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Governed By A Ghost
September 16, 2010 11:01 AM   Subscribe

This week's issue of Forbes features a cover story by Dinesh D'Souza that argues that "the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s," along with an editorial featuring a picture of Obama's head photoshopped onto Joseph Stalin's body.

Former House Speaker and possible 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich embraced D'Souza's article, describing it as "brilliant." Glenn Beck hailed D'Souza as "someone who really gets it." Conservative blogger Daniel Larison, on the other hand, called it "possibly be the most ridiculous piece of Obama analysis yet written."

Implying that Obama's loyalties are with Africa rather than with America is nothing new for conservatives, who have accused him of being an old school African colonial, lacking a "blood impulse" for America, using the name "Barack" to identify with Africa, and putting "tribal interests" ahead of American ones.

Adam Serwer describes the article as "birtherism with big words," and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has accused Newt Gingrich of "trying to appeal to the fringe" of birthers. Gibbs is meeting with Forbes staff today to discuss the article.
posted by EarBucket (129 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
As far as I know, Obama hasn't killed ten million of his own citizens, but we're still pretty early into his first term.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:05 AM on September 16, 2010 [25 favorites]


And just like that, POOF!, I lost whatever respect I had for Steve Forbes.

Bummer. I liked the flat tax idea, too.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:06 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. Forbes is a shitty magazine.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:06 AM on September 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


Everything you need to know about this article is in Rogers Cadenhead's takedown of it.
posted by mathowie at 11:06 AM on September 16, 2010 [24 favorites]


Hey look, it's the return of Steve Forbes. If Newt is thinking of running, perhaps Steve-o is entertaining the idea again himself. Mr "comedy-club impression of what would happen if some mad scientist decided to construct a dork robot." [Time magazine]
posted by edgeways at 11:08 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


.....I'm ready to whip out my "Communicable form of dementia" theory now.
posted by The Whelk at 11:08 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


.....I'm ready to whip out my "Communicable form of dementia" theory now.

Bob Roberts meets Pontypool. Go.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:09 AM on September 16, 2010


That Adam Serwer piece is great.
posted by brundlefly at 11:09 AM on September 16, 2010


Why is the business elite in the U.S. batshit insane? No, seriously... Why?
posted by ennui.bz at 11:12 AM on September 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


Sorry, I can't read more than half of the first page of that article without hurting my blood pressure and sanity. Quotes like the following are just utter nonsense:
Obama's foreign policy is no less strange. He supports a $100 million mosque scheduled to be built near the site where terrorists in the name of Islam brought down the World Trade Center. Obama's rationale, that "our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable," seems utterly irrelevant to the issue of why the proposed Cordoba House should be constructed at Ground Zero.
posted by nomadicink at 11:15 AM on September 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Flat tax would be a great idea if the $100,001st dollar earned in income was as important as the first.
posted by organic at 11:16 AM on September 16, 2010 [39 favorites]


Colonialism today is a dead issue.

what are we doing in iraq and afghanistan, then?
posted by pyramid termite at 11:17 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Why is the business elite in the U.S. batshit insane? No, seriously... Why?

Nothing insane about making shit up to further your political goals, just incredibly cynical and immoral.
posted by ghharr at 11:17 AM on September 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


The accusation that Obama is a radical "anti-colonial" (as if that were a bad thing!) is particularly odious coming from Newt Gingrich, a man whose PhD dissertation was on the history of the Belgian Congo.

On a lighter note: "Ah, I've just got one thing to say to you, Tteve Torbes - tuck off!"
posted by dhens at 11:17 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is the business elite in the U.S. batshit insane?

Steve Forbes isn't the "business elite in the U.S."; he inherited everything he has, trading on the hard work of his father and grandfather. He's just wannabe American aristocracy.

Frankly, I don't see how he makes money from a magazine at this point in time. I'm guessing that most of his anti-tax positions are based on him being seriously worried that he can run out of money. He certainly doesn't know how to make it himself.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:17 AM on September 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


This is like a fractal bit of batshitinsane. Every small part of it is as batshitinsane as any other part in whole.
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 AM on September 16, 2010 [29 favorites]


There is nothing more un-American than being opposed to the British Empire.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:19 AM on September 16, 2010 [32 favorites]


Ugh. D'Souza. Another 90's NeoCon clowning for attention & relevency with the Teabaggers.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:19 AM on September 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Christ those Overton window shifts are brutal. How did I end up so far to the left of Kenyan anticolonialism?
posted by kipmanley at 11:19 AM on September 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


Yet he wants to spend even more and is determined to foist the entire bill on Americans making $250,000 a year or more. The rich, Obama insists, aren't paying their "fair share." This by itself seems odd given that the top 1% of Americans pay 40% of all federal income taxes; the next 9% of income earners pay another 30%. So the top 10% pays 70% of the taxes; the bottom 40% pays close to nothing. This does indeed seem unfair--to the rich.

