The whole point of having a tzaddik as a friend is that he helps you raise your standards about your own behavior, so I’m going to try to imitate some of Harold’s charity toward Dinesh D’Souza.
D’Souza’s personal life in no way detracts from the accuracy of his political observation. For example, when he summarizes his destruction at the hands of some of some of his fellow theocrats as “viciousness masquerading as righteousness” he is definitely Saying the Thing that Is, and deserves to be admired for insight as well as literary flair.
Footnote Anyone who thinks that the same phrase would also be a fair summary of D’Souza’s entire career is simply not Playing the Game, and should be ashamed of himself.
In response to comments:
1. Yes, this was snark, and piling on (unlike Harold’s original post, which was sincere as well as wise). The better part of me doesn’t really want D’Souza to suffer, but all of me wants his side to lose, and if in helping his side lose as much as possible from this incident I add a bit to his suffering I comfort myself by thinking how much more people who deserved it less have suffered at D’Souza’s hands.
2. As Keith points out, D’Souza’s smarmy and self-righteous response to the original accusation is also full of somewhat exonerating factual claims, some of them independently checkable: that D’Souza’s wife had dumped him two years earlier (as opposed to the suggestion that he’d behaved like Gingrich or McCain, trading in the old wife on a newer, fancier model); that he and his new betrothed had not in fact shared a hotel room; that the reporter and publisher both had undisclosed conflicts that made them hostile to D’Souza. The World’s smarmy and self-righteous celebration of D’Souza’s firing does not mention those factual claims, let alone respond to them. If I had to be on who is keeping closer to the truth (which of course need not be very close) I think I’d put my money on D’Souza.
The facts that there are many true bad things to say about D’Souza and that D’Souza has said many false bad things about others throughout his career are not inconsistent with the possibility that in this case a fellow Bad Person has said a false bad thing about D’Souza himself. And I stand (sincerely, rather than snarkily) ready to cheer him on – and even help him out, if I saw a way to do so – in the project of taking down Marvin Olasky and The World