Skip to main content

Dinesh D'Souza
His pants are on fire, metaphorically speaking.
Now it's official. Dinesh D'Souza has admitted breaking the law. He hasn't yet admitted to having baldly lied in print about President Obama. But he's done that as well.

What D'Souza did is part and parcel of the right-wing's campaign to paint Obama as, in the words Mitt Romney used to describe the president's ideas, "extraordinarily foreign." The right has long sought to "other" Obama in various ways, from the lowbrow of birtherism to the supposedly serious analyses by conservative "intellectuals" like D'Souza.

In addition to his film The Roots of Obama's Rage, in 2010 D'Souza penned an article called "How Obama Thinks." The piece included a series of simply absurd claims—the best was the charge that, regarding NASA, Obama has sought to "convert a space agency into a Muslim and international outreach." Most importantly, D'Souza sought to explain Obama's overarching political worldview:

Clearly the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. goes a long way to explain the actions and policies of his son in the Oval Office....In his own writings Obama stresses the centrality of his father not only to his beliefs and values but to his very identity.
Follow me beyond the fold to find out how this tall tale turns out.

D'Souza described how Obama told of weeping at his father's grave and feeling his father's pain. D'Souza then summarized:

In a sense, through the earth itself, he communes with his father and receives his father's spirit. Obama takes on his father's struggle, not by recovering his body but by embracing his cause. He decides that where Obama Sr. failed, he will succeed. Obama Sr.'s hatred of the colonial system becomes Obama Jr.'s hatred; his botched attempt to set the world right defines his son's objective. Through a kind of sacramental rite at the family tomb, the father's struggle becomes the son's birthright.
As evidence, D'Souza quoted straight from the metaphorical horse's mouth, Barack Obama himself:
"It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself." Even though his father was absent for virtually all his life, Obama writes, "My father's voice had nevertheless remained untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval. You do not work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people's struggle. Wake up, black man!"
"Wow," the reader must be thinking. This D'Souza guy has really nailed him. There's no way that rascally Obama can get out of this one. He actually wrote those words.

And write those words Obama did. But having read Dreams from My Father in researching my own book on Barack Obama, I knew right away something was wrong with D'Souza's quotation. I went back to the source, and re-read the relevant section, which begins on page 334 (in the 2nd edition) and goes on to the next page. That's when I confirmed that D'Souza was a liar.

The thing is, D'Souza didn't include the very next sentences after "Wake up, black man!" In those sentences Obama told of how he learned of his father's failures and then said of his father's image—the image D'Souza quoted as proof that the son was and remains devoted to his father's ideals: "that image had suddenly vanished. ...To think that all my life I'd been wrestling with nothing more than a ghost. ...The King is overthrown. ...The emerald curtain is pulled aside." The son then spoke of his "newfound liberation."

But D'Souza left all that out. The quotation taken in whole was about how Obama had freed himself of the need to emulate his father, or what little he had known of him growing up (this event took place in 1988, when Obama visited Kenya). D'Souza knew that by providing only the first part of the quotation he'd be giving the exact opposite impression. That's called lying.

It's fitting that D'Souza's criminal activity took place in the Big Apple. You may remember that New York Yankees manager Billy Martin once slammed Reggie Jackson and George Steinbrenner by saying, "One's a born liar, the other's convicted." As for Dinesh D'Souza, he's both.

PS—An earlier version of this post appeared in 2012, but I have substantially rewritten it and decided to post this new version in light of today's events, namely D'Souza's guilty plea.

Originally posted to Ian Reifowitz on Tue May 20, 2014 at 04:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

sny, teacherken, Subterranean, TrueBlueMajority, Bob Love, karlpk, Shockwave, LynChi, rubyr, niemann, susans, lorell, whenwego, twcollier, high uintas, WeNeedKerry, aitchdee, Redfire, kharma, scott5js, lezlie, niteskolar, Steven Payne, defluxion10, papercut, Dood Abides, Diana in NoVa, ybruti, KayCeSF, tomjones, hayden, bibble, sebastianguy99, Frank Vyan Walton, Ckntfld, blueyedace2, caul, SherwoodB, mjd in florida, JohnB47, dewtx, eru, cfk, LNK, Ice Blue, brentut5, Shotput8, peacestpete, Alan Arizona, xaxnar, begone, myboo, dougymi, gpoutney, JVolvo, ER Doc, justiceputnam, anninla, onionjim, CA Nana, blueoregon, markthshark, daeros, Little, Mary Mike, Matt Z, Dave in Northridge, HCKAD, janatallow, Empower Ink, JDWolverton, gundyj, JeffW, GAS, OleHippieChick, Sixty Something, Lujane, pamelabrown, Jeff Y, codairem, Gemina13, shigeru, Karl Rover, Eric Zencey, dmhlt 66, watercarrier4diogenes, gsenski, maggiejean, Bule Betawi, Dirtandiron, bsmechanic, shortmama, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, Remediator, TheOpinionGuy, glitterlust, Jonohex, papahaha, stevenwag, moviemeister76, sfarkash, nocynicism, Lefty Ladig, commonmass, FogCityJohn, NJpeach, gramofsam1, Susan Grigsby, kjoftherock, BenderRodriguez, VickiL, JoanMar, DiegoUK, nirbama, ericlewis0, Oh Mary Oh, fiercefilms, slice, theKgirls, Onomastic, tharu1, kerflooey, Front Toward Enemy, sabo33, FarWestGirl, lexalou, mikejay611, CoExistNow, trumpeter, marleycat, PorridgeGun, laurnj, sethtriggs, thomask, BarackStarObama, IB JOHN, Caddis Fly, ratcityreprobate, leftykook, Chitown Kev, Rashaverak, bassinduo, Auriandra, Davui, jacey, charliehall2, a2nite, Trotskyrepublican, willrob, hardart, Lilredhead, MartyM, parakeet, New Minas, wxorknot, oldpotsmuggler, etherealfire, rat racer, stvnjon, Gale Hollis, Blue Bell Bookworm, Dallas L, remembrance, Thornrose, poopdogcomedy, Jon Sitzman, DemInDuluth, Abby Hemani, Hey338Too, Floyd Blue, Lordcaradoc, pierre9045, luerwulf, Tony Situ, ginimck, hbk, Bethesda 1971, AJayne, MrLuckyman, wiggin01, BMScott, NewRomeIsBurning, upstatefrantic, bobcat41702, Doctor Jazz, BlueDuPage, dougiemac in WA

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site