The jokes just write themselves.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:20 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Man, I wish we were ruled by a ghost. That would be badass.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:20 AM on September 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


oooh, right, D'Souza. [penny drops] that racist arrogant asshole. I recall his race-baiting hate filled self now.
posted by edgeways at 11:21 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's been sad watching Newt flail about, trying to grasp some thread of relevancy in a post-Palin, teabagger world.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:21 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obama's rationale, that "our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable," seems utterly irrelevant to the issue of why the proposed Cordoba House should be constructed at Ground Zero.

You would think that business types would be more sensitive to property rights -- that buddy owns property and he should be able to do whatever he damn well wants with it, pray, open a little restaurant, install natural gas flare vents without the EPA bugging him every ten minutes, whatever.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:22 AM on September 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Read it and wept.
posted by tommasz at 11:23 AM on September 16, 2010


It's batshit insanity all the way down.
posted by iamabot at 11:23 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, no not batshit insane. They are perfectly sane evil people who know exactly what they are doing (and the not-at-all evil, but entirely too credulous citizens that listen to them).
posted by oddman at 11:24 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I had heard of this D'Souza guy but this was my first experience actually reading his nonsense. Not only is his central thesis ENTIRELY unsupported, but his writing just plain sucks. Amateurish on every level. It's hard enough to understand why D'Souza came to such specious conclusions, but even more mystifying that any serious publication would print his drivel.
posted by Edgewise at 11:24 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"The President isn't exactly a socialist. So what's driving his hostility to private enterprise?"

Perhaps he's figured out that if current trends in wealth inequality continue, Steve Forbes' head will be on a pike in 10 years.
posted by benzenedream at 11:24 AM on September 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


Christ, what a D'ick.
posted by rusty at 11:24 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


And just like that, POOF!, I lost whatever respect I had for Steve Forbes.

You had respect for Steve Forbes?
posted by delmoi at 11:25 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


D'Souza, you dumb fuckin' hump: "Barack Obama is the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in American history."

Here's Lincoln on the matter: "The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the Bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed."


For fuck's sake, a good fraction of them were farmers and deeply mistrustful of banks, a prerequisite for corporation dominance. Here's Thomas Jefferson :"The system of banking [I] have... ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction, which is already hit by the gamblers in corruption, and is sweeping away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens."

"I consider the class of artificers [i.e., manufacturers] as the panders of vice and the instruments by which the liberties of a country are generally overturned."

Thomas Jefferson plainly called corporations pimps and whores, fought against them tooth and nail, and somehow Obama's worse than that?
posted by boo_radley at 11:25 AM on September 16, 2010 [72 favorites]


"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" Gingrich asks. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."

"Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior"? That's some nifty doublespeak right there. Like when you're walking down the street and you see some youths on the corner ahead exhibiting, you know, Kenyan anti-colonial behavior, so you check to make sure you're wallet's still in your pocket and cross the street. Or like when the cops see a guy driving in that Kenyan anti-colonial way behind the wheel of an expensive car, so they pull him over.

But hey, this has nothing to do with race. Some of my best friends are known to exhibit Kenyan anti-colonial behavior. Right, Dinesh? Right, Newt?

Oh well. Guess we always knew it'd be a tough ride for America's first Kenyan, anti-colonial president.
posted by gompa at 11:28 AM on September 16, 2010 [30 favorites]


Hey Liberals? How many times does Newt Gingrich have to lie to you before you deem him irrelevant? They feed off your outrage, it makes them stronger.
posted by any major dude at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2010


I almost posted this yesterday but thought not ...

Gingrich: Obama Wants Whitey’s Money, David Frum

Escaping Tolerance: D'Souza's Ghosts, Michael Winship
posted by mrgrimm at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


May I just say, irrespective of his actual policy "ideas", Steve Forbes has always looked like a slightly rabid chipmunk to me. And, I guess if I'm bringing up looks, his head-shot in the editorial is pretty out of date, it's not 1990 anymore.
posted by edgeways at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The start of the D'Souza phenomenon came in 1995, when he published The End of Racism. Written to ride the wave of books and articles that called for white America to get over its racial guilt, it included lines like the "American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well." It was so sloppy and unconvincing that it killed the genre for a few years; it's a 700-page doorstop by a one-time AEI scholar that no one cites today. The next D'Souza implosion came in 2007, with the publication of another book that killed its genre. The Enemy at Home consisted of an argument that the "left" was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. That was an irresistible hook for a publisher, especially after the public had turned on the Bush administration and the war on terror. But D'Souza made such a hash out of it that the people who had danced around the left-and-9/11 idea realized how deeply stupid it was. Victor Davis Hanson joined the mob and pointed out, as politely as he could, that D'Souza's enemies list was "nonsensical."
posted by delmoi at 11:31 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


As far as I know, Obama hasn't killed ten million of his own citizens, but we're still pretty early into his first term.

