Punditry, Thy Name is Stirewalt


Today, we confirm that Dispatch contributing editor Chris Stirewalt has indeed surpassed our gold jacket threshold while engaging in the rankest of punditry. Chris and Jonah discuss how Biden’s “poison pills” (Neera Tanden’s potential confirmation, a dogmatic insistence on a $15 minimum wage policy, et al) are quickly becoming … well, pills, simply put. While the administration continues to add progressive boxes to their checklist, Israel continues to speed ahead with vaccinations and, in the domestic realm, the lingering shadow of Trump still presents obstacles for the GOP. As a bonus, this episode should hopefully make up for the lack of a Ruminant last weekend, as the vocal similarities between Chris and Jonah make the whole thing sound like a gigantic monologue.

Show Notes:

-Chris’ page at The Dispatch

-The WKRP in Cincinnati theme

-The status of the U.S. vaccination rollout

-Israel’s vaccination strategy

-Fauci on normality and masking into 2022

-Jonah argued Biden should run a “return to normalcy” campaign before anyone else

-Brad Pascale: Trump would have won with a different approach to COVID

-Obama calling Bush “unpatriotic” for adding to the debt

-“Out, out, brief candle!”

-NYT: Biden should appoint a “reality czar”

-Will Chamberlain: “Platform Access is a Civil Right”

-Jonah’s college newspaper

What’s the Matter with Texas?


Jonah welcomes Kevin Williamson to discuss their shared status as Americans trapped within the final layer of Dante’s Hell (aka, Texas in the midst of a large-scale winter weather disaster). From the corporatism on display to the “stunning lack of entrepreneurialism” in response to the issues the state is currently facing, to every issue in between - such as the pointless populism being proffered as an explanation for Texas’ woes - this situation is proving to be a microcosm of everything that is dysfunctional in American politics. Who better to walk us through the sociopolitical ramifications of this situation, than two men who are known for their unadulterated joviality?

Show Notes:

-Kevin’s page at National Review

-Kevin’s new book, still 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”


-Jonah v. David on the zombie apocalypse

-NYT: “No, Wind Turbines Aren’t the Main Cause of the Texas Blackouts

-“Solar power, when will people learn?”

-Rick Perry doubles down on yee-haw

-The FairTax movement

-Kevin on Satan’s balls

-Alex Jones’ lawyers admit he’s an actor

-Texas GOP chair Allen West suggests secession

-“They’re always eating candy in Shelbyville.”

Getting it Right


This week, Jonah brings The Remnant to you from the ice-wracked void of Austin, Texas. His guest is Stephanie Slade, the managing editor of Reason magazine. Stephanie and Jonah provide some helpful explanations of what the oldest coalition of modern conservatism (i.e. “fusionism”) really is, who its members were, and what its political motivations were. Then, in an instance of “violent agreement,” our two intrepid intellectual explorers refute the idea that this fusionist project is a “dead consensus” or that it necessarily precludes membership from libertarians. Interestingly, Jonah thinks that the tensions within fusionism are strong enough that “it doesn’t make sense as a purely philosophical project,” but Stephanie is confident that American political history indicates that the tension between virtue and freedom is resolved within the fusion of these different branches of conservatism.

Show Notes:

-Stephanie Slade’s Reason archive

-Stephanie: “Is There a Future for Fusionism?”

-M. Stanton Evans: The Theme is Freedom

-Jonah: “Fusionism Today”

-Ramesh Ponnuru: “Fusionists and Fissionists”

-Murray Rothbard: “Frank S. Meyer: The Fusionist as Libertarian”

-Frank Meyer v. L. Brent Bozell Jr.

-Daniel E. Burns: “Liberal Practice v. Liberal Theory”

-Donald Devine’s The Enduring Tension: Capitalism and the Moral Order

-William James’ “blooming, buzzing confusion”

-Post-liberal conservatives

Going Full Columbo


In this weekend’s Ruminant, Jonah figures that it is his duty to do what he can to clean the gigantic metaphorical Augean Stable that is Washington D.C. as recompense for missing a G-File. Thus, this is an episode filled with only the rankest of punditry: Grifters abound, both within Congress and in the fundraising and activism apparatchiks of both the right and the left. Not only is it the case that the grift was getting more intense on its own, but impeachment has just made it all the more self-aggrandizing. Listen as Jonah takes aim at the nepotistic relationship between conservative boosters and lobbyists, The Lincoln Project, and Congress itself for consistently living down to Americans’ expectations.

Show Notes:

-Frigid Austin

-The inklings of an Ivanka Trump campaign in Florida against Rubio

-Demosclerosis by Jonathan Rauch

-Lincoln Project awfulness

-The online Roget’s Thesaurus… just in case you are curious

-Matt Schlapp and pardon foolishness

Congress Bad, Liquor Good


This podcast is for those of us who feel like the state of our political parties makes us want a drink, or at least some reliable recommendations about what we should be drinking. Jonah is joined by AEI colleague Kevin Kosar, who writes on how Congress is failing to do its job - not simply because of populism and polarization, but also because “its smaller numbers of staffers mean that Congress is literally shrinking while the institution is being asked to do more than ever.” They discuss how to fix the backwardness of this system, before moving on to a discussion of Kevin’s true passion (proven by his pedigree as one of the earliest bloggers on the subject): whiskey and other fine spirits.

Show Notes:

-Kevin Kosar - American Enterprise Institute

-Moving Congress into the 21st Century

-Congress Overwhelmed

-Show horses vs work horses

-Kevin on the true use of earmarks

-A Time to Build, by Yuval Levin

-Jonah’s love of the term “co-equal”

-What’s a pager?

-Sen. Lamar Alexander’s farewell speech

-Bill Barr’s civilized hearing

-Floor Charts, doing important work

-Whiskey: A Global History

-Alcoholreviews.com, continually operating since 1998

-Connemara peated Irish Whiskey

-White whiskey, or, uhm, moonshine

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