On Tuesday a judge sentenced conservative political commentator and writer Dinesh D’Souza to five years probation, including eight months in a community confinement center, for violating federal campaign finance law. That sentencing comes nearly two years after D’Souza resigned his position as president of The King’s College, a small conservative Christian school in New York. He lost that job following the revelation that he was engaged to a woman while both of them were still married to other people.
You might think that kind of history would make social conservatives a little wary of him. But not so with the folks who run the religious-right group Texans for Life Coalition. That organization, which wants to ban abortion and opposes sex education, sent out an email Friday promoting D’Souza as the featured speaker at its annual fundraising dinner in October.
The email happily declares: “He’s still coming – tickets going fast!” It goes on to describe D’Souza as a “conservative & Christian apologist.”
But that email doesn’t tell potential ticket-buyers that D’Souza is now a convicted felon (he pleaded guilty) for using straw donors to provide $20,000 to a New York Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2012. (The candidate lost.) Nor does the email note how his ex-wife has alleged that, as Talking Points Memo reports, “D’Souza was abusive, that he lied in his defense against the criminal charges, and implied D’Souza had manipulated the couple’s daughter into making positive public statements about him.” And nor does it acknowledge that D’Souza has defended his extramarital relationship with this astonishing claim:
“I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced, even though in a state of separation and in divorce proceedings.”
Seriously? D’Souza was president of a conservative Christian college. His own website describes him as a “brilliant and forceful defender of Christianity.” One of his own books tells folks What’s So Great About Christianity. He “had no idea”?
“Whatever,” the folks at Texans for Life Coalition seem to be saying. Maybe they think none of that matters since D’Souza has long portrayed himself as a defender of the “traditional family values” they supposedly champion. In fact, he’s been pretty ruthless in that role. As an editor at the right-wing Dartmouth Review in the early 1980s, for example, D’Souza gleefully outed fellow students who were gay. And he’s mouthed many of the words social conservatives love to hear. In arguing that “marriage is the only known incubator for the raising of children,” for example, he has insisted that:
“This arrangement works best when marriage is restricted to heterosexual couples who are of adult age and unrelated to each other. Polygamous arrangements, incest, and homosexual relationships do occur in society, but there is no reason to give them greater social acceptance, nor to give them the special legal status of ‘marriage.'”
Fortunately for D’Souza, society still allow him the “special legal status of marriage” despite proposing to another woman before divorcing the mother of his daughter. Minor details, right?
Or maybe the folks at Texans for Life Coalition are overlooking all of this because they agree with D’Souza’s ridiculous suggestions that his prosecution for violating federal campaign finance laws was the result of a political vendetta by President Obama. Never mind, of course, that D’Souza has admitted that he broke the law. He had this to say to the conspiracy theorists at the right-wing website World Net Daily:
“I am contrite for what I did, and I tried to express that,” he said. “But I also tried at the same time not to allow the case to deter me from making public criticism of the Obama administration.”
“I didn’t want the government to to be successful in shutting me up,” he said. “I wanted to continue to speak out candidly and uninhibitedly. I did that.”
He acknowledged the judge at times saw his stance as inconsistent with a contrite attitude.
“I don’t think it is inconsistent,” he told WND. “I think it’s quite possible to say, (a) I’m contrite for exceeding the campaign finance laws and for breaking the law, and (b) the Obama administration has been doing a lot of bad stuff, and I’m going to call them on it.”
Actually, we suspect what really gets the juices flowing for the Texans for Life crowd is D’Souza’s open and over-the-top loathing for President Obama. In writing and film, D’Souza portrays the president as some foreign, Marxist America-hater out to destroy the country. He, no doubt, will provide a lot of that kind of rhetoric at the fundraiser. That’s like crack for religious-righters — they crave it so much that they choose to overlook the sordid past of the dealer selling it to them.