So in this month’s Forbes magazine, Dinesh D’Souza tries to set the record straight on Barack Obama. He’s not a socialist, D’Souza says. Of course not.
It’s obvious that Obama is an anticolonialist who wants the American federal government to accumulate as much wealth as possible, in order to destroy the traditional power structure within the United States and thus reduce its ability to exploit the developing world and harm the environment.
Well . . . yeah! No shit? Haven’t I been saying that for . . .
Obama received his father’s spirit while weeping at his grave, you know.
D’Souza has had a semi-regular side gig the last few years playing the Washington Generals opposite Christopher Hitchens on the debate circuit. So it’s fitting that Hitchens would respond to D’Souza’s insane analysis of our president’s motivation, and use it to examine the broader subject of race politics in America, thusly:
For Dinesh D’Souza to label Obama the equivalent of a Kenyan Mau Mau was one thing, but for former Speaker Newt Gingrich to endorse the analysis with such dispatch was quite another. What will they do for an encore?
[. . .]
The man who did actually become the first black president has been unusually forbearing when it comes to the race card, and he was originally very fortunate in those who played it against him. As Obama asks in his memoirs, who would have predicted that the Republicans in Illinois would have run a black man against him in the Illinois Senate race—an out-and-out extremist named Alan Keyes, who denounced him for not being the descendant of slaves and therefore not “truly” black! When the terrain shifted, and it was a question of Obama’s being too much of an African-American, or in some critiques too likely to be a Muslim, it was originally from Hillary Clinton’s camp that most of the innuendoes came. (“Not as far as I know,” was her tooth-gritted reply to the question about whether her rival was a Muslim.) Long before Glenn Beck had accused the president of being motivated by hatred for white people, the Hillary camp had been circulating the rumor that Michelle Obama was on tape with a speech denouncing “whitey.” It’s true that Rahm Emanuel later vetoed the appointment of her chief propagandist Sidney Blumenthal to a job at the State Department, but by that time Obama had rewarded one of his chief taunters with the job of secretary of state.
The vagaries of the race card have, if anything, only increased since then. A huge number of liberals have already decided that in some way Muslims constitute a race of their own, or at any rate that criticism of their religion can be construed as “racist.” (The fact that the Quran contains many racist observations about Jews will mean that this card can and will be used to turn an almost infinite number of tricks. Still, I predict that liberals will regret handing Muslims such a handy alibi for any criticism of their faith.) And if there is anywhere in particular where Obama could have learned the dangers of the same card, it could well be—as described in David Remnick’s biography—from his father’s bitter experience of Luo-Kikuyu tribal fratricide in Kenya, which led to the murder of the country’s most promising politician, Tom Mboya, at the dawn of independence. Aside from a minor and avoidable gaffe on the occasion when Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was clumsily arrested at his own front door in Cambridge, Mass., Obama has done little or nothing to raise the racial temperature and has endured a pelting of vulgar defamation with remarkable patience.
Check out the rest of this Hitchens column at Slate.com.