25 October, 2006
Wolcott's conclusion (and the money quote):
Rather clever comeback, that. It seems indeed that D'Souza has more in common with the Islamo-"fascists" than he lets on. Who exactly is it that hates our freedom? Could it be...oh, I don't know....D'SATAN?!?
What D'Souza proposes in The Enemy at Home is that American conservatives join hands with traditional Muslims to keep gays and women subjugated and subservient. D'Souza opposes radical Islam because they want to destroy us. But Muslim restrictions on sexual freedom and strict enforcement of patriarchal diktats--those he kinda likes. Those he can work with. "What disgusts them [i.e, devout Muslims]is not free elections but the sights of hundreds of homosexuals kissing one another and taking marriage vows."
It clearly disgusts D'Souza too. Maybe he should convert.
D'Souza seems to share with the Christian Right the rather bizarre opinion that gay relationships somehow "destroy the family" and will lead to the downfall of civilation. According to Wolcott he observes:
In America, sad to say, we are inured to the debris of the broken family. We accept that the traditional family is no longer the norm, it is now something like an 'alternative lifestyle.' We invite Edgar and Austin to our dinner parties.How in the world does "invit[ing] Edgar and Austin to our dinner parties" signal that "the traditional family is no longer the norm?" What connection exists between Edgar and Austin and "the debris of the broken family?" This mantra is chanted non-stop by morons and demagogues like Pat Robertson and James Dobson but there is simply no logic which, granted the first, will lead you to the second. D'Souza has not only drunk the Kool-Aid, he's now participating in preparing it. It is ironic indeed that this screed intended to demonstrate how the cultural left is to blame for 09.11 instead demonstrates how much D'Souza and his fellow travelers share with those who truly hate America and are intent on destroying it.
On why we invite Edgar and Austin to our dinner parties, Ed Brayton observes:
Edgar and Austin are human beings, and may well be smart and funny and good conversationalists. And your alternative to this is...what? To ostracize them and shut them out? To throw them in prison? To put them to death by stoning, as the radical Muslims do? I'm sure that would make the terrorists like us more, but it would require destroying the very notion of human liberty. That is a tradeoff that is only worth making to the Bin Ladens of the world, on whose side you have firmly placed yourself with this book.Indeed. Who is it that apparently truly hates our freedom? Self-righteous, pseudo-intellectuals like Dinesh D'Souza, that's who.
HT: Dispatches from the Culture Wars
12 October, 2006
However low the pundits might themselves stoop, one doesn't, however, expect to see credentialed scholars getting in on the act, regardless of political bias. And yet today I discover that Dinesh D'Souza of the Hoover Institution will be publishing a new book with the distinctly Coulter/Ponnuru/Goldberg-ish title: The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11.
Huh? Wazzat? Is this the same Dinesh D'Souza who wrote "Letters to a Young Conservative?" Whose principled defenses of free market economics and classical liberalism almost made reading the National Review worthwhile? Granted, he regularly attacks "Liberal" viewpoints and I will admit that on occasion some of his post 9.11 writings have strayed close to the "Blame the Lefties!" edge (witness "10 Things to Celebrate"), but generally (it seemed to me) in the spirit of the free exchange of ideas, without vituperative accent, as one should generally expect of a scholar (as opposed to a mere talking head).
Of course, I've not seen a copy of the book (it's not scheduled for publication until January), but James Wolcott has and from his comments, it appears to be as vile a book as its title might suggest:
"I realize that this is a strong charge," D'Souza writes, "one that no one has made before."
The reason it hasn't been made before is that it's a sleazy, shameless, ignorant, ahistorical, tendentious, meretricious lie, one that was waiting for the right brazen liar to come along to promote it, and here he is, and his name is Dinesh D'Souza, who's fatuous and fuddy-duddyish enough to think that it's Britney Spears, the rap lyrics of 2 Live Crew, and the buggering photographs of the late Robert Mapplethorpe that have Islam in a tiz. This is someone so out of touch with pop culture that he thinks liberals look down on risque sitcoms like Will & Grace because "their moral depravity is not highbrow enough for their taste." Does that description fit anyone you know?
Wolcott doesn't just critique the book, he savages it. It reminds me of a Dorothy Parker review: "This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be hurled with great force."
Wolcott has much more to say, and it's worth the read. I must say I'm somewhat taken aback. While I haven't been following him regularly, I remember reading D'Souza's articles in the National Review and watching appearances on C-Span or other TV shows in the 90s and as a young libertarian/conservative found myself greatly sympathetic with many of his arguments. To see him seemingly sliding down into the same poison-pen morass as cretins like Coulter and her ilk is disappointing to say the least.
HT: Hit and Run
Update: Radley Balko agrees, and now Ed Brayton does as well.