Lo and behold, Christopher Hitchens returns to The Nation magazine in a one-week guest starring performance—sort of. This week’s issue of America’s oldest weekly journal of opinion carries a thousand word piece by Hitch on why he’s “slightly” for Bush come November 2nd. (David Corn has an excellent companion piece in the same issue, by the way, on why he’s for Kerry).
Hitchens’ piece, which was encouraged by Nation publisher and editorial director Victor Navasky, appeared in spite of vociferous objections by several of the mag’s staffers who apparently thought readers would turn to stone if they were exposed to a dissident position.
Kudos, then, to The Nation for publishing such an unpredictable piece.
The final product turned in by Hitch evidences his ample talent and is anything but a harsh propaganda screed of the sort feared by some of my colleagues. I’ll let you read it and make up your own minds. But suffice it to say that Hitch is neither irrationally phobic about Kerry-Edwards (indeed he was an early admirer of the latter) nor is he blind to Bush’s manifold faults and deficiencies).
I disagree with his conclusions – slightly—to use his phrase. You might describe me as being only very, very slightly for Kerry if that. In fact, I would better describe my position as one that rejects Bush. Period.
On that matter, Hitch comes up with the handy phrase of the “prisoners dilemma” – the condition he uses to describe the yes/but position of liberals and lefties. Yes they despise Kerry but will be voting for him anyway. For a perfect example of this posture, look no further than the same issue of The Nation in which the magazine – like a tortured acrobat—issues its official endorsement of Kerry.
(As tortured as the Nation endorsement is I actually quite prefer it to the mushy wet kiss the other pub I work for -- L.A. Weekly-- offers up to Kerry in its own endorsement this week).
Anyway, I did read Hitchens piece twice and have yet to sense any of my extremities becoming granulized nor have I noticed any hairy outbreaks on my palms.
The Hitchens piece has NOT yet been posted on the Nation's homepage -- it's buried un-announced under two levels of menus. Peter Rothberg, who manages the Nation site, tells me that's its just a matter of back-log, that over the weekend the Hitchens (and Corn) pieces will be fully promoted. That's good. Otherwise it would look like the Nation had succumbed to a dose of Kerryitis -- it's primary symptom being terminal caution.