D’Souza Pwnd by Weekly Standard

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Conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza’s latest lunatic theory—that Barack Obama’s presidency is explainable as a continuation of the “Kenyan anti-colonialist” politics of his father—doesn’t really deserve a rejoinder. Obama was deeply disillusioned with (some might say hated) his father, and the idea that he would model his entire presidency on the politics of a man he essentially disowned is patently ridiculous. But the worst ideas sometimes draw the best (and most useful) rebuttals, and D’Souza’s almost non-stop crankery is clearly a magnet for epic takedowns. Four years ago, Andrew Sullivan did the honors on D’Souza’s book blaming the Left for 9/11. This time around, the Weekly Standard‘s Andrew Ferguson is playing the Mike Rowe role. You should read the whole piece, but here’s the most important part:

Trained as a young man by Jesuits, D’Souza must be familiar with the principle of Occam’s razor: The simplest explanation is always the best; if it fits the case at hand, there’s no need to go looking for more complicated theories. Yet there’s a cramp in the mind of the committed party hack, a terrible need to believe that one’s adversaries are more ominous or sinister than observable reality suggests. Thus Bill Clinton wasn’t merely an opportunist; he had to be a committed leftist and a criminal to boot. George W. Bush wasn’t merely a well-meaning, incompetent conservative; he had to be a Falangist. What Obama truly represents—unchecked liberalism, genus Americanus—is worrisome enough without dragging in the sad, gin-soaked carcass of his father or the hypnotic power of Roberto Mangabeira Unger.

Now, two years into the Obama administration, we’re finally getting somewhere. Obama turns out to not be a Marxist, Nazi, Muslim, or Hippie. He’s just a liberal (and far from an all-out liberal, at that). Conservatives and liberals disagree about lots of important, core issues. So for one group, being a part of the other should be bad enough. There’s really no need to bring Nazism or fascism or the Taliban or Kenyan anti-colonialism into the discussion.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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