dream meetings, but it has yet to take off in the way it should.

I’m hoping that next week’s Take Back the American Dream conference will change that.

Campaign for America’s Future has been changing its name for the last several years as the politics merit it, and CAF has been involved in the Rebuild the Dream movement.

But their conference has also long been one of the best coalition building opportunities. (For example, it got unions working with bloggers long before Netroots Nation did.) In addition to several appearances from Jones and further organizing the Rebuild the Dream movement, there will be good panels on foreclosure and manufacturing and combating Koch money in elections.

I’ll be there, reporting on the shindig. But if you’re able, I really encourage you to come too. (And if you do, let me know so I can look out for you!)

Update: Added the right Van Jones video.

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bmaz @armandodkos It was horrible. Truly dumb.
bmaz @michaelwhitney Heh, I liked the "got herbed" version.
bmaz @armandodkos Did you not see me screaming about this?? It is fucking malpractice. What in the world is he doing yakking to the press?
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emptywheel @drfarls They're just bitter they're not getting due credit for inventing it.
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