Episodi

  • What is to be made of the concerns – practical or philosophical – about a second impeachment of Donald Trump? Keith Whittington of Princeton returns to The Remnant to encourage us not to take such concerns too rigidly. Since, as we got used to hearing, impeachment is a political process and not a legal remedy, the ability to get through an impeachment quickly – say, before January 20 – is “purely a matter of political will.” In addition to digging into some founding-period legal nerdiness (the original Constitution of Virginia says what?), Jonah also asks Whittington about the standards of impeachment, what the process might look like given the specifics of what happened at the Capitol on the January 6, and also asks him to address concerns, such as the idea that an impeachment would be an infringement on Trump’s free speech rights: “There’s a difference between what a private citizen can say and what someone like the president of the United States should say.”

     

    Show Notes:

    -      Take our podcast survey

    -      Keith’s most recent book

    -      Jonah’s Los Angeles Times column

    -      “Look at him, he’s wearing a belt!”

    -      Listen to Advisory Opinions, home of latches

    -      David French: The conservative legal movement is actually looking pretty good

    -      Byron York interviews Michael Luttig

    -      The original Virginia Constitution said, “The Governor, when he is out of office, … shall be impeachable by the House of Delegates.”

    -      Einstein’s friend finding a dictatorship loophole

    -      John Turturro as Bernie Bernbaum

     

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  • On today’s Ruminant, Jonah takes care to push through the natural inclination to simply, well, be appalled at this past Wednesday’s “events” on Capitol Hill, and manages to talk about both the lead-up to them and their ramifications. He talks about how the rioters display all of the soul-sickness that conservatives normally only talk about in regard to far-left activists, and that while conservatives are quick to point out the failures to establish genuine communities with positive outcomes in peoples’ lives within progressive politics, “we very rarely say that these are problems for conservatives too.” This week, Jonah also closes with a personal rumination on the most important little platoon of all: the family.

     

    Show Notes:

    -This week’s G-File

    - Jonah and Brit’s disagreement

    -Josh Blackman: Can Trump be impeached for incitement?

    -Ramen Noodle Guy

    -The Ol’ Number Six

    -Tucker provides a useless panacea to listeners

    -Tim Carney: “Trump was something to believe in”

    -“When God is invisible behind the world, the contents of the world will become new gods”

    -Alienated America

    -Bubba McDonald





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  • As The Remnant kicks back into gear, we figured it would be best to let Jonah make his trek back to D.C. and instead treat you to a secret artifact from a few days after the election. This is a conversation between Jonah and AEI emeritus scholar Charles Murray on the state of libertarianism and liberalism (both of the “small-l” variants) in the aftermath of November 2020. Murray explains why he’s pessimistic, while he and Jonah also extol the virtues of a Madisonian system, and upon reflection, they both relish in being on the right side of the debate that character is indeed destiny in the political realm: “The idea that the United States can continue to be … exceptional without character being a leading principle is ridiculous—it can’t happen.”

     

    Show Notes:

    -Fusionism

    -John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    -Eric Voegelin on how lapses into fanaticism occur

    -Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010

    -Misreading Adam Smith

    -Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention

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  • What does Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse think about the results of the 2020 election? The answer might come as a surprise: Even though the Democrats took the White House, on balance, Ben thinks the election proves that “We are a center-right nation, and even if people don’t have a philosophical embrace of limited government, [that idea] has a broad, functional embrace.” During this talk—originally part of The Dispatch’s post-election program What’s Next: Election 2020 and Beyond – Jonah asks Ben about how responsible Americans might stop our national politics from being run by political addicts, as well as asking him what he thinks about the assertion that he went through a “quiet period” in his Trump criticism, and addressing his controversial connections to Big Runza (Nebraska’s finest delicacy™).

     

    Show Notes:

    -“Straight-shooter” Ben Sasse wins re-election

    -The Hidden Tribes of America

    -Many Republicans are sure that the election was stolen

    -Kate McKinnon’s bizarrely accurate Rudy Giuliani

    -Jonah’s column on Trump loyalism

    -There’s a horse in the hospital

    -I Love Lucy’s ratings domination

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  • As we close in on the end of the year, Jonah’s rumination proves to be a pretty sizable roundup of all the news that has been fit to print throughout the week. In addition to discussing attempts to relitigate the series of unfortunate events surrounding Jeffrey Toobin, the inaccuracy of our current Cold War metaphors in regards to China, and the ongoing conflict over wealth inequality, Jonah also finds the time to dip into several classically nerdy topics. Such subjects include the accidental genius of bad Kung Fu movies, how They Live isn’t nearly as Marxist as the academy would have you believe (and the fact that they try to prove that it is “just helps to prove how dumb Marxism is”), and how David French’s taste in films has made Jonah a nihilist.

