Just to comment on Eric Alterman's first point about Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens was never a Conservative, but perhaps a Neoconservative on foreign policy at least after 9/11. And as they both said neoconservatism and conservatism are two very different things. Because Neoconservatives tend to be in favor of reform, where Conservatives are interested in, well conserving, which is the whole point of of the label.
Hitchens and Alterman are both what in at least Europe would be called Social Democrats especially on economic policy and I'm sure on social issues. They both wrote for The Nation and Alterman still has a blog there. They both are big believers in the welfare state and wealth redistribution and not allowing for individuals to become very wealthy at least on their own. I think Alterman was taking a shot at Hitch by calling him a Conservative with his support for President Bush during the War on Terror.