Ethics Quote Of The Month (And Signature Significance): CNN Contributor Van Jones [Updated]

“There’s an honest level of sadness and disappointment and disorientation among progressives and Democrats and I think it goes deeper than just what’s in the report.”

—CNN contributor and former Obama aide Van Jones, explaining how Democrats needed “a chance to be sad”  and to “grieve” about the Mueller investigation’s findings.

And there it is. Progressives and Democrats are inconsolable that the 2106 election was clean, that an American President didn’t betray his country by conspiring with a hostile power to steal his office, and that our elected leader, and that we do not have a looming constitutional crisis.

I hope readers will excuse my posting a perhaps disproportionate amount on the post-Mueller Report reactions, but understand: early in 2017 I marked the Democratic/progressive effort to undermine this President, his ability to govern, and the legitimacy of his election at a terrible cost to the nation as perhaps the most serious national ethics breach in recent history, certainly since I have been writing Ethics Alarms. It cannot be over-emphasized how crucial it is that as much of the public as possible that is still capable of rational thought understands what was attempted here, and indeed to some extent achieved, to the nation’s—one hopes not permanent–detriment. We need to be grateful for corrupted and ethics alarms-lacking progressive messengers like Jones, who don’t understand how repulsive this confession sounds to normal people. They are showing us the truth.

Republican Alice Stewart, Jones’ companion on the Don Lemon panel, stated exactly what Jones’ statement signifies: “I think Van hit the nail on the head. Democrats are so hell-bent on being anti-Trump that they’re becoming anti-American on this.” Becoming? Ethics Alarms first flagged the disgusting conduct of the “resistance,” progressives and Democrats in response to losing the election on November 16, 2016. It was obvious then. They were (and are) willing to tear the country apart in an ongoing tantrum over the fact that the American public didn’t fall into lock-step with their leftist edicts and spectacularly untrustworthy candidate.

I knew I was going to reap the wild wind when I posted an essay titled, “Admit It, Liberals, Progressives, Democrats, “The Resistance,” The Left, Or Whatever You Call Yourselves: You’re The Bad Guys” but I decided to hell with it. If readers can’t trust me to tell the ugly truth as I see it, then I shouldn’t be writing an ethics blog. I knew—not that it should have taken any special wisdom to know, because it should have been apparent to everyone—that the Left had taken a dark, destructive turn, and that a critical mass were so poisoned by hate and anger that their values, including basic, normal respect for their country and fellow citizens, had begun to rot.

And they continued to rot, as once reasonable Americans lashed out, and recycled fear and paranoia among each other, reinforcing delusions, biases, ignorance and toxic distrust at the expense of community, patriotism, and citizenship.

That is how they arrived at this place, this ugly, damning state of mind, where they are grieving over the fact that their President isn’t a traitor, so they can justify tearing up the Constitution.


While I was researching this post, I stumbled upon this article from November 9, 2016. The thing  perfectly illustrates how the rot began, and the arrogance and hate that has sustained and magnified it.

[The link was missing initially: my apologies.]

26 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Month (And Signature Significance): CNN Contributor Van Jones [Updated]

  1. Seems that the resistance is now left to fend for itself from a public policy perspective. I.e. bashing Trump and wishing for his demise aren’t getting done, therefore their policies must stand up to scrutiny, such as it is. The people will have to judge them on what they stand for instead of who they stood against.

    We still have a sycophantic media supporting them. But it’s a start.

  2. It cannot be over-emphasized how crucial it is that as much of the public as possible that is still capable of rational thought understands what was attempted here, and indeed to some extent achieved, to the nation’s—one hopes not permanent–detriment.

    No, it cannot be over-emphasized. There has always been acrimony between the two political factions, but even during Watergate, it did not reach the levels of screeching incoherence we have achieved, and consistently surpassed in this debacle.

    What has been amazing so far is the relative temperance on the part of Trump. Oh, that’s not to say he has been quiet or rational, because that is impossible for his arrested juvenile personality. But in a purely relative sense, Trump could be realistically called “calm, cool, and collected” over the revelation that his campaign was innocent of “collusion.”

    In a bizarre twist that nobody in America could’ve seen coming, this strange (and probably temporary) forbearance is due, in no small part, to senator Lindsey Graham (ver. 2.0). Axios details this fascinating revelation here.

    Who could’ve imagined in 2016 that Graham, who hated Trump like his mentor John McCain, would be golfing with him during the Muller revelations? Even more bizarre, who could’ve imagined Trump taking Graham’s advice, however temporarily it turns out to be? Finally, who could’ve reckoned that Lindsey Graham, absent the influence of his former mentor, could turn out to have such solid political instincts?

