Monday, January 22, 2007

D’Souza D’issed

Once a darling of the anti-diversity right, Dinesh D’Souza has apparently done something no other conservative has been able to: he has written a book so vicious, mean-spirited and wrong-headed that the rest of the right wants nothing to do with it. In the book – The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 – D’Souza advances the novel thesis that Islamic extremists attacked us because they don’t like gay marriage and other artifacts of the modern, secular, liberal West.

No, really.

So D’Souza’s prescription is for cultural conservatives to find common ground with moderate and conservative (including, presumably, jihadist) Muslims.

No, really.

If you don't believe me, here's a taste, but apparently it gets worse.

The book is apparently bad enough that PoliSci prof Alan Wolfe slipped past the NYT Book Review editors the most intemperate review I’ve ever read on those pages. Here’s his conclusion:

    At one point in “The Enemy at Home,” D’Souza appeals to “decent liberals and Democrats” to join him in rejecting the American left. Although he does not name me as one of them, I sense he is appealing to people like me because I write for The New Republic, a liberal magazine that distances itself from leftism. So let this “decent” liberal make perfectly clear how thoroughly indecent Dinesh D’Souza is. Like his hero Joe McCarthy, he has no sense of shame. He is a childish thinker and writer tackling subjects about which he knows little to make arguments that reek of political extremism. His book is a national disgrace, a sorry example of a publishing culture more concerned with the sensational than the sensible. People on the left, especially those who have been subjects of D’Souza’s previous books, will shrug their shoulders at his latest screed. I look forward to the reaction from decent conservatives and Republicans who will, if they have any sense of honor, distance themselves, quickly and cleanly, from the Rishwain research scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Damn. Happily, voices on the right are doing just that. D’Souza has gotten raked on both Powerline and Hugh Hewitt, among others.

So let’s review: Advocate mass murder of newspaper employees (Coulter), OK. Advocate indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets (Limbaugh), OK. Make any number of repellant attacks on gays (Savage, among others), *yawn.* While I am as appalled as anyone by D’Souza’s argument, there is something unsettling in learning that the line not to be crossed in conservative circles is finding commonalities with Islam.

Meanwhile, I can’t find any news clips indicating that D’Souza has lost his aforementioned research chair, meaning that, pariah or not, some heavy hitters in the conservative movement are still paying his freight.


redhorse said...

You get PhoPoints for reading a review I dismissed out of hand. D'Souza is among the looniest of the loon, a bona fide freak.

The only surprise is that it took him 5 years to formulate his hypothesis.