Scarcity of Lacrimosity


On this weekend’s Ruminant, Jonah discusses how the essence of conservatism in all its variety has been distilled down to a single oversimplistic metric: The more one likes Trump, and the more libs one owns, the more conservative one is assumed to be. “If you agree with Donald Trump, you’re a conservative, and if you defend Trump at all costs, you’re a good conservative.” Jonah then talks about how the larger panoply of conservative ideas is not only more interesting, but more practical for achieving realistic goals in our politics. There’s also a healthy smattering of theology, dog-talk, and Buckley stories throughout.

Show Notes:

- Take our podcast survey

- This week’s Remnant with Yuval

- This week’s G-File

- DeSantis puts his kid in a MAGA onesie

- Varieties of Conservatism in America

- Varieties of Progressivism in America

- Advisory Opinions talks about incitement standards

- Pew polls attitudes about election results

- This week’s Remnant with Keith Whittington

- Last weekend’s Ruminant

- Jonah combat’s J. V. Last’s dog-suspicion

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Yuval Got Some Explaining to Do


Today, AEI’s Yuval Levin returns, and Jonah asks him something more important than “What happens next?” Rather, they try to think about “What should we do next?” They talk about what Congress’ institutional responsibility is in regards to impeachment. They also discuss the 10 Republican representatives who voted for impeachment (“Look, I’m Jewish: 10 is better than zero.”), and their hopes to move past the historically anomalous character of right wing discourse throughout the Trump years. “This period has just been devoid of policy conversations. … Keeping the left from crushing you is an important goal, but it’s not what matters most.”

Show Notes:

- Yuval’s most recent book, A Time to Build

- Yuval’s quarterly publication, National Affairs

- Rich Lowry: “The Crash of the Flight 93 Presidency”

- The Good Fight with Yascha Mounk

- William James and Charles Peirce’s “Cash value of an idea”

- “’Coequal’ is my trigger word”

- Federalist No. 10, where Madison discusses democracy vs. republicanism

- Robert Putnam, The Upswing

- “A Nation of Cowards,” by Jeffrey Snyder

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The Whittington Standard


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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Ten-Foot Snowflakes


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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Murray, Madison, and the Moderate Middle


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:


-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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