The journey of a million dead begins with a single step.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:31 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why is the business elite in the U.S. batshit insane? No, seriously... Why?

Forbes lives in an imaginary world created by a trust fund. Sanity requires some real world context.
posted by humanfont at 11:31 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Obama is in fact Haile Selassie.

/photoshops in a big doobie and a dope leaf.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh well. Guess we always knew it'd be a tough ride for America's first Kenyan, anti-colonial president.

From Frum link above: "When last was there such a brazen outburst of race-baiting in the service of partisan politics at the national level?"

Certainly nowhere as impactful as Willie Horton. (I'd say the whole "birther" movement, I guess.)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:32 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Rigid ideologists have long known how to make tactical maneuvers to further their ultimate goals." No shit, Steve Forbes.
posted by Dasein at 11:32 AM on September 16, 2010


I wouldn't be suprised to see a republican control congress sink big money into chasing birther bullshit.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, and once again, this is all pretty much the Southern Strategy:
You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger"
posted by boo_radley at 11:33 AM on September 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


that racist arrogant asshole. I recall his race-baiting hate filled self now

For a while, the right wing resentfully felt obligated to try hiding their racism - however unsuccessfully. But now with the Teabaggers in the ascendancy, the dog whistles shall become increasingly audible.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:34 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


They believed the nation was a "new order for the ages." A half-century later Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of America as creating "a distinct species of mankind." This is known as American exceptionalism. But when asked at a 2009 press conference whether he believed in this ideal, Obama said no. America, he suggested, is no more unique or exceptional than Britain or Greece or any other country.

Fringe Republicans are jingoists. They cannot tolerate any suggestion that non-Americans have something valuable to contribute in the world, or that they can be trusted since they are outsiders.

This is front page news for Forbes, is it?

What then is Obama's dream? We don't have to speculate because the President tells us himself in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. According to Obama, his dream is his father's dream. Notice that his title is not Dreams of My Father but rather Dreams from My Father. Obama isn't writing about his father's dreams; he is writing about the dreams he received from his father.

Of course. And since Prescott Bush was a supporter of Planned Parenthood and the Negro College Fund, I can assume that all of his children and grandchildren hold exactly the same values and apply them in exactly the same way.

Rejecting the socialist formula, Obama has shown no intention to nationalize the investment banks or the health sector. Rather, he seeks to decolonize these institutions, and this means bringing them under the government's leash. That's why Obama retains the right to refuse bailout paybacks--so that he can maintain his control. For Obama, health insurance companies on their own are oppressive racketeers, but once they submitted to federal oversight he was happy to do business with them. He even promised them expanded business as a result of his law forcing every American to buy health insurance.

Yeah, what kind of asshole would demand that corporations obey the law Imperial Decree or treat other nations with respect?

"I hope [that] we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength and [to] bid defiance to the laws of our country."

"I wish that all nations may recover and retain their independence; that those which are overgrown may not advance beyond safe measures of power; that a salutary balance may be ever maintained among nations; and that our peace, commerce and friendship may be sought and cultivated by all."

Brought to you by Thomas Jefferson: Socialist and Anti-Colonialist America Hater
posted by notion at 11:34 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Uh. If the worst thing there was to say about our president is that he's anti-colonial, then I think we'd be in pretty good shape.
posted by lullaby at 11:34 AM on September 16, 2010


"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."

Soooo...9/11 wasn't the reason the U.S. invaded Iraq and Afghanistan? Moreover, how can a single event "unleash" something and "push" it?

If I were a university professor and this article was handed in as an essay I'd give it an F.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:35 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Touché, munchingzombie.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:35 AM on September 16, 2010


What disturbs me is that the loyal opposition increasingly resorts to name calling instead of rational arguements and thus moves further to the growing bunch of malcontents called
the Tea Party. They want TAX CUTS and also Balanced Budget--a sure sign of their confusion.
posted by Postroad at 11:36 AM on September 16, 2010


"Anti-colonial" as an insult? Wha? Wasn't the Revolutionary War essentially an anti-colonial act? Does D'Souza think his birth country should still be ruled by the Raj?
posted by dirigibleman at 11:38 AM on September 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


No, no not batshit insane. They are perfectly sane evil people who know exactly what they are doing (and the not-at-all evil, but entirely too credulous citizens that listen to them).

My answer to my own question is that since Clinton, we've seen a seismic shift in the Democratic party towards policies which are fundamentally friendly to big business and big finance. Obama (and Clinton before him) both in ideology and policy is closer to Nelson Rockefeller than F.D.R. As has been mentioned before, Obama's health care plan looks a lot like the Republican response to Clinton's health care plan and he (Obama) raised a heckuva lot of money from the hedge fund people.

