Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

Hitch's brother has a lovely eulogy for him, and here's the NYT obit. My favorite eulogy by far is this string of remembrances from Peter Wehner: they explain why so many of us Christians and Conservatives have affection for him.
Wehner invited Hitch to speak to White House staff:
He had gone out to smoke, which wasn’t unusual — and he confided to me that he was nervous, which was. The words “Christopher Hitchens” and “nervous” don’t usually belong in the same sentence. He also wore a tie, which he indicated to me he hadn’t done in years — and, he told me, he had gotten his shoes shined before the speech, which he didn’t recall ever having had done.

It wasn’t hard for me to fit the pieces together. Christopher felt it was an honor for him, a British citizen, to speak at the White House. For all his reputation for being a bon vivant, an iconoclast, and a man not known for his devotion to protocol, he was in fact quite moved to be a guest at one of the great symbols of American democracy. It was, I thought, something of a touching moment.
As for his legacy, who knows? You wouldn't know it from the superlatives people now use, but he was as capable of phoning it in as the next guy. It's just that when he didn't, well: wow. For standing with Salman Rushdie against a fatwa and with Bush and Blair against the jihadists, he has my respect and thanks.