Once vilified as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who called Republicans "***holes," Van Jones is back with a new grass-roots movement, Politico reports. Ousted from his White House post as "green energy" czar 2 years ago, Jones has helped found the American Dream Movement, a coalition of hundreds of progressive organizations that are uniting to oppose conservative economic and social policies. Jones' inspiration? The "open-source brand" of the Tea Party, he says.
He also says "progressives were too quick to go from hopey to mopey" over the past 2 years. "They skipped right to the middle." Now he's riding a wave of progressive protest driven by the Occupy movement and liberals frustrated with Obama's policies. Jones' September summit, "Take Back the American Dream," drew a few thousand people, and some of them recently gathered for a jobs protest on Capitol Hill. Naturally, Republicans are taking aim again: It's "the same Marxist foolishness that he’s been preaching," says one GOP spokesman. "He’s on the wrong side of history here.” (Read more Van Jones stories.)