Heather MacDonald attacks Dinesh D'Souza and the conservatives who have taken up his argument that some of Obama's views and policies are the “dreams of a Luo tribesman”--Obama's father, with whom he has almost never had any contact, and whose speeches and writings, as far as anyone knows, have never influenced Obama. What has influenced Obama, of course, is contemporary liberalism, as developed in the Ivy League, Washington, DC, among some of the elite in Chicago, etc. In the context of that liberalism, there is no hint of anything radical, alien, mysterious, monstrous or uniquely threatening in any of Obama's writings or speeches. Many of Obama's most controversial moves, as MacDonald waggishly points out, are a continuation of those of that exotic un-American lunatic, George W. Bush. Obamacare is about as un-American as Harry Truman, who tried to implement something similar in the 1940s.
So what is wrong with a lot of conservatives? They obviously think they can succeed in elections almost entirely by smearing their opponents as vaguely but dangerously "on the wrong side"--defenders of immorality, un-American, deriving their views from such an irrational or unpredictable source that they are best treated as aliens or monsters. As MacDonald says, conservatives seem to be admitting that they have no actual case against Democratic policies, or none that will win elections--just as was the case in the Clinton years, the personal attack is really all they've got; maybe it will work, maybe it won't.
The new plan of Congressional Republicans--the "Pledge to America"--commits to no reduction in spending on Medicare or Social Security--along, of course, with defence. If both Medicare and Social Security are sacred trusts, then how can Obamacare or stimulus spending be un-American, a march to a Scandinavian welfare state, a socialist attack on private enterprise and the family, or outright evil?
h/t for all of this to Matt Yglesias.