Friday, January 19, 2007

The continuing decline in right-wing commentary

It's not easy being on the left. It never has been, I suppose.

More recently, though, one has had to endure being accused of sharing a 'side' with the likes of people who carry around 'We are all Hezbollah' signs or, like a certain kitty-imitating British embarrassment to politics, who have found people like Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic to be the kind of folks we lefties should celebrate for standing up to the big, bad West

So, it's entirely enjoyable to see the absolute freak-show commentators that the right wing has to present to the world today and to note that they put our own nutcases to shame. Along with the Coulters, Limbaughs and Robertsons of the world, we have people like Dinesh D'Souza.

I once saw D'Souza live at my campus way back in about 1990 debating Stanley Fish. He was a punk and a ridiculous walking caricature of a right-wing hack even then, but it seems that age and experience have taught him less than nothing.

In 'Ayatollah D'Souza', at The Nation, Katha Pollitt does a more than exemplary job of eviscerating the latest mutant thinking to emerge from that particular has-been's smelly little laboratory of 'thought': his new book The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11.

Here's the gist:

"American conservatives should join Muslims and others in condemning the global moral degeneracy that is produced by liberal values."

Well, it's a theory. Specifically, as D'Souza acknowledges, it's a secular version of Jerry Falwell's contention that 9/11 was a divine rebuke to "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America."


When the left isn't coddling terrorists, it's alienating "traditional Muslims," a group D'Souza believes the right ought to win over. The way to do this is not by building schools and hospitals that might actually improve their lives; it's by defending their cultural values, which fortunately just happen to be D'Souza's own. (Honor killings and child marriage aren't Islamic, he claims, just things that regrettably happen in Muslim societies. As for the veil, he approvingly quotes Sudanese radical cleric Hassan Turabi, who claims it lets women be seen as human beings. It's nice to see the cultural-relativist shoe back on the far-right foot.)
Please do read the rest.

The argument that D'Souza seems to be putting forward is ugly. Not only that, it's a demonstration (were one needed) that there is a particular strain of heavily-religious, authoritarian-leaning, small-minded, all-American conservatism which merges very nicely into precisely the kind of ideas which are inspiring the very movements which, ostensibly, the War on Terror is being fought to contain.

So, who's the real enemy at home?


Saintperle said...

So Souse believes all prostitution, pornography, gambling, adultery, fornication, etc are exclusive property of the LEFT... damn, we must be having a really good time.

I can only offer this:

Why in hell does anyone still pay attention to ANYTHING said by anyone in the right-wing club at Stanford called the Hoover Institution?

Just list ANY topic and you can write their headlines from a multiple-choice list:


a. Result of Reagan's policies
b. Product of Capitalism
c. Result of the Emergence of the Right-Wing (conservative) Majority


a. Caused by Liberals (Jimmy Carter)
b. Caused by Liberals (Ted Kennedy)
c. Caused by Liberals (Bill Clinton)
d. Caused by Liberal Press

He's sort of a Muslim Newt Gingrich -- quoting a lot of references he either hasn't read all the way through or didn't understand...

What a waste of protoplasm

J. Carter Wood said...

Well said! The amazing thing is...they give out so much cash for such paint-by-numbers politics. I would expect more for my money.

But then, our standards are higher.

Thanks for writing.