Shannen’s post reminds me: I’ve been thinking we in the Corner should try more often to debate, question or applaud NR editorials. Lots of folks don’t understand that for the most part only a tiny cadres of intellectuals and ideologists write our editorials. I don’t have anything to do with them for example. Neither do most Cornerites, I suspect. But the public doesn’t always understand this. Often they will see a one-time contributor’s piece as authoritatively reflective of the magazine’s stance on an issue. Columnists and bloggers will declare “National Review contends…blah blah blah” because some freelance writer wrote something on our site. Conversely, when a frothing emailer screams at me about NR’s drift, or apostasy or whatever, I’ll point out that our editorial position remains Gibraltor-like on this point or that. They’ll respond as if this is irrelevent. While obviously what we run — and how much we run of it — reflects our editorial policies to a certain extent, only the editorials actually reflect official positions.
So, I think it’d be helpful — so long as it doesn’t get me fired — if we chat up these things a bit. Hopefully, it will convey that A) there’s more dissent around here than some folks contend B) it will call attention to the editorials which are invariably high-minded, well-considered and well-written, C) get some good Corner chatter going.
Note: A couple readers have interpreted this post differently than I intended (such are the perils of NR Kremlinology). I think the editorials are generally great and persuasive. More important, I have no desire to write or work on any of them. Rather, I just think they reflect something more important than a random op-ed and would therefore make a good conversation starter around here.