Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on D'Souza's Diatribe Against Obama

In her latest Forbes column, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia explains why Dinesh D'Souza's allegation that Barack Obama is a closet anti-colonialist is totally off-base. Obama simply can't regard American consumption as the source of Third World poverty while at the same time be boosting American consumption through his economic policies. So why is D'Souza making such demonstrably baseless accusations? As Dalmia writes:

Writers these days are supposed to cultivate a niche, and D’Souza seems to have homesteaded the intellectual goofiness spot all for himself. His post-9/11 tract, The Enemy at Home, which blamed American sexual decadence for inspiring the Twin Tower attacks, was so out of left—or, was it, right?—field that even his team members abandoned him. And so far D’Souza’s Forbes piece has inspired the same reception—a collective “huh?”—from allies and opponents alike.

Read all about it here.

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  • Fluffy||

    It's just clever contrarian marketing.

    "The Taliban is right about our culture!"

    "Colonialism was actually awesome and opposing it means that you're an evil commie!"

    As long as someone keeps cutting him checks for this, he'll keep saying it. I bet his next book is called "Bitches Deserve It!" and is about the victims of domestic violence.

  • Bitches Deserve It!||

    I was dressed rather provocatively...

  • Ines Sainz||

    Whas so rong wit that mang?

  • ChrisO||

    Well, it worked, didn't it? We're talking about it.

  • ||

    D’Souza seems to have homesteaded the intellectual goofiness spot all for himself

    Oh, please. That's one of the oldest and most crowded neighborhoods in punditry.

  • Apogee||

    oldest and most crowded neighborhoods..

    The term is Favela.

  • ||

    Obama is "...boosting American consumption through his economic policies.", so exactly what are these Obama policies are boosting American consumption?

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    +2

  • ||

    Shikha Dalmia explains why Dinesh D'Souza's allegation that Barack Obama is a closet anti-colonialist is totally off-base.


    Wait, being anti-colonialist is a bad thing? Would someone please resubscribe me to the talking points mailing list, because I seem to be woefully out of date.
  • ||

    HTML errors FTW!

  • affenkopf||

    You know who else was an anti-colonialist? Hitler Washington/Jefferson/etc.

  • cynical||

    You know who was pro-colonialist? Progressives of the 1890's to 1920's. And Obama is a progressive, so accusing him of anti-colonialism is ridiculous.

  • ||

    Obama carries our White Man's Burden

  • Mo||

    I understand why D'Souza did it, it gives him loads of attention, sells books and gets people talking about him. What baffles me is why a respectable publication like Forbes would publish an article like it. It's not even like these subjects are the usual subject matter covered by Forbes.

  • ||

    The market for "Obama sucks!" pieces is the fastest growing market in political and economic punditry.

  • ||

    Yay. About two years too late, though.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Mo,

    I understand why D'Souza did it, it gives him loads of attention, sells books and gets people talking about him.

    Makes sense; he did write a book like 15 years ago where he argued that the problems plaguing the black community was a lack of values (the kind of explanation that attempts to explain too much yet explains nothing.) That did bring a lot of flak towards him - maybe that was his objective all along.

    By the way, the problems plaguing the black community is people thinking in terms of "communities" instead of individuals, like Mr. D'Souza, Obama, and other statists.

  • ||

    . . . it gives him loads of attention, sells books and gets people talking about him. What baffles me is why a respectable publication like Forbes would publish an article like it.

    Because it gives them loads of attention, sells magazines, and gets people talking about them.

  • Mo||

    The difference is that D'Souza has a rep for being willing to say anything idiotic and inflammatory to get attention. This article/book is part for the course for them. OTOH, Forbes has a more respectable reputation. By publishing this D'Souza article, D'Souza gets attention, Forbes gets attention, but loses credibility.

  • ||

    Why do we have to psychoanalyze everyone? Isn't it enough to just say Obama is an idiot? Does the reason why really matter?

  • Old Mexican||

    Hey, he's an anti-colonialist idiot - let's be precise.

  • ||

    Also, I keep reading the Courtland Milloy fucks sheep. Is that true?

  • Old Mexican||

    I cannot deny nor confirm that Courtland Milloy courts ovines; the lack of evidence that would suggest Courtland Milloy courts ovines should not be construed as evidence of him not courting ovines or ever courting ovines, as such cannot be verified or denied. He may be or he may not be courting ovines for all we know.

