D’nesh D’Souza, the conservative pundit who has built a career by proving himself indistinguishable from the primordial ooze, likes to lecture the country about moral values. Unfortunately for him, so do federal prosecutors. On Thursday, D’Souza was indicted for violating campaign laws by using straw donors to make donations to a political campaign on his behalf. The alleged action, in which D’Souza is said to have reimbursed people for donating to the campaign in their own name, was designed to skirt campaign contribution limits.
D’Souza thrives on being deliberately provocative (and unintentionally delusional), especially when it comes to gay issues. He started his career at Dartmouth in the early 1980s, as editor of the right-wing student publication, Dartmouth Review. There he maliciously outed gay students by publishing personal letters that he denied were stolen. At least one student contemplated suicide as a result of being outed.
Not surprisingly, the candidate whom D’Souza is alleged to have arranged the contributions is a former Dartmouth classmate, Wendy Long, who unsuccessfully ran against Kristen Gillibrand in 2012. During their Dartmouth days, D’Souza and Long once had to apologize for printing a quote from Hitler in the Review’s statement of principles published on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. They attributed the quote to an unknown staffer.
Since leaving Dartmouth, D’Souza has continued his war on LGBT rights with assaults that are at once hilariously outlandish and deeply offensive. He has suggested that the reason why Muslims in the Middle East are angry with the U.S. is because of marriage equality, implying that the LGBT community is responsible for terrorism directed at this county. He said that if gays were allowed to serve in the military, the only advantage would be, should the U.S. lose a battle, “we could always laugh off the defeat and say, ‘Well, yeah, but you only beat a bunch of gays.’” He has attacked same-sex couples who want to marry as being no different than “the fellow who wants to walk down the aisle with his poodle on the grounds that ‘I love my dog and my dog loves me.‘”
Needless to say, adherence to high moral standards, including his beloved “traditional marriage,” are for the little people, not for D’Souza.
In 2012, D’Souza showed up at a Christian conference with a woman 20 years younger than himself, whom he introduced as his fiancee. Trouble was, D’Souza was still married, as was the fiancee. Moreover, he shared a hotel room with his “fiancee,” although he reassured organizers “nothing happened.” (Lucky her.) As a result, D’Souza was forced to resign as president of King’s College, a Christian right school in New York, which must have hurt, since he was supposedly pulling down $1 million in the job, or about $2,500 per student.
D’Souza made up for that loss by producing one of the looniest documentaries since the invention of motion pictures, 2016: Obama’s America, which posits that the president is motivated by the anti-colonialism of his Kenyan father. Whom Obama met once.
As a testament to the refined taste of the movie-going public, 2016: Obama’s America pulled in $33 million at the box office, making it one of the highest grossing documentaries of the past 30 years.
D’Souza’s lawyer says the actions in the indictment were “at most…an act of misguided friendship.” Already, the right wing is circling its wagons, claiming that D’Souza and former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who was just indicted on bribery charges, are victims of Obama’s Department of Justice. So much for that other conservative value, personal accountability. It does prove one verity, however: no matter how much of a charlatan you might be, the right wing will always stand by you.
Photo credit: DineshDSouza1961 via Wikimedia Commons