Michael Totten

Once More Into the Breach

Christopher Hitchens returns to The Nation to write one last column.

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 can say, and have said, much the same thing.

There’s a flip side to this, too. I may not vote for John Kerry, but I would stand shoulder to shoulder with him against Pat Robertson, Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, James Dobson, Rick Santorum, Alan Keyes, and — gosh — I don’t know how many other Republicans. That’s why, despite the fact that I’ve been pushed toward to the right, I haven’t joined the right.
No one ever asks me, Hitchens, or anyone else who left the left what we think of our center-wing friends. You can’t ask that question sarcastically. So it doesn’t get asked. How do you like being independent and free? The question answers itself.
(Hat tip: Marc Cooper.)