Recently, Andrew Sullivan was moved to criticize Dinesh D’Souza with language boosted straight outta Liberal Central Command.
D’Souza once believed in making serious arguments for a more conservative view of the world. It’s telling about his own evolution – and the degeneration of public discourse in America – that he has largely given that up in favor of really lucrative propaganda designed to monetize the polarized red state masses. He’s another example of the power of the right-wing media-industrial complex. Its ability to reward its propagandists with fantastic monetary awards without any need to engage critics has transformed conservatism in this country – for the gridlocked, ideological worse.
Sullivan's late-life discovery that Dirty Liberals have been right (over and over and over again) all along about the truly loathsome nature of his beloved Conservatism has had the incredibly amusing side-effect of driving Sully into an ideological St. Vitus' Dance every time he has to gavotte and skitter around that hugely inconvenient fact.
And while he now camps out on his own little ideological Principality of Sealand, smoking weed and extolling the virtues of Imaginary Libertarianism every bit as energetically as he used to preach the gospel of Imaginary Conservatism, like everyone else for whom it is economically and psychologically impossible to admit the scary truth at the heart of our crippling political dysfunction, Mr. Sullivan regularly plays the Both Sides game every bit as hard as David Gregory or Mark Halperin or Harold Ford Junior ever did.
This time around, during his critique of the D'hack D'Souza, Mr. Sullivan felt it was necessary to prop up his Both Siderist cred by pausing every few minutes to gratuitously punch Michael Moore in the face over and over again:
The Michael Moore Of The Right?
In an interview conducted as he awaits sentencing for violating campaign-finance law, Dinesh D’Souza reveals the inspiration behind the “documentaries” he’s produced, such as 2016: Obama’s America (trailer above) and America: Imagine the World Without Her:I went back and watched Roger and Me, which I think is [Michael Moore's] best film. It’s got an interesting premise: General Motors closes down a big auto plant that his dad happened to work at, and he’s going to go find the CEO of General Motors and demand to know why. Now, it fails intellectually, because there is an obvious reason why General Motors might want to close that plant—i.e., it’s not making money. And one possible reason it’s not making money is General Motors has been paying people like his dad way too much and can make cars much cheaper in North Carolina or other countries. You can’t proceed without confronting that argument. But Michael Moore’s presumption is that the CEO of General Motors, Roger Smith, is just a mean guy who wants to deprive working people of their livelihood. So intellectually, it’s ridiculous.But visually, cinematically, narratively, it works. This clownish Michael Moore showing up everywhere, the cops in dogged pursuit. All of that works. What Michael Moore understands is that a movie traffics in the language of emotion. The intellect is subordinate to that.On the Obama question, D’Souza is actually copying Moore’s intellectually ridiculous oeuvre.He starts, as Moore does, with a crude reductionist idea of a public figure – Obama as seeking revenge on a colonial America – undergirded by nothing but D’Souza’s own pop-psychologizing of Obama’s relationship with his own father. Everything else needed to explain the actions of a center-left president (who has waged more wars in more places than most American presidents) is moot. For D’Souza, a crude narrative of racial revenge is all that’s really necessary to understand the Obama presidency – and he then simply adds layer upon layer to this caricature, which feeds paranoia and conspiracy theories and glib ideology as powerfully as Moore once did...
However repellent to Mr. Sullivan's very, very delicate sensibilities Michael Moore's guerrilla tactics and directorial style may be, there is absolutely no denying that the range of subjects Mr. Moore has taken on -- the gutting of our manufacturing base and the razing of the American Middle Class for the short-term profit of a few at the top...a scathing indictment of our political system's unhinged overreaction to 9/11 and the Bush Regimes deliberate exploitation of that tragedy for political gain at a time when virtually everyone else with a megaphone including Andrew "Liberal Fifth Columnist" Sullivan was giddily stampeding in the opposite direction...the grotesque and destructive dysfunction of the for-profit boondoggle that we laughingly refer to as a "health care system" ...the fatal madness of our gun culture... Capitalism!...and so forth -- have all proven to be both on the side of the angels and the right side of history.
By way of contrast, Mr. D'Souza's subject matter -- that President Obama is driven by the ghosts of his African ancestors to destroy Murrica -- is the batshit twaddle of a minor demagogue who makes his living fluffing the paranoid conspiracy theories of the shallow end of the American gene pool.
Of course, Mr, Sullivan cannot see this, because Mr, Sullivan is part of the problem.