TAP on Dinesh D’Souza’s latest high-brow anti-Obama screed (via):
For whatever reason, elements of the right have chosen not to evaluate Barack Obama based on his actions or his policies but through the kind of postmodern literary interpretation that wouldn’t make it through the vetting process of a freshman bong circle at Wesleyan. In these retellings of Obama’s personal history, the president’s life is an epic, Marxist, sinister version of a Joseph Campbell-style heroic journey, with its hero ultimately falling, like Anakin Skywalker, to the dark side of the force.
There was a time when I knew liberals who wanted the left to “have its own Fox News”, but that was pretty isolated. The right consistently embraces caricatured versions of what it sees as leftist tropes, whether it is persecution narratives, relativism, or stuff they heard in college English classes.
And shame on Forbes for publishing this shit. Their leather daddy would not be proud.
Do you really need to know more than the fact that one of his names is “Hussein” and he was once in Indonesia and in Kenya?
That was a sickening piece by D’Souza. Truly pathetic and creepy.
I saw this and Gingrich’s screed the other day. It’s pseudo-intellectual word salad to disguise blatant racism. Saying Obama embraces “Kenyan anti-colonialism” is insane. But I suppose it’s more socially acceptable than saying “The black guy in the White House wants to go all Mau-Mau on your white asses.”
But if being a liberal means being a Kenyan anti-colonialist …I guess we’re all Kenyan anti-colonialists now.
I think most of them actually know that birtherism is a crock, but it annoys liberals. Therefore it must be pushed at every opportunity.
I wish they knew how much I’m annoyed when people drink poison.
I would like the liberals to have a popular media organization dedicated to getting its message out. This part is like Fox News. I would not want said organization to traffic in lies and distortion. This part is not like Fox News
The ultimate proof that Barack Obama knows nothing of our Founding Fathers can be found in his anti-colonialist attitudes.
@Dave: I once wrote a paper on the Mau-Mau for a political modernization course. I wonder what that says about me?
Pathetic and creep are D’souza’s middle name. As someone said over at Adam Serwer’s site D’Souza is still trying to please some kind of “gora sahib” or white master. You really can’t get any lower, intellectually or morally, than someone who will do anything to come inside from the racial/cultural divide that has made them feel small and powerless. D’Souza has always been willing to prostrate himself, and prostitute himself, in defense of powerful religious, social, and racial interests. This piece is just an extension of his general bootlicking.
among various leading post-hermeneutical theoreticians, a contra-dialectic meme of the type formally expressed by Gingrich et al is known by the technical term: “a distraction”.
I smell a tag.
The reason is pretty obvious.
I don’t know how you could possible say that any of the racism coming from Gingrich was disguised.
And this, of course, is what he is referring to:
If that is how racism is being disguised today, then I weep for the future.
The funny thing is that BHO Sr.’s academic career foundered when, in the first flush of independence, he criticized the political and economic policies of “African Sockialism’.
And now his son is accused by association with the very enemies who were explicit sockialists and who made it impossible for BHO Sr. to make a living in Kenya. With the result that he met a certain white lady in Hawaii…
This means that Dinesh D’Souza is on the side of the Sockialists, because he is out to get the Obamas, too. It figures because D’Souza is Goan, and the Communist Party of India has been awfully active in Goa over the last 60 years. I guess this means that D’Souza is not really stupid, but is a communist agent tasked with making American Christians look foolish. He is pretty damn successful at it!
Amanda in the South Bay
So our anti-colonialist President is doubling down on our colonialist venture in Afghanistan…how do I get paid large amounts of money to peddle shit?
@Amanda in the South Bay:
Well, you have to be a Republican first. The beauty of being a Republican is that you can espouse ridiculous viewpoints that are easily countered by facts because those facts don’t matter. And if you need to change your story, you can argue the opposite point without worry. Or even both at the same time!
The GOP must have one hell of a Paradox Machine in their headquarters…
c u n d gulag
You have to go a long way to out-D’souza, D’souza, but D’souza’s done it!
What a pathetic little ass-kissing weasel…
To Republicans and Conservatives: Stop with the metaphors and dog whistles, just say the word you want: N****R! Repeat X 11, or until you finally get your rocks off.
