National Review / Digital
The Week
(Roman Genn)


Detroit is dead and al-Qaeda is alive.

A group of conservative senators, most prominently including Ted Cruz, hopes to defund Obamacare by forcing a government-shutdown fight over a so-called continuing resolution this fall. They always explain (accurately enough) the imperative of defunding Obamacare, but never get around to explaining how their tactic would actually accomplish it. The public would have to blame President Obama and Democrats for any shutdown so overwhelmingly that they would buckle and abandon their most cherished legislative achievement. This is unlikely to happen, especially since some Republicans are already on record saying that they themselves are the ones who want to force the shutdown. We look forward to the day that Obamacare is defunded (and entirely repealed, for that matter), but a shutdown confrontation is not a magic bullet, or even a plausible weapon.


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  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .