Alas, with good reason, it appears. I haven’t read the book, but according to Alan Wolfe, the author of the op-ed, not only does D’Souza come off as decidedly lukewarm in his animus towards jihadis, he regrets that American conservatives didn’t side with Muslims in opposing publication of the Danish Mohammed cartoons.
Barnett already wrote the post I wanted to write about this, but let me quote Wolfe’s conclusion:
At one point in “The Enemy at Home,” D’Souza appeals to “decent liberals and Democrats” to join him in rejecting the American left. Although he does not name me as one of them, I sense he is appealing to people like me because I write for The New Republic, a liberal magazine that distances itself from leftism. So let this “decent” liberal make perfectly clear how thoroughly indecent Dinesh D’Souza is. Like his hero Joe McCarthy, he has no sense of shame. He is a childish thinker and writer tackling subjects about which he knows little to make arguments that reek of political extremism. His book is a national disgrace, a sorry example of a publishing culture more concerned with the sensational than the sensible. People on the left, especially those who have been subjects of D’Souza’s previous books, will shrug their shoulders at his latest screed. I look forward to the reaction from decent conservatives and Republicans who will, if they have any sense of honor, distance themselves, quickly and cleanly, from the Rishwain research scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Well said. But here’s something else that’s well said which Wolfe doesn’t deem worthy of mention. The phenomenon it describes will be instantly familiar to any right-wing blog reader who’s ever followed a link into nutroots territory. It’s D’Souza, writing in (of all papers) the San Francisco Chronicle:
Sen. Robert Byrd compares Bush to Hermann Goering and the Nazis. Hillary Clinton accuses him of “turning back the clock on the 20th century … systematically weakening the democratic tradition. … There has never been an administration more intent upon consolidating and abusing power.” Sen. Ted Kennedy charges that “no president in America’s history has done more damage to our country than George W. Bush.”
What emerges from these comments is the indignation gap — the vastly different level of emotion that leftists and liberals employ in treating bin Laden and his allies as opposed to Bush and his allies. First there is the ritual qualification. “I’m no fan of bin Laden” or “Bin Laden is not a very nice guy.” Having gotten these hedges out of the way, the leftist proceeds to lambaste Bush and the conservatives with uncontrolled ferocity…
I’m not suggesting the two groups actually like each other. Actually, they despise each other. Leftists like Pelosi, Barney Frank and Michael Moore despise bin Laden and his fellow radicals because they are religious fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic holy law…
But the man who threatens the Islamic radicals and the American left even more than either group threatens the other is Bush. Leftists don’t like radical Muslims like bin Laden but they absolutely hate Bush. Why? Because from the left’s point of view, bin Laden threatens to impose sharia in Baghdad but Bush threatens to impose sharia in Boston. Bin Laden is the far enemy but Bush is the near enemy.