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The pros and cons of Van Jones

September 12, 2009

Re "Obama aide quits amid controversy," Sept. 6, and "Obama aide quits, slams critics," Sept. 7

It's about time that the ax fell on Van Jones, but I am not gloating over it. His disturbingly radical past has come back to haunt him, and he is merely facing the consequences for his actions.

I am a former Republican who largely supports President Obama's economic recovery plan. A man like Jones, who used obscenities to criticize Republicans on an open microphone, aligns himself with whacked-out 9/11 conspiracy theorists and mocks George W. Bush, has absolutely no place in an administration that needs to build bipartisan support for its agenda.

Whether it is fair or not, we will always be remembered for our last worst act. And no quick apologies or claims of being quoted out of context will clear those worst acts from Jones' reputation now that they're on the record.

Richard Rodriguez

West Covina

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Why was this article hidden in the Sunday paper at the bottom of Page A19?

If this aide were appointed by a Republican president, it would have been on the front page of your paper. Jones is a very well-known racist, among other things, and should never have been appointed to any position within the U.S government or any other political position.

But then The Times is well known for its biased, liberal reporting.

Joseph Riley

Glendale

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Who cares if Jones has radical views? Our nation allows for individual liberty and freedom. Jones, like all Americans, is allowed to believe (or not believe) anything he likes.

What is really at issue is how a tiny minority of right-wing, mostly white, nearly all Christian Americans has a dangerously oppressive conformist view of the universe, the world, God, politics, everything ... and if you express views different from this fascist-mob-in-waiting, they hate and fear you and will attack you relentlessly.

Fox News counts these extremists as its core demographic, as does the Republican Party.

Jeff Softley

Los Angeles

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Why are Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity running this country? It is incredibly frustrating that the American people have lost an exceptionally knowledgeable man who is dedicated to improving the environment and the lives of people.

Jones has the right to say whatever he wants about Republicans. They certainly have no scruples about saying the most vile and untruthful things about the president and his supporters.

He also has the right to his opinions and should not lose his job because of them. Something about free speech, maybe?

I wish that the Democrats would respond to these accusations with "so what?" instead of apologizing. If anyone needs to apologize it is the Fox News rabble-rousers and their bosses.

Who is really responsible for most of the problems we are facing? Who is really tearing up this country? I think it's obvious, and it's not Van Jones.

Lorraine Priceman

Woodland Hills

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Jones claims his dilemma is due to a "vicious smear campaign."

Mr. Jones, if reporting what you have actually said and done is a "smear," you've smeared yourself.

How many green jobs have you created?

Maybe Al Sharpton needs a stand-in pompous windbag.

William Goldsmith

Studio City

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I read, and wondered what triggered, columnist Steve Lopez' article about his recent search of Glenn Beck fans. It got me interested in the Van Jones controversy.

Without viewing Beck, I simply went on the Internet to hear Jones' thoughts firsthand. His comments about 9/11, his expletive about Republicans and his diatribe and conclusions on Columbine were quite sufficient. Yep, sounds radical and racist to me.

No smear campaign needed. Van Jones did the job well all by himself.

Linda Dean

Santa Ana

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