Monday, September 20, 2010

This is pretty simple

I have a few more thoughts about the D'Souza piece. It's not that I merely disagree with his conclusions, it's that I can clearly see that he's carrying the party's water at the expense of intellectual integrity.

It's completely, utterly, intellectually dishonest for D'Souza to write these opening sentences, without any acknowledgment whatsoever of the epically depressed economic conditions in which Obama's policy choices have been made:

Barack Obama is the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in American history. Thanks to him the era of big government is back. Obama runs up taxpayer debt not in the billions but in the trillions. He has expanded the federal government's control over home mortgages, investment banking, health care, autos and energy. The Weekly Standard summarizes Obama's approach as omnipotence at home, impotence abroad.

The President's actions are so bizarre that they mystify his critics and supporters alike.
Those actions might be bizarre if they were done in the midst of an economy perking along. D'Souza surely knows this and yet chooses to omit mention of the economic conditions.

How about this:
The rich, Obama insists, aren't paying their "fair share." This by itself seems odd...
Oh yes, so very odd. It's almost as odd as our country's 1950's tax policy. Apparently, we've had Kenyan anti-colonial, socialist policy-makers fathered by Obama's dad in our past but just weren't aware of it.  (From here.)

D'Souza actually wrote these sentences:
Obama railed on about "America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels." What does any of this have to do with the oil spill?
Yes indeed.  What ON EARTH could be a reason someone would reflect on fossil-fuel consumption in the midst of an oil spill.  I just can't figure that out either.  It surely must have something to do with one's (completely absent) father's view of colonialism, because there just is no other explanation for such a thing.

If you don't think D'Souza is playing a dangerous game of pushing buttons to cause Rethugs to salivate, then ask yourself this: What is the point of including the dollar figure in this sentence: "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."

The point, of course, is to repeatedly connect Obama's name to expenditures. Nevermind that this isn't government money being spent. Doesn't matter. It's a signal to generate the desired Pavlovian response: "Obama spends my hard-earned money. There he goes, spending another $100 million, this time on Muslims."

D'Souza uses the words "odd" and "bizarre" to characterize Obama's behavior. These are word choices calculated to fit the rightwing meme that Obama is a foreigner (and of course we all know foreigners are threatening to our well-being). Seriously, why else would D'Souza call it "odd" to discuss dependence on fossil-fuel at the site of an oil spill? Why else would he use the word "bizarre" to characterize stimulus spending that was voted on by Congress (none of whom shares Obama's father)?

As The Economist put it this way in reaching the conclusion that D'Souza is deranged:
There's no need to search for abstruse reasons why an extreme movement conservative like Dinesh D'Souza might oppose raising taxes on the rich or defend privilege in access to education. And it's not surprising that a centrist liberal like Barack Obama thinks people earning more than $250,000 per year ought to be paying more taxes. In fact, that conviction is shared by a majority of the American electorate. If Mr. D'Souza finds it bizarre, it's not Mr. Obama who's out of touch with America.

Incidentally, who isn't anti-colonialist? Is there a pro-colonial movement afoot in the Conservative party?

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