The Corner

The Strangest Sentence I’ve Read Recently

comes from Hitchens’s latest Palin article: “Sarah Palin appears to have no testable core conviction except the belief (which none of her defenders denies that she holds, or at least has held and not yet repudiated) that the end of days and the Second Coming will occur in her lifetime.” If she held it in the past and no longer does, a possibility Hitchens admits, how can it be her “core conviction”? Or does a discarded belief remain a “core conviction” until a press conference is held to “repudiate” it? If it has ever been her “core conviction,” then shouldn’t there be stronger proof of it than that “none of her defenders denies that” she may once have held it? And if there is such stronger proof, then what’s the point of bringing up their failure to gainsay it?

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.