How does liberty die? According to Padmé, with thunderous applause. According to The New York Times, with an ill-timed op-ed ghostwritten by Putin. And according to John Pitney, professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna, maybe with Trump? John joins the show to play Remnant bingo, but also to make the case that Trump’s oft-praised abrasiveness isn’t actually very American — and that his behavior usually stifles liberty instead of promoting it.

 

Show Notes:

Pitney’s book, Un-American: The Fake Patriotism of Donald J. Trump

Pitney’s piece on Obama and Trump

Richard Weaver, Ideas have Consequences

The Federalist Papers, free and online

So this is how liberty dies

P.J. O’Rourke talks about Hillary

Trump wants to protect Article XII

Claremont’s 10 years in review

Pitney’s book After Reagan: Bush, Dukakis, and the 1988 Election

‘We’re dying at the box office,’ Schwarzenegger tells GOP

East/West coast Straussians feuds

Pitney being interviewed about expanding the House

Elaine Kamarck talking about her role as a superdelegate

Vladimir Putin’s uh, op-ed in the Times?

Jonah’s appearance with Andrew Klavan

TommyJohn.com/remnant for 25% off site wide

Subscribe to The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

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  1. Joe D. Lincoln

    It’s so weird. Jonah Goldberg, once wrote that if he knew the 2016 election hinged on his vote, he probably would have voted for Trump. I guess he must now believe, that if he knew then what he does now, he would have picked Hillary Clinton.

    To hell with withdrawal from the Paris Accord and the court picks. Maybe, he thinks that was the short game ,and that we will lose more for longer because we elected Trump. Maybe he’s right. I would argue that if that wasn’t true for Nixon, it shouldn’t be true for Trump. Trump is way less bad than Nixon was – even and especially on the issue of abuse of power.

    Jonah, and his Dispatch company, admit that Obama also superseded his authority with respect to the ‘Dreamers’. I think the biggest way Trump exceeded his authority is to move money around to try to build some of his wall. I don’t know if that has been successful at all. If not, materially, I’m not sure how Trump has exceeded his authority. He says things most people don’t like, but aside from that I’m not sure what policy directions from Trump I should detest. I believe we needed a little more Pro-Americanism when it comes to trade – which I gather in this podcast, is simply non-American. I know that’s a big difference between my views and the anti-Trump views on the Right. I had no idea it was such a dividing line.

    I want to do all things the Jonah Goldberg suggests to restore power to the Congress. I don’t know how we get there from here, but 

    • #1
    • June 3, 2020, at 9:18 AM PDT
    • Like
  2. Joe D. Lincoln

    Actually, I don’t fault you at all for voting aspirationally when you know your vote doesn’t count. I live in Florida, and while I am unlikely to be the deciding vote, I feel more like my vote matters than I would if I lived in New York or California.

    I thought I was going to vote libertarian in 2016, especially since until near the time of the election I thought Trump was going to lose, but I changed my mind in the last week.

    For me, Trump made me comfortable with my vote when he withdrew from the Paris Accord.

    • #2
    • June 3, 2020, at 9:31 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. Joe D. Lincoln

    I really wish I understood why voting for someone because you think a) they won’t implement policies you think are awful and b) are likely to do other things you like – are so bad, even if you don’t like everything about the politician. … and hey, Trump is fairly old, he might die in a second term just like Biden, so vote for Pence instead of Trump. Mike Pence hardly exhibits the behaviors you don’t like.

    • #3
    • June 3, 2020, at 9:44 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Mr. Pitney is dreaming if he thinks Biden will be more respectful of norms and the Constitution than Trump. Biden is going to be a tool of the hard left right up until they replace him with whatever fire breathing hard core lefty VP he picks.

    That is the binary argument and it is a good one. I just wish Trump would stop acting like a fool long enough for me to be able to vote for him. Sadly, he can’t. I can’t vote for either of them. But don’t worry, according to Trump supporters leaving the top of my ballot blank is just like voting for Biden. And according to Biden supporters leaving it blank is just like voting for Trump. 

     

    • #4
    • June 3, 2020, at 10:18 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Joe D. (View Comment):
    Jonah, and his Dispatch company, admit that Obama also superseded his authority with respect to the ‘Dreamers’. I think the biggest way Trump exceeded his authority is to move money around to try to build some of his wall.

