D’Souza Pwnd by Weekly Standard


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.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight 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