Andrew Goldman has an interview of Dinesh D’Souza at the New York Times and I found this exchange particularly fascinating. D’Souza admits that he went to Kenya expecting to find President Obama’s half-siblings to be lazy, shiftless bums looking for a handout. And then:
In your film, you traveled to Nairobi to interview Obama’s half brother, to get him to express frustration that the president hasn’t helped him financially. It had to be disappointing when he wasn’t upset at all.
Initially. Then I realized that this gives the story a more interesting twist. I expected George to be this helpless slum kid who had an outstretched hand. In fact, I find George to be a cunning, self-reliant guy — in a certain respect, a kind of conservative. He’s not looking for a handout. I admired George for that.
You suggest that President Obama may have decided not to support George because of his politics.
That’s right. It may be that Obama doesn’t want to help George because he sees George as an ideological enemy.
Isn’t that interesting? He went there to have his racial stereotyping confirmed so he could bash Obama for it, but when his stereotypes turned out to be false he just pivoted to an entirely different position and criticized him anyway. This is what passes for intellectual honesty to D’Souza. And then there’s this:
One of your film’s central arguments is that Barack Obama has absorbed the philosophy of a father whom he met once at 10 years old. Is it a bit absurd to think after a short visit, he’s the walking embodiment of everything his father believed?
Young men are obsessed with their dads, and they remain obsessed if the dad is not around. Remember that there was a lot of discussion about how George W. Bush might have invaded Iraq to atone for the failures of his dad.
Discussion that D’Souza no doubt thought was outrageous and absurd. But now he bases his entire armchair psychological analysis of Obama on an entirely unsupported claim that boys are “obsessed” with their fathers and therefore, presumably, believe everything they ever believed. And the fact that there are vast numbers of sons who disagree with their fathers on many or most issues, even after being raised under their influence forever? Well that would get in the way of his absurd hypothesis, so it is merely ignored.