    Perhaps, after the understandable schadenfreude lust passes and everyone takes stock, the toll of the last two years on the national discourse will allow both sides to step back from the brink and consider a temporary cease-fire. It will take (and you should hope for this, whatever your politics) a jump in Trump’s approval and a drop in that of the Democrats, at least temporarily.

    Failing that, I suppose all we have to look forward to is more partisan warfare, a national discourse that tries to find out if it can dig past rock bottom into the molten mantle of the Earth, and a continued scorched-earth non-stop media hate-fest.

    Michael Avenetti would surely approve of that as he watches benignly from federal prison thinking about the presidential run that could’ve been…

  3. I think the Democrats are insane to want the Mueller report released. Will it say that the ‘Trump Dossier’ was created by cooperation between the Clinton campaign, the DNC, a Russian lobbying group, a disgruntled British spy, and Russian intelligence? Will it say that Strzok used a law school friend to get a FISA warrant against Trump campaign personnel (including Flynn), then that Strzok had a private meeting with the same judge before the Flynn trial (the same judge presiding over the trial), how Strzok was the only witness against Flynn and his story changed 180 degrees? Will it say that they raided Trump’s lawyers office and leaked information from Trump’s lawyer to the press? Will it say that multiple people involved with the investigation were also involved with the Russian lobbying firm, Fusion GPS? Will it say that McCabe opened an investigation of Trump because he was afraid of being fired and he could claim obstruction of justice if he were fired while investigating the President? Will it bring up the fact that McCabe was upset with Trump because Trump called his wife a loser over her failed Democratic campaign? Will it point out that while his wife was receiving campaign money from Hillary Clinton, McCabe was investigating Clinton over her emails? Will is say that McCabe covered up Antony Weiner’s copies of Clinton’s e-mails until the police threatened to expose him? Will it say that Rod Rosenstein tried to overthrown the President using the 25th Amendment? Will it say that the FBI redacted the price of McCabe’s table from Congress for “National Security Reasons” to hide the fact that he spent $70,000 in taxpayer money on it? Will it actually list who started the investigation of candidate Trump and when? Will it say that James Comey sent classified documents to a friend with instructions to leak them to the press as an insurance policy?

    There is so much more that could be in the report. Why in the world would they want to risk making that all public in a forum where their supporters could see it?

  4. I think this is a good question and it begs the question as to whether the Democrats are idiots or are playing a sly game. It’s entirely possible that the report could destroy the Democrat Party. Making it public could be the worst bet ever made.

    Democrats seem to want to play with fire without thinking about how the consequences could affect them in the future.

    On the other hand, if they know the report can’t be made public in its entirety, they can continue to imply that the President’s administration is burying it to protect him.

    Why is it that none of the articles I’ve read today regarding the demands to release the report bother to mention any of the complexities involved?

    • That’s a great question, and the news media has an obligation to explain that, as with grand jury testimony, there are vital reasons why releasing “the whole report” is impossible.

  5. I see the genesis of the rot in a single book published in 2002, “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” by Ruy Teixeira and John Judis. As noted on his wiki page, Texeira is most noted for his work on political demography. The book “argues that Democrats in the United States are demographically destined to become a majority party in the early 21st century.” Unfortunately, the left took the book as Gospel truth, not a hypothesis. George W. Bush was supposed to have been the last Republican president of the United States. Barack Obama was the first of a triumphal and never ending line of progressive presidents stretching out into the glorious future. Then… TRUMP!

    It’s really pathetic.

    Of course, most any competent Republican candidate could have beaten Hillary like a rented mule. But the Dems thought she had the arc of history going for her and them.

    • I’m not so sure about the last part. Romney should have beaten Obama too, but stubborn conservatives stayed home because he wasn’t ‘pure” enough for them, and unlike Trump, he wouldn’t fight back against a truly dirty campaign against him. Or maybe its the “competent” part. Bush?> Huckabee? Carson? Paul? Christie? Cruz? All of them are badly flawed, and not different enough to make those midwest Democrats switch.

      • In a separate post about aholes v aholes, I asked how does one ethically debate an ahole successfully. I got several responses but none were going to avoid the problem of becoming an ahole in order to achieve any modicum of equity in law.

        I believe many see the dilemma posed and hired an Ahole to be president. The issue is simply he is our Ahole.

      • The trouble with Romney was that he was about as exciting as a fruitcake for Christmas and he fought by using Marquess of Queensberry rules not realizing that he was facing two streetfighters. I hope he disappears into obscurity which he richly deserves.

  6. In common sense terms I don’t see that Trump’s campaign has been found ‘innocent’ of collusion or anything else for that matter. It simply has not been found guilty. This isn’t a great surprise. Now you might hold to the ‘presumption of innocence’ and that certainly applies in the courtroom. But it doesn’t apply round our dinner table and I suspect not around most others. We set ‘credibility’ based on record and reputation. Yes, we are biased, I hope rationally based on our knowledge and experience. The US electorate will in due course be able to make their own judgments, and vote accordingly. They will have more to consider in 2020 than they had in 2016.

