You have to feel sorry for the New Republic. No one saw the Kerry thing coming, of course, but they very publicly didn't even include Kerry in their candidate evaluations pre-Iowa. With that, and their ultra-dubious Lieberman endorsement, and the drubbing they're taking from bloggers (Kos, most directly) -- well, they're just eating shit.
Out of sympathy, then, here is a link to a piece from the New Republic that I think captures an important truth about Kerry's surge:
The media (see, for example, yesterday's "Meet the Press") has also pushed the line that Dean's challenge has strengthened Kerry as a candidate--Dean is now credited with everything from livening up and shortening Kerry's stump speech to the Kerry campaign's increased organizational efficiency. But the reality is close to the opposite: If Kerry wins the nomination, the practical effect of the Dean candidacy will be to have made Kerry the beneficiary of an almost an unprecedented confluence of favorable circumstances, which allowed Kerry to win the nomination without ever being tested.
Flee from TNR, Noam Scheiber! Flee to a rag still held in some esteem! And one that isn't fucking owned by Bush supporters!