David Mamet will join me in the first half hour of the show to discuss the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman as well as Hoffman’s comments, in this interview, on the perils of an actor’s life. We will also discuss the subject of courage, which featured not only in that interview but also in Mamet’s short story “The Handle and the Hold” from his book 3 War Stories.
HH: That’s Joni Eareckson Tada’s Alone Yet Not Alone, the no longer nominated for an Academy Award song that until yesterday was nominated for an Academy Award. I’m using it to kick off today’s Hillsdale Dialogue with Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, because it is an extraordinary indication of everything that has gone wrong with American culture over the last couple of years. Also joining us, Dr. Jeff Lehman, who is a member of the faculty of Hillsdale College. This week, we are continuing our conversation about St. Augustine and his great book, The City Of God. But Dr. Arnn, I sent that to you and Dr. Lehman earlier this week, because I thought it was indicative of the tension between our civil culture and the religious culture. And Augustine was very much writing about that at the time that he wrote. And I’m curious, do you think we’re at the same place now where Augustine was when he started to watch the decline of the West all around him?
HH: Joined now in studio by Politico’s own happy warrior, James Hohmann. He’s covering the Senate races throughout the United States. There are fourteen competitive Senate races that may go either way. All fourteen are held by Democrats. We have two segments and fourteen minutes to get through them, Hohmann, so enough of what you do for Politico. Let’s start with the races. Alaska?
HH: There aren’t any Republicans in town, at least not House members. They’re up in Maryland at the Grand Hyatt on the Chesapeake, which I assume is balmy and 70 degrees. Joining me from there is the Washington Examiner’s own David Drucker, the maestro of Capitol Hill, the man who ferrets out every detail on every story. Hello, David, how cold is it on the Eastern shore wherever you are?
DD: It’s frigid, chilly, I don’t know, maybe 10 degrees? It’s not pretty.