The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Bob Stepno § The structure of journalism today / 2014-03-10 18:42:32

Debating The New Republic

What is going on over at TNR?

Last week, they announced the guffaw-inducing endorsement of Joe Lieberman for the Democratic candidacy. “Only Lieberman–the supposed candidate of appeasement–is challenging his party, enduring boos at event after event, to articulate a different, better vision of what it means to be a Democrat,” the editors wrote.

Only Lieberman has the strength of character to draw boos from his own party!

“If you’ve lost The New Republic,” goes Howard Kurtz’s quote, prominently displayed at the top of the “TNR Primary” main page, “you’ve dug yourself a hole in the Democratic primaries.” And they said irony was dead.

Not content to merely consign the magazine to irrelevance for the remainder of the primary cycle, however, someone had the bright idea to make this “point-counterpoint” about the endorsement into a centerpiece article.

Only it’s more of a “point-point,” seeing as how the authors don’t actually disagree. They’re both arguing that the endorsement was a really, really crackheaded idea.

And they’re right. But we’ve already established that the endorsement had about as much of an effect on electoral politics as Britney’s marriage (when you’ve lost the New Haven Register, you’ve dug yourself a hole blah blah blah…). How do they expect someone to care about this excruciating metacoverage of an article no one cared about in the first place? Or is Peter Beinart just seriously into self-torture?

Answers, please, anyone…

January 12, 2004 / Uncategorized

One comment

Robin says…

In the pro-Lieberman note posted today (Tuesday — same link), Jason Zengerle says it’s Lieberman’s foreign policy that makes him a sound and sensible pick for TNR. “…the case for TNR’s endorsement of Lieberman does not center on domestic policy,” he writes. Further:

It’s easy to believe that after 9/11, Lieberman, as president, would have recognized the urgency of dealing with Iraq and would have moved to do something about it. (No matter what one thinks today about the merits of going to war in Iraq, the prewar intelligence estimates regarding Iraq’s WMD–estimates that we now know were wrong–were alarming enough that they made Iraq a matter of great urgency.) It’s much harder to believe that the other Democratic candidates, as president, would have done the same.

What I take away from this piece is the sense that at TNR, Iraq (narrowly) and terrorism (broadly) are the only issues that count in 2004.

Now, I haven’t seen any polls on this recently; maybe TNR is spot on with this assessment. But it’s not true for me.

So allow me to speak for my class of voters (and you can decide how broad that class is):

While I recognize the danger posed by international terrorist cells, I also recognize that we’re a well-funded, well-organized society, and I’m confident in our efforts so far to head this stuff off.

Further, it’s my impression that the most important of these efforts — global police work, homeland security stuff — are being conducted by military professionals and technocrats, in ways that would be identical under Republican and Democratic administrations.

And the decision on Iraq has passed. Reasonable people seem to agree on the policy from this point on: Don’t bail.

So to my mind, Iraq and homeland security — the stuff of fear and death — are among the least interesting issues in this election year.

The stuff of life — jobs, taxes, health, children, energy — is where the Democrats and Republicans have real differences. It’s there that I’d look to make my endorsement, were TNR mine to command.

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