     

    Show Notes:

    -This week’s G-File

    -Fatman

    -Caddyshack … II?

    -The fight scene in They Live

    -Kurt Thomas in Gymkata

    -Jonah: Farce as Tragedy

    -Adorno: “Thus one no longer learns to close a door softly, discreetly and yet firmly. Those of autos and frigidaires have to be slammed.”

    -The origin of the “alien visitor” thought experiment

    -A chin-stroking (so to speak) piece on Jeffrey Toobin

    -Pleasantville

    -This week’s Remnant with Matt Continetti

    -Jonah’s “New Cold War” column

    -This week’s Remnant with Scott Winship

    -The success sequence

    -Remnant Episode 100 with Thomas Sowell

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  • AEI Fellow, author, and Washington Free Beacon founder Matt Continetti comes back to the program, and Jonah gets to pick his brain about… well, a ton of different things. From his expectations for the Biden presidency, to the shockingly progressive staff of the incoming administration, to the Georgia runoffs and a critical reappraisal of the neoconservatives’ role in deradicalizing the left, Matt provides deep and nuanced answers to the biggest stories of the day as well as the issues of bigger philosophical significance to conservatives. He and Jonah also dial in on some of the upcoming decisions that those on the right will have to make in the near future – decisions that may define basic points of conservative doctrine for a long time to come: What should be counted as a conservative “win,” either in politics or culture? Is conservatism going to be big-tent or selective in its coalition-building? And what should the conservative position on China be, as it becomes clearer that the nation may have grown into a superpower that shares very few of our values?

     

    Show Notes:

    -Matt’s page at AEI

    -Obama’s third term

    - Biden’s campaign manager being… unkind to Republicans

    -The Remnant with Andy Smarick

    -“Bobos”

    -The Polish Beer-Lovers’ Party

    -The Remnant with Tim Alberta

    -The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri

    -The Roots of Modern Conservatism by Michael Bowen

    -The Remnant with Carlos Lozada

    -What Biden can learn from Nat Glazer

    -Governing Priorities by AEI

    -Conservatism has conserved a lot, actually

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  • Jonah is joined by Scott Winship – the director of Poverty Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and fresh off the heels of his position within Senator Mike Lee’s Social Capital Project. Jonah asks Scott about the persistence of poverty in American society, and what progress has been made both recently and over the long term. Then, they get into why some of the obstacles that have to be removed in order to lift poor people up are more intractable than others. In part, Scott thinks that these difficulties “show how we’re hardwired to think about these problems in economic terms rather than in terms of social bonds,” and that certain data may blind us when searching for the real issues.

     

    Show Notes:

    -Scott’s research at AEI

    -Richard Burkhauser on poverty in the 60s versus now

    -The Social Capital Project

    -Raj Chetty on people doing better than their parents

    -Mr. Piketty’s big book of Marxiness

    -Jonah and Peter Beinart

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  • After describing the inner workings of a longstanding lunch among his friends that has become an institution unto itself and envisioning what his ideal “no rules” podcast might be like, Jonah asks the fundamental political question of our moment: What’s the matter with Texas? Jonah talks about how the state’s election lawsuit has released another swathe of intellectual dishonesty among right-wing tastemakers, as well as the “Kraken Caucus'' (or is it the Kraken Kaukus?) more generally, and how the Constitution endorses trial by combat for picking elector slates (well, kind of). This is followed by a rumination on “corruption” in both its classical and modern sense, the updated Hunter Biden story (and the reaction to it), and how imprecise language mars our debates about censorship: “We use ‘censorship’ to mean both a government action as well as the exercise of editorial judgment that we don’t like.”

