Or, Why TNR Will Sail On Without Me
A few months ago I decided to try to renew an old friendship.
Some years back I subscribed to The New Republic. Slowly, as our viewpoints diverged and theirs seemed less congenial, I let the subscription expire. It was sad, though, like lettting a friend go.
Wanting to see what they were up to these days, and hoping the divergence might have narrowed, I decided to subscribe to their email letter.
Big mistake. We were even further apart than before. Still, it made me sad. So when Mr. Peretz wrote to me (I’m “Dear Reader”) I felt compelled to answer him.
Here you see the first part of his email to me. Below is my answer.
|—– Original Message —–
From: Marty Peretz
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 3:28 PM
Subject: The New Republic Makes History
The New Republic makes history all the time, important history. Last week was a case in point. The indictment by the special counsel, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney…
I began to subscribe to your email letter a while ago, hoping that an old friend — which TNR was, once — might have something that I could read and enjoy. Sadly, that has not turned out to be the case.
This Plame/Libby diversion is a good example of exactly why I’m not interested. Why do I care who back-stabbed whom? High school is over.
And SCOTUS doesn’t move me either. Whoever it is that finally hops up on the bench is of no concern to me because they cannot solve the main issues facing our country.
Here are my concerns:
· the metastasis of government into every cell of our commonweal.
· the need for tax reform yesterday.
· the incompetence and inability to respond of our top-heavy bureaucratic “emergency defenses” — you might try reading Annie Jacobsen.
· the imminent fate of Israel.
Now if you were publishing essays which explained how SCOTUS might find our present tax system unconstitutional, or that the size of government was not what the Founding Fathers had in mind — well, I’d be the first in line for a renewal.
But Scooter? Good Lord, man, get a life.
No, nothing there for me in TNR… Sometimes friendships die and we have to replace them. So I did — with City Journal.
It makes me sad that we went in different directions, but there it is. To me, TNR is not “making” history. Along with much of the legacy media, TNR is history.
This phenomenon must be very difficult to perceive from the inside, Mr. Peretz.
Thanks for the memories,