boy they are crucifying chris hughes on this tnr thing. i don't doubt that he is annoying, and you might understand that no writerly person can listen to phrases like 'vertically integrated' without wanting to poke someone in the eye. but i want to speculate that chris hughes may also be tired of the ideology that the staff represented, albeit ably considering what they had to work with. the new republic has had a number of phases of real controversy and wild debate, but i would say that over the last decade it has sunk into a basically uniform, unbelievably tired, american liberalism. this has gotten so repetitive; it so lacks any sort of imagination; it answers every problem with a bureaucracy; it basically hasn't changed since about 1932.
i hope someone like chris hughes quickly reached the point where he was just, 'am i reading that again in my own magazine? oh man that is some tired shit. why would anyone want to click on that?' the left has just got to re-think. there just can't be more more more paul krugman and hedrik hertzberg and michael tomasky, e.g.: miserable elitists and hyper-enthusiastic oppressors in the name of human liberation. there are so many things a left could be besides state state state, so many people it could encompass besides people who are simultaneously proponents of equality and extreme hierarchy, and who express their position with rigid self-righteousness and really unbelievable repetitiveness. it can't inspire anyone anymore to do anything.
and the new republic sank into the opinion-journalism mode of the moment. they present stuff as though it was propaganda: emphasizing all facts that help and none that don't, along with a constant rhetorical pounding of the same sentences and ideas. but however, their audience is 100% people who already agree with them, so whose responses are they trying to control? obviously rush limbaugh or glenn beck do the same: it's like they are desperate to persuade people who are already persuaded, desperate for the manipulated agreement of people who already agree. it's as though they are trying to utterly expunge their opponents in a debate, but their opponents aren't even there, and the only effect is to make their audience ever-more self-righteous and less self-reflective. on both sides, killing the other side is just a performance for themselves, designed so that everyone can feel superior together. why is that a worthwhile project?