     

    Show Notes:

    -GLoP: Origin Stories

    -This week’s Remnant with Reihan Salam

    -Martin Shkreli, DBOY

    -This week’s G-File

    -The Duke brothers

    -“One in quadrillion”

    -Burke’s “Speech to the Electors of Bristol”

    -The Five Thousand Year Leap

    -Happy Safe Harbor Day

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  • Conservative commentary has managed to find at least one point of withering criticism when it comes to America’s cities. This critique points out that, while cities are the places where unique innovation and exciting things are happening all the time, the local Democratic political machines (and, strangely, their voter base within the city) are constantly trying to zone, regulate, and tax that innovation and excitement out of existence. But here he comes—a knight in shining armor, making a glorious return to The Remnant: Reihan Salam, president of the Manhattan Institute. Reihan talks to Jonah about how conservatives might be able to envision a way out of obstinacy in America’s metropolitan centers, as well as addressing concerns about the GOP’s electoral future in cities, and explaining why politics often take a more radical left-wing form in cities compared to everywhere else in the country. (“Democrats are living in places that are immensely unequal, so arguments around redistribution carry a lot more purchase.”)

     

    Show Notes:

    -Reihan at the Manhattan Institute

    -Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream

    -Most—not some—people are low information voters

    -Jonah: It’s a mistake for the GOP to shun big cities

    -Fusion voting

    -The role of think tanks

    -College-educated Democrats are often more wrong than their co-partisans

    -Jill Biden wants community college to be free

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  • On this edition of The Remnant, Jonah went around the (metaphorical) corner of the (also metaphorical) office and got colleague Sarah Isgur to come on the program for all sorts of legal-beagle nerdery. Sarah explains the constitutional provisions kicking into effect that are helping to slow down the chaos surrounding the November election results, what on earth is going on in Texas, and much more. Classic Remnant wonkery is then balanced out in the latter half of the show, as Jonah and Sarah both share their spiciest takes on The Queen’s Gambit and why it may not live up to the hype.

     

    Show Notes:

    -Sarah’s podcast with David French, Advisory Opinions

    -Sarah’s newsletter, The Sweep

    -Texas’ original jurisdiction suits against other states

    -“The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes”

    -Centennial Crisis: The Disputed Election of 1876 by William Rehnquist

    -AEI’s After the People Vote

    -The “witchcraft” of signature matching

    -The Bailey Cranberry Separator

    -Colorable argument

    -Jonah and Queen’s Gambit

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  • Jonah flies solo once more in a podcast filled with the hottest of takes: Biden’s foot-breaking story is not only totally true – it’s also just kind of lame, weed saved George H.W. Bush’s life, and, most controversially of all, The Walking Dead still has some redeeming qualities. He also discusses why you should take John Bolton’s advice in The Dispatch seriously, and “Eurosclerosis,” the fanciest word of the day.

     

    Show Notes:

    -This week’s G-File

    -The origins of Biden-Foot-Trutherism

    -The week’s first Dispatch Podcast

    -The Remnant with Jonathan Adler

    -BREAKING: George H.W. Bush owes his life to hemp! Big If True!

    -If you want… just … a font of wisdom in response to Jonah’s “I-told-you-so” moment, look no further than his Facebook page

    -This week’s Remnant with Virginia Postrel; that’s the good nerd stuff, right there

    -John Bolton’s piece for The Dispatch on the future of conservatism

    -Jonah: “Too many Republicans just use conservatism as a tool”

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  • We have another Remnant first-timer on the show this week, as Jonah is joined by old friend, well-traveled military writer, and Marine veteran Bing West. With a discipline that only a Marine could muster, Bing joins the program to talk about his upcoming novel, The Last Platoon: A Novel of the Afghanistan War, which uses Afghanistan as a backdrop to tell the story of men in combat who “do their duty, even when it becomes clear that there will be no reward.” Jonah also probes Bing’s brain about the overall strategic value of the Afghanistan war, the abiding faith of American soldiers in an era of secularism, how to break up the perverse friendship between the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and most important, how a small, tri-fold shovel is sometimes the most valuable piece of equipment a soldier can have.

     

    Show Notes:

    -Pre-order The Last Platoon

    -Afghani tribal groups and opium production

    -Bing’s book embedded with Marines in Fallujah

    -Bing in WSJ: “How to save Kabul from Saigon’s fate”

    -Sebastian Junger’s Tribe

    -How counterinsurgency (or COIN) really works

    -The Dispatch addresses Pompeo’s thoughts on the Taliban turning on al-Qaeda

    -The Pepper Dogs

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  • Today, Jonah is joined by Virginia Postrel – former editor-in-chief of Reason magazine and author of many of the latter-day holy tomes of libertarianism, such as The Future and Its Enemies – to talk about her new book, The Fabric of Civilization. Virginia and Jonah do a deep dive into several moments in which the changes in textile manufacturing created giant, revolutionary, consciousness-shifting ripple effects regarding how civilizations viewed their relationship to markets and the economy. In particular, Virginia addresses how the un-guilded spinners of Europe were like the Luddites before it was cool, why textile-making would be one of the most laborious processes in the world without advanced technologies, and what made cotton fabric from India so special that “the French treated it much the same as the American government treats cocaine.” At least that kind of wild protectionism confirms a long-held American instinct: Never trust the French.