    Trump moving money for the wall was in compliance with existing law. Obama and the Dreamers was not.

     

    • #5
    • June 3, 2020, at 10:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. TerryS Member

    Pitney is a Democrat.

    Goldberg is no longer a conservative.

    I wonder who is bankrolling <i>The Dispatch</i>?

    • #6
    • June 3, 2020, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. DHMorgan Coolidge

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I can’t vote for either of them. But don’t worry, according to Trump supporters leaving the top of my ballot blank is just like voting for Biden. And according to Biden supporters leaving it blank is just like voting for Trump. 

    I’m with you. Not voting for anyone means that you are voting for someone.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    • #7
    • June 3, 2020, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. TerryS Member

    Nobody likes to hear that they suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    But its symptoms are easily described, and, in all cases, they describe an irrational thought process.

    So here is my natural history of Trump Derangement Syndrome:

    -All unpleasant things must be blamed on Trump.

    -Any media report that reflects poorly on Trump will be believed without question.

    -Whenever Trump can be given credit for doing well, it must be explained that this was unintentional, or actually a result of Trump trying to do something wicked (for example, both Jonah & Pitney claimed that Trump was not an authoritarian only because he was too stupid and lazy to be an authoritarian).

     

    • #8
    • June 3, 2020, at 1:45 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. kedavis Member

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I can’t vote for either of them. But don’t worry, according to Trump supporters leaving the top of my ballot blank is just like voting for Biden. And according to Biden supporters leaving it blank is just like voting for Trump.

    I’m with you. Not voting for anyone means that you are voting for someone.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Obviously, not voting for A fails to cancel out a vote for B. And vice reversa.

    So unless you find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Biden, to also agree not to vote at all – and assuming they’re not just a lying Democrat stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Biden anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Biden.

    Seems like pretty simple algebra to me. But then I was in the advanced classes.

    • #9
    • June 3, 2020, at 2:41 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. kedavis Member

    Joe D. (View Comment):
    I believe we needed a little more Pro-Americanism when it comes to trade – which I gather in this podcast, is simply non-American. I know that’s a big difference between my views and the anti-Trump views on the Right. I had no idea it was such a dividing line.

    It didn’t seem to be, until Trump.

    • #10
    • June 3, 2020, at 2:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    I’m intrigued by his ideas about defeat being victory. I’d like to hear more of his thoughts re ignorance being strength.

    • #11
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. kedavis Member

    Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito (View Comment):

    I’m intrigued by his ideas about defeat being victory. I’d like to hear more of his thoughts re ignorance being strength.

    And slavery is freedom?

    • #12
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    TerryS (View Comment):

    Nobody likes to hear that they suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    But its symptoms are easily described, and, in all cases, they describe an irrational thought process.

    So here is my natural history of Trump Derangement Syndrome:

    -All unpleasant things must be blamed on Trump.

    -Any media report that reflects poorly on Trump will be believed without question.

    -Whenever Trump can be given credit for doing well, it must be explained that this was unintentional, or actually a result of Trump trying to do something wicked (for example, both Jonah & Pitney claimed that Trump was not an authoritarian only because he was too stupid and lazy to be an authoritarian).

     

    Sorry but now Trump is going after Mattis. Mr. Imaginary Bone Spurs is going after General Mattis. Anyone still defending this miserable human being is the one with Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    • #13
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:18 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I can’t vote for either of them. But don’t worry, according to Trump supporters leaving the top of my ballot blank is just like voting for Biden. And according to Biden supporters leaving it blank is just like voting for Trump.

    I’m with you. Not voting for anyone means that you are voting for someone.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Obviously, not voting for A fails to cancel out a vote for B. And vice reversa.

    So unless you find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Biden, to also agree not to vote at all – and assuming they’re not just a lying Democrat stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Biden anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Biden.

    Seems like pretty simple algebra to me. But then I was in the advanced classes.

    Nonsense. A vote for neither is a vote for neither. Neither deserves anyone’s vote.

    • #14
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I can’t vote for either of them. But don’t worry, according to Trump supporters leaving the top of my ballot blank is just like voting for Biden. And according to Biden supporters leaving it blank is just like voting for Trump.

    I’m with you. Not voting for anyone means that you are voting for someone.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Obviously, not voting for A fails to cancel out a vote for B. And vice reversa.

    So unless you find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Biden, to also agree not to vote at all – and assuming they’re not just a lying Democrat stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Biden anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Biden.

