The defining accomplishment of Van Jones’s life was his founding of the Ella Baker Freedom Center. While the controversy over his appointment was going on I meant to look into who she was, but didn’t get it done. Ron Radosh, an expert on the hard left of which he was once a member, has the answer:
[T]he name of Jones’ Oakland group, The Ella Baker Freedom Center, is most appropriate. Most people have referred to the late Baker as simply a civil rights activist. I am writing from vacation in Nantucket, without benefit of my files at home. But in my book, Divided They Fell: The Demise of the Democratic Party, 1964-1996, I point out that the late civil rights lawyer Joe Rauh had noted that everything Baker said in the 60’s might as well have been taken verbatim from The Daily Worker, the Communist Party newspaper. Baker was so pro-Communist that she attacked Hubert Humphrey and other liberal anti-Communists as ultra reactionaries. Known as the “grandmother of SNCC,” Baker was aligned with those in the movement who were trying to push the organization to the far left.
I think that sums up the Obama administration pretty well. If you think Hubert Humphrey was an ultra-reactionary, this administration’s for you!
UPDATE: At The Corner, Andy McCarthy takes Charles Krauthammer to task for suggesting that the demise of the Soviet Union means that Communism is no longer a threat. Andy’s post is well worth reading in its entirety, but this paragraph fits well with the topic of this post:
The Jones incident, moreover, does not indicate that “we had a communist in the U.S. government.” [Quoting Krauthammer.] To the contrary, as I argued last night, we have a U.S. government in which Van Jones was quite consciously selected because his views are representative of the president who made him the “green jobs czar.” Van Jones isn’t Alger Hiss. There’s nothing covert about him. He didn’t snooker Obama into bringing him aboard. He is who he is, and that’s why Obama wanted him. Having a Communist in that job was perfect since the “green jobs” initiative is an important part of the hard Left’s agenda to use environmentalism as an additional justification for usurping command of the economy.
“Van Jones isn’t Alger Hiss.” Brilliant.