  • The Gobbler||

    Oh come on you guys. Save that for people like Joel Pile and that dip-shit hyperlawyer guy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Writers these days are supposed to cultivate a niche, and D’Souza seems to have homesteaded the intellectual goofiness spot all for himself.

    Well, he does look goofy already...

  • ¢||

    Part of the reason no doubt is that D’Souza suffers from the columnist’s curse – the need to say something original, something different

    He didn't do that.

    He lifted a half-grasped thesis-fragment from Steve Sailer's (OMG) Obama book and, in the process of re-casting Sailer's literary-psychological reading in purer political terminology (so it wouldn't be so OMG), D'Souza made it wrong.

    Sailer's version of it—basically that Obama should be taken at his word, and Dreams from my Father is honestly advertised by its subtitle (it's not called "A Story of Anticolonialism")—was merely uncharitable.

    D'Souza tried to smuggle some OMG into Respectable People land, and he got ass all over it. That's all.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Rather, it is anti-colonialism, something that he inherited from his long-dead Kenyan father whom he saw only twice.

    Not that I agree or disagree with D'Souza, but didn't Obama write a book about his father? Did he need direct contact to be influenced by the man?

  • ||

    That book's been airbrushed from history.

  • Abdul||

    D'Souza's oedipal speculation is stupid, but how many of these critics called out the same oedipal speculation with George Bush?

  • ||

    Dowd to Gingrich: Quit Stealing My Shtick!

    ■"Bush the elder must be fed up with being his son's political punching bag. . . . It must be galling for Bush père to hear conservatives braying that the son has to finish the job in Iraq that the father wimped out on. . . . Junior could also have made the case that Dad's tax increase, which got him into so much trouble, led to 10 years of prosperity. . . . But W. has spent his life running from his father's long shadow, trying to usurp Dad's preppy moderate Republicanism with good ol' boy conservative Republicanism."--Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Aug. 18, 2002
    ■"When Bush the Elder put Bush the Younger in the care of Dick Cheney, he assumed that Mr. Cheney, who had been his defense secretary in Desert Storm, would play the wise, selfless counselor. Poppy thought his old friend Dick would make a great vice president, tutoring a young president green on foreign policy and safeguarding the first Bush administration's legacy of internationalism, coalition-building and realpolitik. Instead, Good Daddy has had to watch in alarm as Bad Daddy usurped his son's presidency, heightened its conservatism and rushed America into war on the mistaken assumption that if we just acted like king of the world, everyone would bow down or run away."--Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Oct. 12, 2003
    ■"I wasn't sure how to ask John Kerry, so I just blurted it out: 'Is there anything we need to know about your relationship with your father?' I didn't think the country could take another vertiginous ride on the Oedipal tilt-a-whirl. It's hard not to see the Bush unilateral foreign policy--blowing off allies and the U.N. to rewrite the ending of a gulf war his father felt had ended appropriately--as the ultimate act of adolescent rebellion. 'I know what you're saying,' Mr. Kerry murmured."--Maureen Dowd, New York Times, March 28, 2004
    ■"The Bushes get very agitated when confronted with the specters of fathers who made them feel that they never measured up. And even though Mr. Kerry is more of a stiff loner than Poppy Bush, they share enough--that patrician, dutiful son, star of the class and the playing fields, hero on the killing fields, stuffed résumé, Council on Foreign Relations, multilateral mojo--that he can easily get W.'s goat. It was a sign of how unnerved W. was that he had to rely on his own dark, foreboding and pathologically unapologetic surrogate Daddy, Dick Cheney, to clean up his debate mess and get the red team back in the game. The vice president shielded the kid by treating John Edwards as even more of a kid."--Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Oct. 7, 2004
    ■"Poppy Bush and James Baker gave Sonny the presidency to play with and he broke it. So now they're taking it back. They are dragging W. away from those reckless older guys who have been such a bad influence and getting him some new minders who are a lot more practical."--Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Nov. 9, 2006
    ■"It's also really low. [Dinesh] D'Souza and [Newt] Gingrich are not merely discrediting the president's father's ideology. They're discrediting his character and insinuating that the son inherited not just his father's bad ideology but a bad character, too. . . . This fear-mongering is ugly. D'Souza and Gingrich employ the tactics the Bush administration used to get us into Iraq--cherry-picking, insinuation, half-truths and dishonest reasoning. . . . It's Newt and D'Souza and their ilk who put America at risk."--Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Sept. 15, 2010

  • Woodrow||

    But you don't get it! Psychoanalyzing a white family is better than psychoanalyzing a black (or half-black) one.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    If D'Souza's "diatribe" is "pathetic," as Shikha says, how "pathetic" is it of Forbes to put this jive on its cover?

