D’Souza Pwnd by Weekly Standard

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza’s latest lunatic theory—that Barack Obama’s presidency is explainable as a continuation of the “Kenyan anti-colonialist” politics of his father—doesn’t really deserve a rejoinder. Obama was deeply disillusioned with (some might say hated) his father, and the idea that he would model his entire presidency on the politics of a man he essentially disowned is patently ridiculous. But the worst ideas sometimes draw the best (and most useful) rebuttals, and D’Souza’s almost non-stop crankery is clearly a magnet for epic takedowns. Four years ago, Andrew Sullivan did the honors on D’Souza’s book blaming the Left for 9/11. This time around, the Weekly Standard‘s Andrew Ferguson is playing the Mike Rowe role. You should read the whole piece, but here’s the most important part:

Trained as a young man by Jesuits, D’Souza must be familiar with the principle of Occam’s razor: The simplest explanation is always the best; if it fits the case at hand, there’s no need to go looking for more complicated theories. Yet there’s a cramp in the mind of the committed party hack, a terrible need to believe that one’s adversaries are more ominous or sinister than observable reality suggests. Thus Bill Clinton wasn’t merely an opportunist; he had to be a committed leftist and a criminal to boot. George W. Bush wasn’t merely a well-meaning, incompetent conservative; he had to be a Falangist. What Obama truly represents—unchecked liberalism, genus Americanus—is worrisome enough without dragging in the sad, gin-soaked carcass of his father or the hypnotic power of Roberto Mangabeira Unger.

Now, two years into the Obama administration, we’re finally getting somewhere. Obama turns out to not be a Marxist, Nazi, Muslim, or Hippie. He’s just a liberal (and far from an all-out liberal, at that). Conservatives and liberals disagree about lots of important, core issues. So for one group, being a part of the other should be bad enough. There’s really no need to bring Nazism or fascism or the Taliban or Kenyan anti-colonialism into the discussion.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate