Every generation has its moment where an older politician brings the fire and brimstone and plays cultural Moses....
I wish I could feel sorry for conservative polemicist Dinesh D'Souza.
The man has just been indicted for campaign violations he allegedly engaged in to help his friend Wendy Long in her 2012 losing bid to unseat New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
This comes on the heels of a bad couple of years for D'Souza, who was fired from his job as the president of a Christian college and had his marriage fall apart.
The trouble is that D'Souza's behavior over the years has been so indefensible that in spite of our shared heritage (our roots are in India), it's hard for me to have any sympathy for him. Just a few months ago, during last Thanksgiving, he tweeted: "I am thankful this week when I remember America is big enough and great enough to survive grown-up Trayvon in the White House!"
The tweet is in line with a pattern of racially charged analysis that D'Souza has consistently engaged in. His 1995 book, "The End of Racism," was so vicious that two African-American conservatives associated with the American Enterprise Institute, Glenn Loury and Robert Woodson, resigned from the think tank in protest over the book and Charles Murray's "Bell Curve." (Both D'Souza and Murray were fellows at American Enterprise.)
In 2010, he wrote a piece for Forbes subjecting President Obama to the worst sort of psychoanalysis. It ended on this vile note: "The U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son."
Then there was his pseudo-documentary "2016: Obama's America," released in 2012, that portrayed Obama as being out to destroy the United States in order to fulfill the dreams of his radical anti-colonial father.
D'Souza has always been a publicity hound. But the indictment is not the kind of publicity anyone could like.
"DINESH the defendant, willfully and knowingly made and caused to be made contributions of money, aggregating more than $10,000 during the 2012 calendar year, in the names of others to the campaign of a candidate for the United States Senate, to wit, reimbursed others with whom he was associated and who he had directed to contribute a total of $20,000 to the campaign," the indictment reads.
"DINESH the defendant, willfully and knowingly caused the submission of materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations, to wit, caused the submission by an unwitting authorized campaign committee of a candidate for the United States Senate to the FEC of reports that falsely reported the sources and amounts of contributions to the campaign by certain individuals."
Of course, the rightwing is predictably crying foul. Conservative commentators are alleging that the indictment is political retribution for all the work that D'Souza has done against Obama.
But I'll leave that up to the court.
Photo: Flickr user Mark Taylor, creative commons licensed.