But, this shift leaves very little room for the Republican party, because a Republican party without Wall Street is the party of racist white people and/or religious fanatics i.e. Sarah Palin. The Republicans are driven to these extremes because they are desperate and this explains the insane hate for both Clinton and Obama: they don't have anything else to throw at the Democrats.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:39 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


"The President isn't exactly a socialist. So what's driving his hostility to private enterprise?"

Perhaps he's figured out that if current trends in wealth inequality continue, Steve Forbes' head will be on a pike in 10 years.


Why wait?
posted by MasonDixon at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


"In 1994 Newt Gingrich, the architect of the historic Republican takeover of both houses of Congress during Clinton's first term, declared that the best way to beat the Democrats was to portray them as supporters of 'Stalinist' policies and political values." -- Susan Jacoby

Same shit, different decade.
posted by blucevalo at 11:43 AM on September 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Man, is it just me or is this the ugliest the right has ever been? I mean, during the 1990s the republicans were raging pretty hard core at the clintons, but at that point it was all about Bill and Hillary themselves. Now the (hard-core) right just seems to be overflowing with crazy-ass racism. I mean, stuff that doesn't even begin to make sense.
posted by delmoi at 11:44 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Man, I wish we were ruled by a ghost. That would be badass.

Up with Ghoulocracy!
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:46 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


> But, this shift leaves very little room for the Republican party, because a Republican party without Wall Street is the party of racist white people and/or religious fanatics i.e. Sarah Palin.

And they're running out of white people, racist or otherwise. Doesn't seem like a recipe for long term success to me, but then again Republicans don't seem very interested in long term planning these days.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:46 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, I wish we were ruled by a ghost. That would be badass.

Up with Ghoulocracy!


I'm thinking at least a vampire or a lich.
posted by Artw at 11:48 AM on September 16, 2010


or a lich.

We already had eight years of Cheney.
posted by The Whelk at 11:50 AM on September 16, 2010 [17 favorites]


I'm with boo. But I can't get over the immediate, bald self-contradiction:
Barack Obama is the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in American history ... Obama runs up taxpayer debt not in the billions but in the trillions.
Where are all these dollars going, anyway? Since Obama is anti-business, I guess none of them are being spent on construction contractors, military contractors, or weapons contractors. We must be spending it all on schoolteachers. Who have sworn to stuff the money into their mattresses and to never spend it at any sort of business of any kind, MWAHAHAHAHAH.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:50 AM on September 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Ramesh Ponnuru has a good (though short) take-down of D'Souza's piece in National Review. National Review and D'Souza are pretty staunch allies; D'Souza has written for them. So I don't think any National Review writer would criticize D'Souza lightly, especially when he seems to have a whole upcoming book on the topic. Reading between the lines, Ponnuru's piece has an air of: I can't believe this nut is on our side.
posted by John Cohen at 11:57 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Perhaps a nazgul or a ghast would be alright? How about a wight? Poltergeist?
posted by oddman at 12:00 PM on September 16, 2010


Printer-friendly version of D'Souza's article.
posted by John Cohen at 12:00 PM on September 16, 2010


This is literally the dumbest thing I've ever seen. So stupid.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:05 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Anti-colonial" as an insult?

It's another (racially weighted) dog whistle. Don't you remember the college campus battles of the '90s (not coincidentally how D'Souza was unfortunately noticed)?

Post-colonialism = multiculturalism.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:07 PM on September 16, 2010


Does D'Souza think his birth country should still be ruled by the Raj?

Yes, probably.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:08 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


More evidence of Obama's "anti-business agenda" (and it's a very good thing, just not for certain ass hats): It's been confirmed that Elizabeth Warren will be appointed on an interim basis to head the new consumer protection agency.

In accordance with the financial reform legislation as enacted (or as one of these Machiavellian creeps would spin it "in flagrant disregard of constitutional separation of powers"), no congressional confirmation required. Possibly ever. This is making the executive types very unhappy, because Warren is an actual, credible consumer advocate.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:09 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The journey of a million dead begins with a single step.

Huh?
posted by outlandishmarxist at 12:12 PM on September 16, 2010


A guy from India is saying that anti-colonialism is bad? I am going to assume he came from a family that was pretty well off under British rule. Or he is an idiot. Actually, I'll just go with both.
posted by nestor_makhno at 12:19 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


So there is this guy described in that article... a taste of his beliefs...

[He] grew to perceive the rich as an oppressive class, a kind of neocolonial power within America. In his worldview, profits are a measure of how effectively you have ripped off the rest of society, and America's power in the world is a measure of how selfishly it consumes the globe's resources and how ruthlessly it bullies and dominates the rest of the planet.

