Saturday, October 23, 2004

Hitchens Revisited

I see that James Wolcott agrees with my earlier assessment of Hitchens' flaccid article in The Nation.

"He seems more peeved about the left than he is passionate for Bush."

And it is a left that doesn't really exist, except, perhaps, on a distant fringe. Why does Hitchens, a once respectable if slightly drunk writer, insist on brandishing arguments akin to "Democrats support Saddam!"
He is of the type that decries the popularity of Michael Moore as an example of the unhinged mentality of the left. And this, presumably, is a reason to support Bush (he gives little other reason, so I have to extrapolate).
Those that espouse this view should know that the support for Moore, in many cases, is a desperate one. Democrats are frustrated and so have embraced someone who can speak for them in a loud voice, because they are so often silenced. This should hardly negate the many reasoned and moderated voices on the left.

I think, if we look at the last paragraph of Hitchens' article in conjunction with the PIPA poll, we can see what is really going on in Hitchens' mind.

From Hitchens, "The President, notwithstanding his shortcomings of intellect, has been able to say, repeatedly and even repetitively, the essential thing: that we are involved in this war without apology and without remorse. He should go further, and admit the evident possibility of defeat--which might concentrate a few minds--while abjuring any notion of capitulation. Senator Kerry is also capable of saying this, but not without cheapening it or qualifying it, so that, in the Nation prisoners' dilemma, he is offering you the worst of both worlds. Myself, I have made my own escape from your self-imposed quandary. Believe me when I say that once you have done it, there's no going back."
From the PIPA press release, "Kull continues, 'To support the president and to accept that he took the US to war based on mistaken assumptions likely creates substantial cognitive dissonance, and leads Bush supporters to suppress awareness of unsettling information about prewar Iraq.'"
Perhaps Hitchens has switched from alcohol to Kool-Aid.