Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to D'Souza

Recently, Andrew Sullivan was moved to criticize Dinesh D’Souza with language boosted straight outta Liberal Central Command.
D’Souza once believed in making serious arguments for a more conservative view of the world. It’s telling about his own evolution – and the degeneration of public discourse in America – that he has largely given that up in favor of really lucrative propaganda designed to monetize the polarized red state masses. He’s another example of the power of the right-wing media-industrial complex. Its ability to reward its propagandists with fantastic monetary awards without any need to engage critics has transformed conservatism in this country – for the gridlocked, ideological worse.
Sullivan's late-life discovery that Dirty Liberals have been right (over and over and over again) all along about the truly loathsome nature of his beloved Conservatism has had the incredibly amusing side-effect of driving Sully into an ideological St. Vitus' Dance every time he has to gavotte and skitter around that hugely inconvenient fact.

And while he now camps out on his own little ideological Principality of Sealand, smoking weed and extolling the virtues of Imaginary Libertarianism every bit as energetically as he used to preach the gospel of Imaginary Conservatism, like everyone else for whom it is economically and psychologically impossible to admit the scary truth at the heart of our crippling political dysfunction, Mr. Sullivan regularly plays the Both Sides game every bit as hard as David Gregory or Mark Halperin or Harold Ford Junior ever did.

This time around, during his critique of the D'hack D'Souza, Mr. Sullivan felt it was necessary to prop up his Both Siderist cred by pausing every few minutes to gratuitously punch Michael Moore in the face over and over again:
The Michael Moore Of The Right?

In an interview conducted as he awaits sentencing for violating campaign-finance law, Dinesh D’Souza reveals the inspiration behind the “documentaries” he’s produced, such as 2016: Obama’s America (trailer above) and America: Imagine the World Without Her:
I went back and watched Roger and Me, which I think is [Michael Moore's] best film. It’s got an interesting premise: General Motors closes down a big auto plant that his dad happened to work at, and he’s going to go find the CEO of General Motors and demand to know why. Now, it fails intellectually, because there is an obvious reason why General Motors might want to close that plant—i.e., it’s not making money. And one possible reason it’s not making money is General Motors has been paying people like his dad way too much and can make cars much cheaper in North Carolina or other countries. You can’t proceed without confronting that argument. But Michael Moore’s presumption is that the CEO of General Motors, Roger Smith, is just a mean guy who wants to deprive working people of their livelihood. So intellectually, it’s ridiculous.
But visually, cinematically, narratively, it works. This clownish Michael Moore showing up everywhere, the cops in dogged pursuit. All of that works. What Michael Moore understands is that a movie traffics in the language of emotion. The intellect is subordinate to that.

On the Obama question, D’Souza is actually copying Moore’s intellectually ridiculous oeuvre.

He starts, as Moore does, with a crude reductionist idea of a public figure – Obama as seeking revenge on a colonial America – undergirded by nothing but D’Souza’s own pop-psychologizing of Obama’s relationship with his own father. Everything else needed to explain the actions of a center-left president (who has waged more wars in more places than most American presidents) is moot. For D’Souza, a crude narrative of racial revenge is all that’s really necessary to understand the Obama presidency – and he then simply adds layer upon layer to this caricature, which feeds paranoia and conspiracy theories and glib ideology as powerfully as Moore once did...
However repellent to Mr. Sullivan's very, very delicate sensibilities Michael Moore's guerrilla  tactics and directorial style may be, there is absolutely no denying that the range of subjects Mr. Moore has taken on -- the gutting of our manufacturing base and the razing of the American Middle Class for the short-term profit of a few at the top...a scathing indictment of our political system's unhinged overreaction to 9/11 and the Bush Regime's deliberate exploitation of that tragedy for political gain at a time when virtually everyone else with a megaphone including Andrew "Liberal Fifth Columnist" Sullivan was giddily stampeding in the opposite direction...the grotesque and destructive dysfunction of the for-profit boondoggle that we laughingly refer to as a "health care system" ...the fatal madness of our gun culture... Capitalism!...and so forth -- have all proven to be both on the side of the angels and the right side of history.

By way of contrast, Mr. D'Souza's subject matter -- that President Obama is driven by the ghosts of his African ancestors to destroy Murrica -- is the batshit twaddle of a minor demagogue who makes his living fluffing the paranoid conspiracy theories of the shallow end of the American gene pool.

Of course, Mr, Sullivan cannot see this, because Mr, Sullivan is part of the problem.


Jim from MN said...

Sometimes in the pursuit of polishing GOP turds, one does not always see all the shit that gets all over their money-grubbing hands. Forget about the smell.

Anonymous said...

I love the quaintness of the claim that there has been such a thing as serious conservative thought, a mistake made in part by assuming that smart people can't support stupid ideas.

The idea that serious liberal thinking must be balanced by equally serious conservative thought is the heart of the error of the both sides debate.

