I was surprised when Van accepted a position in the Obama administration. The administration was noteworthy for how few progressives it recruited. For all practical purposes, the foreign policy team had endorsed the disastrous invasion of Iraq. Most of the economic team had supported the disastrous prohibition of regulation of credit default swaps in the waning days of the Clinton Administration. Most appointees were respectable by Washington standards in how they had opposed the worst abuses of the Bush administration.
We may never know who told Van he had to go, or who made the repeated choice never to defend him during the weeks of vicious smears. Why would a Van Jones have to apologize for calling Republicans, prior to his appointment, a colorful barnyard epithet when the Obama Chief of Staff considers the F word half of the English language? And why might Van's mistakes be worse than those of say, Timothy Geithner, who took tax free income from the IMF and did not report it? And why is Van Jones more troublesome than say, Joe Lieberman, who constantly slandered candidate Obama, and was rewarded by a clear direction from President Obama that Lieberman was to be welcomed back to the fold?