Barack Obama

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Is that objectifying to women?

Today's New York Times has a fun little story headlined "The Nation Magazine May Benefit From Republicans' Gains." The basic thesis: Being on the same side as the federal government is deadly for the progressive publication's business ("No weekly magazine tracked by the Media Industry Newsletter has lost more pages of advertising this year than The Nation"), whereas being in opposition does wonders to both bottom line and editorial vigor:

[C]ould last week's Democratic pummeling actually have a silver lining for The Nation[…]? Katrina vanden Heuvel, the magazine's editor and publisher, did not have to think long about that question.

"If you can't expose the hypocrisy of this new group of Republicans, then we're not doing our job. And I mean that," she said in an interview from her office on election night as she sipped a glass of Champagne, defiant as Democratic losses piled up and the mood around her darkened.

"I mean you've got a lot to work with," she said. "You've got a Tea Party caucus in the Senate, a Tea Party caucus in the House. So I think you have a lot of rich material."

If history is any guide, Ms. vanden Heuvel could be proved right.

The Jacket!

I yield to no one in my appreciation for the elaborate Dadaist prank that is vanden Heuvel's Twitter feed (where you can watch her deny the Champagne anecdote and also bust with prose poetry like this: "Join most other countries & distinguish between investment & operating budget/ US govt budget is NOT like household one.Time to invest!"), and I am eternally grateful for her mother's investment in a newspaper I co-founded 20 years ago yesterday (true story!). But this story illustrates a journalistic and maybe even basic human advantage that Reason has over most all other magazines of political opinion: We are always in opposition, no matter which team is running the state.

For evidence, look no further than to our Republicanoid pals over at National Review. When the GOP this fall unveiled their craptacular, don't-go-touching-entitlements-or-defense "Pledge to America," Reason Senior Editor and indefatigable champion of freedom Jacob Sullum (among many others) gave the document the shellacking it deserved. National Review? "We'll Take the Pledge," the editors wrote, declaring the already-forgotten manifesto to be "bolder" than the famous 1994 contract.

How about our friends to the left? Surely they've been holding the president's feet to the fire on stuff like marijuana prohibition, right? Well, maybe my Web search skillz are lacking, but all I could find in The American Prospect on Proposition 19, for example, was this lonely blog post. How about the Obama-ite Center for American Progress? Yeah right.

Never forget!

Imagine for a second Katrina vanden Heuvel taking to the pages of a famously liberal daily newspaper in 2012 to make "The Case Against Barack Obama," based on the way he has (and he has!) flouted her espoused principles. Or picture her backing a presidential candidate whose views she agrees with, instead of kicking him to the curb every four years except when it's time for the next Nation cruise. Conversely, picture Rich Lowry & co. showing respect for the anti-war right (let alone left) while it's a Republican president waging war.

It is a liberating feeling, focusing on ideas and principles instead of political parties and dreamy or super-evil politicians. But there's a reason why such an approach is the exception and not the rule in political magdom: It's harder work! There is no political lodestar to set your compass to every night. You are constantly irritating readers who have more of a stake in one party or another (including/especially the Libertarian Party). That makes us, perhaps perversely, more dependent on each and every one of you, dear cranky readers.

This independence on its own doesn't make us better, nor does it mean that our competitor-colleagues–including at The Nation and National Review–don't produce a lot of high-quality journalism. But it's a damned start! You can sleep at night knowing that your tax-exempt donation to Reason will not be spent in the service of looking the other way while our putative allies bungle in the jungle of politics. We keep our eye on the ball of unrestrained government, regardless of who is mismanaging it, and we do it on a budget that, well, let's just say that The Nation's reported operating deficit of $500,000 is a serious number in our universe.

So to reiterate: We need ONE THOUSAND of you to donate, in order for that torch to the left to turn fire-orange (or is it blood-red?). If you give $100, you get a free subscription to the print mag, a t-shirt either of Reason or of the cover of our 3D-tastic November isse, plus one of 10 (count 'em) books by various Reason authors while supplies last. Give more, get more. Give less, you still get a sweet bumper sticker, plus your name up there on the donor banner, lording over all who watch.

Donate right the hell now! And watch Nick Gillespie fence with Katrina vanden Heuvel on Parker/Spitzer below:

NEXT: Washington: A Commons Problem

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  1. Just how serious can you take a rag that rehashes old 70s MAD Magazine’s covers?

  2. I saw some guy from The Nation this morning on Morning Joe. I can’t recall what he was saying, just that it was profoundly stupid.

    1. Chris Hayes? He’s the D.C. editor and fast-talker who could give Rachel Maddow a run for her money in a fast-talking-bullshit competition and often does.

