October 13, 2008

"John McCain [seems] to be someone suffering from an increasingly obvious and embarrassing deficit, both cognitive and physical."

Let's hear from Christopher Hitchens:
The train-wreck sentences, the whistlings in the pipes, the alarming and bewildered handhold phrases—"My friends"—to get him through the next 10 seconds. I haven't felt such pity for anyone since the late Adm. James Stockdale humiliated himself as Ross Perot's running mate. And I am sorry to have to say it, but Stockdale had also distinguished himself in America's most disastrous and shameful war, and it didn't qualify him then and it doesn't qualify McCain now.



Host with the Most said...

My only delight in anything Christopher Hitchens is in the surprise he gets after death.

"But I d,d,d,didn't believe you even existed, God".

"I get that a lot. Sorry, I never knew you either. Depart from me into everlasting darkness reserved for Satan and his angels."

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Better late than never. Welcome to reality, Hitch.

Maguro said...

Another leftist for Obama...whoda thunk it?

Revenant said...

Depart from me into everlasting darkness reserved for Satan and his angels.

One of the most repugnant things about Christians and Muslims is the way so many of them delight in fantasies of people they disagree with -- people who have done nothing wrong apart from saying things Christians and Muslims disagree with -- being tortured for all eternity.

rhhardin said...

I always thought Stockdale did okay. He showed a self-deprecating sense of humor first of all.

mccullough said...

This is a hilarious endorsement. It's basically that McCain is totally out of whack, Palin is evil, and Obama is not a total capitulationist to terrorists even though a lot of his supporters are.

I don't think Obama will be tagging this endorsement into a campaign ad anytime soon.

Hitchens' view of the world is a cartoon. He's sort of an erudite Mickey Spillane.

Trooper York said...

Don't sweat it Rev, I bet Mother Theresa will put in a good word for Hitch.

rhhardin said...

Nobody's arguing that McCain is a great choice. He's better than Obama.

This election is run on really low standards.

It's the Special Olympics for the Predidency.

Thanks to two-year-long soap opera media coverage.

Darcy said...

Aww, Hitch. :)

I can't help but like him. There is so much that I agree with him on, that he just nails so spectacularly in his unique way.

I think he's partly right here. The wrong part is thinking that Obama is a better choice. McCain, for all of his failings, still comes out miles ahead of Obama.

And on Sarah Palin...yeah, he is tone deaf, there.

But cheers, Hitch.

Ann Althouse said...

"Depart from me into everlasting darkness reserved for Satan and his angels."

I have this picture of the dead arriving at the gate and learning that there is a God but what it turns out he wanted was for us not to believe in Him. Wouldn't that be a kick in the teeth? Hitchens gets in with a "good work, old man" and you get the everlasting darkness.

Ann Althouse said...

But only if you delighted in the thought that you'd get in and someone else would be out.

Adrian said...

Stockdale wasn't the one who was humiliated; it was the left that was humiliated by the way they treated him. Dennis Miller isn't the only person who became a conservative that day.

halojones-fan said...

I'm going to go with Pratchett. "God made the world and he made its laws and then he left. He does not require that we think of Him; He requires only that we think."

As to Hitchens: Well gee whiz, Chris, you seemed happy enough to tell us that Vietnam service put Kerry ahead of Bush. Now suddenly Vietnam doesn't matter and never did?

Ron said...

Ann, what you said almost seemed a derivative of Pascal's Wager! Or is "derivative" an ugly word these days?

Methadras said...

Hitchens invoking the name of Stockdale is as equivalent as Little Miss Sullivan calling herself a Christian.

Revenant said...

Ann, what you said almost seemed a derivative of Pascal's Wager!

It is one of the many refutations of Pascal's Wager. In addition to being a false dichotomy, the Wager contains several unstated assumptions, e.g. that all Gods must like worshipers and dislike nonbelievers.

Donn said...

The ONLY reason Hitch is against McCain is due to that "Christianist" Sarah Palin.

chickenlittle said...

Wow. Gamechanger for me. I hang on Hitchens' every word.

I haven't felt such pity for anyone since the late Adm. James Stockdale humiliated himself as Ross Perot's running mate.

If Victoria were here she'd say Hitchens was Stockdaling McCain.

bleeper said...

Rhhardin - you just insulted all the handicapped people who compete by comparing the two presidential candidates to them. They are far more honorable and worthy than those two losers. Oh, right, one of them will win. We, however, won't.

Cedarford said...

Like Hitchens, I find McCain's case of Senatoritis irritating enough that I would be pleased to see this campaign be the end of "My friends! My friends! I'll fight for you in a way I didn't the last 30 years I was in DC...with my dear friends like John Kerry, Joe, Lindsay.."

