Thursday, February 14, 2013

That joke isn't funny anymore

Martin Peretz writes in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages of his unhappiness with the direction of The New Republic, of which he was owner and/or editor-in-chief for 25 years. His complaint: the magazine under him was "liberal" and now it's "left." The difference? --

We were for the Contras in Nicaragua; wary of affirmative action; for military intervention in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur; alarmed about the decline of the family. The New Republic was also an early proponent of gay rights. We were neoliberals. We were also Zionists, and it was our defense of the Jewish state that put us outside the comfort zone of modern progressive politics.

Actually it was probably episodes like Andrew Sullivan's The Bell Curve issue that put the magazine outside the comfort zone of progressive politics. The other point is that much like many mixed-up conservatives, Peretz could never come to the terms with the fact that the President who was giving them most of what they said they wanted was Bill Clinton. Then the Clinton hatred morphed into Gore hatred, and they got George Bush. They've never forgiven everyone else for that. So now it's one man writing a "Cancel My Subscription" letter, except that he's got a platform in the Wall Street Journal to do it.