Martin Peretz at TNR misses the challenge of our times: the rise of fascism in the United States. Instead, he is focused on long-documented failings of liberalism, failings TNR has done much to reveal, to its great credit, such as the inadequacies of the U.N., e.g. with respect to the Balkans and Rwanda:
(The liberal) complaint is not a matter of circumstance. It is a permanent affliction of the liberal mind. It is not a symptom; it is a condition. And it is a condition related to the desperate hopes liberals have vested in the United Nations. That is their lodestone. But the lodestone does not perform. It is not a magnet for the good. It performs the magic of the wicked. It is corrupt, it is pompous, it is shackled to tyrants and cynics. It does not recognize a genocide when the genocide is seen and understood by all. Liberalism now needs to be liberated from many of its own illusions and delusions. Let's hope we still have the strength.There is no point to beating up liberals, however. The new challenge is beating up on triumphal conservatives. People like George Bush or Richard Perle or Rush Limbaugh have the power to do far more damage than Jesse Jackson, or Al Sharpton, or Michael Moore ever could, even on their worst days. Despite the Fox-News glitz, most conservative ideas are no better than even the mustiest liberal ideas. If Peretz can't see that, then he's hopelessly out-of-touch with our times, and he should consider leaving TNR to someone who can.
What a waste! TNR is becoming irrelevant. That is unfortunate. I've been a subscriber for a quarter-century. It's my favorite magazine. Or, it once was my favorite magazine. It's quickly becoming a favorite of tiresome cranks, however, a den of obsessive self-hatred. Get a grip! Point your weapons at the enemy!