    Seems like pretty simple algebra to me. But then I was in the advanced classes.

    So unless I find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Trump, to also agree not to vote at all -and assuming they’re not just a lying stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Trump anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Trump.

    Not voting is not voting. Give me someone decent to vote for, and I’ll vote.

    • #15
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:28 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. kedavis Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I can’t vote for either of them. But don’t worry, according to Trump supporters leaving the top of my ballot blank is just like voting for Biden. And according to Biden supporters leaving it blank is just like voting for Trump.

    I’m with you. Not voting for anyone means that you are voting for someone.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Obviously, not voting for A fails to cancel out a vote for B. And vice reversa.

    So unless you find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Biden, to also agree not to vote at all – and assuming they’re not just a lying Democrat stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Biden anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Biden.

    Seems like pretty simple algebra to me. But then I was in the advanced classes.

    So unless I find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Trump, to also agree not to vote at all -and assuming they’re not just a lying stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Trump anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Trump.

    Not voting is not voting. Give me someone decent to vote for, and I’ll vote.

    The problem with your… “analysis”… is that if NONE of the candidates is “decent,” then a NON-“decent” WINNER is GOING TO WIN. Not voting doesn’t get you any different candidate(s), or leave the office vacant until there’s a slate of candidates that you approve of…

    • #16
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I can’t vote for either of them. But don’t worry, according to Trump supporters leaving the top of my ballot blank is just like voting for Biden. And according to Biden supporters leaving it blank is just like voting for Trump.

    I’m with you. Not voting for anyone means that you are voting for someone.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Obviously, not voting for A fails to cancel out a vote for B. And vice reversa.

    So unless you find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Biden, to also agree not to vote at all – and assuming they’re not just a lying Democrat stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Biden anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Biden.

    Seems like pretty simple algebra to me. But then I was in the advanced classes.

    So unless I find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Trump, to also agree not to vote at all -and assuming they’re not just a lying stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Trump anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Trump.

    Not voting is not voting. Give me someone decent to vote for, and I’ll vote.

    The problem with your… “analysis”… is that if NONE of the candidates is “decent,” then a NON-“decent” WINNER is GOING TO WIN. Not voting doesn’t get you any different candidate(s), or leave the office vacant until there’s a slate of candidates that you approve of…

    Hey don’t blame me, I voted for Rubio. But you are right, a NON-decent candidate is going to win whether I vote for Trump, Biden or neither. My “analysis” works for me. My vote.

    • #17
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:52 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. kedavis Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I can’t vote for either of them. But don’t worry, according to Trump supporters leaving the top of my ballot blank is just like voting for Biden. And according to Biden supporters leaving it blank is just like voting for Trump.

    I’m with you. Not voting for anyone means that you are voting for someone.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Obviously, not voting for A fails to cancel out a vote for B. And vice reversa.

    So unless you find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Biden, to also agree not to vote at all – and assuming they’re not just a lying Democrat stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Biden anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Biden.

    Seems like pretty simple algebra to me. But then I was in the advanced classes.

    So unless I find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Trump, to also agree not to vote at all -and assuming they’re not just a lying stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Trump anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Trump.

    Not voting is not voting. Give me someone decent to vote for, and I’ll vote.

    The problem with your… “analysis”… is that if NONE of the candidates is “decent,” then a NON-“decent” WINNER is GOING TO WIN. Not voting doesn’t get you any different candidate(s), or leave the office vacant until there’s a slate of candidates that you approve of…

    Hey don’t blame me, I voted for Rubio. But you are right, a NON-decent candidate is going to win whether I vote for Trump, Biden or neither. My “analysis” works for me. My vote.

    Yes, we all know that your selfish analysis works for you. (And really, why wouldn’t it?) It’s just a shame that if Biden wins, we ALL have to suffer. Not only those who voted for him, or those who couldn’t bring themselves to vote against him.

    • #18
    • June 3, 2020, at 10:32 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. Architectus Coolidge

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    TerryS (View Comment):

    Nobody likes to hear that they suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    But its symptoms are easily described, and, in all cases, they describe an irrational thought process.

    So here is my natural history of Trump Derangement Syndrome:

    -All unpleasant things must be blamed on Trump.

    -Any media report that reflects poorly on Trump will be believed without question.