     

    Show Notes:

    -Virginia’s book, The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World

    -“Isaiah’s Job”

    -Our first episode with Matt Ridley (on technical innovation)

    -Our second episode with Matt Ridley (on more technical innovation)

    -Virginia at Volokh Conspiracy: The textile industry’s relationship to literacy

    -The salaries of spinners may be higher than one thinks

    -The High Sparrow and the Labor Theory of Value

    -Some bits from “The Bad Polanyi” on ancient Assyria

    -Virginia talks about Indian cotton prints

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  • On this episode, Jonah is joined by Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review. It’s an eclectic mix today, as the duo gets into a good deal of punditry surrounding the  Trump campaign’s election challenges and then move onto the future of conservatism (or “conservatarianism” in Charlie’s case) as a whole before tying the whole thing up around the Thanksgiving theme of gratitude. As a freshly minted American living through a relatively chaotic period in our politics, what is Cooke grateful for when it comes to the U.S.? During this holiday season, Jonah thinks we might all do well to be grateful for the fact that “we still live in a country where following politics is essentially a hobby … and isn’t a matter of survival.”

     

    Show Notes:

    -Charlie’s main podcasting gig

    -Charlie’s, uh, other main podcasting gig

    -Florida man saves puppy from alligator

    -National Review and the John Birchers

    -The Conservatarian Manifesto

    -Max Boot: America’s A-Team

    -Randoph Bourne: “The State”

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  • After filing a more-spirited-than-average G-File, Jonah joins us for the weekend Ruminant. Today, he talks about how certain individuals associated with Trump seem determined to end their careers in ignominy, as well as discussing many other phenomena, such as America’s oversaturation of elites, the necessity of reading people with whom you disagree, the inadequacy of applying the left-right spectrum to American politics, what the possible consolidation of fringe-right news stations might look like, and how genuine post-Trump conservatism “is almost, in certain way, the same as [if it was] pre-Trump.” And, of course, the most exciting news in Jonah’s world right now? How a calmer political environment means that he can write about more interesting stuff.

     

    Show Notes:

    -This week’s G-File

    -Tucker Carlson almost closes the circle, but doesn’t make it quite there

    -The entire Dispatch team descends on the Cuomo Emmy news

    -The “Iron Law of Oligarchy”

    -The midweek “news”letter

    -A legendary piece of Goldbergian hagiography – Gargoyles: Guardians of the Gate

    -The quotable Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

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  • Jonah’s return to The Remnant features a guest with “The most important hair in public policy,” Ryan Streeter from AEI. While Ryan’s magnificent mane isn't captured in the final product, his spot-on analysis of the causes of American stagnation (and what we can do to get out of it) certainly are. Why is fulfilling work so hard to find for a great many Americans? Which of the structures meant to stand between the individual and the government do our current policy regimes totally fail to support? Are all politicians really just heartless hacks? And what factors are the advocates of working-class Republicanism forgetting when they envision the future of the party? Lucky for us, Ryan thinks about this kind of thing for a living, and therefore has more revealing answers than you may find anywhere else.

     

    Show Notes:

    -Ryan’s page at AEI

    -Imagine Blue Steel from Zoolander, but it’s Ryan’s hair

    -Longstanding anti-“poaching” measures within fast food companies

    -AEI’s research into civil society and volunteerism

    -To Empower People: The Role of Mediating Structures in Public Policy

    -Rubio and the supposed face-heel turn of “market fundamentalism”

    -Ryan called some of America’s restlessness back in 2011

    -The UCLA loneliness scale

    -Ben Carson, doing actual interesting things while no one pays attention

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  • Jonah the Globetrotter has once again scattered to the four winds, temporarily leaving The Remnant once more in the capable hands of David French. Today, David speaks with his good friend Yascha Mounk, contributor to The Atlantic and founder of Persuasion. Mounk talks us through the current conditions within mainstream media outlets and how those institutions have the opportunity to lower the temperature of American discourse now that Trump is leaving office. David also talks about how a Biden administration might be expected to behave, and Yascha mentions that much of the conventional wisdom about the presidential election results are not only misguided, but that they often “underestimate the intelligence of the American people.”