@Amanda in the South Bay:
Well, are you white, and kinda folksy? It helps if you own a pick-up truck and can cry on demand.
@Omnes Omnibus: Aha! you must mean the ‘Land Freedom Army’. When I did a semester abroad in 1987 in Kenya the first thing they did was sit us down for a 30 minute movie clarifying how the ‘Mau Mau’ was a legitimate peasant uprising. I think they assumed that our impression of Kenya was a terribly violent, deadly place.
I don’t know why someone like Dinesh D’Souza or Newt Gingrich says the terrible things they say. Maybe I’ll never understand that mentality. But given that you and I know relatively little about D’Souza personally, don’t you think that assuming his bizarre mentality must stem from his race is sort of hasty? Maybe even a little offensive? Arguably it’s like the flip side of deciding Obama’s politics stem from “Kenyan anti-colonialism.”
Maybe he mispelled Keynes?
Obama is, after all, a Keynesian.
I thought the founding fathers were anti-colonial.
Or is the wrong quality of Obama’s anti-colonialism
We’ve now got two guys pushing Kenyan anti-colonial memes. That’s not a coincidence.
And I don’t see how escalating the rhetoric against Obama helps the GOP. If the Dems are apathetic this cycle, attacking Obama personally is only going to get Dems to rush to his defense, even if they’re disappointed with the progress of the last 2 years. It’s a basic ‘rally around the flag’ kind of reaction.
But put me down as a vote to make that either a tag or at least in the banner rotation.
Conservatives are all about the Myth and The Narrative. Look what they did to Ronald Reagan. They pretend he wasn’t the guy responsible for the biggest tax hikes in modern history after really screwing up the economy with the discredited “Trickle Down” theory. They pretend he was the toughest SOB around, sinking the evil empire, and do not acknowledge how he rewarded terrorism when he pulled the Marines out of Beirut after the suicide bombing of their barracks.
Forbes is a vanity publication masquerading as a business magazine. This particular instance of Obama Derangement should be regarded as a demonstration of the weirdness of Steve Forbes– in case you didn’t already know.
@R-Jud: Having nice juggs and/or fuck-me boots doesn’t hurt.
@Xenos: Yes, that is what I meant.
I love the graf where he pretends to be confused as to how oil consumption is relevant to an oil spill.
For the record, the bong circles at Wesleyan are often comparable to the finest fin-de-siècle Parisian salons. Er, or so I’ve heard…
Maybe you don’t know enough about D’Souza personality to make those kinds of judgments, but anyone with a passing familiarity with his “academic work” would understand that he is an utterly loathsome, unscrupulous asshole. You are talking about someone in D’Souza who argues that liberal Americans are at least partially to blame for 9/11, and once said–on national television— that he finds some of the criticisms from radical, anti-American extremists to be legitimate.
At what point do you stop giving people like D’Souza respect that they actively work to shit on? When do you start taking his words, behaviors, and actions at face value for illuminating who he is as a person?
I would take the time to read this screed by Dish Dezouzu, but I’m not going to.
Well the left does this too, but generally it’s to ridicule and mock. (ala Jon Stewart and Colbert) The right seems to consistantly fail to be able to do that “hey laught at me as a deadpan this reidiculusiousness. ” Comedians seem to be willing to supress ego for the desire to please an audience. The right-wing top dogs just can’t let go of ego long enough to do that.
@Midnight Marauder: You don’t seem to have read my comment, in which I hardly argued D’Souza should be given respect or that his opinions are anything other than contemptible.
I wonder if the political right would make hay of an American liberal Democrat with the following background?
From Wikipedia: “D’Souza was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, to parents from the state of Goa in Western India. He arrived in the United States in 1978…..”
Dinesh D’Souza practices a particularly egregious form of stupid.
Anyone else noticed that Kenyan + yes = Keynesyan ?
Kinda makes ya think, dontit?
@Steve: Primo snark there!
You know who else opposed the British Empire….
that’s right, George Washington.
This really is the dumbest right-wing meme ever, which means it will be on CNN within the hour.
I like how Newt Fucking Gingrich is capable of reading this and saying, “Dinesh D’Souza is right — there’s no place in politics for ideas drawn from a resentful, philandering megalomaniac!”
Sullivan, responding to a random Obama critic:
Reminds of a line I heard once about the genius of the Viennese: They managed to convince the entire world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler wasn’t.
