J-Pod can snark all he likes, but I think the evidence strongly supports the contention that Frank Foer sees himself as repositioning The New Republic as a non-ideological or post-ideological enterprise. If J-Pod thinks that’s a somewhat odd direction to go in, I don’t disagree, but it’s been a consistent theme of things Foer’s said about the magazine since taking over.
But this gets us to what’s really weird about the Scott Beauchamp pseudo-scandal, namely that the theory that TNR would publish a bogus article alleging mild misconduct on the part of American troops in order to advance TNR‘s anti-war agenda tends to founder on the fact that the magazine doesn’t have an anti-war agenda. This isn’t an obscure fact about the magazine! Do they imagine there was an editorial meeting where Brad Plumer said “let’s run an editorial about how the US should withdraw from Iraq” and Foer countered, saying “nah, too obvious, instead of coming out against the war let’s make up a story about killing dogs” and everyone cheered while Lawrence Kaplan sulked in the corner? Wouldn’t cutting down on the number of Robert Kagan feature articles the magazine runs be a smarter way of shifting left on foreign policy? I feel like a bit of an idiot needing to defend a not-anti-war publication’s decision to publish a not-anti-war article against an onrushing tide of idiots, but that’s apparently what the world’s come to.