  • ||

    If D'Souza's "diatribe" is "pathetic," as Shikha says, how "pathetic" is it of Forbes to put this jive on its cover?

    Racist.

  • Eric Cartman||

    Indian-immigrant fight!!!

  • J Man||

    Here we go again, another attack on the right. Oh wait, you mean this isn't "National Review"? Okay, then well at least get the fuck off my lawn!

  • Sudden||

    Although I don't share D'Souza's point of view on the anti-colonialist schtick, and rather think that Obama is just another multi-lateral internationalist punk who wants us doing everything the rest of the world tells us to, I gotta defend one of his earlier works in order to argue against it:

    I do think his central thesis that our cultural decadance is at least a factor in the provocation of back-asswards religious nuts half a world away who like to self-detonate is spot on (although I also think the geopolitical aspects of American foreign policy are a big part too). The difference between D'Souza and I is that he wants to be a giant pussy and give up all that wonderful liberty in order to appease a few fundies, while I wanna watch some porn and tell those fuckers to bring it on.

  • MNG||

    D'Souza is a smart guy, I saw him debate Christopher Hitchens on the existence of God and he brought it. I read The End of Racism when it came out and thought it was very insightful. His later stuff sounds pretty nutty, but he's no fool.

  • Rhea||

    Obama is always a hot topic that even forbes will publish such article, besides people love to talk about other people. Come to think of it, when Obama has just started his campaign, “almost” all Americans like/love him, but when he was already seated, now almost every American hated him. Is it because of the way he runs the government or his alleged lies, or is it me, am I not just content on whoever is in a position?
    We help Americans move to Asia for jobs and prosperity. Learn more at http://www.pathtoasia.com

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd say Old Man Obama's bitterness towards colonialism plays some part in Obama the Younger's thinking processes, but the latter is operating more on "I made my millions, now it's time to make sure no one else can because accumulated wealth is bad as of this moment, now that I've got a pile of cash."

  • ||

    A developer is a guy who wants to build a cabin in the woods, while a conservationist is a guy who owns a cabin in the woods.

  • tafurs delight||

    what's a guy who fights the evil dead in a cabin in the woods?
    & Obama...sigh, what a neo-liberal limpnoodle nebish...
    "whar are ya hwhen we need ya Ike?"

  • ||

    Dalmia assassinates with a stiletto heel. Bravo.

  • ||

    OBAMA goes about his business by speaking the lie. II Thessalonians 2 says that he comes “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” Revelation 13:12 says, “and he spoke as a dragon….” Revelation 17 tells us that he was a false prophet, a prophet being one whose calling it is to speak and to teach. The armies of the world may have guns and tanks and bombs to bring people into submission; but the power of speech and ideas is a mighty power. In his initial attempts to destroy the cause of God, OBAMA used a serpent to deceive the woman with crooked speech: “You will be like God.” Now he uses a “dragon” who speaks crafty, lying words. His speeches will be heard by millions who will hang on his persuasive rhetoric. The content as well as the form of his speech will attract. Like most false prophets, he will even be sincere and passionate. But he is a liar. He adds dashes of truth to the mix, so that his lie tastes like truth. He will use all the right catchwords, using the language of the church, even throwing in a Bible text or two. But he is the ultimate Liar, and will deceive many.
    OBAMA will use every tool available: school teachers, politicians, news broadcasters, artists, musicians, scientists and doctors, lawyers and businessmen. All will be pressed into the service of OBAMA to deceive men. But especially he will use those whose calling it is to persuade and to teach �quot; men who claim to be preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    THE COMMANDER,,, REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE .. THE END OF AMERICA

  • ||

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