Christopher Hitchens’s Best Zingers: From Sarah Palin to Barack Obama

Christopher Hitchens was most loved for his infamously scathing wit. Read his best takedowns.

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ON RELIGION“ To ‘choose’ dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid.”—God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007

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 HYPOCRITES“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.”—God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007

ON WOMEN“Why are women, who have the whole male world at their mercy, not funny?”—Vanity Fair, 2007

ON BARACK OBAMA“The political rhetoric of Obamaism, alas, is even more bloviating at times than Camelot was.”—Slate, 2009

ON CATS & DOGS“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are god.”—The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer, 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 THE AMERICAN LEFT“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 NEWSPAPERS“Only the aspirants for president are fool enough to believe what they read in the newspapers.”—C-SPAN, March 1988

ON MICHAEL MOORE“The laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious, and ignorant and so on. And they’ve taken as their own, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities,”—MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, May 2004

ON RACE IN AMERICA“In this country, it seems that you can always get an argument going about ‘race’ as long as it is guaranteed to be phony, but never when it is real.”—Slate, January 2008

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