gee wilikers! can't a guy mess up his career in peace?
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After months of claiming he'd done nothing wrong, and was the victim of selective prosecution tactics by the Justice Department of our tyrant in chief (the same one he'd made mad bank criticizing in print, and celluloid) Dinesh D'Souza has just changed his tune and pled guilty to knowingly skirting campaign finance laws.
Quoth the man: "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."
So what changed? It would seem that, after the federal judge told him he didn't have enough (read "any") evidence to back up his planned defense of selective prosecution, he realized he didn't have a legal leg to stand on.
He was also apparently offered a deal, whereby if he pled guilty to the lesser charge (the crime itself) the larger crime (lying to the feds about it) would be buried. This meant that he went from facing up to 7 years in jail to maybe one and a half, if that.
And, between you and me, I don't think 7 years in the pen would do Mr. D'Souza any great favors.
A desperate move? Perhaps.
However, according to the New York Times, this may have been the game plan all along.
Ms. Joseph was recorded as saying that Mr. D'Souza had told her that if he were charged he might plead guilty, but would initially plead not guilty because that "gives him a window of opportunity to get his story out there," the government said.
Now, if you're like me, you're probably slamming your head into your keyboard, right about now, wondering how anyone could be that stupid and reckless with their life and livelihood. How could anyone be so dumb as to essentially play chicken with the federal government with their career and public image on the line?
Now, I do have a possible answer, and it would certainly fit with something I've come to suspect of MC Dinesh for some time now. It's something that requires a little speculation and insinuation on my part, I'll admit. It might even be borderline libelous.
But, given D'Souza's recent speculative output concerning our illustrious President, I'm sure he won't begrudge me some equal time.
Once upon a time, between the mid-80s and most of the 90s, Dinesh D'Souza was a right-wing rock star. The conservative establishment just couldn't get enough of this wonderful brown person who pooh-poohed affirmative action, political correctness, and illegal immigration. He sounded smart, he wrote well, and darn it, and he was pretty polite and likable in person.
That's provided he wasn't taking the skewers to you; then he could be downright nasty.
All well and good, but since the advent of the right-wing blogosphere and the coming of FOX News -- and the cultural fallout of 9/11 -- the game has changed. Now, everyone and their funny uncle has made a career out of slathering scorn and opprobrium on others' non-conservative aspirations and beliefs. Worse, they've learned that you don't have to be seemingly well-mannered to do it. Thanks to talk radio, FOX News, and internet, it's possible to be an utterly unkind lout and still have a venue, an audience, and a rock-steady pay-stream.
In such a world, what's a mostly mild-mannered nerd like D'Souza to do?
One initial answer was "write a book so intellectually wretched everyone will hate it, just to keep my name in the air." And he might well have kept on that path, if he hadn't underestimated how bad of a bipartisan trouncing he'd get from that little stunt. (Unless that really was all part of the plan?)
His next literary move, "The Roots of Obama's Rage," was better-received work, more in keeping with what his fans expected of him. However, it was still a highly questionable work by anyone's standards, let alone D'Souza's. Even in desperation, his fans and detractors expect much better.
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