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Jason Holliston
 
Monday, October 25, 2004  
My Favorite Leftist

Everyone that leans Right should read Christopher Hitchens for the same reason those that lean Left should read Victor Davis Hanson: they give you intelligent balance. I may disagree with many things that Hitchens says, but his opinions are always well-reasoned, intelligent, and thoughtful. He has impeccable Leftist credentials, having even attacked (!) Mother Theresa in the past in one of his books. Like I said, I don't think he's always right, but he's one smart cookie.

He was one of the Leftists than came out hard in support for the Iraq War, reminding people that are usually of his ideological strain that removing fascist dictators from power has a long, distinguished history for Democrat Presidents. He used to write for The Nation regularly until a few years ago -- when the magazine took a hard turn into the fever swamps, laughing all the way. He comes back with another column, declaring his support for President Bush in the election eight days away: Why I'm (Slightly) for Bush.

It amounts to a painful slap in the face for the type of person that honestly prefers a mass-murdering Saddam Hussein to the Republican President from Texas:

What slightly disturbs me about most liberals is their hypertense refusal to admit the corollary. "Anybody But Bush"--and this from those who decry simple-mindedness--is now the only glue binding the radical left to the Democratic Party right. The amazing thing is the literalness with which the mantra is chanted. Anybody? Including Muqtada al-Sadr? The chilling answer is, quite often, yes. This is nihilism. Actually, it's nihilism at best. If it isn't treason to the country--let us by all means not go there--it is certainly treason to the principles of the left.

That kind of accusation comes out of the mouth of a Republican, and it's ignored. Coming from Hitchens, that's got to smart. I'd love to see an intelligent answer to this:

One of the editors of this magazine asked me if I would also say something about my personal evolution. I took him to mean: How do you like your new right-wing friends? In the space I have, I can only return the question. I prefer them to Pat Buchanan and Vladimir Putin and the cretinized British Conservative Party, or to the degraded, mendacious populism of Michael Moore, who compares the psychopathic murderers of Iraqis to the Minutemen. I am glad to have seen the day when a British Tory leader is repudiated by the White House. An irony of history, in the positive sense, is when Republicans are willing to risk a dangerous confrontation with an untenable and indefensible status quo. I am proud of what little I have done to forward this revolutionary cause. In Kabul recently, I interviewed Dr. Masuda Jalal, a brave Afghan physician who was now able to run for the presidency. I asked her about her support for the intervention in Iraq. "For us," she said, "the battle against terrorism and against dictatorship are the same thing." I dare you to snicker at simple-mindedness like that.

I have a feeling that it's impossible, or very nearly so. I read this to say, "Listen, rank and file of the Democratic Party: there are dangerous fools on both sides of the aisle. The extreme Right and Left are horrible places to inhabit, and I reject them without question. The President, with all his shortcomings, is not of the extreme Right, and has moved forward the fight for freedom immeasurably. Until you come back to your senses, and stop embracing fascist-enablers like Michael Moore, I'm standing, reluctantly, with the Republicans."

It's a strange world when Republicans embrace the foreign policy of Franklin Roosevelt, and the Democrats embrace the foreign policy of Charles Lindbergh's America First Committee. Close your eyes, and maybe everything will be alright. Right?

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