National Review / Digital
The Week
(Roman Genn)


The news that NBC is planning a Hillary Clinton miniseries, and CNN a Hillary Clinton documentary, brought a threat from RNC chairman Reince Priebus to boycott debates conducted by shills for Democratic candidates. NBC News political director Chuck Todd called the miniseries a “total nightmare,” hoping to distinguish between the network’s news and entertainment divisions. Then came a report that the miniseries might be produced by Fox’s entertainment division, which caught Priebus off balance. The Hillary-fest seemed like a good hook for a legitimate gripe, but it is too small. The problem with the debates is that the networks have too much say over them, and that network news and entertainment divisions are equally liberal (except at Fox). The GOP should have been demanding a more seemly process long ago. Suggestion: The parties agree on their own rules and their own moderators, and let whoever will film the debates (C-SPAN would, if no one else).

Tom Cotton has announced that he will challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor for his Senate seat from Arkansas in next year’s midterm election. Pryor, who provided a key swing vote for Obamacare, is one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country. A farm boy from Yell County, Cotton emerged on the national stage in 2006 as the author of a scathing letter to the New York Times criticizing the paper’s exposure of the Bush administration’s top-secret program intended to cut off terrorist financing — a letter that was published not by the Times, but by the conservative blog Powerline. Some on the left immediately questioned his existence, refusing to believe a Harvard-educated lawyer was serving as an infantry officer in Iraq. Unfortunately for Democrats, Cotton has proved not only real, but a real political threat. He was elected to Congress last year after serving a second tour of duty — this one in Afghanistan — and has in his short time in office become a leading conservative in the House. May he do the same in the Senate.

September 2, 2013    |     Volume LXV, No. 16

  • Conservatives got Eisenhower wrong the first time around.
  • The frontier and its absence have both shaped the American imagination.
  • Economic growth won’t guarantee it.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • John Farrell reviews Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, by Stephen C. Meyer.
  • David Pryce-Jones reviews Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Scott Anderson.
  • Sarah Ruden reviews The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari, by Paul Theroux.
  • Randy Boyagoda reviews The Dark Road, by Ma Jian.
  • Ross Douthat reviews Elysium.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .