A federal judge is heaping on new therapy requirements to Dinesh D'Souza's parole sentence, and there's absolutely no reason for it. D'Souza, who is under parole for violating campaign finance laws, has seen world-class medical experts who have verified that his mental health is perfectly normal. But U.S. District Judge Richard Berman has other ideas — he was a "psychology major."
The acclaimed conservative author and filmmaker pled guilty last year to breaking campaign finance rules, and he was subsequently sentenced to eight months of nightly detention and five years on probation. He was also fined $30,000, required to do community service, forced to attend weekly counseling sessions, and restricted from international travel. All this for a $20,000 campaign finance violation.
But apparently, those punishments do not go far enough. Yesterday, Judge Berman — a Clinton appointee — said D'Souza must continue teaching English classes as community service for four more years, and he must undergo further counseling, despite the expert opinions of psychologists who say he doesn't need it. Why? Because Judge Berman is convinced that D'Souza's crime back in 2012 could only have stemmed from mental instability.
The judge explained:
“What I’m reading in the psychological case notes is compatible with my own impressions. The psychological case notes indicate that while Mr. D’Souza is highly intelligent, he has remarkably little insight into his own motivations, that he is not introspective or insightful, but that he tends to see his own actions in an overly positive manner."
He went on:
“I consider the original crime in this case is an insight issue. That Mr. D’Souza committed this crime involves a colossal failure of insight and introspection.”
Assuming that this judge is not acting out of political malice for Mr. D'Souza — and we certainly can't dismiss that possibility, since D'Souza has long been a thorn in the side of liberals — the judge's explanation for his decision is extremely telling. In concluding that D'Souza's mistake had to be owing to an "insight problem," or some lack of mental capacity, the judge is assuming something terribly false about human beings: that they can't willfully make bad decisions, even while being completely informed about them. Mr. D'Souza made a wrong decision in breaking the law. But it was an informed decision — and one that he has frankly made amends for at this point. And if the judge understood Mr. D'Souza's mistake as an exclusively moral failure, the conservative activist would almost certainly be let off by now. Instead, Mr. D'Souza is now held captive to a federal judge's false worldview, a worldview that assumes that wrong actions must emerge from external factors and not from the corrupt human heart.
So essentially, if this judge could lower his view of human moral excellence and accept something like a doctrine of sin, this case could be easily headed for a tidy finish. But that's not to be.
What can one say? Ideas have consequences.