Thursday, September 16, 2010

Call of the Day

What still staggers me is that either D'Souza or Gingrich are regarded in any way as "thinkers". They are not. They are self-promoting charlatans, with not an ounce of decency, personal or professional, between them, who see ideas as weapons to be used, or sources for personal advancement and enrichment.
That's Andrew Sullivan, nailing it.  Why conservatives allow these frauds to fleece them time and time again is beyond me; there's obviously a huge, lucrative market for thinly disguised snake oil on the right, and it doesn't appear that there's anything these folks can do to ruin their reputations as long as they aren't publicly disloyal. 

If you want more on D'Souza, Dave Weigel's piece is quite good.


  1. Why conservatives allow these frauds to fleece them time and time again is beyond me

    Ummm... maybe because the conservatives themselves don't think they're being "fleeced"!

    This snake oil business may be repulsive to you and me, but millions of people are lapping it up. And GOP politicians will be laughing all the way to Congressional majorities.

    All in all, I'd say conservatives should be pretty happy with how D'Souza and Gingrich have represented their brand.

  2. What Andrew said. Many conservatives, perhaps even most, really believe this nonsense from D'Souza and Gingrich. The fact that these fancy intellectuals are supporting their wingnut theories make them feel proud and special. Thats how they see it. I don't know if it will necessary produce congressional majorities but it does get conservatives stoked. Bluntly, there really isn't a market for actual conservative intellectual analysis.

  3. Forget conservatives, commenter Andrew is right, they are lapping that stuff up. I'd like to be enlightened on why respectable mainstream journalists continue to take these two people seriously, to give them a national platform, to consider their arguments worth considering, commenting about, and publishing.

    These two charlatans should be treated publicly with *at least* as much disdain as they treated Michael Moore during the bush years.

  4. Gingrich helped the GOP win the house so I think he will always get a respectful hearing from the right. I remember win he was in the minority. He challenged his opponents directly on the House floor. I admire politicians who debate their opponents in person and have contempt for those, like Palin, who talk tough to friendly crowds but avoid dealing with anyone else.

    Using ideas, slogans and snake oil to win power I see as part of politics. I don't think much of what he is currently saying but he is giving a lot of right wingers rhetoric they want to hear. Given his marital history I think his chances of winning election is minimal.

  5. Haven't you been paying attention the past 10 years? The right aren't the only people who should have ruined reputations in a functioning society. 3/4 of the TradMed(people like Tom Friedman and George Will for starters) should be drummed out of journalism if reputation meant anything anymore.

  6. Several of the commenters here overestimate the appeal of Gingrich and D'Souza on the right. Both have a history of flights of fancy that probably strike the average right-winger as odd. Remember D'Souza's book advising the American right to ally with conservative Muslims? Remember Gingrich's proposal to give inner-city kids free laptops? The appeal of these two men is that they provide a sheen of intellectualism for right-wing paranoiacs who want to believe their ideas have some at least some support from the intelligentsia, but who in practice take many of Gingrich's or D'Souza's suggestions with a grain of salt.


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