Over at Mediaite, Matt Wilstein posts and comments on a Fox News appearance by Dinesh D'Souza that left host Megyn Kelly wondering if the scandal–ridden, symposium-inducing, and super-successful documentarian and author has "jumped off the deep end."
In explaining his new film and book, America: Imagine a World Without Her, D'Souza contends that President Barack Obama believes in a perverted version of American Exceptionalism in which the United States is "exceptionally evil."
Kelly asks, "If he were anti-American, if he didn't love his country, why would he want to be president of it?"
Here's D'Souza's response:
"If I was in a family and I believed my dad was some kind of a serial killer or a child molester, I would still love him. He would be part of my family, but I'd do everything I could to prevent him from doing evil actions.
I would think that would be good for the world and for my dad. So with Obama, he believes he's doing the world a favor and America a favor by controlling this rogue elephant that is the United States."
Blast from Past: In 2007's The Enemy at Home, D'Souza's widely-panned argument about the "the cultural left and its responsibility for 9/11," D'Souza notes that Abu Ghraib malefactors "Lynndie England and Charles Graner were two wretched individuals from red America who were trying to act out the fantasies of blue America."
The Enemy at Home, which rails against "the garbage heap of American excess," provoked a symposium at National Review in which Victor Davis Hanson, who can hardly be labeled anti-American or thinking that the U.S. is a child molester or serial killer or an evil actor, noted
D'Souza writes: "And yet these pundits on the Right are doing their best to cover up the Left's role in 9/11."
What does this conspiratorial charge of "cover up" mean exactly? That many of us continue to believe that al Qaeda terrorists blew up innocent Americans for a variety of perceived grievances rather than an understandable Muslim unhappiness with Britney Spears and Brokeback Mountain? But Al Qaeda did not attack New York and Washington because those on the Left, such as Bill Moyers, Robert Reich, or Sharon Stone (to quote from D'Souza's own list of the guilty), encouraged or allowed the terrorists to commit mayhem.
No, they struck from two broader causes, apparent for much of the 1980s and 1990s….
In The Enemy at Home, D'Souza evinced strong sympathy for attitudes of Sayyid Qutb, the father of contemporary Islamism, who similarly felt disgusted by the American culture he experienced during a visit to the States in the 1940s.
What exactly freaked out Qutb, who was executed in 1966 by Abdel Nasser for plotting to assassinate the Egyptian ruler (D'Souza says Qutb was "martyred")?
From Charles Paul Freund's discusson of Arab pop videos in 2003:
Qutb's most notorious reaction to American life was occasioned by, of all things, a church social in Greeley, Colorado, a community originally organized along utopian lines and one that had maintained a tradition of temperance and moral rigor. Qutb found it a black hole of degeneracy. He had been invited to a dance in Greeley's church basement, where the pastor was playing dance records for the congregation. At one point, the pastor lowered the lights and cued a 78-rpm version of the flirtatious but otherwise innocent tune, "Baby, It's Cold Outside," then popular because it had been used in a 1949 Esther Williams movie. Qutb was scandalized. "The dancing intensified," he wrote. "The hall swarmed with legs….Arms circled arms, lips met lips, chests met chests, and the atmosphere was full of love."
It is as a result of such encounters that Qutb's Islamism was to intensify. Oddly, the whole of the Western, liberalized world sometimes seems to have presented a sexual threat to Qutb, a threat that began aboard the ship that brought him to the U.S. There, a "drunken, semi-naked" woman knocked at his cabin door; he believed the woman could only have been sent to corrupt him by the CIA. It would be interesting to know just why women and sex represented threat and corruption to Qutb; there may be clues in his 1947 novel, Thorns, an autobiographical tale of romance and heartbreak, but the work is untranslated. In any event, two years after he returned from the U.S., Qutb joined Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the fountainhead of modern Islamism, and became its leading theorist.
Well, home is where they have to take you in, right? Even if it's during a staged reading of The Vagina Monologues (which makes its first appearance in The Enemy at Home on page 18)? And even if it's in a country where the president's critics say he thinks of his own country as a child molester but maybe is right to because, after all, as D'Souza has written, "American culture has become increasingly trivial, vulgar, and disgusting."
Related: Why nobody ever named an anti-authoritarian revolution after Van Cliburn but they did name one after the Velvet Underground.