Martin Peretz had the dubious privilege of owning the money losing New Republic for 35 years. Last year he sold it to Chris Hughes, Facebook Tycoon and Obama insider. He is none too happy with the mag now.
Like many readers of the New Republic, I didn’t at first recognize the most recent issue of the magazine. The stark white cover was unlike anything the New Republic ran during my 35 years as the owner. Having read the cover story, I still don’t recognize the magazine that I sold in 2012 to the Facebook zillionaire Chris Hughes.
“Original Sin,” by Sam Tanenhaus, purported to explain “Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people.” The provocative theme would not have been unthinkable in the magazine’s 99-year history, but the essay’s reliance on insinuations of GOP racism (“the inimical ‘they’ were being targeted by a spurious campaign to pass voter-identification laws, a throwback to Jim Crow”) and gross oversimplifications hardly reflected the intellectual traditions of a journal of ideas. What made the “Original Sin” issue unrecognizable to this former owner is that it established as fact what had only been suggested by the magazine in the early days of its new administration: The New Republic has abandoned its liberal but heterodox tradition and embraced a leftist outlook as predictable as that of Mother Jones or the Nation.
Go here to The Wall Street Journal to read the rest. Mr. Peretz is partially correct. The new owner is clearly farther to the Left than he is, but that is not the major change. The major change is that the New Republic is now simply a house organ of the Democrat party in general and the Obama administration in particular. Tanenhaus, an overrated hack who predicted the demise of conservatism in 2009 and saw his thesis refuted in 2010, is simply part of the Democrat smear of attacking the Republicans, the historic party of civil rights, as racists for cheap political advantage. This is part of an ongoing process on the Left in this country where once independent voices are being brought into line to proceed lock step behind the propaganda marching orders of the Obama administration. This is painful for an old liberal like Peretz to watch since it graphically reveals how much the thirst for political power has become an end in itself on the Left. The examples of this are legion:
Members of the Bush administration were attacked as war criminals on the Left for the use of torture. The Obama administration prefers killing enemy combatants with drones with barely a peep from the Left.
Bush was savaged for going into Iraq. The Left has seen the Obama administration go into Libya and run guns into Syria and barely registered any dissent.
One can only imagine the furor that would exist on the Left in this country if it had been the Bush administration, instead of the Obama administration, that had been responsible for sending guns to Mexican drug cartels in the Fast and Furious Operation.
What we are witnessing in the Obama administration is a successful co-opting of the Left so that it becomes a mere adjunct of the Democrat party. I think long term this will be disastrous for the Left, and wise liberals like Peretz are beginning to take note of something amiss.