Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Christopher Hitchens Walks Into My Dark Alley

Now, I am a Hitch fan from waaaaay back when he wasn't a warmongering apologist for the big stick element in society. I, like so many others, prefer the smart and snarky lovable Hitch with tie askew and hair perpetually mussed, but not mussed like self-conscious rocker mussing; mussed like dammit, i'm late and i just spilled coffee on my shirt and why is this cab going so slow, i've got a deadline! mussed. Y'all remember the Hitch who dropped bon mots from his thin lips like so much pearls before the swine we were. Ah, those were the days....

And then Bill Clinton must have slept with Hitch's girlfriend or mother or something at Oxford, cos, goddam, Hitch hates Bill with the intensity of a thousand burning suns. Jeeeez, Hitch. What-ever. But though I found this distasteful, these were early days yet, and I was willing to let it go as the quirk of a true iconoclast, and he must know something I don't, right? But he kept on. I mean, the screeds against the Clintons were one thing, but the post-9/11 moralizing and serious intoning about saving "civilization," say it ain't so, Hitch! There was a time when Hitch would parse that "civilization" assumption for us with a withering look and one-liner. But oh no, 9/11 was too big for Hitch. It crystalized some sort of inner establishment warrior in him and brought him unapologetically to the forefront to do battle (rhetorically) with the nihilist jihadists, who, of course, hated everything we cherished. Dang. Rhetorical fireworks still in evidence in brilliant bursts, but the shrillness has become almost banal.

And, frankly, the protesting-too-much is unbecoming. Hitch is un-, well, Hitched, sad to say. He's turned into a smarter Bill O'Reilly. Okay, not a smarter Bill O'Reilly, because O'Reilly's blustering, apoplectic, and oh-too-vociferous stupidity are beyond compare. Let's say Hitch is a smarter -- what's that guy--the one--you know, he's blond and ineffectual, speaks all nasally, and you know that he got his ass kicked his whole life and was only saved from a life of deviant and tragic porn addiction (if he were, that is) because his momma was such a tough biddy that she had cajones enough for both of them and he could trade on her name for a while? No, not David "Axis of Evil' Frum (a right-wing Canuck? say it ain't so!), though I'm sure this applies in his case, too. No, not John "Please Kick Me" Podhoretz, though this definitely applies in his case. That other one, the blond guy. Every once in a while he actually utters an un-cringeworthy sentence...Bill Kristol! Phew. That guy. Hitch has dropped a level or two on the dumb-o-meter, and why? Hitch, what's with the Bill Kristol krap? We liked you better as you. Bill's a tool; you used to be an iconoclast. Sigh.

Now, I'm not one to engage in the kind of soft slander that is the M.O. of the less moral among us, so I won't wonder aloud if Hitch is having trouble removing his head from the oak cask of Scotch up his ass. That is between him and his bartender. I just cannot understand why he would say something as, well, dumb as this in Whores Are Us, I mean, Slate:

(The Democrats think that) the Bush administration is stashing Bin Laden somewhere, or somehow keeping his arrest in reserve, for an "October surprise." This innuendo would appear, on the face of it, to go a little further than "impugning the patriotism" of the president. It argues, after all, for something like collusion on his part with a man who has murdered thousands of Americans as well as hundreds of Muslim civilians in other countries.

Oh, for the love of God. Has Hitch lost his marbles completely? It's so clunky and lazy and beneath him, and it doesn't end there. I just can't bring myself to quote any more of it. When did the worldly Hitch become such an innnocent? Since when can he not fathom the abuse of state power, this former Trotskyite?? How do we coax this babe in the woods back into the wilds of the Beltway?

It's not enough that this sort of -- some would call it paranoid, I would not -- thinking would impugn the patriotism of the preznit, Hitch has to assert that the Dems' innuendo implies B*shCo's "collusion" with Public Enemy #1. How would this be "collusion"? What does Hitch imagine? Rove walks up to Bin Laden in Tora Bora and says, "Let's you and me go in on this most nefarious of plots together. I hope you'll agree to aid me in my plan to undermine American democracy," and then they'll shake on it? For f*ck's sake, that has to be the stupidest thing I've read about any of this yet.

As if getting some rogue Pakistani element to capture Bin Laden and keep him in a cave in the mountainous borderlands is so far beyond the ken of some DoD shadow group. Or maybe Hitch does not remember the Pakistani "July Surprise"? I mean, it's not like this administration ever played politix with national security. Ahem. Curiously timed terror alerts, anyone? Does Hitch think it despicable that Ch*ney has said as much that a vote for John Kerry will get you bombed by Osama? Oh no, Hitch does not, because he himself has intoned that "unless (Kerry) conclusively repudiates the obvious defeatists in his own party (and maybe even his own family), we shall be able to say that John Kerry's campaign is a distraction from the fight against al-Qaida.

Right. Like a criticism lobbed in the relative safety of a political campaign is as much a distraction from the fight against al-Qaida as, oh I don't know, an entire unnecessary war in Iraq!!!

Hitch, we hardly knew ye.

Oh, and that idiotic article is here.