Van Jones on appeasing Republicans: You will never catch that bunny


Image from wikipedia

Anthony Kapel “Van” Jones is an American environmental advocate, civil rights activist, and attorney. He is a co-founder of four non-profit organizations including Rebuild The Dream, of which he is president. He served as President Obama’s special advisor for green jobs, innovation, and industry for most of 2009.

From a speech in May 2012:

This Republican Party, from my point of view, has taken the posture that any idea, even their own ideas, if they’re championed by this President, they will oppose. And I think that discredits them.

It’s like chasing a bunny on the old dog track. They have a mechanical bunny. If you’ve ever been to a dog track, I’m from Tennessee, if you ever go to Memphis, they have a dog track and they have a mechanical bunny. And they open the gates and the dogs just go and try and chase that mechanical bunny. And I think those dogs probably think someday they’re going to catch that bunny. They’re never going to catch that bunny because the bunny keeps moving.

Image from
“The Grey-Hounded Hare”

You’re trying to chase the right to try to convince them to agree with you. They will run away from their own ideas if they think a Democrat embraces them. It was a Republican idea to have cap and trade, a market-based, business-friendly solution for carbon and climate problems. That was the Heritage Foundation that came up with cap and trade.  We were saying carbon tax. To chase them, we moved to cap and trade and they moved on to don’t do anything. Climate change isn’t even real. On health care, it was their idea to have an individual mandate and personal responsibility and don’t have a big government single-payer system. We moved from single-payer through public option to individual mandate trying to catch them and now they say that the individual mandate is socialism.

You will never catch this bunny. You will never, so what you need to do is stand for what you believe in and bring a majority around your own ideas and govern. And it’s the biggest fallacy on the part of liberals is that that little hound dog running around that track is ever going to catch that bunny and that we will ever be able to compromise enough to appease the right wing in this country so they’ll actually govern with us in a responsible way. They have to be defeated at the ballot box by a stable governing majority that can implement the changes that we need in this country, whether they want to participate or not.

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