Bravo to the National Review. It figured out how to own a news cycle or two like Donald Trump -- by co-opting him.
The melodramatic "Against Trump" edition was crass, clever, and a commercial success. This is not to doubt the sincerity of the hatred of The Donald, but rather to note that this Very Special Edition Of The National Review is about branding the National Review as the conservative rebels who will not conform to the Washington Establishment -- watch out, girls, they are bad boys -- even while being one of the foundation stones in the Washington media. At age 60, the National Review has been around longer than just about everyone in the nation's capital except the Washington Post, the New Republic, and George Will.
The editorial made some valid points about Trump, but that was about branding the National Review as a ragtag squad of rebels:
It is unpopular to say in the year of the “outsider,” but it is not a recommendation that Trump has never held public office. Since 1984, when Jesse Jackson ran for president with no credential other than a great flow of words, both parties have been infested by candidates who have treated the presidency as an entry-level position. They are the excrescences of instant-hit media culture. The burdens and intricacies of leadership are special; experience in other fields is not transferable. That is why all American presidents have been politicians, or generals. Any candidate can promise the moon.Oh, please. Give us the opinion but spare us the martyrdom. Bashing Donald Trump has been a national sport since he gave the world "The Apprentice."
The editorial stance positions the National Review excellently. If he should fail to gain the nomination, the National Review will be dragon slayers. If he should prevail, the National Review can be the Loyal Opposition. Either way, it is well-positioned come next year.
In the meantime, its online hits are up, the edition likely will sell out, and best of all, the magazine is getting props from the liberal establishment, which is secretly what conservatives in Washington may want most.