Wednesday, May 23, 2007


In an odd confluence, the themes of my previous two separate, unrelated posts suddenly come together in this Slate article today in which the aforementioned Christopher Hitchens savages the aforementioned Jimmy Carter.

It starts mercilessly and builds from there:
Almost always, when former President Jimmy Carter opens his big, smug mouth, he has already made the psychological mistake that is going to reduce his words to absurdity. When he told the press last week that the Bush administration had aroused antipathy around the world, he might have been uttering no more than a banality. But no, he had to try to invest it with a special signature flourish.

It's fun to read because Carter is such an inviting target. Unfortunately, however, Hitchens, because of his rabid antipathy toward Christianity, misplaces the locus of Carter's stupidity, rooting it in Carter's professed faith (which, by the way, bears little resemblance to the faith of traditional Christians) rather than where it belongs--in his reflexive leftism . But of course Hitchens himself has long been a man of the Left, albeit an unpredictable (and increasingly dissatisfied) one. Thus, while he recognizes and chafes Carter's characteristic inanity, he necessarily finds it easier to blame on Carter's supposed religiosity than on their many shared presuppositions.

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