  3. It warmed my cold, cold heart to see Olbermann’s name in the donor banner this weekend.

  4. “I mean you’ve got a lot to work with,” she said. “You’ve got a Tea Party caucus in the Senate, a Tea Party caucus in the House. So I think you have a lot of rich material.”

    And just think if the Republicans win the Presidency in 2012, The Nation can go back to being anti-war. Protests in the streets man. A fierce moral urgency. It is going to be like the 1960s all over again. The Times They are a Changing.

  5. “Honky kat,” as she is known in the hood, is looking a bit rough these days.

    1. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always been strangely attracted to her. Still am. Not sure if it’s the batshit crazy or something else.

      But, you’re right – she’s starting to show wear and tear.

    2. I think it’s time they sent ol’ Kat out to the glue factory. Regardless, you can tell that bitch is into some disgusting sexual shit on the order of felching.

    3. Me too. I think it’s because she’s kind of got a Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angels) thing about her.

  6. There is no political lodestar to set your compass to every night.

    Exhibit numero uno of why partisans are the tedious shitbags that they are. It’s really tiresome being able to predict with 100% certainty what a particular magazine, writer, or talking head will say solely based on their team.

    1. As if you calling everyone who disagrees with a partisan or team red or blue kulture warrior isn’t tiresome enough. Seriously, at some level everyone is a partisan. If you are not, you don’t actually believe in much. You are a Libertarian partisan. Just because your party is small doesn’t make you any different. And yes, your views on things are just as predictable as the Nation’s or NRO.

      1. Thank you for doing exactly what I expected, John. You partisans always come through.

        1. your neutrality sickens me

          1. What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?

            1. Too much time with the bitches.

        2. Thank you for doing exactly what I expected, John.

          And you did exactly as expected. Make no real arguments, don’t even attempt to reply to any points made but simply repeat Red Team/Blue Team over and over again. Talk about tedious.

          1. Finally, a partisan got around to calling me tedious after calling them tedious.

            I was starting to worry that you wouldn’t come through, but you did.

            1. Of course I responded that your continual non-comments were tedious. I refrained from calling you “shit-bag” although that would have been appropriate too, wouldn’t it?

              But, hey, Nuh-uh, is really the only “point” you can ever make anyway, isn’t it? I understand, it always worked as an “argument” back in the days when you rode the “short bus” to school?

              1. Can’t we just come to an agreement that both sides of this conversation are repetitive and boring as fuck?

                1. But it is simply so fun to watch the partisan cry “partisan” at everyone else. Every post another exercise in pathetic hypocrisy.

                  If he posts again I am expecting nothing but “Red Team/Blue Team” repeated, with nothing else, a couple of dozen times. (like 99% of his posts) Perhaps a dying gurgle of Browne Teaaaammmmm.

      2. There is a difference between being predictable on who one will react based on a set of moral/ideological principles, compared to being predictable based on what party one belongs to as a poor proxy for principles.

      3. “”As if you calling everyone who disagrees with a partisan or team red or blue kulture warrior isn’t tiresome enough. Seriously, at some level everyone is a partisan.””

        Everyone is biased, not partisan. And no he’s not saying that everyone who disagrees… It doesn’t take rocket science to understand Epi is talking about those who set their compass nightly to a political loadstar. Not just those who disagree. There are people who will watch their favorite show on Fox or CNN and then vomit the talking points of the show the next day.

        Not everyone is partisan. Eveyone is biased, and that bias may not be political in nature.

        1. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand Epi is talking about those who set their compass nightly to a political loadstar. Not just those who disagree.

          Neither John nor I fit this description, though, and the mindless attempted to fit both of us into his narrow view (which IS all who disagree are unthinking partisans) is really lame. Tony makes better arguments.

      4. One of the definitions of a libertarian is someone who thinks for himself/herself. that’s why they disagree even among themselves so much.

        But they do believe you have the freedom to implement your opinion so long as it doesn’t impinge on the freedom of someone else to implement theirs. And, crucially, vice-versa.

        Freedom is crucial, and whether or not you believe that there’s no problem. But why do you get to make others obey you, why shouldn’t they make you obey them?

        I’m really interested in the liberal answer to this connundrum. I’ve never seen one and I’m beginning to suspect that’s because there is no intelligent answer…

    2. And the only people whose views on a subject are truly unpredictable, are the insane.

  7. Bilderberger influence ,TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT?..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets?..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.//////// I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the commander.ps aka red ink obama.//////// Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama’s India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER //////// .Is Barack Obama pushing forward dangerous policies that are bringing the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware?

    2. What is the major proof of the Bilderberger influence over many of the world events in the last decade!

    3. Is it really true that the recent global financial collapse was engineered by the Bilderberg Group. Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece?

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Awesome.

      1. Nah, this constant TEAM SANE/TEAM PSYCHOTIC stuff is boring.

    2. Yes! Inpeach him!

    3. “Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece?”

