Thursday, October 19, 2006

Walcott Takes Down Dinesh D'Souza

From James Wolcott:

(Y)esterday I received the galley of Dinesh D'Souza's new book from Doubleday, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, to be published in January 2007.

It isn't rare that I take instant animus against a book like this. But I don't tend to react right away. The responsible thing for me to do as an occasional book critic is to wait until the official pub date, find a suitable venue for review, and thrash the book based on its merits.

But this is a special book, deserving special mistreatment. With The Enemy at Home, I prefer to do the irresponsible thing and declare war on Dinesh D'Souza and his stinking mackerel of a book starting now. I intend to pound this scurrilous piece of scapegoating at every convenient opportunity. It is long past due that the likes of Ramesh Ponnuru (Death Party A-Go-Go), Jonah Goldberg (Hillary Clinton Was Himmler's Mistress), and now D'Souza be put on notice that they are not going to get away with vilifying liberals, mainstream Democrats, radical thinkers, academics, and entertainers as traitors and terrorist sympathizers. They want to wage culture war? Then, to quote Nabokov, they should brace themselves and prepare for the next crash. They want to practice character assassination? They've picked the wrong time, the wrong adversary.

It's one thing when Michael Savage or Ann Coulter denounce liberals as heathen traitors. One spouts halitosis on the radio, the other is an exhibitionist hag; both cater to their fan base. But D'Souza isn't some low-grade, high-volume performance artist. He's a research scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, which he thanks in the acknowledgments "for providing me with the institutional support to do my work." D'Souza writes, speaks, and thinks like something hatched in a think tank--a careerist toady.

The theme of the book is quite simple, and vile.

"In this book I make a claim that will seem startling at the outset. The cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11." ...

He puts Gore Vidal in the Foreign Policy Left. Doesn't Vidal--novelist, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, TV performer--more properly belong in the Cultural Left? And what is Joe Conason, whose work is 99% pure political, doing in the Cultural Left with Eve Ensler and Tony Kushner?

Moreover, how can George Galloway, Robert Fisk, and Arundhati Roy be considered the "enemy at home" when they don't even live in this country? To D'Souza, being dead (Edward Said) or politically defunct (Cynthia McKinney, defeated in her reelection bid, is nonetheless listed in the Congressional Left alongside such Bolsheviks as Ed Markey and Patty Murray)* is no disqualification for treasonhood.

There is no Democrat, living or dead, D'Souza won't stoop to slime. When a Sunni Arab speaker of the Iraqi Assembly says that his dream is to be the Tip O'Neill of Iraq, D'Souza snarks, "Recalling O'Neill's resemblance to our federal government--big, fat, and out of control--I am not ordinarily excited to find a man who wants to emulate Tip O'Neill. But I wish al-Hassani good luck." D'Souza is such a patronizing little shit, such an odious shyster that he disparages John Murtha--whose heartfelt anger and grief over how the mishandled war in Iraq is mauling our military ought to shame D'Souza--as a sockpuppet for Osama bin Laden. "Hey, this man served his country! Don't question his loyalty, even when he makes the same arguments as Noam Chomsky and Osama bin Laden."


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