Republicans on the Right, already familiar with McCain's treachery and double-dealing, are now seeing more McCain lurching around with no strategic vision or coherence. Once again going back on his word. They caught him talking to a Spanish language station saying he was going to push hard for faster and more extended family reunification (chain migration) as President. They saw him all over the map on the economic meltdown, culminating in consterated Republicans attempting to explain his idea of taking 300 billion from taxpayers to pay off banks full value of "distressed mortgages" and subsidize those people "trapped" in more house than they can afford.

Tommy Thompson says McCain has lost all semblance of a steady campaign message. Effectively saying McCain is winging it and no one, not even his advisors, know what is coming out of his mouth next.

Romney was more diplomatic, saying there were problems with McCain's consistency of message, but that he was sure those problems would be resolved quickly..(But not, he hopes likely, fast enough to preclude a possible Romney-Jindal ticket in 2012..)

Most blogs are fixating on the "Special Olympics" race between two bad candidates for President. It is worth a moment's attention on the very significant Senate fight. As of now, Republicans face catastrophe there, with the possibility of a 60 Dem Senator filibuster-proof Senate.

There are 3 open seats. Democrats are well ahead in all of them (NM,CO, VA).
There are 8 races against current Republican Senators where the Dem is substantially ahead, slightly ahead, or statistically tied.
OR,MN,NC,AK,NH,KY, even friggin' GA & MS.
John Cornyn and Susan Collins (thanks to her being a RINO in tune with Maine residents) appear safe. As are all the Dems running for relection.

The upshot is Dems are now predicted to have gone from 51 seats inc. Sanders up to between 58 and 62 seats.

And Pelosi's margins will increase by 25-40 members as open seats, and the races of members of the Republican House outside Wall Street loving Districts (there are 2, honestly!) and Jesusland, and certain Red enclaves - are going the Dem's way..And even within "Jesusland" - Republican House members are losing in VA, NC, Florida, Arkansas to more centrist Democrats.

Looks like a time in the Wilderness and some serious rethinking of Republican dogma of favoring the rich, endless overseas belligerance, voodoo Reaganomics, scary theocrat desires to control others personal and family choices is coming.

How do Republicans, almost wiped out in New England, Northern industrial states, the West and facing a mass Hispanic invasion of new voters that Bush and McCain both cheered that vote 70-30 Democrat - turn it around?
How do they fix the fact that with holding Congress for 12 years and the White House for 8, they messed up badly in squalor, corruption, inept running of government, and neglect of critical economic problems?

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, fellow Republicans, prepare to feel the disgust us ex-HS athletes did when an inferior team beat us due to us failing to have a good strategy or us making a pile of dumb errors.

It is helpful to admit something in that moment and finding that admittance helpful in living with it afterwards, even fixing bad weaknesses:

"We deserved it. We handed them our asses to kick".

Pastafarian said...

In this same essay, Hitchens actually says:

'The most insulting thing that a politician can do is to compel you to ask yourself: "What does he take me for?"'

Now, the odd thing is, he uses this as a cudgel against...McCain, because he had the audacity to choose Palin, with her chillbilly accent.

Not against Obama, who actually comes out and calls us in flyover country "typical white people", "ignorant" and "afraid of the unfamiliar", "bitterly clinging to our guns and religion".

I guess because we know what Obama takes us for. We don't need to ask "what does he take me for" -- we know that he thinks we're dimwitted, inbred, inferior hicks.

rcocean said...

Am I really supposed to care what a British, atheistic, boozer who attacks Stockdale for fighting an unjust war and Palin for being a Provincial (!) thinks?

You can consider him entertaining, but why is considered a serious commentator by Hewitt and NR?

rcocean said...

And I would never feel "sorry" for McCain. He is a complete Egoist. Its always about McCain.

mrkwong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mrkwong said...

I think Hitchens is still a creature of the Left, he made his political bones in part with his vocal distaste for Ronald Reagan, and he's an atheist whose opposition to the spread of Islam comes at least in part from a belief that all faiths are evil.

It's not surprising, particularly insofar as Palin's concerned, that he'd look at her, go "Sounds like Reagan, publicly Christian, okay that's bad juju."

Of course, he was wrong then, and he's wrong now.

Palladian said...

"Welcome to reality, Hitch."

I love that a 30-something Obama fluffer who lives with his parents calls his little fantasy world "reality". Christopher Hitchens has never been to reality, but he hears that it's a pretty nasty place.

I am amazed that people think that Hitchens was some sort of conservative. His politics have been remarkably consistent.

Original George said...

