Terrance Heath

Wingnut Week In Review: It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy

Filed By Terrance Heath | May 25, 2014 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: anti-Semitism, Dinesh D'Souza, Fox News, racism, wingnuts

dinesh-d-souza.jpgThis week saw a number of right-wingers being pulled up short in one way or another, including some of the biggest names in wingnuttia. For each wingnut up to his tinfoil hat in trouble of his own making, I can only say, "It couldn't happen to a nicer guy."

It's hard to come up with a bigger name in wingnuttia than Dinesh D'Souza. This conveniently swarthy aider and abettor of the American aristocracy's persecution complex, has been riding the right-wing gravy train since the 1990s, after cutting his fangs at Dartmouth during the Reagan era (along with fellow right-wing ranter, Laura Ingraham).

D'Souza's career started with his founding of the right-leaning Dartmouth Review, which created controversy -- and perhaps launched D'Souza's star -- when it printed a passage from Mein Kampf under its masthead. On Yom Kippur, no less.

Since then, D'Souza's published more than a dozen books, and branched out into documentary filmmaking. Upon the election of Barack Obama, D'Souza morphed into the right's melanin-enhanced spokesman for the "end of racism." His greatest hits include moralizing against same-sex marriage (while violating his own marriage vows), suggesting that Muslim extremists might stop hating America for "our excesses" and our "gross depravity and immorality" if we became more like them, and inspiring Newt Gingrich to call President Obama a "Kenyan anti-colonialist."

The next phase of his career may be different, now that D'Souza has pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations -- having failed to get the charges against him dismissed. The charges involve D'Souza using "straw donors" in 2012 to give contribute more money than legally allowed to Dartmouth pal Wendy Long's US Senate campaign. D'Souza had two friends give $10,000 to Long's campaign, with the understanding that he would pay them back. Long lost, anyway.

Not one to go down with dignity, D'Souza tried to "exploit" his criticism of Obama in order wriggle off the hook. D'Souza's producer, Gerald Molen, said D'Souza was being targeted by an Obama administration that wants to "lock up" opponents. Fortunately, the judge wasn't buying it.

In his plea, D'Souza admitted that he knowingly broke the law: "I knew that causing a campaign contribution to be made in the name of another was wrong and something the law forbids. I deeply regret my conduct."

D'Souza could face jail time. As a part of his plea, D'Souza agreed not to contest any prison sentence between 10 and 16 months, but could face up to two years. Like I said, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

The rest of the best of worst in wingnuttia this week is after the jump.

  • Since Fox News helped create the myth that his indictment was political payback, D'Souza naturally ran straight to Fox, where Megyn Kelly asked if D'Souza's guilty plea was what the Obama administration "wanted all along."
  • Arkansas Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson was tripped up by the very voter ID law he advocated, when he forgot his ID and was denied his right to vote. Fortunately, Hutchinson could just send an aide back to retrieve his ID.
  • Glenn Beck's supporters turned on him after "Operation American Spring" flopped.
  • Sarah Palin called President Obama "lazy" for not firing VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, in the wake of a scandal involving 40 veterans who died waiting for care while on a "secret waiting list." Never mind that veterans have lost vital services because Republicans block funding, or that 250,000 vets are uninsured because Republican governors and state legislators have refused to expand Medicaid.
  • Speaking of veterans, former congressman Allen West questioned Rep. Tammy Duckworth's loyalty to country, following Duckworth's appointment to the House panel investigating the Benghazi attack. Duckworth lost both her legs and the use of her right arm during her Iraq War service. West was fined and had to resign from the military to avoid court martial, for allowing and participating in the torture of an Iraqi detainee during interrogation.
  • Game show host and right-winger Pat Sajak fired off a tweet declaring that global warming "alarmists" are "unpatriotic racists" knowingly misleading the country for their own ends.
  • Naturally, Ann Coulter rushed to Sajak's defense, because her name hasn't been in the news for more than a week. Either that or she's angling for Vanna White's job, because right-wing book sales are down.
  • National Review columnist A.J. Delago wrote that women "crying rape" were to blame for "society not believing them when they say they're raped. "After all," Delago wrote, "for every legitimate, actual rape claim there may be another that was not: a girl who cried rape."
  • GOP efforts to appeal to women took a farcical turn when the Colorado governor's debate took on a "Dating Game" theme, complete with the theme music. The moderator invited female panelists on stage because "it's so much more ornamental" to pair them up with potential candidates. Issues such as reproductive health care, equal pay, personhood amendments, sexual harassment, domestic violence and childcare were not discussed.
  • Fox News host Sandra Smith complained that "part of the problem" with unemployment is "laziness" on the part of the unemployed. Smith claimed that collecting unemployment benefits shows that the unemployed are "not incentivized" to take lower-paying jobs.
  • Selwyn Duke, writing at Alan Keyes' Renew America, was disgusted that First Lady Michelle Obama's speech commemorating Brown v. Board of Education was dedicated to condemning segregation and slavery instead of praising the achievements of white Western civilization. Duke wrote that Ms. Obama, and presumably African-Americans too, "should get down on their knees, kiss the ground trod by our ancestors and thank God for our civilization's existence."
  • Louisiana Republican Reps. Vance McAllister and John Fleming informed Democratic witness at a hearing before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs that patching oil pipelines with duct tape and garbage bags is "innovative."
  • Florida Republican state Rep. Charles Van Zant warned that Common Core educational standards will turn kids gay.
  • Conservative blogger Clayton Kelly was arrested for breaking into a nursing home and photographing the wife of Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, for an anti-Cochran video. Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is running to replace to unseat Sen. Cochran, faced a barrage of questions about his ties to Clayton, who is also a McDaniel supporter. Three other people, including a board member of a local tea party group, have been arrested as co-conspirators in Clayton's crime.

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