Let's see what Martin Peretz thinks of them today:
The 1972 election and the domestic drama surrounding the Vietnam War caused a major schism between Democrats. On one side were supporters of Mr. McGovern, the U.S. senator and presidential candidate who preached engagement and accommodation with communism. On the other were those who thought the rise of the McGovernites spelled disaster for Democrats and the nation, and who were determined to return the party to a responsible center on foreign policy.There's plenty of detail at the link.
Mr. Peretz, then a Harvard University lecturer and a veteran of the antiwar movement, was in the latter camp. Two years after Richard Nixon thumped Mr. McGovern in the election, he purchased the New Republic, the flagship liberal magazine founded in 1914. Under Mr. Peretz's ownership the magazine promoted a set of foreign-policy ideas that gradually reconquered the Democratic mainstream. Chief among these were a willingness to deploy military power to advance national interests and values, plus an abiding commitment to Israel as a mirror of American ideals in an unfree Middle East.
Since selling the New Republic to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes in 2011, however, Mr. Peretz, now 73, has emerged as a vociferous critic of Barack Obama and much of the Democratic foreign-policy establishment. His break with the president he campaigned for in 2008 has been sharp and painful. The Obama administration's worldview, he now thinks, represents a radical departure from the "healthily hard-ass" foreign policy he has long championed on the left. Mr. Peretz is especially disturbed by Mr. Obama's failure to support Israel at a time when the Jewish state faces an unprecedented combination of threats.