     

    Show Notes:

    -David’s newsletter, The French Press

    -Yascha’s new publication, Persuasion

    -David Shor’s 2020 postmortem

    -The earliest mention of “nutpicking” that the Remnant crew could find

    -Jonathan Haidt’s Heterodox Academy

    -“Beirut on the Charles”

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  • This week’s Ruminant sees Jonah reach his final form, as he begins with post-election punditry before seamlessly transitioning into a brand of deep-cut, Grade A political-nerd eggheadery the likes of which are rarely seen even on this vaunted podcast. Listen as Jonah effortlessly bounces in a positively pinball-esque manner between Whittaker Chambers, Orwell, AOC, Joe Manchin, James Burham, Cicero, and obscure Italian Communist Party intellectuals, in a display that will both amaze and delight.

     

    Show Notes:

    -This week’s Wednesday “news”letter

    -The genuine Friday G-File for this week

    -“Second Thoughts on James Burnham”

    -The Beaconsfield Position

    -This week’s Remnant with Kevin Williamson

    -Jonah’s column on Joe Manchin

    -“That bit from Cicero”

    -Jim Geraghty: “Trump was not stabbed in the back”

    -The Bureaucratisation of the World by Bruno Rizzi

    -Charles Murray’s By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission

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  • On today’s program, Jonah chats with an old friend who will definitely NOT polarize the Remnant audience whatsoever (If we wish hard enough then it has to come true, right?): National Review’s Kevin Williamson. Williamson is out with a new book, Big White Ghetto.  Jonah sets up Kevin for a heaping helping of rank punditry to start things off before moving into some book-talk and some eggheadery. In addition to Jonah’s efforts to make Kevin explicate his self-described political ideology (“anarcho-capitalist Eisenhower libertarian”), the two also discuss the ways in which America’s titular big white ghetto actually, well, became a ghetto, and what the solutions might be for the people who feel trapped in struggling communities. In Kevin’s mind, part of the issue is that no one in politics is comfortable saying something that is obviously true: “Cities and towns disaggregate and disincorporate over time, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But this is also why I’m not running for office.”

     

    Show Notes:

    -Kevin’s new book, definitely in the running for “Greatest Subtitle Ever” – Big White Ghetto: Dead Broke, Stone-Cold Stupid, and High on Rage in the Dank Woolly Wilds of the “Real America”

    -Karl Rove: This election won’t be overturned

    -Gangsters don’t have a retirement plan

    -Conrad Black’s column

    -Dee Dee Myers appearing generally confused

    -Jonah’s piece on Republicans and cities

    -Kevin, reporting from Eastern Kentucky

    -The most recent Dispatch Podcast

    -Eisenhower’s response to the prospect of dropping nukes on Dien Bien Phu

    -The glories of Taco Villa

    -The Remnant with John McWhorter

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  • In the Before Times, when we’d all walk around bookstores putting our dangerously diseased digits on various tomes without a care in the world, did you notice a recurring phenomenon? It’s been the case for the past few years that the nonfiction sections of any major bookstore are filled with a glut of “Trump era” books – either memoirs from officials, books attempting to psychologize the man himself, or vaguely rant-y polemics that are big on rhetoric but light on substance. What if, hypothetically, you wanted to torture yourself by entering a purgatory-like state in which you read around 150 of those things? That’s what Carlos Lozada – book critic for the Washington Post – did so that you don’t have to.

    Today, Jonah speaks with Lozada about how he was able to synthesize the “Trump canon” into a set of identifiable narratives about this moment in American politics, eventually resulting in his own new book, What Were We Thinking: A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era.

    Show Notes:

    -Carlos’ book, What Were We Thinking

    -Jonah on The Greening of America: “Stupendously awful”

    -Miles Taylor, “senior administration official”?

    -“LODESTAR!”

    -The largely unread followup to  Fire and Fury

    -Don McGahn’s crazy 2 years in the administration

    -Carlos reviews Michael Cohen’s bizarre book

    -Solzhenitsyn in prison

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