Commentary

The community of politically attuned Jewish people on the Internet—I like to call us the shtetlsphere—was roiled last night by reports coming out of 92nd Street Y (it’s like our Madison Square Garden). John Podhoretz, editor of the Jewish conservative monthly Commentary, walked off the stage during a discussion about Israel in the face of a hostile crowd and after accusing moderator Jane Eisner, editor of the weekly Jewish newspaper The Forward, of raising her hands to him.

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Check Out the Neocons' Dick Cheney Tribute Video

Because you always wanted to see him photoshopped alongside Andy Warhol

On Monday, Commentary editor John Podhoretz released the eight-minute tribute/parody video to Dick Cheney, which the magazine showed earlier this month at an honorary roast of the former vice president. The video, written by David Burge, whose @iowahawkblog Twitter feed reliably mixes conservatism and humor, is okay. There are a lot of jokes about Cheney’s love of guns, though none about the time he shot a friend in the face.

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Scenes from the Conservative Bunker

The National Review summit's message: Obama is out to "annihilate" the GOP

The message to the several hundred disconsolate attendees: Obama is out to "annihilate" the GOP.

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The former Republican senator deserves a fair shot to become the next Secretary of Defense.

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The Neoconservative Persuasion: Selected Essays, 1942-2009 By Irving Kristol (Basic Books, 390 pp., $29.95) Daniel Bell, now of blessed memory, used to enjoy recounting a piece of lore from the 1930s, back when New York was said to be the most interesting part of the Soviet Union. It was about the travails of a young member of the Revolutionary Workers League named Karl Mienov. When Mienov’s doctrinal differences with that small party became too great to bear, he split and formed his own cell, the Marxist Workers League. His party even launched a theoretical organ, called Spark.

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The Interested Man

When Irving Kristol joined the new magazine Commentary, he distinguished himself from the other editors--Clement Greenberg, part-time then, Robert Warshow, and me. First, he had an interest in politics, real politics, electoral politics, and not just the politics of left-wing anti-Stalinists, mulling over what was living and what was dead in Marxism, the fate of socialism, the future of capitalism, communist influence in the intellectual world--no mean issues, but hardly ones to affect who won and who lost an election.

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  “For two thousand years,” wrote Harold Rosenberg, “the main energies of Jewish communities have gone into the mass production of intellectuals.” For Rosenberg, the art critic who belonged to the receding constellation of writers known as the New York Intellectuals, such a claim was something between a boast and a self-justification. The New York Intellectuals were mainly second-generation Americans, whose self-sacrificing immigrant parents won them the opportunities America offered to newcomers, including Jews.

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Today's Wall Street Journal contains an op-ed by someone named Ted Van Dyk, a disillusioned Democrat that has fallen out of love with Barack Obama. "The first warning signals for me came with your acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention," Van Dyk writes. "In it, you stressed domestic initiatives that clearly were nonstarters in the already shrinking economy. ... Cut back both your proposals and expectations." Who the heck is this guy?

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Asme News

We're thrilled to announce that Jonathan Chait has been nominated for a National Magazine Award, in the Columns & Commentary category. His TRBs--brutal, hilarious, and blazingly smart--have become indispensible, and though awards aren't the be-all and end-all around here, it sure is nice when the right people get recognized. Below, you'll find the three columns that we submitted to the American Society of Magazine Editors: "Obama Nation" February 13, 2008 "Popular Will" May 7, 2008 "Scared Yet" December 31, 2008 Congrats again to our friend, a possible recipient of The Colbert Bump.

Regime Change

"Ideas have consequences," the conservative intellectual Richard Weaver wrote half a century ago. The truism comes to mind as another group of conservative intellectuals, this one guiding foreign policy inside the Bush administration, prepares to launch a war in the Middle East--not for oil or geopolitical advantage but on behalf of an idea. The idea is liberalism. According to President Bush, "Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause," and, as such, he routinely casts the impending war as an effort to bring democracy to a land that has known only dictatorship.

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