Who is this guy? Can I vote for this guy? 'Cause all that shit is pretty much obviously and objectively true.

God, I'm going to have to just stop consuming all media until this current election cycle is over. I feel like the sheer hammering force of relentless stupidity is going to start making my eyes bleed soon. I don't even want to think about what the real run-up to 2012 is going to be like. I might have to quit Metafilter for the whole year.
posted by nanojath at 12:21 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I used to have a subscription to Forbes. I would skip over the right-wing editorials (Yay Bush! Boo Taxes!) and read the investment-type articles. Then Obama was elected. The next issue of Forbes that arrived in the mail was just a big bag of angry froth.

I canceled my subscription.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:24 PM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's not batshit insane, it's the intoxication of power, among the oldest of human impulses.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:25 PM on September 16, 2010


[He] grew to perceive the rich as an oppressive class, a kind of neocolonial power within America. In his worldview, profits are a measure of how effectively you have ripped off the rest of society, and America's power in the world is a measure of how selfishly it consumes the globe's resources and how ruthlessly it bullies and dominates the rest of the planet.

Who is this guy? Can I vote for this guy? 'Cause all that shit is pretty much obviously and objectively true.


You're not distinguishing between opinion and fact. That paragraph is loaded with moral judgments and conjecture. Agree with those judgments? Fine, but your views aren't everyone's.

I don't agree with that paragraph. I doubt Obama agrees with that paragraph. More importantly, Obama doesn't act like he believes that paragraph.
posted by John Cohen at 12:29 PM on September 16, 2010


Dinesh D'Souza? The guy who wrote a book about how Republicans should team up with right-wing Muslims to get rid of libs? That guy?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:32 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


boo_radley : Thomas Jefferson plainly called corporations pimps and whores, fought against them tooth and nail, and somehow Obama's worse than that?

Well obviously. And for two reasons; Jefferson was a founding father, and therefore godlike and beyond reproach. And Obama is black.
posted by quin at 12:32 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


What disturbs me is that the loyal opposition increasingly resorts to name calling instead of rational arguements and thus moves further to the growing bunch of malcontents called
the Tea Party. They want TAX CUTS and also Balanced Budget--a sure sign of their confusion.


Well, they *do* want to cut all spending except for security. And whatever entitlement programs that the are currently using, but since the 'baggers seem to be a pretty selfish lot, each individual wants to keep only their particular entitlement; everyone else's can be cut. Of course, that part is their own li'l diary entry that nobody will ever know about.
posted by NoMich at 12:32 PM on September 16, 2010


boo_radley: Here's Lincoln on the matter: "The money powers prey upon the nation...

No it isn't; that quote is total fiction. Sorry, but I hat bogus quotations even more than I hate Dinesh D'Souza, and that's saying something.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:33 PM on September 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


Rather, I hate them, not hat them.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:33 PM on September 16, 2010


Here is a man who spent his formative years--the first 17 years of his life--off the American mainland, in Hawaii, Indonesia and Pakistan, with multiple subsequent journeys to Africa.
I'm surprised nobody here (nor rcade in the post Matt linked) has picked up on the mention of Pakistan. Didn't he spend only three weeks in India and Pakistan combined?

By that logic, I have spent my formative years outside the Randstad, in Limburg, Turkey and America, with multiple subsequent journeys to the Spanish costa.

Taken with the odd inclusion of Hawaii (as rcade does note), even in the most charitable interpretation I don't see how one would use this phrase as anything other than a wilful attempt to paint Obama as foreign (from an American perspective, of course).

ON PREVIEW: Hang on, didn't he visit Pakistan only in 1981? He would have been 19 or 20 then. If this is true, then when Obama was 17 he hadn't visited Pakistan at all.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:37 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is just one more iteration of loudly noting for the record that he's not white, and I'm predicting it won't stick and they'll go back to calling him a terrorist, black panther, draft-dodger, bra-burner, whatever the hell else they've been saying. People who've been paying attention know that he's not an anti-colonialist (not that he's necessarily a pro-colonialist, but just ... it's not the most relevant classification, you know?) and people who haven't been paying attention have no idea what the hell anti-colonialism is. Really, is there any kind of consensus among troglodyte zealots for or against colonialism? Is that term even on their radar? It just doesn't have the same zing to it as Islamo-fascist.
posted by creasy boy at 12:39 PM on September 16, 2010


Funny snippet from D'Souza's Wikipedia page:
D'Souza is a noted conservative, and defines conservatism in the American sense as "conserving the principles of the American Revolution".
Um...? (In short, what East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 said.)

Most everything Dinesh D'Souza says and does just cries out, "Let's take a relaxed attitude toward work and watch the baseball match; the Ny Mets are my favourite squadron." You'd think after 20 years of citizenship, he might let up a bit on the conspicuous ultra-patriotic hyper-American shtick.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:41 PM on September 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


goodnewsfortheinsane: "odd inclusion of Hawaii"

Hawaii *

* not a real state.
† I mean, come on.