No, I read and understood your comment, but I was addressing your contention about not knowing D’Souza personally and it potentially being offensive to note his odd racial rhetoric. What I was saying is that those grossly offensive comments he has uttered in the past serve as a very solid foundation for the idea that he harbors some very warped and disturbing views on race.
Such as this:
But why stop there? Let’s just take a look at some of his greatest hits on race:
In conclusion, fuck that guy.
“neo-colonialism”, “liberation theology”, “Kenyan” – doesn’t matter what they mean or if they’re backed up by facts. they’re all ways of reinforcing the idea that Obama is exotic, different, intellectual, foreign.
@Mike #36: Funnily enough (because my mind tends to anagram things whether I want it to or not), I actually *did* notice that! Heh.
@thread: I think I saw somewhere (maybe at Media Matters? Can’t remember) that the D’Souza article in Forbes is an extract of a forthcoming book on Obama. I’m going to go way out on a limb here with a couple of predictions: (1) it will be published in late October, and the author will be doing a high-profile book-signing publicity tour in the days leading up to the elections; and (2) bet any amount of money that a prominent cover blurb, or perhaps even the foreword, will be contributed by Newt. I don’t believe for one second that he “just happened” to stumble across it in Forbes, which is kind of the message he’s trying to put out.
Maybe you didn’t understand it. I didn’t say it was offensive to note D’Souza’s racial rhetoric. I asked whether it was maybe a tad lazy or offensive to assume that D’Souza says these crazy things for a reason that is rooted in D’Souza’s race. There are plenty of lily-white wingnuts, like Newt Gingrich, who seem happy to say the exact same things as D’Souza.
@Mike: Yes We Kenyan?
Agreed. But D’Souza isn’t lily-white (which is kind of why his comments garner so much scrutiny) and his history of rhetoric on race is filled with the kinds of examples that make you legitimately wonder if he has self-loathing issues and such a veneration for dominant white culture, where he is driven to write things like “The American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.” Normal, well-adjusted people do not write sentences like that. And I don’t think it’s lazy or offensive to assume such positions because his empirical record of written work very much affirms this.
I would maintain that it’s less surprising this day in age for someone like Newt Gingrich to make that argument (heterosexual white male) than it is someone like Dinesh D’Souza (male, originally born in India, Evangelical Christian).
Tim Burke, who actually knows a lot about African anti-colonialism, responds.
You know, between your brilliance over at DeLong’s place yesterday and this comment today, I am thinking I’d turn lesbian for you, aimai.
You’ve been on a roll, girlfriend. Your grandfather would be proud.
It’s amazing how much the right has embraced the elements of the left that they once denounced so loudly (and not without some good reason, I might add): race-based identity politics and victimization (what else is the appeal of Beck and Palin?), dreams of global conquest to create the utopian society around the world (the neoconservative worldview), and a total embrace of postmodernism (where objective truth does not exist, but is merely a social construct dependent upon whether one is a Real ‘Murkan or an “elitist”).
Where is Alan Sokal when you need him?
Any less disguised, and they’ll be shrieking “N-word” over and over. How bereft the GOP has become.
D’Souza is the white Michelle Malkin. The amusing thing is that if D’Souza (or Bobby Jindal, for that matter) were to wander into a Tea Party rally or a “Ground Zero Mosque” protest unannounced, they’d probably get stoned (and not in the good way).
@hilzoy: That’ll leave a mark. Thanks for the link.
This is the most cogent and rational explanation I have heard so far.
Although the actual realization of such efforts was often hypocritical or even anti-independence (the US’ typical policy of supporting or installing tyrants throughout the 3rd world), the US was formally for decolonization (self-determination) of colonized areas — as expressed in 1941’s Atlantic Charter.
So, I guess D’Souza opposes FDR’s push for self-determination! Fuck India’s independence!
First, what’s wrong with being anti-colonialists? Isn’t the whole “tea party movement” named after an anti-colonialist act?
Second, my understanding of Pres Obama’s history is that his father was absent from his life, so when did he instil all of this anti-colonialists Kenyan sentiment?
Third, D’Souza is a shameful race hustler, so fuck him.
