2016: Obama’s America

Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016: Obama’s AmericaI: The Five Most Hilarious Lowlights

The movie of choice this week for people who hold the beliefs that A) America is the strongest, best-est country that God ever virgin-birthed and B) that that nation somehow just isn't strong enough to survive eight years of centrist Democratic leadership, Dinesh D'Souza's 2016: Obama's America actually does not touch on 2016 much at all.

Instead, it distills the anti-anticolonialist jeremiads of D'Souza's books, which already were to academic argument what fruit snacks are to fruit into a eminently fast-forwardable travelogue through Nairobi, Kenya, Indonesia and a magic-hour D.C., where D'Souza slumps about Droopy Dog-style in contemplation of the monuments and where flags are forever dancing on winds that we must presume are the world's most exceptional.

For what it's worth, his thesis concerns the reasons Obama returned a bust of Winston Churchill to the British Embassy early in his presidency. The only answer D'Souza entertains: that Obama is a Mau Mau anticolonial revolutionary driven to impress his dead, absentee father, a Kenyan who dared to write in 1965 two years after his homeland achieved its independence that government regulation might sometimes be needed to rein in private industry. You might object, but Obama has spent almost zero percent of his life with that father, and something like 75 percent of his life in the same private schools and Ivy League universities and institutions of power occupied by every other president of either party in recent American history. D'Souza's counter is to brandish Obama's memoir and proclaim, "Notice it says Dreams From My Father, not Dreams of My Father." Also: Bill Ayers! Jeremiah Wright! Edward Said, who once taught a class Obama took! NYU psychology professor Paul Vitz shows up to explain that the father who abandons a boy has a profound influence on the shaping of that boy, an argument that lays bare D'Souza's debased rules of evidence: the fact that Obama senior was never around to radicalize Obama junior only proves that he did radicalize Obama junior. That explains why junior later went on to fulfill the dream of all Kenyan revolutionaries of the 1960s: passing the health care plan Republicans came up with in the '90s.

Now might be a prudent time to ask if, of all recent presidents, Obama is the one whose daddy issues have most endangered Americans.

Still, the film is a sleepy dud, a polemic that, like D'Souza himself, is at once both outrageous and deeply boring. Mostly well shot, it makes Michael Moore's films look cheap by comparison, but Moore at least dares some adversarial interviews, and he bothers to chart a connection between government policy, corporate decision-making and the lives of actual people.

The best D'Souza comes up with is to try to make Obama look like an asshole for not taking care of that half brother who lived for a while in a Nairobi hut. At first, this seems contradictory if Obama were an anticolonial Marxist with Africa on the brain, certainly he would funnel some aid to his far-flung family, right? But D'Souza can fit any fact into his conspiracy. Turns out, George Obama, who appears in an interview, thinks Kenya would have been better off if it had let the white colonists run the place a few more years. The only possible conclusion, according to Mr. Dinesh D'Souza: Barack let George languish because George isn't down with the revolution.

The only true surprise here is D'Souza's haplessness in constructing both film and argument. Here are the five funniest things that somehow wound up onscreen:

5. After several baffling minutes of watching of D'Souza squint at poor people from his seat at a Jakarta coffeehouse, we're rewarded with a lingering shot of his khakied ass as he clambers onto a motorcycle.

4. Some actor actually got roped into playing a handsome young Dinesh D'Souza in re-created footage of an international-student mixer at Dartmouth. Other priceless re-creations: black hands digging the grave and crafting a cairn for Obama's father; an Obama figure, seen from behind and in pristine high-tops, approaching that grave, weeping, and drizzling dirt along the marker; young Dinesh, slinging on a pack and saying farewell to his family and homeland and the grandfather he calls slightly anti-white.

3. The filmmakers' decision to have interviewees speak into cell phones when D'Souza was not himself present, and then to cut on occasion to D'Souza, on a grassy lawn, asking his questions, as if the production had money for two different film crews in two different places at the same time but not the money for Skype.

2. One killer jump cut that boils D'Souza's argument to its essentials: stock footage of skinny, loinclothed Third World laborers pickaxing a ditch followed immediately by Obama looking angry in the Oval Office.

1. D'Souza has made a career out of convincing white American conservatives that his personal history qualifies him to be the arbiter of which brown folks can and can't be trusted. Remember, he's the chap who declared American racism to be dead in 1995, something he was uniquely equipped to argue, considering his first experience of life here was those Dartmouth mixers. That claim is echoed in the only sequence here that achieves the inspired lunacy of a Glenn Beck.

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7 comments
maureen101
maureen101

Did the author, Alan, even see the movie? He is rewriting it with his made up version for his column. Perhaps his version for his blind liberal readers, or perhaps he is a blinded liberal himself.

cowie45
cowie45

I can tell by right away by this article, nothing more than the lies of this Alan writer. Another clear example of the left wing media that tries to distort the truth. Excellent documentary that shows why Obama hates America so much. No wonder it has become the no 1 money maker documentary ever recorded. There another one coming soon called America's History, which tells why our country is exceptional instead of the propaganda that they indoctrinate our children in school today, to create more haters.

mw_in_md
mw_in_md

This review, as amusing as it is, doesn't even touch on the central absurdity of the film.  That is, that somehow we should be very very scared of someone who holds (cue ominous bass drum music) anti-British "anti-colonialist" attitudes.   That the tea partiers who eat this stuff up don't realize that they are roundly condemning George Washington, Patrick Henry, James Madison, Thomas Paine and the very formation of the country they claim to love is... either really funny or just profoundly sad. 

 

What are they TEACHING in these right wing home schooling madrassas these days anyway?  Was the American revolution just some metaphor for a giant group hug the colonists had with King George when the colonies were peacefully transformed into some sovereign corporate spinoff?  Were there really no shots fired at Lexington Common?  I never knew.  The impossible things some folks believe, even before breakfast!

TooLiberal66
TooLiberal66

Great film. Very insightful and well told. Tells a lot of facts not usually disclosed by the corporate

media. Well worth the price of admission. Could possibly be upsetting to some Obama Zombies.

avalancherat
avalancherat

This author has a lot of writing talent.  Unfortunately that talent is mixed with excessive amounts of hatred, spite, and malice. It permeates the article and makes his opinion inherently incredible.

maureen101
maureen101

Did you see the movie or are you just believing this article about it?

maureen101
maureen101

Nothing talented about untruthful journalism.

 

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