We discuss the events of the week, we talk to AEI’s Yuval Levin about leadership in a populist age and Andy McCarthy about the 25th Amendment and pardons. One of our hosts is dealing with a medical issue which he discusses here and in some members only content with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (available here).  Keep calm, carry on, and be nice to each other. This too shall pass.


Martin Luther kicked off the Protestant Reformation with his immortal words, “here I stand; I can do no other.”  President Trump earns praise and scorn for his similar attitude, and as a result has forced conservatives and Republicans to rethink their orthodoxies. Is a conservative reformation at hand? Noted author Yuval Levin joins the Horse Race to expand on that question, while columnist Ramesh Ponnuru explores how Trump is handling the pandemic. We also look at important primary battles between would-be reformers and establishment figures with National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar. All this and the Ad of the Week, too! Only at the Horse Race.

Yeah, it another really busy week in the Ricochet Podcast Extended Universe (or as we like to call it, RIPEU, or repoo): we had a primary, some candidates drop out the race, we had a former Trump campaign advisor sentencing blow up into a fight between the President and his Attorney General. But we decided to ignore all of that (for at least about 70% of the show) and focus on other matters. First we have a discussion about why things are actually pretty great right now, premised on Ross Douthat’s upcoming book The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success (Ross will be on the show in March to defend himself).

Then, we continue ignoring current events as the great Yuval Levin stops by to discuss institutions and why we need them (you’ll want to buy his book, A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream). It’s a fascinating conversation, completely devoid of any controversy involving a Tweet. Ahhhh, take me away Calgon. But, all of that bliss comes to a crashing halt when Ricochet Podcast Senior Justice Department and Legal Pundit John Yoo calls in from the tub in his hotel room (not kidding!) to discuss the Barr/Trump/Stone controversy  of the moment. Guess we had to do that? Also, Rob Long moonlights on yet another podcast to discuss his hobbies. We recommend it. Finally, mazel tov to @bucknelldad, he’s the winner of the highly coveted Lileks Post of The Week, for his French Court Scrambles the Debate Over What is “GMO” in Foods post. Magnifiqué, mon ami.

AEI scholar and National Affairs editor Yuval Levin joins Jonah for an extended, Thanksgiving-appropriate discussion of gratitude and community.


This special doubleheader edition takes up the question of whether President Trump’s hush money payments to his temporary girlfriends is indeed a campaign finance violation with campaign finance law expert and California Fair Political Practices Commission member Allison R. Hayward (and in case you’re wondering, the answer is Yes). It’s not so clear cut as many in the media are saying, as the parallel case of John Edwards from 2008 demonstrates. Then Steve Hayward revisits Yuval Levin’s 2016 book Our Fractured Republic in light of the subsequent election of Trump.

Bumper music at the end of today’s show is a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic tune “Dreams” by The Corrs.

Political philosopher Yuval Levin joins Mona to talk about our dysfunctional Congress. Later,
Jay and Mona consider the Koch/Trump war, the press, the mob, the out of touch elites, the Democrats, and an enduring musical theme: Mission Impossible.

Sam Nunberg wants you to know—He’s as drunk as hell and he’s not gonna…..no-wait—he’s mad. He’s MAD as h…you know what–never mind.

Whatever Nunberg is, we get analysis from the Washington Examiner’s Phil Wegmann.

Yuval Levin answers that question and others. He is the editor of National Affairs and the author of “The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left.”

With Jay, he talks about those terms, “Right” and “Left.” He talks about how he himself became a conservative. About the teachers who influenced him. He talks taxes, health care, etc. Jay asks him about his favorite Founders. And favorite presidents. Also about his pastimes.

Hey, Media—You SUCK! And here on the Michael In The Morning podcast, we’ve got the numbers to prove it.

National Review’s Rich Lowry and Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs each weigh in on the costs and benefits of Trump’s first year.

Yuval Levin joins Mona and Jay to talk about health care: What to do? More specifically, what to do NOW, at this impasse? Then, Mona and Jay talk about Trump and Mika and Joe. Later, they talk about Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan – and tell some interesting stories.

The show ends with Marilyn Horne, singing “You’re a Grand Old Flag” (including the verses – rare!).

Another busy week with much to talk about and to help out we’ve got (along with @jongabriel sitting in for Rob Long) the great Yuval Levin and Adam Carolla. Yuval schools us on the rumors that the President will fire Robert Mueller and the black box that is the Congressional Budget Office, and Adam stops by to talk about his upcoming film the Dennis Prager (they’re raising money to underwrite it — donate here). Also, 30 years ago this week, Peter Robinson jotted down a few words for Ronald Reagan. We get some of the backstory in this very podcast. You don’t want to miss that.

Music from this week’s podcast: Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads

After 100 some days of the Trump presidency, the Republican Party and the conservative coalition, broadly understood, are still in flux. Was this election a Pyrrhic victory? Is that even the right question to ask?

Yuval Levin writes in a new essay, “Conservatism in an Age of Alienation”, that “… the problems exposed by this election year call out for a modernized, self-critical, twenty-first-century conservatism—a conservatism that is uncertain if this election has marked a victory or a defeat, and is therefore both aggressive in pursuit of opportunities and alert to dangers.” We discussed this, the future of the movement, and much more in this wide-ranging episode of the podcast.

One of the nice things about being the Top Conservative Podcast is that we get to have the coolest and smartest people on the right stop by to chat. Case in point this week as we welcome two of the biggest brains on the right, Yuval Levin and Dr. Thomas Sowell. Yuval’s WSJ essay  The Next Conservative Movement is a must read, and while you’re at it, order his forthcoming book The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of IndividualismRe-building the party is topic of Yuval’s segment, and we welcome your suggestions in the comments below. With Thomas Sowell, things get a little more somber as he is no fan of the presumptive nominee of the party. The good doctor explains why he’s not a fan of The Donald, or of the voters who have propelled him to where he is today. Finally,we send out 90th birthday greetings to Jerry Lewis from a certain podcaster with a French brother-in-law. Guess who.

Music from this week’s episode: