Thursday, July 03, 2014


Oh look, National Review celebrates the 4th with an advertorial for Dinesh D'Souza's America: Back to Our Injun-Slaughtering Roots:
Is America a Source of Pride, as Americans Have Long Believed … or Shame, as Liberals Insist?
The answer may surprise you!
By the Makers of Dinesh D’Souza’s America 
 Talk about a mark of quality. Why no gushing pull-quote from Wendy Long?
New York Times bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza and Schindler’s List producer Gerald Molen share alarm at how these destructive accusations are taught in schools, preached by Hollywood, and are setting policy in today’s baffling, confused White House. Obama sees Americans as “greedy, selfish, materialistic” — needing to be punished and subdued. 
No, Americans are the most wonderful, moral people in the world, says D’Souza — and history proves his passion, which he celebrates in this astonishing, entertaining movie, America: Imagine a World without Her.
The forced march of overheated adjectives is predictable, but what's this “greedy, selfish, materialistic” thing? A quick Google shows no clear provenance -- certainly no direct quote from Obama, as this marketing copy/temper tantrum suggests. I thought for a while it might be from the Michelle Obama Whitey Tape, but as I thumbed through the Google results it seemed more likely that once upon a time somebody had portrayed Obama as saying it, as in this email-from-your-angry-grandma  ("The people pulling the wagon are Greedy, Selfish, Materialistic, and those in the wagon are Good and they deserve more" says made-up Obama), and it became part of conservative folklore -- so much so that at least one of their top public figures has integrated it into his schtick, knowing that instead of going "huh what" his target audience will take it in stride as yet another Obama outrage.

There's more than one reason why these guys often seem to be in their own world.


  1. Captain Ambiguity10:01 AM

    America is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful nation I've ever known in my life.

  2. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps10:06 AM

    Dinesh D'Souza is to nations what Rod Dreher is to religions. If Peter Thiel ever gets his floating island nation-state out of dry dock, I'm sure within six months we'd see D'Souza filming Untitled Thiel-Boat Hagiography Project there.

  3. gocart mozart10:07 AM

    Made up quotes seems to be a new trend. I have been seeing the following quote a lot on the interwebs recently. This dastardly quote has been hidden by the liberal historian industrial complex lo these past 40 years only to be rediscovered by brave politically incorrect truth seekers only this year.

    “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” —Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One

    “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s
    a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before,
    the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do
    something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just
    enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”—LBJ


  4. GeniusLemur10:08 AM

    "needing to be punished and subdued."
    Even moreso than the "greedy, selfish, materialistic" bullshit, where the hell did this come from? Anyone know of any time that even right-wing-fantasy-Obama said or did anything along those lines? To use his signature law as an example, ensuring access to health care doesn't strike me as something that will punish or subdue anyone.

  5. gocart mozart10:09 AM

    LBJ's "Blacky Tape"

  6. America: Imagine a World without Her.

    "Is this a bet?"

    - Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicarauga, El Salvador, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, etc.

  7. Captain Ambiguity10:27 AM

  8. Doc Nebula10:27 AM

    Americans ARE greedy, selfish, and materialistic. Our entire reality tunnel, especially including the history we teach our kids and the theology our Christian churches passes out, is fashioned towards rationalizing these things as virtues, mostly through coded language like 'self sufficient', 'thrifty' and 'practical minded'.

  9. L Bob Rife10:30 AM

    [JIMMY pulls trigger on gun aimed at head] *CLICK*
    [JIMMY] What have I done?
    [MAN] Think again Jimmy. The firing pin in your gun was made in America.
    [JIMMY] Come back America, come back! Come back!

  10. QuickStriker10:34 AM

    What I don't get is that greed, selfishness, and materialism are general traits of humanity. To say Americans are greedy, etc. is just to say we're human.

  11. whetstone10:36 AM

    Is America a Source of Pride
    Well, her legal system, in all its majesty, did indict the greedy, materialistic, selfish son of a bitch. So there's that.

  12. QuickStriker10:37 AM

    This is what happens when religion infects your thinking too much. Everything has to be a story about good and evil. To the religious/conservative mind, it's not possible to love your country and be proud of it's good deeds, but also feel sorrow and shame over the evils it has committed.

  13. BigHank5310:45 AM

    What, didn't you ever hear of American exceptionalism? The "exception" is that we don't have to feel guilty about all the bad shit that we've done, unlike everyone else* on the planet.

    *Israel gets a pass until Jesus comes back.

  14. redfate10:48 AM

    D'Souza also seems to be plagiarizing your angry grandma's wagon analogy in this interview:

  15. In the wingnut mind, you can attribute a quote to Obama, even if he didn't say it, as long as you sincerely believe he could have said it. Straw Obama becomes Real Obama like wooden Pinocchio becomes a real boy.

  16. Ubu Imperator10:53 AM

    Clearly, they aren't going to have to worry about distribution rights for the film; the amount of projection going on here could light up the sky like the fucking Bat Signal.

  17. Bizarro Mike10:55 AM

    This is called "nuance." You can't find it at the National Review. The editorial board decided it was Pinko a bazzillion years ago.

  18. Ellis_Weiner11:06 AM

    "and history proves his passion"

    The idea of D'Souza having "passion" is literally nauseating, whereas the idea of "history" "proving" a "passion" is merely stupid. That's why I'm starting a Kickstarter campaign to fund my new film, "Wingnuts: Imagine Internet Laughs Without Them." Contributions of $1,000 earn a lunch with me. Contributions of $2,000 or above earn no lunch with me.

  19. mortimer200011:07 AM

    D'Souza has been recycling this one for years. The person being quoted is (surprise!) himself. Here he is in October, 2012:
    This is kind of what Romney was getting at. That at some point there are more people in the wagon than there are pulling. And then the people who are pulling begin to think, “Maybe I should stop pulling and get in the wagon. It’s kind of nicer in the wagon.” And what my criticism of Obama is, instead of saying: “Listen, I really want to thank the people who are pulling the wagon,” he goes, “The people who are pulling the wagon are greedy, selfish and materialistic, and the people sitting in the wagon are wonderful.

    From a YouTube video starting at about 4:30.
    Put these two parts together, I don't want it to stain the thread here:

  20. BigHank5311:12 AM

    Hey, remember this actual, real-world Obama quote?

    And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns
    or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or
    anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain
    their frustrations.

    What would the four loudest issues on the Right be at the moment?

    1. Guns.
    2. Religion and its inherent privileges.
    3. Race.
    4. Illegal immigrants.

    The one thing, even greater than party or race or policies, that National Review can't forgive Obama for is that he has a better grasp of their base than they do.

  21. mortimer200011:15 AM

    Accusing us sinners of being greedy, selfish, and materialistic is Sunday sermon boilerplate across the nation. For some reason, the same sentiment coming from an imaginary Obama is unacceptable.

  22. LittlePig11:16 AM

    And in the Supreme Court's mind as well, since belief that certain drugs are abortifacients trumps scientific evidence to the contrary.

  23. coozledad11:17 AM

    Is America a Source of Pride, as Americans Have Long Believed … or Shame, as Liberals Insist?

    America's alright, but until there are a few architectural marvels replete with stone sculptures depicting every form of sexual union, we're kind of meh.

  24. LittlePig11:18 AM

    For some reason

    Why, the difference is black and white!

  25. You know, our local library has multiple copies of D'Sousa's 2016, along with the wingnut activity book that goes along with it. I've been in that documentary section a lot lately, and every time I pass over that last shelf I get a dark thought urging me to check it out. I could justify it - it was shockingly successful, so I could tell myself it's only research on how to make a popular doc. Plus we do have self-checkout stations, so it's not like I'd have to eyeball a circulation clerk with this thing. I could even try the old porn-renting trick and cram it between two more respectable movies.

    It's not like I have any shame left, right?

  26. mortimer200011:24 AM

    That should be convicted the greedy materialistic, selfish son of a bitch. Let's not diminish the majesty of our legal system or our occasional joy in its effect.

  27. StringOnAStick11:26 AM

    This is ever more real than you realize. One of those crazy granny email letters was sent to me by my father after Obama first won office, and when I sent back the Snopes link proving it was false, he still insisted it was true. I pointed out that wanting it to be true is not the same as it actually being true, he didn't speak to me again for years.

  28. Wrangler11:34 AM

    Maybe they're saying he's going to be flogged and crucified.

    I'm an optimist.

  29. Wrangler11:36 AM

    So, what are you: an American, or a Liberal?

  30. catclub11:47 AM

    It will kill his chances for the 2016 election.

  31. catclub11:51 AM

    Second Prize: Two Weeks in Philadelphia.

  32. Of course, the more rightie myths Snopes debunks, the more convinced they become that Snopes is just another cog in the left-wing commie conspiracy machine.

  33. gocart mozart12:09 PM

    Because their Obama derangement is a "sincerely held religious belief"

  34. gocart mozart12:10 PM

    The same thing happened with me and my wife's uncle.

  35. montag212:12 PM

    Funny, what we know that LBJ did say is that with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Democrats had lost the South for twenty years. Since we're at fifty years and counting, I guess we can fault him for thinking that grudges couldn't last that long.

  36. montag212:33 PM

    Oh, he's probably wondering how he's going to pay alimony while he's in prison, so there's an advertising blitz to cover the shortfall. Besides, he wouldn't be a real conservative unless he could rake off a little wingnut welfare on his travails. The direct mail is likely flooding into the post office as I write this: "As you've probably heard, Dinesh D'Souza is now a political prisoner of the Obama administration. He's been a diligent spokesman for a strong, conservative, righteous America, so it's no surprise that he's been imprisoned by Obama. You can make his incarceration a little brighter by making a contribution of $59.95, and in return, we'll send you, postage paid, his latest DVD, "America: God Loves Her Like His Son." God Bless You. No CODs."

    D'inesh D'oes D'irect D'erping.

  37. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:34 PM


  38. montag212:52 PM

    There are, indeed, places in this country where those categories are perceived to be mutually exclusive. I'm thinking of, say, Searcy, Arkansas, when the anti-communists held full sway in the town, in parts of Dallas. (I recall a bit of video of James Robison, the preacher who purportedly helped George W. Bush get his mind right with Jesus, was shown yelling to a huge crowd in 1980, "I'm sick of the leftists and the liberals and the communists and the homoseckshuls coming out of the closet--it's time for God's people to come out of the closet and into the streets.") To a lot of minds out there, it's still all about commies, There's no need for the John Birch Society any longer. The crazy has gone mainstream.

  39. montag21:02 PM

    Interesting that Obama snuck in that "anti-trade" remark. Most of the wingnuts seem to love "free trade" like they love "free markets," because "free." The people who have been ragging on so-called trade treaties have for the most part been lefties who understand that they're not trade treaties, but profit-protection schemes for multinationals.

    I kinda resent being lumped in with the winger gun nuts.

  40. D'Souza picked a really bad metaphor here. When I picture a wagon full of riders being pulled, I don't see labor doing the riding while capital struggles under the yoke of servitude.

  41. montag21:16 PM

    Maybe it just seemed shockingly successful because your library and many others bought multiple copies?

    But, a word of advice. It's 87 minutes of your life that you will never, ever get back. Gone forever. Poof! At the end of your life, you'll bemoan the loss of that precious time. You'll lapse into self-loathing and self-recrimination.

    But you will get to see Shelby Steele hold an iPhone backwards while in pretend conversation with D'inesh D' D'etainee.

  42. Gromet1:17 PM

    This really was almost the exact reasoning a wingnut roommate of mine used during the Clinton years (years of desecrating Christmas and murder, you may recall). "If it could be true, then it might as well be true, therefore functionally it is true." She was fascinating.

  43. Gromet1:26 PM

    Yes, Snopes debunking lies = Snopes is liberal, instead of lies = lies.

    In a way, I understand the conservative mindset: there is no amount of Snopesing that will make me let go of the tiny splinter of hope I hold that my favorite fantasies all exist in reality exactly as they appear in my mind. The big difference, I guess, is that I want Roswell, Atlantis, and leprechauns to be real, instead of a race war, Sharia law, and the Apocalypse.

  44. montag21:28 PM

    Better make it quick. Before it sinks.

  45. montag21:30 PM

    Yes, but we're the innovators in entrenching those traits in the tax code.

  46. Brian Schlosser1:42 PM

    Methinks they secretly want Papa Barack to punish and subdue them...

  47. Brian Schlosser1:43 PM

    A better man dead than any man alive!

  48. …Americans are the most wonderful, moral people in the world, says D’Souza…

    So says adulterer and convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza, proud Republican of the US of A.

    Man, these clowns never fail in cracking me up.

  49. montag21:48 PM

    Speaking of this, here's my favorite recent quote on the subject, by Barry Eisler. He's referring to reporters who chose to attack Greenwald for the NSA leaks, rather than, say, Barton Gellman, who also wrote stories on the leaks: [Those] "whose emotional fixations were causing them to become situationally
    stupid — the condition wherein an otherwise intelligent person feels so
    strongly about something that his emotions obstruct his ability to
    access his reason, rendering him functionally indistinguishable from a
    person who is natively stupid."

    There's functionally for ya.

  50. How about a sculpture of Obama guiding D'Souza's mouth towards the bare nipple of a naked woman not D'Souza's wife (and she married to someone not D’Souza)?

    It would show D’Souza being forced into adultery by ObamaPimp, would showcase D’Souza as a generous lover and would also be a big step up from a mere photo of Denise gently handling D’Souza’s, uh, book.

  51. Gromet2:01 PM

    Third Prize is you're fired hired forever at NRO.

  52. No, Americans are the most wonderful, moral people in the world, says D’Souza

    Yet they elected Obama. Twice. It's a poser, all right.

  53. FlipYrWhig3:25 PM

    Dildo boat, an homage to James O'Keefe.

  54. montag23:31 PM

    In so many ways, they are utterly predictable, aren't they?

  55. ColBatGuano3:57 PM

    Following the link, it appears the LBJ quotes come from a Ron Kessler book published in 1995 that is based on "insider" information from unnamed aides and White House employees. I'm sure it's unimpeachable. He wouldn't lie would he?

  56. DerBrunoStroszek3:59 PM

    Ironically, over six years on they're still massively bitter about that quote.

  57. DerBrunoStroszek4:03 PM

    As any wingnut fuming over the Mississippi election will tell you, Obama's victories were illegitimate as he only won using the Alinskyite tactic of running a better campaign and receiving a greater number of votes as a result. A Republican president would never make that mistake!

  58. ColBatGuano4:12 PM

    But remember, a lot of those voters are non-white, non-straight people, so not legitimate.

  59. StringOnAStick4:38 PM

    Same email? I also got one that purported to be the photos from a memory stick of that flight from Brazil that tanked into the ocean years ago; Snopes noted that it was actually the plane crash scenes from "Lost". That debunking also pissed him off - he was sure a liberal did it to make concerned citizens like him look bad.

  60. Derelict4:40 PM

    I guess Scalia will have to spend endless nights perfecting the sincerity meter that will need to be installed in all the courtrooms in the land.

  61. StringOnAStick4:44 PM

    That's D'inette's new squeeze? Or his spokesmodel?

  62. Derelict4:44 PM

    It's D'Souza--what do you expect from the man? Anyone dumb enough to go to a paid speaking gig at a Christian organization with his mistress in tow--and then check her into his hotel room as his fiancé--is obviously not firing on all cylinders.

  63. Derelict4:46 PM

    And at least one of those employees saw Lady Bird decorating the White House Christmas tree with dildos, condoms, and the yet-to-be-invented crack pipe.

  64. TGuerrant4:48 PM

    2011 Cato institute blogger - with wagon art by Cato institute intern:

    Besides the date, I found the concept of "pulling wagon" interesting. Turns out you don't do that by, say, standing in the traces or harnessing yourself the way you'd harness a plow horse.

    No, you stand like you're having a tug of war with the wagon - your back to the direction the wagon's to go. I've never seen anyone anywhere in the world do that.

  65. smut clyde4:52 PM

    I would like to thrust this comment down America's throat.

  66. Not convicted. He pled guilty.

  67. BigHank537:57 PM

    That's the reason why Dinesh was doing some non-brain thinking, yes.

  68. Derelict8:35 PM

    D'inesh D' D'etainee

    I want to buy billboards with this emblazoned on them. I can haz repro rights?

  69. smut clyde8:39 PM

    It speaks volumes about Obama that we were fooled by this fictitious quotation from him.

  70. smut clyde8:40 PM

    You have high moral standards. You may not apply them to yourselves, but that's another matter.

  71. petesh8:52 PM

    Of course he did. He is a fellow of few convictions.

  72. montag28:57 PM

    Oh, of course. We're all Common License 3.0 here, right?

  73. mortimer20009:16 PM

    Isn't it basically the same thing? Guilty by judge, jury, or pleading, you are still convicted of the crime, no?


  74. Smarter than Your Average Bear9:16 PM

    When I see a wagon full of riders being pulled they all look like the fat cat from Monopoly, the cart is a tumbrel, and they are headed towards Dr. Guillotine's shaving emporium.

  75. If liberals aren't Americans (as is cleverly implied), why the fuck do they care? Next they'll be worrying what the French think. Also, why isn't D'Vorce D'Spousa not in jail?

  76. BigHank5312:23 AM

    Do I look like I have a degree in abnormal psychology?

  77. AGoodQuestion1:28 AM

    They've adopted Criswell's "Can you prove it didn't happen?" standard.

  78. AGoodQuestion1:38 AM

    Maybe they hate all good basketball players, just to be on the safe side.

  79. My point being he didn't even try to mount a defense, especially ironic after claiming it was a political prosecution.

    There may be a pedantic point there too, but I won't be arsed (Or I won't arse myself, depending.) to look for it.

  80. Access for all subdues the American Spirit.

    Obamacare will deny a poor person somewhere the freedom & opportunity to design the next million-dollar app, because he won't be so desperate to succeed once he's had that weird growth taken off & biopsied for just a $10.00 co-pay.

  81. Yeah, people usually hate to have that sort of thing pointed out.

  82. smut clyde5:50 AM

    I insist on the 5-blade version which delivers a closer cut.

  83. Derelict6:23 AM

    So they've got the whole thing ass-backwards and you find this surprising? These are the same people who think that giving billionaires more billions will somehow result in single mothers currently surviving on welfare becoming mid-level executives or entrepreneurs.

  84. Derelict6:28 AM

    You know how conservatives are always going on about Obama rounding everyone of them up and shipping them to re-education camps? As always, it's projection because, given the opportunity, conservatives would most certainly round up every liberal they could identify. To them, we're NOT Americans. If we're lucky, we'll just be re-educated in the wonderfulness of American freedom and compassion (which we'll experience while being beaten behind barbed wire). If not, we'll just be "resettled in the east."

  85. Emily687:37 AM

    Just yesterday, I was thinking about how belief that drugs are abortifacients trumps science. I wondered if I could get a tax break if I were a pacifist due to my belief in God, and I refused to pay half my taxes that go to the war were fighting with Canada right now. No war with Canada, you say? Well, it's my belief that we are in fact at war with Canada and the war costs half of our federal revenue. I bet the Supreme Court wouldn't have any trouble with reality trumping my sincere belief.

  86. Emily687:51 AM

    I think some of the early Mormons got to Utah by pulling handcarts instead of having oxen pull the wagons.
    I bet this is where Mitt got his image of people pulling vs. people riding.

  87. Not only is he free, his smiling' mug is in the corner of this very webpage, advertising his new movie.

    (He's there on my browser, anyway; I don't know about everybody else's.)

  88. He sure called that one!

  89. Wait, since when are greed, selfishness, and materialism considered bad things to people who worship Ayn Rand?

  90. RogerAiles3:01 PM

    I get an ad for PayPal, which may turn out to be DiD'S prison handle.

  91. RogerAiles3:02 PM

    Ex-squeeze, I believe. She was one of the prosecution's witnesses, as was her spouse.

  92. DocAmazing5:26 PM

    Don't squeeze too hard. She looks kinda fragile.

  93. redoubtagain6:19 PM

    Given what Dr. King said about Sunday mornings, this is particularly rich coming from them.

  94. redoubtagain6:40 PM

    with wagon art by Cato Institute intern

    Should have been signed Ann Nonymous. (A ten-year old could do better.)