Dinesh! D'Souza! Demands! To! Be! Taken! Seriously!
Guys, we're a little worried about convicted felon Dinesh D'Souza. His latest dumb movie, Death of a Nation, which unironically claims Donald Trump is a second Lincoln while Democrats are literally segregationists and Nazis, is making far less money than his previous cinematic masterpieces. D'Souza was also the target of a piece in The Atlantic in which David Frum wondered what the hell went wrong with Reagan Conservatism (short answer, which Frum never quite gets to: it was never anything to write home about in the first place, and attracted lots of glib jerks like D'Souza). And of course, there's D'Souza's bête noire, Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse, who's made a hobby of debunking D'Souza's farcical claim that Democrats remain the party of the KKK and there was never any such thing as a Southern Strategy.
In the last week, D'Souza has been trying to provoke even more attention from people who think he's an idiot, on the assumption that even negative attention is better than no attention at all. It energizes his fans' perception that D'Souza must be on to dangerous truths that The Left wants to suppress -- and if it makes some people go to his dumb movie to mock it, well then, that's still a ticket sale.
One of D'Souza's favorite ploys is the unrequited debate challenge -- it costs him nothing, and when a real historian like Kruse says nah, I won't legitimize your nonsense, D'Souza gets to proclaim, "See! They're AFRAID of me!" Of course, D'Souza could certainly "debate" Kruse right on Twitter, where Kruse regularly supports his threads debunking D'Souza with facts, but that's not really the point, now is it? Like creationists demanding to "debate" scientists, the goal is to get the legitimacy of sharing a stage, where it's possible to reel off a lot of impressive-sounding lies in less time than it takes to refute. D'Souza's target audience, after all, are the folks who, like "Fox & Friends" host Ainsley Earhardt, are proud of how America defeated communist Japan:
D'Souza was at it again yesterday, more than once, and this time he was armed with a thesaurus, to demonstrate what a very smart fellow he is:
Kruse was quick to point out that he's already taken apart D'Souza's claims, including yet another of his ridiculous attempts to proclaim no racist southern Democrats changed parties after the 1964 passage of the Civil Rights Act (here's D'Souza's bad history, and here's Kruse's very detailed thread debunking it). Strangely, D'Souza never replied. He's really good at that.
No, of course D'Souza had nothing to say in reply, because why would he? Instead, he went back to retweeting people who think D'Souza coined the brilliant insight that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. Then he returned to just plain lying about history and historians, and insisting once more that Democrats are hiding the real facts!
Hey, who was it who said if you repeat lies often enough, some people will start to believe them?
Needless to say, the "Prager U" (Motto: "We're not a university") vid D'Souza links to is nothing but another rehash of the old "Democrats were slavers and Klansmen and history ended in 1964" bullshit, and of course, no historians have ever "hidden" the facts of the party's origins, as if that were even possible. Of course, maybe other things happened later -- it's a definite possibility.
Also amusing, in the way that a pathetic liar can be amusing: D'Souza's reaction to the David Frum piece has been fairly predictable, veering between "Nope, doesn't bother me at all" to "I am in fact a real scholar, and YOU went to a crappy state school, loser" (the person he replied to has "@uwmadison alum" listed in his Twitter bio):
Probably worth noting the guy was calling D'Souza's readers uninformed, but obviously Dinesh has superior reading comprehension because he went to Dartmouth and had a job at a rightwing think-tank. For a guy who shuns academe because it's full of liars, he's really desperate to be recognized as academe-adjacent.
As for his being a "Stanford U scholar," quite a few people jumped in to remind D'Souza that his two-year appointment at the seriously partisan Hoover Institution doesn't exactly make him a Stanford professor, even though Hoover is indeed located on the Stanford campus. Among them was John Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary and former George H.W. Bush speechwriter, who's not exactly a flaming liberal. That brought this very strange exchange:
Yes, everyone is jealous of Dinesh, you bet. Because of the places he's been.
The whole wretched mess was strangely fascinating, and before the day was out, D'Souza managed to make an ass of himself yet again by citing a top historian of fascism as "proof" that liberals are the real fascists, giving Kruse the chance to do one more History Smackdown for the day:
At some point, we'd like to hope D'Souza will realize there are only diminishing returns on trying to win supporters by repeatedly letting smarter people spank him. But it's the only schtick he's got to market his garbage, so we can assume the beatings will continue while his morale improves.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.