Surely there's some sort of Hawaiian backlash at this.

posted by boo_radley at 12:42 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Horace Rumpole: "No it isn't; that quote is total fiction. Sorry, but I hat bogus quotations even more than I hate Dinesh D'Souza, and that's saying something."

That seems to be an entirely different quotation. I mean, it might be falsely attributed, but snopes quotes something different.
posted by boo_radley at 12:48 PM on September 16, 2010


Damnit, I specifically voted for Obama because I thought he was in favor of the off-world colonies.
posted by malocchio at 12:49 PM on September 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


Rather, I hate them, not hat them.

Nope. You made your hat. Now wear it.
posted by hippybear at 12:50 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


No, it just starts later. Your quote ends:
"corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed."

Snopes quote:
"As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:53 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seesh.

Isn't there at least one natural-born, colonial-lovin', American-American capable of ponying up $5 to comment on this love-fest?

Or are they all at work?
posted by mmrtnt at 12:53 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I specifically voted for Obama because I thought he was in favor of the off-world colonies.

Only so he can reunite with his fellow replicants. Why hasn't Obama been Voight-Kampffed on national television yet? What does he have to hide?
posted by Copronymus at 12:54 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Man, is it just me or is this the ugliest the right has ever been? I mean, during the 1990s the republicans were raging pretty hard core at the clintons, but at that point it was all about Bill and Hillary themselves. Now the (hard-core) right just seems to be overflowing with crazy-ass racism. I mean, stuff that doesn't even begin to make sense.

I've said it before, and I'll continue to beat this drum: The actual content of the words, the actual arguments they make, don't matter. Is it true? Is it logical? Is it a good argument? Who cares! We're saying it, and if we say it, that makes it right. And if you believe it, that means you're with us, you're on our team. And if you say it's not true, you're not on our team. You're against us, and we hate you. You believe it because the authority says it's so. And when the authority knows that it can make you say and believe things that are false, they know that can make you do anything they want you to do. "Obama is a Kenyan" = "2 + 2 = 5".

How many lights do you see?
posted by vibrotronica at 1:05 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd never read anything by D'Souza before. I learned from wikipedia that the Hoover Foundation once hired D'Souza as a research analyst, and the Heritage Foundation hired him as an editor for policy review.
I don't think Ted Nugent has never been hired for either of these jobs. It just doesn't seem fair, and I'm thinking there's some kind of affirmative action deal going on.
posted by Killick at 1:07 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


So...who reads Forbes magazine these days, anyway?
posted by maxwelton at 1:12 PM on September 16, 2010


shock and awe.
posted by Theta States at 1:14 PM on September 16, 2010


So...who reads Forbes magazine these days, anyway?

Racist idiots, apparently.
posted by Artw at 1:15 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Printer-friendly version of D'Souza's article.
posted by John Cohen at 12:00 PM on September 16 [+] [!]


I'm disappointed that this wasn't a link to a picture of dog-shit.
posted by MikeKD at 1:16 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Not only is his central thesis ENTIRELY unsupported, but his writing just plain sucks.

Yeah, pretty much. I read a couple of his books years ago, when I had more tolerance for such things, and concluded that D'Souza just isn't very bright. His entire career, from the Dartmouth Review on, has been built on his aptitude for coining euphemisms for "nigger".
posted by steambadger at 1:17 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I do hope that he goes to Stephen Colbert show to promote his essay like he did with his book.

And like before, I hope he gets the proper Colbert treatment...here is the gem from 2007 http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/80900/january-16-2007/dinesh-d-souza
posted by london302 at 1:30 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Economist review of DSouza's piece.

Esquire, too.

via Balloon Juice; and Dispatches From The Culture Wars

Apologies if these have already been linked; I looked, but I did not find them already in the thread.
posted by Xoebe at 1:33 PM on September 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


Anyone who has read D'Souza or heard him speak already knows he's a thoroughly despicable crazyhead who survives almost entirely by babbling a vast litany of fallacies and refusing to address rebuttals. The sad thing is that there are so many people who find this behaviour impressive.
posted by Decani at 1:40 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's a Snopes article about the $2 billion lent to the Brazillian oil company Petrobras. As you may have guessed, Glenn Beck and the Forbes article were a little off.
posted by Daddy-O at 1:41 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The clip london302 links is on my all-time Colbert highlight reel. It's one of those things where I start to feel badly for D'Souza asColbert just obliterates him; and then I remind myself what a reprehensible fool he is, and pump my fists for Colbert.
posted by COBRA! at 1:44 PM on September 16, 2010



delmoi:Man, is it just me or is this the ugliest the right has ever been? I mean, during the 1990s the republicans were raging pretty hard core at the clintons, but at that point it was all about Bill and Hillary themselves. Now the (hard-core) right just seems to be overflowing with crazy-ass racism. I mean, stuff that doesn't even begin to make sense.

