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RIP Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens died yesterday after a fight with cancer, which he himself blamed on his own bad habits of smoking and drinking.

What I will remember most about Hitchens are his scathing zingers, thrown equally across the political spectrum. For example:

On Sarah Palin: “She’s got no charisma of any kind [but] I can imagine her being mildly useful to a low-rank porn director.” — The Leonard Lopate Show, June 2010

On Barack Obama: “The political rhetoric of Obamaism, alas, is even more bloviating at times than Camelot was.” — Slate, 2009

On Hypocrites in general: “Nothing optional—from homosexuality to adultery—is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishment) have a repressed desire to participate.” — from his book “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”, 2007

On George W Bush: “[George W. Bush] is lucky to be governor of Texas. He is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things.” — Hardball with Chris Matthews, 2000

On Progressives: “One of the many problems with the American left, and indeed of the American left, has been its image and self-image as something rather too solemn, mirthless, herbivorous, dull, monochrome, righteous, and boring.” —, 2004

On the Media: “Only the aspirants for president are fool enough to believe what they read in the newspapers.” — C-SPAN, March 1988

and perhaps most famously:

On Jerry Falwell: “If [Falwell] had been given an enema, he could have been buried in a matchbox.” — CSPAN, April 2009



  1. John wrote:

    Not enough intellectual ratbags left in the world. I love it he was/is hated as much by the left as the right. Stupidity knows no political bounds. Hitch once said, he became a journalist because he didn’t want to rely on the newpapers for information. And as Mr Paul Caruso once remarked “Well, you just cant believe everything you see and hear now, can you. So if you’ll excuse me, I must be on my way” Vale Hitch

    Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 2:02 am | Permalink
  2. Richard wrote:

    The Falwell quote made my morning.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 6:22 am | Permalink
  3. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Ditto what Richard said.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 7:40 am | Permalink
  4. starluna wrote:

    There was much that I agreed and disagreed with the things that Hitchens said. There is no doubt that he had a way with words.

    However, I also felt that when he criticized or attacked “the Left” or liberals, he was really only speaking about middle and upper middle class, white mainstream liberals. I never read anything where he acknowledged that.

    I am on the Board of a grassroots environmental justice organization. What we are and do certainly fits well into the “progressive” label. However, if you came to our events, or even just walked into our office and had a conversation with any one of our members or staff, you would find nothing close to “solemn, mirthless, herbivorous, dull, monochrome, righteous, and boring”. To me, this was one of Hitchens’ flaws. His world was a quite a bit more narrow than he might otherwise have you believe.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink