Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Is Hitchen 'coming home'?

Christopher Hitchens is a great annoyance to many lefties, having once been a lefty and then turning into a sort of righty, although an iconoclastic. But as the presidential election comes ever closer everyone who is everyone is taking a stand on who to vote for and Hitchens is definitely not voting for the McCain/Palin ticket. He writes in Slate of Palin:
"[H]er conduct since...[his earlier limited defence of her] has been a national disgrace. It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party's right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama's position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses."
Hitchens has come to prominence in recent years for his ardent rejection of what he calls Islamofascism, and for his support of the war in Iraq as part of that struggle. Hence the annoyance on the part of his former 60's comrades. But on this particular issue he says:
"I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that "issue" I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity. Obama is greatly overrated in my opinion, but the Obama-Biden ticket is not a capitulationist one, even if it does accept the support of the surrender faction, and it does show some signs of being able and willing to profit from experience. With McCain, the "experience" is subject to sharply diminishing returns, as is the rest of him, and with Palin the very word itself is a sick joke."
Thanks to Quizbo for forwarding the link via Facebook.


KGS said...

I believe that it's time ill spent talking of Chritiopher Hitchens as having once turned into a sort of righty.

Hitchens has stated from the beginning that his firm committment in the war against Islamofascism is based on his progressive views.

The fact that the Leftist camp is immensely confused and enraged by what Hitchens has professed, and insists that his (Hitchens')views are not anchored in traditional "progressive" dogma, shows just how much the Left has been removed from its tradtional moorings.

Christopher Hitchens' criticisms of McCain and Palin do not point to a return to his progressive roots, because he never left them in the first place.

B.Obama's bold and naive/amatuerish statement to meet with Iranian leaders without preconditions however, renders Hitchen's statement about Obama...:

"but the Obama-Biden ticket is not a capitulationist one, even if it does accept the support of the surrender faction, and it does show some signs of being able and willing to profit from experience"

....badly ill-advised.

Quizbo said...

Hey Toby, glad you found the Hitchens opinion piece interesting... I certainly felt he made a good argument about the kinds of things me and many of my friends have felt about this election.

My personal views on Hitchens have never really had anything to do with a left / right divide, or his personal views on an issue like the war on terrorism. I've just always had the niggling suspicion that much of his being an iconoclast was rooted somewhat in knowing what it takes to get publicity... maybe I didn't read enough of his arguments about Mother Teressa, but she seemed to be a strange figure to pick for flaying in book-length treatment. I guess I really just need to get past his attitude sometimes and take his arguments more seriously... only so much time to read in this world, right?

Oh, and for future reference, I really don't mind if you use my real name in a post or response. I opened up with the blogging / social networking quite a bit later than you, and it's taken me a while to realize that it doesn't really matter if people know who I am when I make an argument online. Though from your perspective, better safe than sorry, so I thank you for your discretion. ---KIMO---