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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rdowns, Oct 13, 2008.
I wonder if Hitchens was drunk and will remember even writing it. It is scathing.
*raising eyebrow* florid prose indeed ;-)
I always admired Hitchins for his great writing and debate skills.
Hitchens wasn't drunk, I'm sure. That's the way he is. He's rather...blunt.
I can't tell if Hitchens is deep into a bottle of scotch when he wrote this, or stone cold sober for once...
I don't think Hitchens was any deeper in the scotch than usual. Look at the arch of his columns over the last few weeks.
He gave Obama props for citing Kissinger correctly, even as he slammed both candidates for "kowtowing" to the man. He also wrote that Obama was correct about Pakistan.
There's also this article, wherein he calls the US America, the Banana Republic.
I don't know this guy, can someone fill me in?
Here's his wiki page. He's had a somewhat erratic career of late, careening from somewhere near the far left to near the far right and lately seems to be careening back to the left again.
He's got a flair for writing, and is as blunt as they come. It's also something of an open secret that he's got problems with alcohol. How much that seeps into his writing is a matter of opinion and speculation.
Hitchens is the author of several books, including God Is Not Great, Love Poverty and War, Why Orwell Matters, and Letters to a Young Contrarian.
He's also a columnist for Slate and Vanity Fair.
Vote for Obama? He must be drunk.
I hate the man. He's slimy and so transparent. The tide is turning against the republicans, so he's sliding on another of his many faces.
He's all about getting the money and his way of doing that is aligning himself with the power. It is likely that Obama will be the next president so he's just aligning himself.
As for his debating skills, you might want to watch Galloway trounce him about the war in Iraq. Everything Galloway said proved to be true and everything Hitchens said has proved to be wrong.
were founded, surely?
No, was is correct.
No, were is correct.
Google it if you don't trust this source. There are plenty that say the exact same thing.
I'm beginning to become suspicious of all these Republican stalwarts endorsing Obama. They have to know that anyone who is elected this year will be inheriting the most godawful mess the country has faced in decades. The next president will have to perform something close to miracles to be seen as successful. Perhaps these Republicans are thinking that if a Democratic president wears the results of the Bush donnybrook that it will lead to a faster Republican resurgence, that maybe they can come back in four years instead of eight or more.
In Hitchens' particular case, I don't think this is true, he appears genuinely annoyed at McCain and his campaign.
For others, I'm sure there's some Machiavellian hope that Obama's presidency will mirror Carter's and allow the Republicans to roll in another Reagan-esque figure.
The Carter analogy is an excellent one. This is exactly what I am talking about. Carter inherited the last big economic mess, created during the Nixon-Ford years, and ended up taking the blame for not fixing it, thus paving the way for the "Reagan revolution." It's not Machiavellian to know your history. Besides, for most movement conservatives, McCain has never really been their man.
I don't doubt that Hitchens and others are authentically disturbed by how McCain has run his campaign, but at this point I think they'd written off the White House anyway and are now more concerned about the impact of a big McCain loss on the down-ballot races. It's much easier to recover the presidency than to recover from a wipeout in Congress.
That's a pretty risky gamble to take deliberately. What if Obama turns out to be a great president? Then you've just sunk your party for a generation.
Besides, how many liberals do you think were really rooting for a Bush presidency over Al Gore so that the resulting disaster could be used to bring Obama -- or any other Democrat -- to power? I'd have to say none.
As much as we like to badmouth our opponents, this kind of like of thought assumes that your opponents would not mind seeing the country brought to ruin in order to further their agenda. That strikes me as just a tad over-the-top, and requires that you believe your opponents actually WANT bad things to happen to our nation.
And that's the kind of rhetoric that truly divides this nation. If you believe your opponent is evil, you'll resort to some pretty nasty stuff to defeat them.
I think this is more evidence of a real divide in the Republican Party. If Obama can't overcome all the huge obstacles to turning the country around, which I'm also worried about (especially since I doubt there will be a filibuster-proof Senate), then the divide will be less important in four years, and otherwise they'll have eight years to sort it out. (I'm assuming Obama will win, but I'm not taking it for granted). McCain/Palin have laid it out as "Georgetown conservatives" vs. "Joe six-pack." The Republicans nominated someone who doesn't appeal to their so-called base, but in that case, maybe they need to redefine what constitutes their base.