“Lieutenant Colonel Smith finding, after he had advanced some miles on his march, that the country had been alarmed by the firing of guns, and ringing of bells, dispatched six companies of Light Infantry, in order to secure two bridges on different roads beyond Concord, who, upon their arrival at Lexington, found a body of the country people drawn up under arms on a green, close to the road; and, upon the King’s troops, marching up to them, in order to inquire the reason of their being so assembled, they went off in great confusion, and several guns were fired upon the King’s troops from behind a stone wall, and also from the Meeting-house and other houses, by which one man was wounded, and Major Pitcairne’s horse shot in two places.”

A June 1775 London newspaper article about some bothersome "country people" causing a fuss in April of that year.

rhhardin said...

John Martin's illustrations of Paradise Lost always seemed right to me, eg. Pandemonium, which resembles a building I worked in once.

Michael_H said...

Christopher Hitchens? isn't he that guy who believes the Brits have a wonderful public health program, even though his own teeth provide ample evidence to the contrary?

bleeper said...

...Major Pitcairne’s horse shot in two places.”

Once in Lexington, once in Concord.

blake said...

Stockdale was my favorite candidate in that election.

I think he would've made a good President.

blake said...

McCain...eh, not so much.

Oh, right, one of them will win. We, however, won't.

I don't know about that. I mean, yeah, one of them will win. But Jefferson was a big fan of revolution, and it seems to me that ideological revolutions are borne of situations like the one we have today.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, right? And it must be admitted that our vigilance has been less than constant. Disasters have a way of waking people up.

Jen Bradford said...

I read whatever he writes, and expect to disagree with him about as frequently as otherwise. But it's obvious he could never support a candidate who embarrasses him, as opposed to one who conceals his very bad ideas - on the very issues Hitch claims to care about - with a smooth "temperament".

Verso said...

Ann Althouse said, I have this picture of the dead arriving at the gate and learning that there is a God but what it turns out he wanted was for us not to believe in Him. Wouldn't that be a kick in the teeth? Hitchens gets in with a "good work, old man" and you get the everlasting darkness.

Ha. Good point. This really illustrates nicely the folly of believing we know what "God" wants or what will happen after we die.

Plus, Revenant also made the good point that there is something fundamentally scary about Host with the Most's fantasy that Hitchens will suffer for all of eternity. He said he would feel "delight" when Hitchens is subject to "everlasting darkness."

Really, that's just sick.

EDH said...

Let's face it. The only way Hitch could support Obama is if Hitch thinks Obama is full of shit on his promise to leave Iraq.

Evidently, he does think Obama is full of shit.

Jen Bradford said...

Samantha Power got fired for announcing that modified Iraq policy to the UK press (yeah, supposedly for calling Hillary a monster, but come on...) Millions of people are assuming or hoping he's full of shit in that direction, while millions more think he's merely pandering to the center to win. Maybe my problem is not being a big gambler.

Most of this support is vanity anyway - the train of thought that says,"here's a smart, attractive successful guy, I can't help but believe he must really think as I do.." I'm not betting on it. He created and branded a magical new product for America and the contents are a big question mark. The sales team is increasingly creeping me out.

Andrew said...

fear and loathing

self-loathing, everything-loathing

who's bitter now?

LoafingOaf said...

The most insulting thing that a politician can do is to compel you to ask yourself: "What does he take me for?" Precisely this question is provoked by the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin.

Yup. That's exactly how I felt when he selected her.

I wrote not long ago that it was not right to condescend to her just because of her provincial roots or her piety, let alone her slight flirtatiousness, but really her conduct since then has been a national disgrace.


It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party's right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama's position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses.

The whack-job fringe of the party's right wing? You mean like certain Althouse commenters I know!

Recycling falsehoods about Obama's position on Afghanistan? You mean like certain Althouse commenters I know!

LOL! Althouse's right-wing commenters still think Palin should be top of the ticket. What a bunch of whack-jobs, indeed.

It's Obama in a landslide. McCain left us no choice when he allowed himself to be pressured by the religiious right into selecting such a ridiculous and insulting running mate. Yes, what did McCain take me for?

Hoosier Daddy said...

He said he would feel "delight" when Hitchens is subject to "everlasting darkness."

Really, that's just sick.

Yeah, really sick. Just like hoping some of your black crew gang rape Sarah Palin when she comes to Manhattan.

hdhouse said...

Laughing Oaf.....


save_the_rustbelt said...

Admiral Stockdale was awarded the Medal of Honor. His hearing problem developed when he tried to beat himself to death rather than risk breaking down in torture sessions.

John McCain has a Flying Cross, I believe.

Hitchens is a sloppy drunk who can be entertaining on occasion.

Having said that, my wife (aka the world's greatest geriatric nurse) thinks McCain looks tired and not very well focused on occasion. he has been limiting his campaign appearances. This is not good.