Podesta: “Van has set a standard that Beck would never impose upon himself”; Beck: “Almost everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist.”

Following Van Jones’ resignation Saturday night, Glenn Beck has released a statement vowing to go after “other radicals in the administration.”

What could be scarier than the nation’s clean energy and climate policy being affected by uber-wingnut Glenn Beck.  In a January attack on Obama’s energy and environment adviser, Carol Browner, Beck said on his national radio show:

It’s just that almost everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist. I mean, believes in manmade global warming that now can be fixed and reversed or whatever. And we’ve got the tools to fix it. Almost everybody who says, “I’ve got a plan to fix it” is a socialist.

Yes, “billions of people will be condemned to poverty and much of civilisation will collapse” — but if you understand the science of human-caused climate change or want to do something to stop it, you’re a socialist.  Klein was right, Beck and his buddies are “nihilists.”

Beck doesn’t belong on TV, well, except maybe on a show like “Cops,” getting hauled off to jail like any other incoherent babbler.

What follows is a Think Progress repost.

John Podesta, the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, released this statement following the resignation of Van Jones:

vanpodesta2Van Jones is an exceptional and inspired leader who has fought to bring economic and environmental justice to communities across our country.

He has chosen to resign because he believed he was serving as a distraction to the president’s agenda. I respect that decision.

Van was working to build a common ground agenda for all Americans, and I am confident he will continue that work. Unfortunately, his critics on the right could find no common ground with him.

Clearly, Van was the subject of a right-wing smear campaign shrouded in hypocrisy. Van’s chief tormentor Glenn Beck, who spent weeks engaged in vicious name-calling, retains his perch at Fox News after calling the president a racist who has “a deep-seated hatred for white people.” Van has set a standard that Beck would never impose upon himself.

I look forward to working with Van to move our country towards a clean energy economy that empowers and lifts up all Americans.

Update: Glenn Beck released a statement, pledging to go after “other radicals in the administration“:

The American people stood up and demanded answers. Instead of providing them, the Administration had Jones resign under cover of darkness. I continue to be amazed by the power of everyday Americans to initiate change in our government through honest questioning, and judging by the other radicals in the administration, I expect that questioning to continue for the foreseeable future.

David Weigel writes that Cass Sunstein is likely to be Beck’s next target.

24 Responses to Podesta: “Van has set a standard that Beck would never impose upon himself”; Beck: “Almost everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist.”

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    This is Odd: I believe that global warming is very real, but I always thought that my understanding was based on my understanding of chemistry and physics (from Berkeley), my early career background as a chemical engineer, in the oil industry, my reading of compelling scientific reports, my reading of position statements such as those from the American Chemical Society (on their website), my individual discussions with an atmospheric chemist and other scientists, and related things. I also always felt that my view had something to do with the fact that other very intelligent people who have done their homework, such as those here, also understand the problem.

    It never occurred to me that my scientific understanding and efforts were irrelevant to my views and that the real reason for my belief in the reality of the problem of global warming has to do with a political-economic ideology that I didn’t even know I had?!

    Thanks to Glenn Beck, I’ve learned something new and amazingly surprising about myself?!

    And I wonder: How did my scientific and analytic skills become so irrelevant, and how did I make a transition from working in the oil industry, attending Harvard Business School, being a consultant with McKinsey, and being an exec at Disney, to somehow being (in Glenn Beck’s view) a “socialist”, without even knowing it?

    Can someone please post the list of advertisers who have already responsibly dropped Glenn Beck in recent weeks and the list of advertisers that still run on his show? Please. And could someone also post the phone number of the leaders at Fox who we should call to try to talk some sense into them?

    Last I heard, doesn’t Rupert Murdoch understand that global warming is a real and immense problem, or at least SAY that he does? Please someone, correct me if I’m wrong on that.



  2. Robert says:

    I understand why Mr. Jones felt like he had to do this, but this does seem like a victory for guys like Beck and Pence. They are only going to be energized by this. The tea parties and the 9/12-ers all the more invigorated.

    It’s funny, though. I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere, the sheer irony that a former drug addict and alcoholic (Beck) should dig up peoples’ pasts and deny them the same capacity to change that he obviously affords himself.

  3. Paul Klemencic says:

    I am not a socialist. I am an engineer, worked in the oil and gas industry for 15 years, and am now working on a green energy start-up. I have spent over a thousand hours reading and studying the science of anthropogenic global warming.

    I am disgusted to be smeared by someone like Glenn Beck. Who is he to label me, and attack my beliefs, and attempt to sow distrust of me among my acquaintances and colleagues?

    It is time for all of us to stand up, and tell Fox News to stop the demagoguery! This kind of broad based attack on us is uncalled for, and should not be tolerated without responding.

    How can we remove Fox News from our cable TV service?

  4. DavidCOG says:

    > …doesn’t Rupert Murdoch understand that global warming is a real and immense problem, or at least SAY that he does?

    He certainly does – but *nothing* supersedes *profit*.