I was thinking the exact same thing. I'm always very, very hesitant to ever say anything along the lines of 'things are so much worse now'. But the whole Othering of Obama/'Ground Zero Mosque' thing that's going on makes me deeply sad in a way that politics never has.

I used to get outraged. Not anymore.
posted by graphnerd at 1:52 PM on September 16, 2010


That Economist take down Xoebe links to is a thing of outright fucking beauty.
posted by Rumple at 1:54 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


WTLivingLividF, Forbes?!!eleventyone! I can't don't even begin to this. Just, wow.

Batshitinsane doesn't even begin to cover it.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:09 PM on September 16, 2010


The start of the D'Souza phenomenon came in 1995, when he published The End of Racism.

No, the start was in '92 with Illiberal Education. A book I actually liked.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:11 PM on September 16, 2010


Yes, the Economist turns D'Souza's "logic" against him quite beautifully. It would have been even more of a hilarious slam dunk (but far too trashy for the Economist, I guess) if they had performed the same trick on Steve Forbes: boy, isn't Stevie's relationship with his late father a Freudian can of worms...
posted by Skeptic at 2:18 PM on September 16, 2010


top 1% of Americans pay 40% of all federal income taxes

And possess 40% of the wealth.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:19 PM on September 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


No, no not batshit insane. They are perfectly sane evil people who know exactly what they are doing (and the not-at-all evil, but entirely too credulous citizens that listen to them).

I invoke the Evil Transitivity Theorem: the people through which evil is worked also bear the taint of that evil.

Most everything Dinesh D'Souza says and does just cries out, "Let's take a relaxed attitude toward work and watch the baseball match; the Ny Mets are my favourite squadron."

We have a front runner for thread winner here.
posted by JHarris at 2:25 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


From D'Sousa's The Virtue of Prosperity, via the Economist article:

[...]Currently [my daughter] is taking ballet lessons and swim lessons. My wife goes over her workbooks. I am teaching her chess. Why are we doing these things? We are, of course, trying to develop her abilities so that she can get the most out of life. The practical effect of our actions, however, is that we are working to give our daughter an edge—that is, a better chance to succeed than everybody else's children. Even though we might be embarrassed to think of it this way, we are doing our utmost to undermine equal opportunity....

Now, to enforce equal opportunity, the government could do one of two things: it could try to pull my daughter down, or it could work to raise other people's children up.
[...]

Dear god. Is he really so stupid as to not understand what "equal opportunity" means? How come this guy is writing books on politics while I'm still delivering pizza for Domino's, and yet I can see so easily this guy doesn't understand what the words mean?
posted by JHarris at 2:33 PM on September 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


is this the ugliest the right has ever been?

Greenwald has a post today that says: No, not really.

He argues - to my mind, persuasively - that the Teabaggers represent a purer form of Republicanism as it has existed for decades now. And that establishment Republican opposition to them is essentially class-based. (To wit: Rove sneering at how long it took her to pay off her college loans.)
posted by Joe Beese at 2:43 PM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


D'Souza, you disingenuous clod. Who in the hell do you think you're fooling with this silly, revisionist narrative ? Don't say Teaparty, they don't read Forbes or anything else.

WHISKEY FOXTROT ALPHA, GO GO GO.
posted by nola at 2:59 PM on September 16, 2010


So...who reads Forbes magazine these days, anyway?

Magazine readership is probably down across the board for a number of reasons. I'll bet Forbes magazine is in some serious financial trouble.

Like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, etc. before him, if Steve Forbes can assure himself a seat on the Teabag gravy train through nutty articles like these, if he can ride on the brand and make his magazine a "respectable" outlet for Teabag propaganda, then that train ticket just might save his inheritance from dwindling ever further.

It's an interesting gamble, even if he's debasing himself and hurting free speech values to make it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:06 PM on September 16, 2010


As somebody who lives in the 50th state, let me just say that our first reaction to D'Souza's article was "Curses! He's learned our plan."
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:07 PM on September 16, 2010


The Democrats are the new Right. There is no viable Left party in the USA right now. The situation can't continue without everything going off the rails. Hard right as a base upon which a functional society is built works no better than the hard left.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:10 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thinks for posting the Economist link, Xoebe.
posted by drezdn at 4:14 PM on September 16, 2010


Greenwald has a post today that says: No, not really.