      Because nothing beats fresh Greek feta.

  8. Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama’s India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER //////// 1. .Is Barack Obama pushing forward dangerous policies that are bringing the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware?

    2. What is the major proof of the Bilderberger influence over many of the world events in the last decade!

    3. Is it really true that the recent global financial collapse was engineered by the Bilderberg Group. Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece? 4, The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are people of influence in the fields of politics, banking, business, the military and media. The conferences are closed to the public.
    5. “to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self.”the commander

  9. Taking down the ad for the “Reason Cruise” was probably a wise decision during the fund raiser.

  10. Rummy looks like he’s taking a Calvin-and-Hobbes whiz on that Nat’l Review cover.

    And I’ve subscribed to the magazine, and the donation will be coming next week.

    Cause I really hate when people try to order me around (“right the hell now”). It’s, like, a libertarian streak or something…:)

  11. What’s all this “build a burger” stuff?
    Can I have mine with cheese?

  12. as she sipped a glass of Champagne

    Was there cake?

  13. US govt budget is NOT like household one.Time to invest shop!

  14. Can we request what name goes in the banner ad at the top? Because I’d much rather go by my comment handle than my real name.

    1. Do you want your name to appear temporarily on our site-wide banner ad acknowledging you as a supporter? If so, please type in your name (or commenter nickname) as you would like it to appear.

      1. Sweet. Scrofulous Dickbag might be an amusing alternate choice.

    2. That might be a bit of fun… and well worth the $100!

  15. “But there’s a reason why such an approach is the exception and not the rule in political magdom: It’s harder work!”

    Perhaps, but I think it more likely that people just want to be part of some group…whether the group follows what it expouses or not.

    There is a great little independent film called “The Fan.” About a poor sad sack who is only a Giants football fan, who meets up with a player he idolizes, and gets the snot beat out of him by the player. Yet if anything, be becomes a more ardent fan.
    Why?
    I would guess going against your “team” is the hardest thing most people will ever face.

    1. “The Fan” is about the San Francisco Baseball Giants. “Big Fan” is about the New York Football Giants.

  16. Love the ending. .”I was just getting started..”

  17. Can we request what name goes in the banner ad at the top?

    Yes, you can. I used my nom du comment for the banner.

  18. I love how Kat, had to backpedal to show her anti-war cred at the end, claiming that her relatively low $100B fantasy cut from defense each year was a rough shot in the dark at what was politically viable through a coalition. Kat, I hate to agree with Spitzer (or The Spitz as the hookers call him), but that is not going to cut it. Moreover, The Spitz was asking for what you would cut if you were a dictator (implied), not what could be realistically done in order to (albeit unwittingly because the Spitz couldn’t defeat a shit-filled porto-john in a game of tic-tac toe) expose your true disgusting convenient hypocrisy. Tangentially, raising the retirement age 2 measly years or as the Jacket suggested, cutting Defense by $200B instead is not viable? Would it have been viable when your team of rat-fuckers barely pushed through a very very very unpopular “health” “care” bill that has already made related services more expensive? Meanwhile, the Jacket tries to raise a philosophical point about the nature of entitlements and your annoying shark-mouth kept flapping like it was presented with Barry O’s flaccid anaconda.

    Obviously Kat, you are an unprincipled compromiser who argues about the ‘indignity’ of having to actually plan for old age while ignoring the ‘indignity’ of duped college graduates with worthless government subsidized educations who will have to pay for said retirements (let alone her inability to actually criticize the Democrats inability to end wars they claim to abhor). As I said upthread, someone should send this horse-toothed sack of desiccated potatoes to the glue factory. I’m sure there are younger, hotter, more unprincipled cunts out there to take up the mantle.

    1. This, combined with the glue factory bit earlier, should really go in the Drax hall of fame.

      1. Thanks Spaz. I was expecting some feminist to come out of the woodwork shooting napalm out of her holes for my use of the c-word. A compliment is far more preferable. Then again, pissing off deluded morons like hardcore feminists is a laudable end in of itself.

  19. The link to Matt’s early 1990’s website is what convinced me. Reason, with my next paycheck (at the end of November!) you’ll have a donation.

  20. Did vanden Heuvel used to be strikingly beautiful, or were there just a couple good glamour photos of her back in the day?

  21. Three quarters of the IQ points at that table are wearing a black leather jacket.

  22. Interesting that vanden Heuvel compares our tax rates of today from those of the last 50 years, but fails to note that 50 years ago Europe was still recovering from the devastation of WWII, Japan was still manufacturing cheap transistor radios, and China and India were suffering from famines.

    In other words, business and capital had no real alternatives to the US. When we had a monopoly we could get away with high tax rates. Now we have competitors.

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