@Anya: Their version of “anti-colonialism” (see D’Dumbass’ definition) means a bunch of angry Commie dark skin natives rising up to kill Western values and blame successful whites and a perpetual dedication to ruining decent white Western nations.
@EdTheRed: You’d better believe it!
ChristianPinko, Wes ’87
No. I don’t think its a bit hasty. Actually D’Souza’s function as a token Asian conservative, a “model minority” spokesman, goes all the way back to his Dartmouth days. In South Asian context he belongs to a specific minority: Catholics from Goa. In the US he has chosen to be “plus royaliste que le Roi” by emphasizing a brutal, more Catholic, anti-liberal/anti gay agenda even to the extent of accusing the US Bishops of being tools of the liberals.
Look, just because its both racist and historically and biographically inaccurate for D’souza to insist that Barack Obama, who has written extensively on the subject and who has a well known biography to the contrary, is some kind of closet Kenyan Mau Mau doesn’t mean that it is illegitimate to look at D’Souza’s own public history and think “someone’s got issues.” His issues are that he got to this country and instead of aligning himself with liberals and non-racists he threw himself into the embrace of the most racist, reactionary, forces at Dartmouth College. If Obama had actually come to Harvard Law and started the Kenyan Lost Boys Association for Killing White Folks I would have no hesitation in saying there was something to that analysis. But he didn’t. Meanwhile, D’Souza did precisely that, in a Dartmouth context. He joined up with a party which, if you look at the fate of Jindal, will never fully support him *because of his race* and he attempted to distinguish himself from other non-whites by being more agressively reactionary than even his white colleagues. Yah. Someone’s got issues. And anyone who knows anything about the Indian Sub continent and the history of Catholicism there knows that those who converted have serious issues stemming from social and caste issues translated through a foreign religion which has, up until recently, reserved its top positions for white guys.
So, he followed the Clarence Thomas model?
D’Souza is more like Steele than Thomas. Thomas is pretty close-mouthed…the man barely speaks in public. Steele is PAID to speak in public (although the GOP should really ask for a refund on that one on the basis of malpractice), as is D’Souza (okay, WRITE in public, so to speak).
@aimai: I think you are one of the most thoughtful and interesting commentors I will ever have the pleasure of reading on the Internet, but I still think liberals are too quick to whip out the “self-loathing” argument whenever they encounter a minority conservative. I think we might overestimate our aptitude at instant psychoanalysis.
Consider, for example, Larison’s argument against D’Souza: Obama is a mainstream Democrat who espouses the exact same policy views as countless other mainstream Democrats. Therefore, rather than concocting theories about how Obama can only be explained by reference to Luo tribesmania or whatever, maybe the more sensible conclusion is that he came to those views for pretty much the same reason as all those other mainstream Democrats.
Can we not make the same point when it comes to analyzing D’Souza? Sure, what D’Souza said about blaming liberals for 9/11 is nutty – but Pat Robertson is the same kind of nutty. Sure, what he said about Obama’s father is nutty – but Newt Gingrich is the same kind of nutty. Rather than instantly leaping to the conclusion that D’Souza says these things because of his race or ethnic origin, maybe the more sensible conclusion is that he’s simply a wingnut.
I add the following from Professor Krugman.
” Ex-Im Bonkers
Via Jon Chait, a stark demonstration of the madness that has overtaken the American right. It seems that Newt Gingrich is approvingly citing an article in Forbes by Dinesh D’Souza, alleging that Obama is a radical pursuing a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” agenda.
His prime example is that the Export-Import Bank has made a loan to Brazil’s offshore oil project, which D’Souza finds incomprehensible except as a plan to shift power away from the West.
Except, you know, the Ex-Im bank’s job is to promote US exports — and this was a loan for the specific purpose of buying US-made oilfield equipment. And the board approving the loan was … a board appointed by George W. Bush.
In other words, aside from being ignorant, this is complete the-Commies-are-putting flouride in the water to steal our vital bodily fluids stuff. Yet there it is in Forbes, being cited by the former Speaker of the House, who is a regular guest on Sunday TV.
