Decide for yourself:
I am assuming for now that this is a single-issue election. There is one's subjective vote, one's objective vote, and one's ironic vote. Subjectively, Bush (and Blair) deserve to be re-elected because they called the enemy by its right name and were determined to confront it. Objectively, Bush deserves to be sacked for his flabbergasting failure to prepare for such an essential confrontation. Subjectively, Kerry should be put in the pillory for his inability to hold up on principle under any kind of pressure. Objectively, his election would compel mainstream and liberal Democrats to get real about Iraq.Yeah, however it's couched, and however unenthusiastic, that looks like an endorsement to me. This after I thought he wrote his endorsement of Bush in The Nation scarcely a week ago, saying he was "slightly for Bush." I'm confused. Did he change his mind after hearing about the disappearing munitions perhaps? Was that the last straw? I can hardly believe it's that simple. But I can't believe that the long-time liberal would swing that far to the right over 9/11 either. I mean, in addition to being a long-time liberal, Hitchens is an atheist, so this administration's disdain for science and its love affair with the religious right has got to sicken him. But there's no mention of that in his endorsement. *Something* knocked him over the fence though.
The ironic votes are the endorsements for Kerry that appear in Buchanan's anti-war sheet The American Conservative, and the support for Kerry's pro-war candidacy manifested by those simple folks at MoveOn.org. I can't compete with this sort of thing, but I do think that Bush deserves praise for his implacability, and that Kerry should get his worst private nightmare and have to report for duty.
Additionally, Hitch was one of the many Slate writers to endorse Kerry in a massive landslide: 45-4. Dang, that ain't gonna do much to undermine the public's perception of a "liberal media," is it?
No comments on Hitch's reversal over at The National Review yet. Too depressing for them, I'm betting.
(Via Kevin Drum)
(P.S. Now, kids, isn't all this far more gripping than Ashlee's SNL fiasco?)