Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza pleaded guilty last week to charges of funneling campaign donations in excess of the legal limit through straw donors to the campaign of Senate hopeful Wendy Long.
The D’Souza case has reeked from the beginning of reprisal from on high. His film “2016: Obama’s America” was the second highest grossing political documentary of all time, just behind Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Some have called D’Souza’s film the conservative answer to “Fahrenheit,” though I reject that comparison on the grounds that “2016” is actually truthful. But try to imagine Moore being arrested during Bush’s second term and the ensuing outcry it would have caused on the Left. Hollywood would be making movies for years to come portraying Moore as a political prisoner.
Some might argue that D’Souza is an innocent man who took a plea deal rather than going to trial and risking a harsher sentence. I doubt it, but if that’s the case he should have stuck to his guns.
Even in light of his recent guilty plea, the D’Souza case still seems fishy. In a society in which the application of the law is so often whimsical all prosecutions begin to take on the appearance of selectivity and even payback.
But wait a second, a dissenting voice might say, D’Souza did the crime and now he’s doing the time. How can that be political payback? The answer is that crimes have been so estranged from their punishments that they hardly seem even tangentially related. Yes, it appears that D’Souza broke the law but that in and of itself tells us little about why he’s in the docket.
There are all sorts of people breaking the law right now, in high places and low, who are being excused. Illegal aliens are living in our midst. Plenty of industries are employing them too, which is also illegal. CIA director David Petraeus divulged classified information to his biographer/mistress. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper perjured himself when he said that the NSA was not “wittingly” spying on Americans. Planned Parenthood is failing in their obligation as mandatory reporters by remaining silent about underage rape victims seeking abortions at their facilities. Both AG Eric Holder and IRS official Lois Lerner are in blatant contempt of Congress. Holder is also guilty of perjury, having testified before Congress that he only learned of Operation Fast and Furious “in the last few days,” implying that he had been in the dark about the gun-walking program. Officials at the IRS illegally disclosed classified tax information to the leftwing journalistic foundation ProPublica, as well as to the Human Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles Times.
Certain people are apparently above the law. Dinesh D’Souza isn’t one of those people, though he could be if he were one of the cool kids, that is, a progressive who receives invitations to all the right Georgetown parties. Instead he made a movie that examined Obama’s political education, including his anticolonialist roots and communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. So he had to pay.
Which isn’t to say that D’Souza should skate. The rule of law is a part of civilization’s foundation that has been steadily eroding for decades. Law breakers should face punishment and that includes D’Souza. I say this while still maintaining that the campaign finance law he broke is silly and constitutionally dubious. Laws that are unconstitutional should be overturned through judicial review, and laws that are bad policy should be repealed via the legislative process. Simply ignoring laws we don’t like is a slippery slope to anarchy.
Eric Holder, the highest law enforcement officer in the land, disagrees. He argues that his office has great “discretion” in enforcement. “There is a vast amount of discretion … that an attorney general has,” Holder said. “But that discretion has to be used in an appropriate way so that you’re acting consistent [sic] with the aims of the statute but at the same time making sure that you are acting in a way that is consistent with our values, consistent with the Constitution and protecting the American people.”
A quick look at Holder’s track record, however, reveals that his exercise of discretion is not based on concern for values, the Constitution, or the American people. His idea of “discretion” should really be called bias. Holder’s DOJ only enforces laws it likes and only against people it doesn’t. By ignoring certain laws, it essentially nullifies them without actually having to go through the legislative process.
“We don’t prosecute every violation of federal law,” said Holder. “We don’t have the capacity to do that and so what we try to do is make determinations about how we use our limited resources.” Ahhh..so it’s resources that are the determining factor. Funny how Eric Holder found the resources to prosecute a small potatoes case like D’Souza’s but refuses to prosecute any number of high-profile lawbreakers. “Resources” are a transparent excuse.
Holder freely admits that his DOJ will not enforce hate crimes statutes if the victim was targeted for being white or Christian. When Republican Senator Jeff Sessions posed to Holder a hypothetical—a minister being attacked by a homosexual because he preached against homosexuality—Holder was forthright in his response. “Well, the statute would not – would not necessarily cover that. We’re talking about crimes that have a historic basis. Groups who have been targeted for violence as a result of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, that is what this statute tends – is designed to cover. We don’t have the indication that the attack was motivated by a person’s desire to strike at somebody who was in one of these protected groups.”(Emphasis added.)
At least he wasn’t using the old “resources” excuse. His discretion would hinge on whether the victim appeared on his list of specially protected demographic groups.
Dinesh D’Souza admitted to violating the law and for that he should pay. Yet his admitted guilt makes him no less of a victim of revanchist prosecution for a minor crime. As the old adage goes, “They’re framing a guilty man in there.”