I'll never believe that McCain or any other knowledgeable person seriously thinks that Sarah Palin could step in on day 1 or day 1000, so to that extent, I do think they are risking the country for their own agenda. She hasn't demonstrated that she has even given much thought to the world or even economic policy, much less understands them, and can't even speak in coherent sentences when she's talking about anything other than bullet points. I think it's a disgrace, and evidence of the extent of sexism that exists, that no one can on the Democratic side can even challenge that without seeming like they're "picking on" her. Hats off to the few courageous prominent Republicans who have.
Depending on what happens in the next four years, and who the Republican nominee is, we'll probably see a bunch of "former Obama supporter endorses X," without mentioning that Obama was the only Democrat they had ever endorsed for president.
This stands to reason. Movement conservatives who are now openly supporting Obama seem to be meting out something of a payback to McCain for not being one of theirs. Should they get one of their own nominated in 2012, I suspect that their loyalties (such as they are) will shift instantly to the Republican, no matter how well or poorly Obama has managed the nation's business during the intervening four years.
And that's the big question here. Their party is in a huge state of flux. There are at least three factions that will be vying for power: the traditionalists (Eisenhower-style conservatives), the Reaganites and the neo-cons. Arguably those last two are just variations on a theme, with the neo-cons being much further along the fascism scale, but to hear them argue it, they are very different from each other.
Am I the only one to detect in McCain's answers that even he doesn't believe it? It's like, he says he believes in her, but if you could see a thought balloon over his head it would read, "Oh God, what have I done??"
I mean, of course McCain's a loser, but he's not an imbecile. I'm sure he realizes he made a horrendous pick and he's just attempting to live with it.
Well, he's said before that he's willing to live with the consequences of his mistakes.
The question is, are WE ready to live with the consequences of McCain's mistakes?
Completely misstated, actually. The point I was making is that the new president in 2009 is inheriting a terrible mess. They, and their party, are likely to be saddled with the blame if substantial improvements don't occur quickly -- which I think we all know is not very likely. We absolutely do not have to believe that one party actually "wants" bad things to happen to our nation. We only have to recognize that they've already occurred, that conditions are likely to get worse before they get better -- and whoever is in office at the time they get worse is likely to wear it in the next election. Does anyone seriously believe that political people don't make these sorts of calculations?
That's all true but that makes the assumption that they would actually want to lose the election on the gamble that things will not improve enough over the next four years to re-elect the incumbent. While it may be a consolation if McCain loses, it is not a gamble I can see a lot of Republicans as willing to take by just letting the Dems win in November.
If the crisis bottoms out early in Obama's presidency and the improvements are felt by November 2012 he'll stand a good chance for re-election, and if things keep improving 2016 will be hard for the GOP again (assuming Obama doesn't get into any intern scandals).
It's the gamble that things will become progressively worse over the next 3-4 years that would give them a good leg for 2012 versus letting the opposition party claim credit for coming through in a time of crisis. If the former happens they might be fighting to inherit an even bigger mess in 2012, if the latter happens they might have handed decades of being in power to the Dems on a silver platter, neither one is very appealing.
Consider how late in the electoral process these endorsements are coming, at a point where a McCain loss is virtually assured. I think several political realities are in motion. The first is that McCain has never been fully accepted by Republican Party stalwarts, so kneecapping him now is risk-free payback. Second is the rats jumping the sinking ship affect. Just as McCain has tried to distance himself from a massively unpopular president, many Republicans are starting to distance themselves from McCain, potentially a landslide loser. Third is the political calculation that it might well be more productive in the long run to have a Democrat struggle with the Bush legacy than a Republican.
Keep in mind, the next national election is in two years, not four. Midterm elections often go badly for the party which holds the presidency, even in relatively good times. The 2010 election could be a big problem for the Democrats if they hold Congress and the White House, but don't make a lot of progress on righting the economy. Many economists are forecasting that we won't even start coming out of this until at least 2010.
I'm just doing the math, as political people do.