13 September 2010

D'Souza's Craziness Gets Owned

Dinesh D'Souza, a ridiculous right-wing commentator, recently wrote a ridiculous story for Forbes (the cover story!) where he said ridiculous things.

[O]ur President is trapped in his father's time machine. Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father's dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done.

Yes, he's arguing that Obama's policies can best be explained as attempts to imitate his father's "anticolonialism." His evidence is about as specious as you can get:

If Obama shares his father's anticolonial crusade, that would explain why he wants people who are already paying close to 50% of their income in overall taxes to pay even more. The anticolonialist believes that since the rich have prospered at the expense of others, their wealth doesn't really belong to them; therefore whatever can be extracted from them is automatically just. Recall what Obama Sr. said in his 1965 paper: There is no tax rate too high, and even a 100% rate is justified under certain circumstances.

Obama supports the Ground Zero mosque because to him 9/11 is the event that unleashed the American bogey and pushed us into Iraq and Afghanistan. He views some of the Muslims who are fighting against America abroad as resisters of U.S. imperialism. Certainly that is the way the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi portrayed himself at his trial. Obama's perception of him as an anticolonial resister would explain why he gave tacit approval for this murderer of hundreds of Americans to be released from captivity.

The story is being called some bad names by people like the Columbia Journalism Review: "a gross piece of innuendo—a fact-twisting, error-laden piece of paranoia. This is the worst kind of smear journalism—a singularly disgusting work."

Luckily, there are still sane people in the world. The Economist's Democracy in America blog mocks D'Sousa handily:

[W]hile I don't have any trouble understanding how Barack Obama thinks, I have a lot of trouble understanding how Dinesh D'Souza thinks. And if I were to try to understand his thinking using the same methods he uses to interpret Mr Obama, I might look to his Indian background, which is where he says he gained his insight into anti-colonialism. Mr D'Souza notes simply that he grew up in Mumbai, but a more complete accounting is that his parents were members of the Christian community in the state of Goa, which was colonised by Portugal.
Most Americans wouldn't have a hard time answering the question of why the government ought to guarantee all kids a good education. "Because it's not the kids' fault that their parents aren't rich PhD's" pretty much covers it. (Another reason: because, unlike India, we have the resources to do so.) So why would Mr D'Souza perform the moral contortionist's act necessary to justify elitism in education as integral to a "free society"? Well, here's an explanation modeled on the one Mr D'Souza provides for Mr Obama's views:
If Mr D'Souza grew up amongst a tiny hereditary elite desperately trying to protect its privileged status in a huge and bitterly poor third-world country, that would explain why he wants to make sure disadvantaged children are denied the educational opportunities his daughter receives.
A pretty wicked burn on a pretty ridiculous guy.

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