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Quick Thoughts on D’Souza

I do not pretend to know if Dinesh D’Souza is guilty of the crime for which he has been indicted, although I will confess that the nature of the case makes it seem more likely that he is than that he isn’t (I am not sure how the alleged activity could have been a mistake, for example).  Still, indictments are one thing, and convictions yet another.  We shall see how it plays out.

I will say that am not surprised only in the sense that his recent behavior in the context of his marriage raised serious character and judgment issues.  Character insofar as it is more than a little problematic to be cavorting in public with a “fiancée” when one is still married, and judgment because how can one be the head of conservative Christian college and be brazen enough to engage in said cavorting during a public appearance at a Baptist Church.  Look, if one is the president of a conservative Christian college, divorce is going to cause trouble by itself, but an affair is going to cause more.  An affair with a woman who is younger and also married will make it worse.  Sharing a room on that trip with the fiancée was remarkably brazen.  Anyone who could run in evangelical circles and not even realize the stupidity of the above scenario has very, very poor judgment.

As such, the indictment is not a surprise in a general sense.

What I find odd is that some seem to think that this is Obama using the DOJ to attack a political opponent.  Two quick thoughts:

1.  The law that he allegedly broke dates back to the original Federal Election Campaign Act, which limits individual contributions to candidates.  This has been the law of the land for roughly 40 years.  You can’t pay people to give on your behalf and then pay them back as a way of covering up the fact that you are the one giving the money. This provision of the law has been upheld by SCOTUS, in fact.  As such, this is not some weird charge.

2.  The conspiracy theories are amazing, as they have to assume that D’Souza is some sort of huge thorn in Obama’s side. That is, even if we stipulate for the sake of argument that Obama is willing to use the DOJ as a political tool of this type, why on earth would he be targeting D’Souza? It is a bizarre notion. If Obama was willing to sic Holder on enemies, why not Rush Limbaugh? Roger Ailes? You know, people who actually influence the discourse. Or, for that matter, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, etc?

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    …why on earth would he be targeting D’Souza?

    An excellent question. On the other hand, I’ve always wondered why Obama expended the long form birth certificate shot on Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. James says:

    As I pointed out on another thread, this is probably the best thing that could happen to him. He has become a conservative martyr overnight and means more book sales and more money for him. That’s I don’t buy the conspiracy angle he has nothing to lose and everything to from prosecution. Even if convicted he’ll be a tea party hero and assuming he even sees the inside of a jail cell, minimum security isn’t going to cramp writing career.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. MarkedMan says:

    It is very instructive that when Republicans are caught doing crimes, the reaction from their media leaders is not condemnation of those acts and exhortations on how this hurts the cause, but rather conspiracy theories about how ‘they’ are only going after Republicans.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 2

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    As I pointed out on another thread, this is probably the best thing that could happen to him. He has become a conservative martyr overnight and means more book sales and more money for him

    As Jenos will aptly demonstrate in 3…2….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. mantis says:

    Who are the faithful to understand the devil’s motives?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  6. al-Ameda says:

    We know one thing, Darrell Issa needs to investigate this.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  7. rudderpedals says:

    Gorgeous young married staffer lures pundit to his demise on the Appalachian Trail.

    (I hear Trey Radel’s seat is up for grabs; he’s no longer up to snuff but adultery is cool IYAR)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Woody says:

    why on earth would he be targeting D’Souza?

    To forestall President D’Souza his 49 state win in 2024, of course.

    Hey, it worked for Obama’s Hawaiian newspaper birth notice. . .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  9. Montanareddog says:

    The conspiracy theories are amazing, as they have to assume that D’Souza is some sort of huge thorn in Obama’s side

    Are you trolling here, Professor Taylor? You can only truly believe that these

    conspiracy theories are amazing

    , if you are deceived by the fallacy of radical good faith (I refuse to call these people conservatives).

    In reality, it is far from amazing that grifters exploit the indictment of a grifter as an opportunity for further grifting. Let the contributions to their PACs roll in and provide further payments from their PACs to their consultancies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. Tillman says:

    Sharing a room on that trip with the fiancée was remarkably brazen. Anyone who could run in evangelical circles and not even realize the stupidity of the above scenario has very, very poor judgment.

    He let his “wunderkind” status carry him a bit too far.

    If Obama was willing to sic Holder on enemies, why not Rush Limbaugh? Roger Ailes? You know, people who actually influence the discourse. Or, for that matter, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, etc?

    Oh sweet, naive Dr. Taylor. Don’t you get it? Those guys are too big. It makes perfect sense to persecute D’Souza, who is big enough to make a splash in the pond but small enough that no one knows how to pronounce his last name properly.

    Also, D’Souza isn’t white, and that probably matters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  11. C. Clavin says:
  12. @Montanareddog: I am not amazed by all who make these claims. I am, however, amazed and (a bit saddened) when I see on my Facebook page friends and acquaintances who should know better being pulled in by these conspiracy theories.

    I also find it to be part of an ongoing indictment of people who claim to be intellectuals but who promote these kinds of claims.

    In truth, it makes me angry more than amazed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  13. wr says:

    @Neil Hudelson: “As Jenos will aptly demonstrate in 3…2….”

    Oddly, Jenos disappeared from these pages at exactly the same time Doug did.

    It will be interesting to see if they return together as well.

    Not that I’m suggesting anything…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  14. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It’s funny, when my former neighbor Pierce O’Donnell — a man of significantly higher influence in Democratic circles than D’Souza is in his — was sentenced to jail for the same crime, I didn’t hear anyone on the left screaming conspiracy…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  15. Kari Q says:

    even if we stipulate for the sake of argument that Obama is willing to use the DOJ as a political tool of this type, why on earth would he be targeting D’Souza? It is a bizarre notion. If Obama was willing to sic Holder on enemies, why not Rush Limbaugh? Roger Ailes? You know, people who actually influence the discourse. Or, for that matter, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, etc?

    You don’t understand Obama. It’s part of his eleven dimensional chess of abuse of power. First they came for D’Souza, and no one spoke up…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. Tillman says:

    @Kari Q: Wait, has everyone else forgotten how Obama cronies caused Breitbart’s untimely demise? I thought that was common knowledge now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. PJ says:

    @Tillman:
    Don’t forget Michael Hastings!

    Not sure why Obama stopped having people assassinated and instead started to indict them. It probably has something to do with him wanting to grow the federal bureaucracy and his hatred of the second amendment!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  18. al-Ameda says:

    @PJ:

    Not sure why Obama stopped having people assassinated and instead started to indict them. It probably has something to do with him wanting to grow the federal bureaucracy and his hatred of the second amendment!

    That reminds me … Exactly when is Obama going to order the United Nations to commence confiscation of privately owned guns in this country?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. Grewgills says:

    @al-Ameda:
    I’ve looked all through my house and can’t find a single gun. It’s already started!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0