    It is interesting that some (Jack I think) hold that those elected President are owed special trust and respect as holders of the office irrespective of their record as an individual. Maybe this is seen as some obligation of citizenship? The idea that a venal prince becomes magically virtuous when crowned king is common place for monarchies. But it seems dreadfully at odds with the US Constitution.

    In my dictionary to be ‘vindicated’ means to be proved innocent, which is quite different to not being found guilty. I doubt that President Trump can ever be totally ‘vindicated’ as regards the suspicion that he and /or his cronies and family indulged in monkey business with Russia. There are consequences to lying and cheating. Character and reputation matter.

    • 1. “I don’t see that Trump’s campaign has been found ‘innocent’ of collusion or anything else for that matter. It simply has not been found guilty.” No, that’s a misunderstanding, Andrew. The Special Counsel’s job is to determine if any crimes have been committed in his judgment, not determine guilt. No collusion means no collusion (and collusion isn’t a crime anyway.) The report says no evidence of any collusion related conduct that would sustain a legal charge. That’s a finding of innocence, because absent evidence of a crime, one is presumed innocent. An indictment would not be a finding of guilt. There was never, as you seem to think, a reason to presume that Trump conspired with Russia to fix the election. First, Russia couldn’t fix the election, and didn’t—the idea is a pipe dream of Hillary apologists. Second, making such a deal would be an absurd risk, and bad risk-reward ratio—especially since Trump didn’t expect to win anyway.

      2. “But it seems dreadfully at odds with the US Constitution.” Where? The Constitution says nothing about who is “worthy” of being trusted as President. It says the People decide. President X is not the same as Private Citizen X, and the responsibilities and incentive are completely different. Monarchs are not comparable to Presidents—they don’t have to go through the same cultural screening system. Most Presidents, by a very large margin, change their habits and up their ethics, at least in the official discharge of their duties, once elected. High achieving individuals with a strong regard for their country are the only people who become President; nobody wants to be poor one, or to go down in history as a villain. That’s why US Grant nearly killed himself kicking his alcoholism once he was elected. It’s why Chester A. Arthur pushed through a law preventing hack pols like he had been from getting political appointments. It’s why LBJ, who had grown up about as racist as most small town Texas boys during Jim Crow, put through the sweeping Civil Rights laws. It’s why Red-Baiter Richard Nixon opened up Red China for diplomacy. etc. etc.

      3. In this country, you don’t have to be “found innocent.”

      • One more thing: of course lying and cheating matter. That’s why I didn’t vote for either candidate. But there was proof that Hillary cheated, and more proof now that the Democrats did. They were the ones who argued all though her ethics-free husbands rise that character doesn’t matter. It only matters to them when they lose to a louse.

      • I am sensitive to the words, as per Barr’s letter, which seem carefully crafted: “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

        Jack you seem instead to read this as “The ….. investigation found that the Trump campaign ….did not conspire or coordinate with …. etc.”; which is much stronger. If this is what they intended to say, surely they would have said it?

        • Sorry PS: You Jack point out quite rightly that in law, absent evidence of a crime, one is presumed innocent. My point is that we are now more crucially into how people will vote. In my view rational voters should take carefully into account what Mueller says (or rather what Barr says he says).

        • That’s because it is usually impossible to prove a negative. There is no proof that you are an agent from the Planet Zontar, but I can’t prove you’re not. But suspicion without facts isn’t evidence, it isn’t even grounds for an investigation.

  7. “Progressives and Democrats are inconsolable that the 2106 election was clean,”

    I would hope that after 87 years the Democrats will have learned to lose gracefully!

  8. Would someone here explain to me how the 2016 election was “clean?” More went on then the colusion that Barr says Muller concluded did not happen. So far all we have seen is Barr’s gloss and all ready Mitch McConnell is attempting block release of the report. Why? One does not have to believe that there was any collusion to believe that the election was durty. The DNC’s favoring of Clinton wasn’t clean, neather was Trump’s encouragement to his supporters to rough-up protesters.

    • “Trump’s encouragement to his supporters to rough-up protesters” is a gross exaggeration, but even if it weren’t, it had no effect on the election at all. “Clean” refers to the election, the vote, and the result, not the campaigns, the rhetoric, or other tangential features. By that measure, there has never been a clean election. And the DNC’s cheats were related to the nomination—again, not the election. For example, Barack Obama and the Democrats used underhanded methods to get his opponent when he ran for Senate to quit the race, leaving the GOP without a viable candidate. But Obama won the election fair and square.

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