Was hesitant to leaf through the latest New Republic. I had taken a few days off, during which I resisted, pretty successfully, the temptation to revel in the other side’s sobbing and tantrums.
What did reach me during this quiet time—Jane Smiley’s fanatical anti-Americanism for instance—only encouraged me to return to my housework and catch up on my fiction reading (which did not include A Thousand Acres).
The not-so-militant truth about this opinion journalist is that I find real partisan hatred, when I’m aware of it, stultifying.
But I had to laugh when I saw the New Republic cover of this woman with raccoon eyes, weeping over the Kerry defeat. I assumed it was unintentional self-parody--until today, when I gave the new issue a good going-over (quite different from an actual read-through).
Jeff Rosen has an ultra-civilized piece (sorry, offline only) on what it’s like being married to a Republican (the talented writer Christine Rosen). Mr. Rosen bemoans our culture’s "addiction to emotions and images." He says it makes our political differences "worse by encouraging voters to evaluate politicians in personal terms." And: "This leads people to exaggerate their hatred for any candidate to whom they don’t feel personally connected." It’s not hard to imagine the Kerry supporter on the cover felt some of this.
I also enjoyed Ryan Lizza’s election night piece and Jason Zengerle’s article on the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote effort in Ohio. Lizza is to be congratulated on his embarrassing disclosure of Election Day euphoria as Kerry appeared to be sweeping Bush, though he’s got be kidding when he writes: "Like Al Gore in 2000, Kerry was at his best and most gracious in defeat."
That’s not the Al Gore I remember in 2000. And it’s not the Al Gore we read about in The New Yorker recently.
As for Brian Kennedy’s piece on hackers (to answer JVL’s query), it seems like a solid article. It informs me on some issues I wanted to know more about, though I found the lede graph very confusing. Truth is, I’d rather see the New Republic publish interesting work like this and demonstrate their Stephen Glass shame by, say, not painting themselves as innocent victims of a very bad kid by promoting films that acquit them of any wrongdoing.
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