23 February 2007

Neoliberal Republic promises change

Kevin Drum links to Politico, which reports that a Canadian company has bought The New Republic, and promises improvement. The new boss says they’ve already become more liberal, having used the first issue under new management to endorse universal healthcare and “retract” a piece from 1994 that attacked the Clinton health plan.

They’ve evidently come around to believing that all Americans should have healthcare. A good thing, although I have a sneaking suspicion that their kind of universal healthcare involves mandates, tax breaks, and expanded current programs. Just a guess, since this particular magazine (their name escapes me, now that I’ve put 50 words in between reading it for the last time) puts almost all its articles behind a firewall, and I don’t like them nearly enough to subscribe.

But since they’re remaking the magazine anyway, I have a suggestion. Change the name. I cannot come up with a mnemonic good enough to keep The New Republic separated in my mind from the National Review. I’m not the only person troubled by this, unless a lot of people have patronized me about it over the years.

National Review: conservative, founded by William F. Buckley; can access most of their articles online

New Republic: so aligned with the Israel lobby that they were in favor of the Iraq war, but otherwise middle-of-the-road, slightly conservative; yet often mistakenly batched with liberal publications; can’t access most of their articles online

But they’re both NR, see? If you’re going to have a political magazine with a two-word name, it should be something strikingly different. Like the Weekly Standard (WS), or the American Prospect (AP). No confusion there whatsoever. Or even better, go for the gold, and have a one-word name: the Nation.

If they insist on an NR name, maybe The Neoliberal Republic. (Since Weekly Standard already has "neoconservative" locked up.) That might even be a way for me to remember who they are.

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