As a longtime fan of The New Republic, I find myself frequently embroiled in one-way debates with Peter Beinart, Jonathan Chait, Leon Wieseltier, Michelle Cottle, and the rest of the TNR crew. Now readers of this blog can join the fun. Having posted responses to TNR pieces here before, I've decided to make "The New Republican" a regular feature.
A few general observations:
TNR is a great magazine, but the more I read it these days, the better I understand why I joined the GOP. I don't envy the folks at TNR, who endorsed Lieberman (I liked him too) but must now try to work up some enthusiasm for John Kerry. Not surprisingly, most of their campaign-related coverage focuses on Bush and his shortcomings, rather than on Kerry's strengths (if he has any). Like the rest of the liberal/Democratic establishment, TNR is imploding into its ideological vacuum. Also predictably, the strongest articles focus on liberals' past achievements - many of which they are justly proud of, but which now represent battles already won, or soon to be won.
I have a lot of respect for all of TNR's writers (except Michelle Cottle, who reminds me of Maureen Dowd), so you should realize that my taking issue with them is being done in that spirit. In the process, I often find that I understand my own beliefs better.