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Editorial: Bizarre choice for GOP speaker

An India native who became a best-selling U.S. Republican-Christian hero — then was disgraced by a sex scandal and convicted of an election felony — is being hailed as keynote speaker for the yearly state GOP Victory Dinner on Sept. 19.

“The West Virginia Republican Party is proud to welcome conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza to Charleston,” blared a Wednesday announcement from the state GOP headquarters.

The announcement didn’t mention (but reporter David Gutman did) that D’Souza faces a presumed federal prison term just four days after his Charleston appearance. What a strange mess.

D’Souza was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) to Catholic parents and came to America as an exchange student. At Dartmouth College, he became renowned for attacking affirmative action, which boosts black students to offset past racial discrimination.

He rose swiftly in U.S. conservative organizations, became an adviser to President Reagan in the 1980s, and wrote several right-wing books that hit The New York Times best-seller list.

For example, his 2007 book, “The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11,” contended that sexual laxity in U.S. movies and popular culture caused foreign Muslims to see America as satanic, thus breeding the terror movement that perpetrated the historic massacre on Sept. 11, 2001. The Washington Post called it “the worst nonfiction book about terrorism,” and The New York Times called it “a national disgrace.”

D’Souza became famous for both a book and documentary film contending that President Obama hates America because his long-vanished black father hated colonial powers in Africa. The American Conservative magazine sneered at his theory as “possibly the most ridiculous piece of Obama analysis yet.”

D’Souza switched his faith to evangelicalism. He became president of a little New York church college and waged several public debates against atheist authors. But he was ousted from the college in 2012 after he spent the night in a hotel with a married woman, not his wife.

Three months ago, he pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to a New York GOP candidate by funneling the cash through “straw” donors. His plea bargain accepted a prison term from 10 to 16 months. Sentencing is to occur Sept. 23, four days after his Charleston talk.

“We are proud to bring him to West Virginia at such an important time in our state’s Republican turn to red,” GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas declared Wednesday.

What a bizarre situation.


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