Look at the last hundred years: the positions of conservatives are usually wrong and are possible only because they are popular. It doesn't matter whether smart people make the argument, or whether the topic is foreign relations (isolationism in the 30’s, support for the Viet Nam war in the 60’s), the economy (unregulated markets) or religion. Look at Sullivan's defense of gay Catholicism. It’s unconvincing that the Catholic church accepts gay and ought to make the reader wonder how Sullivan can call himself a Catholic. It is impossible to consider Sullivan’s conservative arguments as seriously as say Christopher Hitchen's arguments against religion.

It isn't that I think that liberals are always right but rather that conservatives are usually wrong. Look at how the both sides argument lets Sullivan equate the very good movies Michael Moore makes to those of D'Souza. Show me anything that D'Souza has ever written or filmed that has the power of the end of 9/11 where Moore follows recruiters into the high school. Yes Moore always has clownish bits (his conspiracy theories for example) that are no better than D’Souza, but Sullivan's criticism shows the problem that conservatives suffer from - being unable to tell between good and bad ideas. Moore’s movies always have something worth watching; D’Souza’s movies have nothing worth watching.

MRjonz54 said...

D'Souza in his deluded notion that he is Obama’s nemesis brings to mind a joke my Pop told me (more than once.)

A gnat, drunk on fermented fruit, decides to rape an elephant it espies at a nearby water hole.

At the same moment the gnat “mounts” the elephant, the elephant trumpets in greeting to another of the herd who has joined it at the water’s edge.

The gnat pipes up, “What’s a matter, Baby? Too rough for you?”

Robt said...

“For how is a man benefited if he should gain the whole world and he should lose his soul?”

D'souza may feel he could buy another soul if only he was wealthy enough.
Jamie Dimon who has been soulless for quite sometime spends his money on the image he has a soul.

The Zombies exist and D'souza feels he is merely just feeding them the flesh Zombies desire and yearn for. So he might as well make a profit from it. Because Greed is Good!
I have nothing against profit.
many people might enjoy eating salads so much so that, they make salads part of their diet.
Seeing the demand and opportunity to make a profit by selling lettuce to these people for their salads. I do not sell them salmonella laced lettuce knowingly,. Fact is I go to great lengths to insure the lettuce is not contaminated before the sale.
They sell Zombie Brain food that is tainted.
When some already demented unstable mind is fed this go out and act on it. You whatch them go on a binge to tell us all they are not responsible. That the craze guy that walked into a church that he believed to be liberal, and unload his bullets. The police find hannity, Rush, Beck books and literature in his home.

So coincidental was it when Sarah Palin had Rep Gabby Giffords on his political hit map where Giffords (like a deer in the head lights) was smack in the likes of a rifle scopes cross hairs.
Does Americans, can enough Americans figure out the harmful profit motive that has been targeting them for a very long time now?
Do I have to play out the rest of my living years in the confines of the "Walking Dead" TV series.?

dinthebeast said...

Search Results

verb: sully; 3rd person present: sullies; past tense: sullied; past participle: sullied; gerund or present participle: sullying
damage the purity or integrity of; defile.
"they were outraged that anyone should sully their good name"

-Doug in Oakland

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't it be "by the GHOSTS of his African ancestors"?

Yastreblyansky said...

In calling D'Souza's Obama theory "crude" and "reductionist" Sullivan shows his own lack of education, or something. The theory is complex, deconstructionist, and completely insane, i.e. psychotically detached from any recognizable reality. Whereas "Roger and Me" is (a) about reality and (b) funny but of course (c) not crude and reductionist either (and not about Roger Smith's reasons for closing the Flint plant, which Moore understands perfectly well, but about his moral evasion of responsibility for the lives he is wrecking, in which neither D'Souza nor Sully could ever take any possible interest). That is all.

Yastreblyansky said...

Also what the Anonymous at 11:12 said.

Robt said...

When Andrew Sullivan verbally wiped D'Souza's runny nose.
Did Andrew see something reflecting negatively on his ideology of conservatism and felt the need to provide cover for his conservatism from D'souza?
Did Sullivan break Ronald Reagan commandment of,
"thou shalt not speak poorly of fellow conservatives" ????

Jado said...

"Of course, Mr, Sullivan cannot see this, because Mr, Sullivan is part of the problem."

I am amazed that you think Sullivan cannot see this. He sees just fine - he CHOOSES to blink in pursuit of the cash.

Wingnut welfare may pay well, but the big bucks is in BothSiderIsm - just ask Greggers or Brooksie. If you can find them in their respective giant estates.

Pinkybum said...

I use this phrase all the time (and it is invariably true): Conservatives always on the wrong side of history.

wagonjak said...

Those last three paragraphs are just fucking brilliant dg...your writing always makes me laugh with delight at the way you puncture clueless types like Sullivan. Thanks for what you do...if I were a millionaire I would set you up for life. You are a national treasure.

bowtiejack said...

In re: Sullivan, Fox & Friends, etc, and the herds of conservative dodos who roam the media of our great nation:

"“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Upton Sinclair

As long as the check clears, like Sgt. Schultz they "know nothing". I mean you wouldn't want unreliable mercenaries, would you?

Robt said...

So how else are our wealthy aristocrats going to communicate with the rest of America (the 47%) without Brooks, Sullivan, Fox, Krauthammer, Rush and all the Palin stream media?