This is a serious question: Are right-wingers CAPABLE of telling the truth about anything?
Q: What's wrong with this picture?
The answer to the question "What's wrong with this picture?": It's fake.
At Right Wing Watch, Brian Tashman posted the above tweet (also posted to the tweeter's Facebook page) by "right wing 'intellectual' Dinesh D'Souza," along with the note that "D’Souza isn’t the only conservative to post the picture, despite the fact that it’s fake," and also an update:
D'Souza changed the Facebook post to read: "Even if the #ConfederateFlag was edited into this Hillary photo, WHAT is going on with those glasses and that hairdo?"And, oh yes, Brian posted the actual photo, as unearthed in multiple previous iterations via "5 seconds of Google image search" by The Vicious Babushka at Little Green Footballs:
VicBab had noted:
Interestingly, the first photo to appear in my Twitter feed this morning was from @Bipartisanism, a liberal account. When I pointed out that the photo did not match other instances of the picture and that it was a Photoshop, he deleted the Tweet.In those unaltered iterations, right-wingers had been chortling over Hillary's pants. Note that the unspeakable Dinesh D'Souza, once word apparently reached him that he had circulated a fake "photo," didn't go for the pants, he went for "those glasses and that hairdo." Very sophisticated. A lesser intellect might have contemplated some sort of apology. [UPDATE: Looking again, I realize that Dinesh couldn't "go for the pants," because they're mostly edited out of the version of the doctored photo he circulated. This doesn't excuse his contemptible, pea-brained ridicule of the young Hillary's fashion choices, but perhaps it explains why he felt he had to find someplace else to go. Certainly not to an apology, though.]
I hope I don't have to rehash D'Souza's place in the annals of Modern Conservatism. From his role as a cofounder of the infamous, odious propaganda-and-hate sheet the Dartmouth Review, he became a principal architect of then-young Republicans transforming lamebrained ideology into a pseudo-philosophical orgy of assaultive, lying imbecility -- while passing themselves off, as Right Wing Watch notes, as "intellectuals."
They don't actually have a philosophy, of course. What they have is a crippling personality disorder that apparently results in a contemptuous break from reality. From it they've fashioned a movement. Unbelievable.
In the January-February issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine -- a pretty good magazine, by the way -- ABC News investigative reporter Matthew Mosk '92 did a piece called "D'Souza's America," with the deck: "Following his felony conviction, conservative firebrand Dinesh D'Souza '83 has been humbled -- a little -- by his new life under guard in a San Diego halfway house. But silenced?" I couldn't help but read the whole thing, to see if it contained any insight into what makes this loathsome toad tick. Mostly I learned what a truly vile loathsome toad he is -- whiny, self-congratulatory, utterly unapologetic.
Despite having been caught red-handed breaking campaign-finance laws on behalf of a right-wing-nutjob friend engaged in a futile challenge to NY Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's reelection, and being caught even redder-handed trying frantically to cover up his shenanigans, and consequently pleading guilty, the slimebag insists he's the victim of a political witch hunt -- and while awaiting sentence went on TV multiple times to say so (if you guessed Fox Noise, you guessed right), to the considerable irritation of Federal District Court Judge Richard M. Berman, who played a clip of one of those appearances at his sentencing. Matthew Mosk writes:
“Notwithstanding Mr. D’Souza’s contention in his post-plea TV interview that you saw,” Berman said sternly, “I’m totally confident that Lady Justice is doing her job and that she’s not taking off her blindfold to target Dinesh D’Souza.This, remember, in a defendant entering a guilty plea! Who nevertheless received, Mosk writes, "not a sentence of 10 to 16 months in federal prison, as federal guidelines permit, but Berman’s order that D’Souza spend eight months in a community confinement center," and --
“Almost every defendant expresses remorse for his mistake,” Berman said. “They often mean it was a mistake in hindsight, and they are certainly sorry that they got caught. But Mr. D’Souza’s crime was clearly no mistake.” As Berman prepared to hand down the sentence, he continued, sounding almost exasperated, “I’m not sure, Mr. D’Souza, that you get it. It’s still hard for me to discern any personal acceptance of responsibility in this case.”
spend an eight-hour day each week teaching English as a second language to immigrants, an exercise Berman said he hoped might bring some humility to a defendant the judge described as an “almost compulsive talker” and “not a listener.”D'Souza has made a glorious career of ruthless, often borderline-psychotic, obviously knowing lies (he's too smart not to know that he's lying his guts out), on the apparent principle: Lie Big and Lie All the Time. It's hard to imagine a more dishonest creature walking the earth, in a life and career of unmitigated filth and degradation. For which he has garnered massive attention and been lavishly rewarded, and has paved the way for a generation of savagely cretinous like-minded pseudo-intellectual hooligans.
With Matthew Mosk, the closest Dinesh comes to self-awareness is an eventual acknowledgment, when pressed about his brush with the judicial system: "It may be I've had a charmed enough life that I began to think the rules don't apply to me. If that's the case, this is a very good thing to show me that they do." So, if that's the case, Dinesh has learned that he has to be a little more careful when it comes to bothersome "rules."
I suppose it's no wonder, then, that such a person can scarcely devote a second thought to the insignificant action of having spread a lie about Hillary. After all, how many thousands of much bigger lies about her has he already spread?
I mean the question I've put in the post title seriously: Are people like this not just unwilling but unable to tell the truth anytime it comes into conflict with the delusional version of "reality" ricocheting through their savage, ravaged brains?
Ronald Reagan awakened discontented Americans to a new version of reality, which offered as its test question not "Is it true?" but "Does it make you feel better?" And he also encouraged scapegoating, suggesting to Americans that if factual reality makes you feel bad, there's no reason on earth not to blame it on somebody, and the Americans he was preaching to needed only a wink from St. Ronnie to know who some of those somebodies might be.
All these years later these impulses have become so deeply embedded in the right-wing psyche that the victims seem to have truly no idea how complete their break from reality is. Which is why I pose the question of whether that break from reality makes it not just undesirable but impossible to deal with factual reality.