    Murdoch Junior is allegedly “making an effort … to win public sympathy through engagement with popular topics like global warming and ‘sustainability’” – but read the link I provided above for a caustic look at him. ‘Chip off the old block’ would seem apposite.

  5. Former Republican says:

    Bringing down Obama and the dem majority is the only goal of Beck and his like. At the same time there is decreasing enthusiasm for the health care reform bill on the left as Obama appears to be too compromising with the right, and apparently Max Baucus wants to give away the store to the drug and insurance companies.

    If health care reform is defeated, these guys are gonna smell blood and really go after the climate bill, and the noisy town haller following is acting like a wrestlemania crowd. They sense a win over this uppity and “racist” black president, his “socialist”, unionist and “Chicago criminal” advisors, and those slimy democratic politicians in congress. They buy into all the Fox News propaganda and don’t want to hear the truth about anything. To them, climate change is just another excuse for more government control over their lives while they had no problem with 8 years of the Wall Street Casino, torture, illegal renditions, surveillance of peace organizations, wiretapping essentially everybody, and sending other families’ kids off to fight trumped up oil wars. This demogoguery has infected many of my friends, and I’m really starting to feel like an outsider.

  6. Leland Palmer says:

    Well, I’m flirting with socialism, I think. I’ve started to consider socialism in reaction to the Bush Administration, mostly, and watching the transformation of this country from a mostly peaceful democracy to an aggressive Orwellian fascist oligarchy, which seems intent on destroying the biosphere through runaway global warming.

    Was Van Jones a socialist?

    Probably not. If Glenn Beck is saying it, it’s probably nonsense.

    What is transforming me into a socialist is watching the disaster capitalists at work.

    I don’t know much about socialism, frankly. But these sorts of incidents, our war in the Mideast, our elite controlled media, the huge financial and propaganda resources of the elite class in this country, the refusal of our mainstream media to accurately or adequately cover the global warming story, all of it makes me wonder if there isn’t a better way to run things.

    So, yes, we need to nationalize the coal fired power plants, and transform them into “carbon negative” enhanced efficiency power plants, that burn biomass or biochar fuel, employ a topping cycle to improve their efficiency, and deep inject their CO2. This active remediation of CO2 effort should run in parallel with the current cap and trade and regulatory approaches to CO2 reduction.

    It’s stuff like this Van Jones / Glenn Beck incident, in which a good, well intentioned man is hounded out of office by a paid propagandist, who then refuses to be satisfied with that and uses the resignation as proof of wrongdoing, that makes me flirt with socialism.

    Perhaps this will show Obama what giving in to paid propagandists results in.

    Appeasement just results in another round of criticism, of course, and is fed back into the criticism cycle, to try to create a runaway positive feedback orgy of criticism that results in weakening of the target. That’s the way it worked for the right with Bill Clinton, and that’s the way it is working for their efforts to weaken the Obama administration.

    Regarding the coal fired power plants, it turns out that gigawatt sized coal fired power plants may be more dangerous to humanity than thermonuclear weapons.

    We don’t allow thermonuclear weapons in private hands, why should we allow coal fired power plants to remain in private hands – the same private ownership that has helped create this apparent runaway global warming incident in the first place?

    Seize them. Nationalize them. Force their transition to carbon negative biomass/CCS power plants.

    And start to turn the corner on this apparent runaway global warming problem.

  7. Bill says:

    It’s about time the Democrats got serious about debunking the word “socialist” and stopped allowing the right wing in this country to use the word as a club on anyone they disagree with (which is just about anyone with half a brain these days).

    From it’s inception, America has used so-called “socialism” where it was necessary and appropriate. Communities would get together and build a one-room school house and chip in to hire a teacher and send all their kids to one place to get some learnin’. That was “socialism”. Local government has always taxed citizens to provide fire and police services to the community. That is “socialism”. The federal government has always had jurisdiction to regulate interstate commerce to deal with smuggling and prevent destructive local transportation tariffs. That’s “socialism”. American society has always had plenty of elements of “socialism” in its fabric.

    This popular ideal that socialism is ALWAYS BAD and the same thing as Nazism or even Soviet Communism is bunk. It’s time people started standing up and saying “if supporting legislation that will preserve and protect our children’s future is socialism, then I guess that makes me a “socialist” and proud of it.”

    We have to stop letting the right define all the terms of the debates and set all the talking points. When are the Democrats and President Obama going to go on the offensive?

  8. Nancy says:

    I’m livid that Glenn Beck is taking credit for Van Jones’ resignation and that the administration let him go down without a fight. Exactly who does the President think he’s appeasing by giving in to Glenn Beck and the right-wing racists? Beck’s audience is not the group Obama should care about; they are not capable of an original thought and should be ignored.

    We who worked to get this man elected should demand that he do the right thing and defend those who are standing by him at this critical time. This means Van Jones, John Holdren, Steve Chu and all the others on Glenn Beck’s hit list. There is a climate war going on and we must identify the enemy and prepare to fight them and never give in. I’m not joking – this is a war to preserve the planet for the future of our children. It’s wrong to be distracted by a lunatic like Beck.

