Subscription Battles and John Bolton


I was stunned to learn this weekend that subscriptions to The Nation are surging. And while it’s not precipitous, TWN has been told that subscriptions to the New Republic are falling.
It seems that The Nation has become the more credible “alternative view” political journal as of late — and while I wouldn’t count TNR out, the pro-Iraq War position of the magazine seems to have taken a toll on readership.
In the foreign policy arena, TNR has moved — sometimes dramatically — to the right, where the journalistic space is crowded, and perhaps The Nation has absorbed part of the Bush-frustrated centrists while maintaining its liberal base.
One person involved with The Nation told me this weekend in an off-handed chuckle, “realism has become the new liberal foreign policy ideology.”
In any case, i liked this Calvin Trillin piece on John Bolton (one of many he has done in a series:

On President Bush’s Recess Appointment of John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations
Calvin Trillin

The job’s too vital, Bush has said,
To leave unfilled, and so instead
He’ll simply stiff the Senate now,
And name John Bolton anyhow.
The problems of the world have grown,
And so we need some tantrums thrown.
Some analysts who haven’t skewed
Intelligence remain unscrewed.
But that will change with Bolton there:
The man knows how to overbear.
We need someone to show contempt
For resolutions we’d pre-empt
And show contempt as well for those
Who might oppose what we propose —
Reflecting through contemptuous power
The last remaining superpower.
Those tiny nations need a pasting.
So let’s get started. Time’s a-wasting.

— Steve Clemons