Forbes Jumps the Shark
When did this mainstream business magazine become a John Birch Society newsletter?
I am flabbergasted. I was about to write a quickie "Quote of the Day" post starring Newt Gingrich, who apparently now thinks Barack Obama "is so outside our comprehension" that he can only be fathomed "if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior." But as I followed the quote backward, I learned that it was based on something that Dinesh D'Souza wrote. So I followed back again, and it turns out that the source isn't just something D'Souza wrote in some obscure lunatic outlet, it's the cover story of Forbes this week.
The. Cover. Of. Forbes.
Now sure. Steve Forbes is an ultraconservative true believer. But this is still a mainstream business magazine,1 not a John Birch Society newsletter. And D'Souza is the guy who wrote an entire book blaming 9/11 on the "cultural left," a book that expressed such obvious sympathy for the revulsion of conservative Muslims toward the American left's "deluge of gross depravity and immorality" that even most of the folks at National Review couldn't stomach it.
So now he has a new book out, and this week he's abstracting it on the cover of Forbes. D'Souza is ostensibly so bewildered by Obama's mainstream liberalism (climate change! national healthcare! non-nationalization of banks! progressive taxation!) that he insists Obama is completely incomprensible except when viewed through the lens of gibberish like this:
So who was Barack Obama Sr.? He was a Luo tribesman who grew up in Kenya and studied at Harvard. He was a polygamist who had, over the course of his lifetime, four wives and eight children. One of his sons, Mark Obama, has accused him of abuse and wife-beating. He was also a regular drunk driver who got into numerous accidents, killing a man in one and causing his own legs to be amputated due to injury in another. In 1982 he got drunk at a bar in Nairobi and drove into a tree, killing himself.
An odd choice, certainly, as an inspirational hero. But to his son, the elder Obama represented a great and noble cause, the cause of anticolonialism. Obama Sr. grew up during Africa's struggle to be free of European rule, and he was one of the early generation of Africans chosen to study in America and then to shape his country's future.
....It may seem incredible to suggest that the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. is espoused by his son, the President of the United States. That is what I am saying. From a very young age and through his formative years, Obama learned to see America as a force for global domination and destruction. He came to view America's military as an instrument of neocolonial occupation. He adopted his father's position that capitalism and free markets are code words for economic plunder.
....His proposal for carbon taxes has little to do with whether the planet is getting warmer or colder; it is simply a way to penalize, and therefore reduce, America's carbon consumption.....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....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....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....Finally, NASA. No explanation other than anticolonialism makes sense of Obama's curious mandate to convert a space agency into a Muslim and international outreach.
This is the cover story of Forbes this week. And I am flabbergasted.
1Right? Or am I out of touch? Does Forbes run this kind of drivel routinely these days? Or is this peculiar even for them?
UPDATE: I see that Daniel Larison got here a few days ago. His takedown is worth a read.