    Screw Glenn Beck. And, yeah, I agree with Van – Republicans are a**ho##s.

  9. Bob Wallace says:

    Bill – socialism fails because it does not reward individual effort. That’s not to say that non-regulated capitalism is the answer.

    A well regulated free enterprise system, being necessary to the prosperity of all, should be promoted.

    We’re not going to seize the coal plants. But we should consider buying out the owners in some fashion or another so that we don’t have to waste a lot of time and money fighting them.

    We could make it financially advantageous to convert their plants from coal to hybrid biomass/solar/natural gas plus coal. Or do a complete switchover to biomass/geothermal if things in their location permit.

    A modest long term/permanent feed-in tariff for biomass produced electricity might work to cut out some coal quickly. Make the final price just a little bit better than what they would earn from burning coal.

    We could pay some of them to partially mothball their plants as high demand month sources and deep backup resources. We might need them during hot summer months and be able to slid by without them during the lower demand months.

    As we bring more renewables to the grid and cut demand through conservation we should make it easy for the coal guys to step back. And the best way to get them to might be to protect their wallets.

  10. From Peru says:

    It’s shocking how the word “socialism” is so seen bad in the US.

    It is time to stop these ultra-right entities from denigrating such a sublime concept. A socialist society means that the more weak and poor are protected by it, and nobody make himself rich out of the wealth of the others, but instead all ake the wealth together and redistribute it according to everyone needs.

    Capitalism is quite the opposite: there is a small group of people that make themselves rich using the resources of all the others, that is, workpower and natural resources, and in the last decades, bank loans with astounding interests. It is THEFT in a massive scale. We have had two World Wars for the control of markets and resources that have caused more than 100 MILLION DEATHS.

    And please, stop equating socialism with totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and Boshevik-Stalinist Russia. These regimes were completely at odds with socialist principles. Instead, they were the worst capitalistic regimes ever: the were STATE CAPITALISM,were the exploiters were united in a single, monopolistic group, the Party and its bureaucracy (very much like a gigantic monopolistic corporation, like in the Robocop movies). They used socialist-like rethoric only to fool their peoples to prevent they from revolting against the sistem.

    So , after hearing all this right-wing nonsense, they should get the answer:

    You are calling me a socialist?
    Maybe for you that is an insult, but for people with a little of intelligence and morality, being a person that fight for the poor and weak people’s rights, wealth redistribution and a decent and livable life and environment for all people across the world, that is, a *socialist*, this is actually a compliment, and a very big one.

  11. paulm says:

    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” AE

    Duh. I think we are realizing that capitalism is not the answer.

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.” AE

    But some of us are slower than others. Especially the ones who have been ‘blessed’ so far.

  12. Glenn Beck is saying that the overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists are socialists.

  13. Rick says:

    Beck is just an emotional shouter of whatever he finds on the right wing blogs. If there is no substance and no importance to whatever he’s yelling about, then why not put up a fight? Everybody knows that Beck is a screamer and is just about half crazy, but Van falling indicates that there was substance to what Beck was going on about.

  14. Mike#22 says:

    Beck would be a minor sideshow without his audience.

    Who are they?

  15. From Peru says:

    Charles Siegel is right: an overwhelming fraction of world scientists are socialists, like:

    Albert Einstein
    Haldane(Communist Party UK) and Oparin(USSR)
    Enrico Fermi

    Maybe because intelligent people choose intelligent politic tendences?

  16. connor says:

    Arianna Huffington has an interesting take on this

    [quote]Now, thanks to Glenn Beck, we’ve got that voice back. No longer tied to his desk with a sock in his mouth, Van is now freed to do what he does best: inspire and energize groups around the country. Student groups and labor groups and small business groups and middle class Americans everywhere who are losing jobs and losing homes and losing hope. He’s free to push with all his might and insight for the vision tens of millions of Americans tirelessly worked for during the presidential campaign — the vision they voted for in November — but which is now in danger of being drowned in the fetid political swamps of Washington.

    If Glenn Beck had any sense at all, he would have done everything in his power to keep Van Jones right where he was.

    But he didn’t. And for this we should all be grateful.

  17. Leland Palmer says:

    The Huffington Post story is nonsense.

    Appeasement will only result in more attacks.

    That’s the way it works, when dealing with fascists.

  18. Rockfish says:

    What this incident really proves is that the Obama administration will throw anyone and anything under the bus to get a health care bill passed. They didn’t raise a single whimper in defense of Jones, because they couldn’t afford another “distraction.”
    I have said it before and will say it again – Obama will bail on climate change legislation as soon as the Republicans get on TV calling it a job killing energy tax. Mark my words. This Democratic administration has no more backbone that any other of the last 40 years.

  19. walker says:

    How would we defend Van Jones?

    If he has nothing to apologize for why did he apologize?

  20. connor says:

    Leland Palmer:

    Yeah, I sadly suspect you are right. Arianna is being far too optimistic imo :(