The Corner

Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes, and Dinesh D’Souza

In 2012 — President Obama’s reelection year — Dinesh D’Souza made a controversial film, 2016: Obama’s America, based on two of his books (also controversial, of course). Dinesh’s theme was that Obama’s views were shaped by his father and the Third World, and are essentially anti-colonialist. (Dinesh knows a thing or two about this, coming from Bombay.)

People had a cow. An absolute cow. They said that Dinesh was off his rocker, a racist, etc.

I wrote about Dinesh’s film here. (I also wrote about his next film, two years later. I have a specialty in Souzology.) Toward the end of my piece, I wrote,

The Obama described, or analyzed, by D’Souza is not an Obama everyone would dislike. Far from it. The anti-colonialist view, or just plain a Left view, is almost as American as apple pie at this stage. Professor [Stanley] Fish wrote that his wife had read D’Souza’s 2010 book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage. “She told D’Souza — he was bemused — that reading it had allowed her to see more clearly what she liked about Obama.” There you go.

As I watched 2016, I kept wondering what Barack Obama himself would think about it. Would he grant that it had some points? Or would he think it all nonsense and defamation …? Perhaps he will address this in what could be, if the author is in a frank mood, the most interesting presidential memoir since Grant’s.

Okay, the New York Times has just published a lengthy profile of Ben Rhodes, the president’s top national-security aide. Have a listen:

Obama’s particular revulsion against a certain kind of global power politics is a product, Rhodes suggests, of his having been raised in Southeast Asia. “Indonesia was a place where your interaction at that time with power was very intimate, right?” … “I don’t think there’s ever been an American president who had an experience like that at a young age of what power is.”

Huh. Dinesh D’Souza, call your office. (I’ve never been sure what that long-repeated phrase means, but I think it applies.)


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