The cry of Creationists who want to get Biblical Creation or at least Intelligent Design into school curricula has been, "Teach the Controversy!" They claim they don't want their beliefs taught as settled fact, but they say that they want them taught alongside evolutionary science, the notion being that evolutionary science has gaps and leaps that allow for alternative explanations.
In my view, evolutionary science is what belongs in public school curricula because it can be tested by experiment and observation. Parents who want to teach Biblical Creation and Intelligent Design as plausible alternatives have the right to do so in the home or the house of worship.
But now the cry of "Teach the Controversy" is being taken up by the very people who try to use Creationism as a blunt instrument to bludgeon the Republican Party. Progressives, Liberals and Democrats on the Left of their party now want Americans to consider alternative explanations and theories... for the events of 9/11.
In their frenzy to characterize the expose of Van Jones's views as a "Right-wing smear," a number of folks on the Left defended outright his signing a 9/11 Truth petition that called for investigating the charge that the Bush Administration orchestrated the 9/11 attacks as a "false-flag operation" in order to create a pre-text for war.
John McWhorter writes in The New Republic:
Jones was wrong, actually, in disavowing his support for 9/11 conspiracy theory. He signed the document, which can only mean that he supports the idea that 9/11 was planned, or that the Bushies knew something more than they have said, or at least that the charge is plausible enough to require investigation.
But support for that idea is hardly unknown among people of the left – and often gestural in its own way; look one of these types in the eye and ask “Do you really think George Bush and his cabinet engineered the murder of thousands and have kept the secret for eight years?” and watch the nervous pause and the look off into the distance. Speculations in this vein hardly meant that Jones was not sincerely committed to working within the government to do good. (Hat tip: Hot Air.)
Jane Hamsher writes on the FireDogLake blog:
I first met Van Jones when he was honored last year by the Campaign for America's Future at their gala dinner. He was being swarmed by all of the liberal institutional elite, who just could not be more full of praise for the impressive environmental leader and prison reform organizer. Everybody wanted Van Jones on their board. Everyone wanted him at their fundraisers. Everyone wanted a piece of his formidable limelight.
Now he's been thrown under the bus by the White House for signing his name to a petition expressing something that 35% of all Democrats believed as of 2007 -- that George Bush knew in advance about the attacks of 9/11. Well, that and calling Republicans "assholes." I'm pretty sure that if you search through the histories of every single liberal leader at the CAF dinner that night, they have publicly said that and worse.
So where are all the statements defending Van Jones by those who were willing to exploit him when it served their purpose? Why aren't they standing up and defending one of their own, who has done nothing that probably the majority of people in the Democratic party haven't done at one time or another? Is he no longer "one of their own?" (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.
And blogger Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs joins the chorus, in this exchange with the investigative blogger "zombie":
zombie: But what about this document released by the Ella Baker Center when Jones was the head honcho there and giving quotes from Jones' group STORM, calling 9/11 a "bombing" with the statement
"No matter who ultimately is to blame for these bombings..."
...right below a quote from Jones.
It certainly pouts his in the Truther-Zone -- flirting with Truthism.
(And the was released nearly two months after 9/11, when it was well-known who did it - -at the very beginning of the truther movement.)
Johnson: That statement from STORM was released weeks after 9/11, when no one knew the full story. Lots of people were talking about the "bombing" of the World Trade Center then. That is not any kind of support for the contention that Van Jones is a Truther -- in fact, if that's all you can come up with, it reinforces my point that there is no evidence.
As someone who was in New York City on 9/11 and the days following, I know that there was no doubt about what happened to the Twin Towers that day: they were felled by the impact and fire damage from two jet airliners carrying full fuel loads. No one in New York that night or the next day had questions about bombs in the buildings -- no rational person, anyway. But hey, Johnson is all for the spirit of investigation when it's a Van Jones asking the questions.
In other words, "Teach The Controversy!"
These Left-Democrats aren't saying Bush did order the attacks, or that he did wilfully ignore warnings of the attacks to allow them to happen. They just want the questions put up for debate.
I know from experience that it is too much to ask Progressives and Leftists to be intellectually honest or even logically consistent with their own stated beliefs. But with the speed at which information flows today, and with the access to extensive archives of statements and pronouncements and news reports, you'd think they'd realize just how easy it is to juxtapose their conflicting words and actions.
"Teach the Controversy" isn't good policy regarding Creationism in public schools. It's far worse policy and politics in running one of America's two major political parties.