Good Writing Alert

Christopher Hitchens can be infuriating, but he certainly has a way with words. I laughed out loud while reading the first paragraph of his new column for Slate:

Yes, yes, yes. I, too, took pleasure in standing in line and in exchanging pleasantries and greetings with the amazingly courteous staff at my polling station and the many citizens of my delightfully diverse Washington neighborhood. I, too, am still wearing my lapel sticker, with the jaunty words “I Voted.” And I found it pretty easy to cast a vote that told the Republican Party, for which I recommended a vote last time, not to try any of this shit again. No more McCarthy tactics; no more stumblebum quitting of the campaign trail and attempting to pull out of the first presidential debate in order to wind up voting to save Lehman Bros.; no more driveling Christian fundamentalism; no more insinuation that only those silly enough to endorse them are “real Americans.” No more sneers at San Francisco as if it weren’t a real American city. McCain and his preposterous running mate will just have to believe in an afterlife in which they can live down the shame of what they attempted this year.


  1. #1 barry21
    November 12, 2008

    Even when I disagree with Hitchens, I love his writing. I am happy that he gave his endorsement, albeit with reservations, to Obama.

  2. #2 NoAstronomer
    November 12, 2008

    Great writing. There’s one thing I don’t get though:

    What the feck did Bush offer in 2004 that was so great or, in fact, any different from what McCain/Palin were offering?

  3. #3 Jason Rosenhouse
    November 12, 2008

    barry21 –

    That’s exactly how I feel about Hitchens. I loved his religion book, but his political writing can sometimes drive me up a wall.

    NoAstronomer –

    You have to remember that Hitchens is a big hawk on Iraq. He has proudly described himself as a one-issue voter (the issue being Iraq). In 2004 he felt that Bush was more hawkish than Kerry on Iraq, and that was enough for him. This time he was sufficiently persuaded that McCain is no particular improvement over Obama on that issue that he was willing to endorse the Democrat.

  4. #4 Caliban
    November 12, 2008

    Reading that Slate article, Hitchens (to me) comes off as a surly, more sarcastic version of Twain. He’s fun to read. Especially when you can “hear” his particular, verbal signature speaking the lines.

  5. #5 Free Radical
    November 22, 2008

    I always have this problem with Hitchens. It’s not simply that he sometimes votes for candidates I can’t stand (although don’t get me wrong – it is certainly that in part). It’s the idea that a man so strongly anti-religious would be willing, on the basis of one issue, to vote religious zealots into office simply because it served his purposes. Does he not see the hypocrisy there?

    Hitchens and the Christian right largely agree that the Muslim fundamentalist regimes are a threat and must be stopped. They agree, in fact, on the reason – they both think Muslim fundamentalists are zealots of a dangerous faith. The difference is, Hitchens thinks ALL faith is dangerous, whereas the right simply – and EXPLICITLY – wants to see all Muslims converted to the worship of the one, true Lord, Jesus Christ.

    How can a guy like Hitchens even be willing to USE those people to serve his purposes?

  6. #6 cl
    December 7, 2008

    Hitchens can infuriate me as well, but when he says,

    No more sneers at San Francisco as if it weren’t a real American city.

    I have to applaud!

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