Good points, John. Let me just say that if Kristol is a “thug,” I am proud to stand in the ranks of the thugs.
Frankly, I want to like The New Republic. I have written for its online version in the past, and have been an avid reader of it for nearly two decades. But in the past two years or so it has moved back from center-left to its earlier position on the plain old Left — and in doing so, it has also gotten nastier and more shrill. It saw fit last year to let Ryan Lizza get away with a bigoted slur against poor white southerners (I responded with a strong e-mail to Lizza, which he ignored), and it increasingly falls prey to name-calling of the sort Chait uses in his diatribe against Kristol.
The editors at TNR ought to grow up. I’ll take Kristol’s consistency, erudition, and class any day over their name-calling.