I mostly avoided coverage of the weekend’s 9/12 "teabagger" rally in Washington, DC; we were moving my daughter in to college. But the specter of race–and of conservatives challenging not just President Obama’s policies, but his legitimacy as president–is unavoidable. You saw it with the ambush of Van Jones, where a visionary leader for green economic development was brought down by a racially-motivated smear campaign. And you saw it in the "march" on Washington, where signs protesting healthcare reform were mixed with racist and deeply offensive posters.

Our editorial on the Jones resignation is here, and linked here is a great discussion on Laura Flanders’ GRIT TV about the relationship between race and the right’s attacks on President Obama. But for more perspective on the weekend’s tea-bagger protests, you should take a few minutes to watch The Nation‘s Melissa Harris-Lacewell on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, where they discuss the racial dimensions of Saturday’s rally and the right’s exploitation of 9/11 to delegitimize the president:

I also hope you’ll check-out the great slideshow our web team put together, "Race in the Obama Era," which tracks both the highs and lows of racial turmoil (and progress) since President Obama’s inauguration.

The best response to the Van Jones resignation, like our best response to most of the Fox News/far-right smears, is to work harder and continue to push our agenda. The next big fight after healthcare reform will be about cap & trade, and the conservative attacks on the "green jobs" czar have as much to do with protecting big oil as they do with racism.

The Progressive Book Club is offering to donate a dollar to the advocacy organization Green for All for every copy sold of Jones’ book, "The Green Collar Solution," and Green for All–along with local organizations like the Sustainable South Bronx and others–continue to push forward smart and timely proposals for "green collar" solutions to our economic crisis.

Quickly, three other items of note from our orbit this week:

The Nation‘s Jeremy Scahill broke another big story this week, about the suspicious electrocution death of Adam Hermanson, an employee of the military contractor Triple Canopy. Watch Jeremy’s interview on Democracy Now here.

• Our Washington, DC Editor Chris Hayes was on WHYY/Philadelphia’s RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane on Friday for agreat roundup of last week’s political news. Here’s his take on the healthcare debate and President Obama’s speech; the future of global warming legislation; and the anniversary or 9/11.

• Tickets are still remaining for a special event on September 23,"What Will Become of The News," a Nation salon/discussion featuring Dan Rather, Jane Mayer, Marcy Wheeler and The Nation‘s Victor Navasky in a conversation about the future of the news. It’s a fundraiser for The Nation (tickets include an open bar and great food) and a chance to ask questions and engage in debate and discussion up close with three of the finest journalists of our time. Buy tickets here.

Lastly, if you vote in New York City, vote for Richard Aborn for Manhattan D.A. in Tuesday’s primaries. See my endorsement here.