I thought Dinesh D’Souza’s anti-colonialist theory of Obama’s actions was a classic case of over-thinking things when first I heard of it, and it’s not like I’m going to vote for the guy, so why see a documentary about it?
Peer pressure, I guess. A lot of my tweeps had seen it and liked it.
So, how is it?
Well, he makes a pretty strong case.
From a documentary standpoint, this is sort of the polar opposite of the Herzl bio. Where Herzl’s story is epic and tragic and heroic, the documentary is very dry. Obama’s story is really very pedestrian, but the documentary is engagingly presented.
Actually, I think D’Souza’s story—which we get glimpses of—is more interesting and inspiring.
The Left—and lots of libertarians—are christening Dinesh as the right’s Michael Moore, which is delicious in its irony. Most of what he says is factual, backed up by Obama’s own words, and not only not smears but not even anti-Obama.
When people say it’s “anti-Obama,” what they’re saying is “This hurts his chances for re-election.”
Well, sure, the truth about the President is very damaging when it gets out, whether he’s suggesting we “spread the wealth around” or “you didn’t built that” or “they get bitter” (and cling to guns and religion). It’s like saying he’s a socialist: The Left and some on the right get all wee-weed up about it, and so we can’t use that word, but if there’s a socialist policy he objects to, I’ve never heard him act in a way to support that.
Mostly, this documentary stays out of the weeds: No birtherism, no questioning when Obama actually met Ayers nor whether or not he actually wrote Dreams From My Father, and while D’Souza admits to copping some of Moore’s techniques, he left out Moore’s favorite of humiliating people who are kind to him because they disagree with his politics.
He does go off the rails a couple of times: For example, he brings in a psychologist to talk about kids with missing fathers. (Didn’t the Dems get a petition of 1,500 psychologists asserting the Barry Goldwater was crazy?) He lost me a little bit toward the end, too, when speculating on what 2016 would be like if Obama were re-elected.
I actually felt a little better about Obama when it was over. I’ve proceeded under the idea that (longtime readers will recall) Obama Is Stupid And Lazy. It’s actually somewhat reassuring to think that this destruction he’s wrought isn’t just slackerism and isn’t even really evil (at least from the perspective of those who old America to be the root of all evil in the world). I think I’m reassured.
I guess my overall take on this is kind of a big “So what?” Obama may very well be anti-neo-colonialism. In fact, I think we can pretty much guarantee it. But all of his mentors—as listed in the movie—were Americans. Davis, Ayers, Wright and his Harvard prof whose name I forget were all born-and-bred in the USA.
Ultimately, it wouldn’t matter if he were born in Kenya (I mean, apart from his mother being an American citizen) or that he was raised in Indonesia. Plenty of people believe what he believe right here at home. Hell, Clinton probably held most of the same ideas—he just wasn’t as intellectually lazy, and he was smart enough to see the writing on the wall. (And I’m actually curious to hear what he says at the DNC.)
The Boy didn’t have too much to say about it. He thought it was a little slow at first but picked up pretty well. We weren’t at one of our usual theaters though, so the popcorn wasn’t up to snuff.
But that was probably Bush’s fault.