Monday, December 1, 2008

Christopher Hitchens Finds His Religion - Lashing Hillary Clinton

I just saw Christopher Hitchens lashing out at Hillary Clinton on Hardball - the same tired, ruddy rhetoric - Hillary's interested only in herself and her husband, the Clintons bring with them all sorts of sordid baggage, you've heard it all before.

Salon's Joan Walsh on Hardball did a good job of isolating Hitchens and his attacks as quirky and ignorant. But I do still wonder what it is that so motivates commentators like Christopher Hitchens, especially seeing as he had the good sense to endorse Obama, and offered that endorsement with eloquence and passion.

I really have never understood the intense dislike of the Clintons. Some pretty good friends of mine have it. But why?

At worst, Bill Clinton's celebrated lapse was personal, compounded by a public lie. I also would never again vote for him, because he signed the Communications Decency Act into law (see The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution for details).

But those transgressions - and I hold the second as much more serious than the first - hold not a candle to what Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, in their own ways, did to our country. And, even more important, it was Bill not Hillary Clinton who was the transgressor.

So, what, again, is Hitchens' problem?

I'm beginning to the think that this severe dislike of the Clintons is a lot like a religion, in that it resembles a statement of faith, at root not comprehensible to the rational mind, and presented with a zeal that admits to no contradicting evidence. If so, it may be best practiced in private.
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