This issue‘s highlights include:
Bill Kauffman praises Students for a Democratic Society Founder Carl Oglesby as a leader of “a humane, decentralist, thoroughly American New Left that regarded socialism as ‘a way to bury social problems under a federal bureaucracy,'” in Oglesby’s words. Called upon to name the corrupt system that needed to be smashed in order to create a democratic society, Oglesby chose the name “corporate liberalism.” In Oglesby, Kauffman finds a fellow admirer of the localist, traditionalist, anti-statist Old Right, one who saw virtues in the contemporary libertarian right but who warned those of that tendency that they might well “remain hypnotically charmed by the authoritarian imperialists whose only love is Power, the subhuman brownshirted power of the jingo state militant, the state rampant, the iron state possessed of its own clanking glory.” Kauffman goes on to argue that another 60’s leader matched Oglesby in his understanding of the importance of rootedness and community, and that leader was George Wallace. “If you can get beyond Wallace’s reprehensible race-baiting… certain of his policies overlapped with the humane Left.” “If you can get beyond Wallace’s reprehensible race-baiting” you will have gone further than any of his supporters ever did. The Guvnah’s whole national career consisted of race-baiting. Still, anybody William F. Buckley saw fit to attack as a “country and western Marxist” must have had something going for him. Kauffman does not mention one highly pertinent fact about Oglesby’s standing as a critic of corporate liberalism and bureaucratization, a fact which emerged in an interview Kauffman himself conducted with Oglesby this year. Oglesby endorsed the presidential campaign of H. R. Clinton, an avatar of corporate liberalism if ever there was one.
Michael Brendan Dougherty reports on the formation of J Street, a lobbying organization that intends to give a voice to American Jews who do not support the hawkish policies of groups like AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, etc. Dougherty devotes some space to the prominent Israelis who have declared their support for J Street and its program.
Margaret Liu McConnell argues against institutionalizing same-sex marriage on the grounds that a same-sex couple can become parents to a child only if one or both of that child’s biological parents relinquishes his or her parental role. She doesn’t argue that same-sexers should be prohibited from adopting children or from using donated genetic material. Her last sentence: “To those who ask how reserving marriage for one man and one woman is any different from yesterday’s vile prohibition against interracial marriage, the answer is evident in the faces of the… children of mixed-race couples, belonging to and loved by both parents, relinquished by neither.” Liu McConnell’s argument doesn’t convince me, but it is the first conservative argument against gay marriage I’ve ever seen that actually has any substance at all. I did see a radical argument against it 10-15 years ago in a law review, but I haven’t been able to track the article down.