A lot of what Greenwald says in the post in question is right, but I think he misses one essential point. Teh Crazy that the Tea Partiers are spewing isn't all that different from what the Republicans have been throwing around for years; but people like Rove and Cheney never actually believed the more flamboyant implications of their platform. Their real nutball notions were just supposed to be a kind of plant food that they tossed on the yokels to keep them stirred up; the base was meant to hear the dog whistles, maybe call Rush or Hannity to vent a little, and then vote for establishment Republicans, who would go about the party's real business of enriching themselves and their friends. But it worked better than they expected, and now the movement is dominated by people who are serious about this stuff; and Turd Blossom and his clients are frightened.
posted by steambadger at 5:15 PM on September 16, 2010 [14 favorites]


D'Souza's Pro-Colonialism.
posted by homunculus at 6:38 PM on September 16, 2010


postmodern literary interpretation that wouldn't make it through the vetting process of a freshman bong circle at Wesleyan

This description from Serwer is genius!
posted by Maias at 6:39 PM on September 16, 2010


Re: D'Souza on Colbert - wtf is he talking about with the eating maggots thing?
posted by naoko at 7:22 PM on September 16, 2010


I think that was a reference to Fear Factor, naoko.
posted by EarBucket at 7:34 PM on September 16, 2010


They feed off your outrage, it makes them stronger.

That is such BS. This guy (Newt) is gearing up for a presidential run and you're saying we should ignore him and he'll go away. What a crock.
posted by IvoShandor at 4:31 AM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Clearly, there are four lights. Are you calling Picard a liar?

Seriously, though, how far does the right have to go with its racism before it gets called out by the general public? At some point, will they get to bandy about racial slurs, then complain that everyone is just overreacting? (oh, wait, that's already happened) This is beyond absurd already. They think they're being clever by talking in code, and really, they are, to some extent. Every time soemone claims a comment is racist, they claim they're being taken out of context or people are overreacting (and, wink, wink, we all know how that kind of person likes to overreact). We all know what they mean when they say "this isn't the country I grew up in" (for a throwback to people shocked to wake up in a country with a *gasp* black president), but we can't outright prove it. The thing is, though, the code sucks. Everyone knows what they mean. It's like 1st graders thinking they're being clever and incomprehensible by adding -anana to the end of every word. At what point do we stop putting up with their attempt at being clever and just call them on it? When do we, and how do we, outright call them on their bullshit disingenuousness, the two-faced lies, and all the rest?

I mean, fuck, calling Hawaii anti-American is pretty impressive. I always thought it was just NYC and California that were godless communists.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:11 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dinesh D'Sousa = Anne Elk
posted by Trochanter at 7:50 AM on September 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Forbes and the disappearing line between politics and the media
posted by homunculus at 1:59 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Horace Rumpole, you were absolutely correct. You'll be happy to know that in verifying my Lincoln quotation after your chastisement, I got an absolutely withering lecture from a history professor I know.
posted by boo_radley at 9:43 AM on September 20, 2010


That is such BS. This guy (Newt) is gearing up for a presidential run and you're saying we should ignore him and he'll go away.

I'd actually be pretty shocked if Newt ever ran for national office again. He publicly flirts with the idea of running for president every time it comes around, but to my mind it is all about publicity to drive his book sells. Newt isn't Mensa material mind you but I think he is bright enough to realize how much work being president is, but he is not quite got the chops to rise to Cheney/Rove kingmaker/controller status.



Tl:Dr version, Newt is a mealy mouthed money grubbing narcissist, but likely won't run for president cause he can make more money pretending to consider to run.
posted by edgeways at 9:58 AM on September 20, 2010


Bill Maher was on Larry King last night, and he dropped a heck of a revelation: That infamous remark he made that got him fired from Politically Incorrect was in defense of something a panelist had said. That panelist? Dinesh D'Souza. Maher is, to say the least, not a fan.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:23 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


ok boo, give back them favourites
posted by Rumple at 10:55 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Newt is a mealy mouthed money grubbing narcissist, but likely won't run for president cause he can make more money pretending to consider to run.

This is probably true, he said back in 07 there was a great possibility he'd run in 08. Of course, ignoring him still won't make him go away, as anyone considering a run (or pretending to consider a run) is going to be given a free platform to espouse their views, as fact-free as they might be. Nobody ever goes away when their ignored because there is always someone who agrees, in Newt's case a whole lot of someones who agree. Regardless, I still wouldn't be surprised at all if Gingrich made a primary bid.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:34 PM on September 20, 2010


Yeah, I wouldn't say "ignore him". As to weather or not he makes a primary bid I think depends on what Caribou Barbie does. If a bunch of tea baggers get elected I'd venture a guess she'd make a run at the GOP primary, if not I wouldn't be shocked if she launches a 3rd party bid. Consider: she doesn't like debating, so by skipping the primary she can avoid the grueling mess that'll be, she can raise money independently of the GOP, she has history of associating with 3rd party politics.

GOP primary: Romney, Pawlenty, Giuliani...?
posted by edgeways at 11:14 AM on September 21, 2010


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