September 17, 2010

Obama smeared as Luo tribesman

Who’s the Con Man?

By Maureen DowdNewt told The National Review Online that it was the “most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama” and said D’Souza shows that the president “is so outside our comprehension” that you can only understand him “if you understand Kenyan, anticolonial behavior.”

Newt added: “This a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president.”

So the smear artists are claiming not only that the president is a socialist but that he suffers from a socialism gene.

“Our president is trapped in his father’s time machine,” D’Souza writes in Forbes, offering a genetic theory of ideology. “Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son.”

Playing into the bigotry of birthers and haters who paint Obama as “the other,” D’Souza writes that the president was raised offshore, spending “his formative years—the first 17 years of his life—off the American mainland, in Hawaii, Indonesia and Pakistan, with multiple subsequent journeys to Africa.” The ominous-sounding time in Pakistan was merely a visit when Obama was a college student.
Comment:  I consider this worse than comparing a president to Hitler. Why? Because everyone knows a Hitler comparison is pure hyperbole. Everyone knows what it means: that the president is kind of acting like a dictator. No one thinks the president is about to invade neighboring countries like Canada or Mexico or order millions of people into death camps.

But D'Souza and Gingrich seriously seem to believe Obama is an insane foreign agent and traitor to America. D'Souza isn't holding up a homemade sign making this claim, he's explicating it in a major, respected publication. And Gingrich, a potential presidential candidate, is spreading the view to his followers.

Angry bloggers may have made similar claims about Bush, but I don't think a major Democratic figure akin to Gingrich ever made such a claim. If you disagree, e-mail me a vituperative quote about Bush and we'll discuss it. Again, make sure it's worse than accusing Obama of being a foreign traitor, because this is arguably the worst crime possible in our legal system.

As far as I know, no Republicans have denounced D'Souza and Gingrich for their bigoted attempts to portray Obama as an African savage. We already know that huge numbers of Republicans think Obama is a foreign-born Muslim. This is an example of where they're getting that idea: from the racist pronouncements of conservative pundits like D'Souza and Gingrich.

If you don't know who D'Souza is, author Tim Wise helpfully explains:

“Birtherism With Big Words”—The Ignominious Return of Dinesh D’SouzaOver at the American Prospect’s Blog site, Adam Serwer dropkicks Dinesh D’Souza (the guy who first called me the “Uncle Tom of whites”) somewhere into next week, taking on his absurd contention that Barack Obama’s worldview is “Kenyan anti-colonialism.” This meme, which took off after Newt Gingrich picked it up and ran with it last week, is, as Serwer notes, “Birtherism with big words.” It is symbolic racism, from someone who has made his career engaged in the same. To wit, D’Souza’s 1995 book, The End of Racism, in which he explained, among other things, that enslaved blacks were treated like property, “which is to say, pretty well,” and that segregation was meant to protect blacks, and that what black folks suffer from is a “civilizational deficit,” vis-a-vis whites, and of course, certain Asians like himself. D’Souza, having discovered over the years that his books on subjects other than race don’t sell as well as his earlier efforts—and don’t garner him nearly as much attention—has, it appears, reverted to type.And Bill Clinton reminds us what the racist attacks on Obama are about:

Clinton's warning:  Tea Party is a corporate front

Stumping in Minnesota, he calls Michele Bachmann "the ultimate example of putting ideology over evidence"

By Joe Conason"They’re saying that Barack Obama represents the spearhead of this vast socialist conspiracy to have government swallow up the fabric of American life and he’s going to crush our individualism, and our freedom, and the vitality of small business. ... They tell us that they they represent America the way it used to be, self-reliant, virtuous individuals and small businesses. And the truth is, what they want to do is dismantle government so corporations, big corporations will control our destiny."

The former president said that over the past year, "their party has moved closer to Michele Bachmann. Look, in Utah a very conservative senator, Bob Bennett, was defeated for one reason--because he dared to sponsor a healthcare plan with a Democrat, Ron Wyden. And he did that because he looked at the evidence, that this country was going to be killed economically if we didn’t begin to control healthcare costs."

The Republican Party had changed, said Clinton, during the course of his own lifetime. "It’s a very different Republican Party from the one I grew up with," he said, a change that began "when they foresaked their founder, Abraham Lincoln" to chase segregationist voters in the South. Republican traditions favored private initiative and smaller government, but if the nation needed federal action, the Republicans supported it. He recited a litany of landmark Republican programs, from Lincoln’s creation of the land-grant college system to Theodore Roosevelt’s anti-trust reforms to Eisenhower’s construction of the Interstate Highway System.

"For the past 30 years they’ve been telling us that government is the problem and the destruction of government is the solution," said Clinton, "and now I think they’ve gotten to the point where they actually believe it.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. All the conservative attacks on Obama, big government, welfare, healthcare reform, illegal immigrants, ethnic studies, Muslims, etc. amount to the same thing. It's the same racist message we've heard since 1492, when Europeans first encountered Indians and immediately declared them heathens and savages. "God chose us, the white Christian nations, to rule the world. We have the God-given right to conquer anyone who isn't white or Christian. If they dare to fight back, we have the right to kill them. God's might makes us right."

The Tea Party movement is just the modern version of that. Today's conservatives think the planet's non-white people want to take back the land and wealth our ancestors stole from them. "The brown-skins are coming!" is their implicit warcry.

Conservative bigotry explained

Wise and others call D'Souza's view "Birtherism with big words." That's true, but why stop there? It's racist stereotyping of indigenous people as evildoers with big words. It's the same thing the first Europeans said about Indians.

Look at the words D'Souza uses:

  • "philandering" = immoral, licentious, promiscuous (also said about Indians)

  • "inebriated" = drunk (also said about Indians)

  • "socialist" = communal sharing of work and property (also said about Indians)

  • "anticolonial" = angry about and opposed to Western destruction of traditional cultures (also said about Indians)

    In short, D'Souza could easily be talking about Indians: "These philandering, inebriated Native American socialists, who have raged against the world for denying them the realization of their anticolonial ambitions." In other words, the conservative view of today's Indians: AIM and other whiny Indians and anyone who dares to protest a mascot.

    As I said before, today's conservatives believe illegal immigrants = Mexicans = Latinos = Indians. Add in blacks, Muslims, and anyone else who isn't a white Christian and you've got the whole picture. Not every conservative is a racist, but the conservative/libertarian/teabagger movement as a whole is. It's racist to the core.

    For more on the subject, see Conservative Bigotry About Islam and Tea Party Believes in Taking.

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