Scary.” For more on the whole made up absurd storry, you can read about it http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/braziloil.asp
But the is 30% of the people will believe it as gospel, another 30% won’t be sure, and the folks in the MSM will find themselves adopting this meme that perhaps Obama was induldging in his “Kenyan anti-colonial” nature while helping George Soros at the same time. (George Soros, the one Jew, along with Rahm, that the right can openly hate and demonize.) And I think that is what KThug means by scary, that D’Souza, and Gingrich can put out what is a lie and feel bullet proof about it. I am sure next summers impeachment hearings will give this charge a lengthy hearing.
But the problem with your analysis is that it completely ignores the arc of D’Souza’s cultural and political history, especially after he came to the United States. Moreover, you keep wanting to maintain that D’Souza and people like Newt Gingrich are motivated by the same forces in their criticism, when they have two entirely different histories. You are talking about someone in D’Souza who wrote an entire book in 1995–700 pages–that featured statements like “Segregation was intended to assure that blacks, like the handicapped, would be insulated from the radical racists and – in the paternalist view – permitted to perform to the capacity of their arrested development”
Your primary argument, it seems, is cautioning against “instant psychoanalysis,” but what you keep overlooking is that no one is making their case against D’Souza based solely on this article, or even what he’s written in the past 20 months. This is an individual who has a long and sordid history of being a race baiter. The kind of person who founds a newspaper at Dartmouth that engages in the following kinds of stunts:
This is what I’m talking about. D’Souza’s track record goes all the way back to the mid-1980s. There is nothing new here, except some of the names and places he talks about.
Of course, D’Souza is also the same person who once said the following about blacks and Ronald Reagan:
The guy is a case study waiting to happen.
The Economist blog plays a bit of D’Souza’s crazy anti-Obamunist derangement on D’Souza.
Actually, I don’t think it unlikely at all that D’Souza would be a person drawn to the racist elitist American right due to anti-Indian Goan Catholic pro-elitist radicalism.
It may be unfair to portray this analysis as having been backed by evidence, but is not different than any number of 3rd world intellectuals siding with Europeanized elites against the hordes.
This would be quite familiar to anyone experienced with the typical hideously elitist and quite commonly Catholic (due to the church’s direct involvement in ruling Latin American societies, not really a religious preference) figures of Latin America expressing their hatred for the prospects that any of the dark masses would one day come to power via some sort of uncontrolled democracy.
Well, that’s way too complimentary to the actual substance of D’Souza’s piece that someone would take the time to distinguish the general anti-colonial from more specific (and varied) neocolonial and nationalist and ideas.
Nice catch. That is one fucking awesome smackdown.
@geg6: To be honest, I had considered the same exact thing before. I just didn’t want to really air it. (And I don’t think I did.) Once I encountered that D’Souza was born from parents from Goa, raised a Catholic, was a member of the elites, and went to Jesuit schools, it did seem to give a likely context for his darkie-hatred.
Not to mention that it’s so de rigeur for immigrants to the US, particularly those who were among local elites, to immediately take up a clear racist position against American blacks, because nothing is clearer to those arriving in America than that African Americans occupy the absolute lowest rung of the ethnic prejudice ladder and that anyone expecting to integrate successfully into US society immediately adopt such prejudices.
Including people from heavily African populations such as the Caribbean or Brazil or Africa. You want to make sure that people know that you’re not that kind of black, you’re the hard-working other type.
(It’s not universal — most Haitian immigrants to Florida end up living in black communities, partly because Haitians are desperately poor and only a tiny, tiny few will ever end up among US elites. It is very much a mix of race and class.)
Kathy in St. Louis
Some very right wing friend of mine linked to this article on facebook. Seemed to be about why Obama is anti free enterprise? I wrote back that it was hard to imagine that Forbes Magazine would present Obama as against the free enterprise system. Uh, yes.
These folks are, officially, looney…no other word for it. They have absolutely nothing to hang this argument on. Of course, that has never stopped them in the past.
This, exactly. I have listened to the right explain what a liberal believes without ever really citing a liberal who believes that stuff – they just make shit up, including all the scary stuff they can, then say that is what liberalism is. When they are faced with the reality of what liberalism is, all they can do is sputter – but then go back to their strawmen and made up shit. It’s like they can’t actually articulate liberalism because then people would ask what is wrong with that.
@BC: RFK and JFK, 1961:
More TeaTard Birchers from 1961:
Another Democratic President, another springing up of rich right-winger backed ultra-right anti-democracy ass-holes.