    -Whenever Trump can be given credit for doing well, it must be explained that this was unintentional, or actually a result of Trump trying to do something wicked (for example, both Jonah & Pitney claimed that Trump was not an authoritarian only because he was too stupid and lazy to be an authoritarian).

    Sorry but now Trump is going after Mattis. Mr. Imaginary Bone Spurs is going after General Mattis. Anyone still defending this miserable human being is the one with Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    And also, I am going after Mattis. Let’s recall that it is quite possible for someone to be an outstanding individual and war hero, and actually NOT be perfect at other things. In this case, his recent comments were off base (my opinion), and wrong in important ways. It is certainly appropriate to disagree with Mattis, and strongly if warranted. Mattis is a big boy, and can handle the heat since he decided to enter the political kitchen. We don’t need to protect him like a snowflake of the left. He is more than capable of defending his opinions if he chooses to.

    Remember Senator McCain. Great man, great soldier. But never would I have considered forcing myself to agree with him on every issue due to his wartime service. And whenever his heroism was raised in an argument to defend a political position, it was a clear sign that his political position could not be defended on its own merits.

    • #19
    • June 4, 2020, at 6:50 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  20. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Architectus (View Comment):
    And also, I am going after Mattis. Let’s recall that it is quite possible for someone to be an outstanding individual and war hero, and actually NOT be perfect at other things. In this case, his recent comments were off base (my opinion), and wrong in important ways.

    I disagree. Strange that you don’t have this problem with Trump who is not outstanding in any way except that he is a contemptible man. It needed to be said and I’m glad General Mattis said it. 

    • #20
    • June 4, 2020, at 9:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. thelonious Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I can’t vote for either of them. But don’t worry, according to Trump supporters leaving the top of my ballot blank is just like voting for Biden. And according to Biden supporters leaving it blank is just like voting for Trump.

    I’m with you. Not voting for anyone means that you are voting for someone.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Obviously, not voting for A fails to cancel out a vote for B. And vice reversa.

    So unless you find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Biden, to also agree not to vote at all – and assuming they’re not just a lying Democrat stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Biden anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Biden.

    Seems like pretty simple algebra to me. But then I was in the advanced classes.

    So unless I find someone who “otherwise would have” voted for Trump, to also agree not to vote at all -and assuming they’re not just a lying stooge (but I repeat myself) and vote for Trump anyway – then you have in effect given a vote to Trump.

    Not voting is not voting. Give me someone decent to vote for, and I’ll vote.

    The problem with your… “analysis”… is that if NONE of the candidates is “decent,” then a NON-“decent” WINNER is GOING TO WIN. Not voting doesn’t get you any different candidate(s), or leave the office vacant until there’s a slate of candidates that you approve of…

    Hey don’t blame me, I voted for Rubio. But you are right, a NON-decent candidate is going to win whether I vote for Trump, Biden or neither. My “analysis” works for me. My vote.

    Yes, we all know that your selfish analysis works for you. (And really, why wouldn’t it?) It’s just a shame that if Biden wins, we ALL have to suffer. Not only those who voted for him, or those who couldn’t bring themselves to vote against him.

    Yeah Democracy sucks.

    • #21
    • June 5, 2020, at 1:08 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    thelonious (View Comment):
    Yes, we all know that your selfish analysis works for you. (And really, why wouldn’t it?) It’s just a shame that if Biden wins, we ALL have to suffer. Not only those who voted for him, or those who couldn’t bring themselves to vote against him.

    The idiots who voted for Trump are the ones who made us all suffer. The selfish ones are the people who “held their nose” to vote for McCain and the ones who couldn’t be bothered to vote at all, or voted for Obama “to teach the GOP a lesson”. The idiots who couldn’t be bothered to vote for Romney. Then they come out to vote for a miserable human being like Trump and I am selfish because I refuse to vote for him? 

    If Biden wins it isn’t my fault. It is the fault of idiots who voted for Trump and then continued to support him through every stupid thing he says and does. 

    It’s not too late you know. If Trump could just start acting like a reasonable human being for the rest of his presidency, I could still change my mind. But he won’t because he can’t. Or he could resign and let Pence take over. Now then I would praise him. But he loves himself far more than he loves his country.

     

    • #22
    • June 5, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. kedavis Member

    Right, because if Trump hadn’t won, we sure wouldn’t be having the second term of President Hillary! Absolutely not!

    Geeze.

     

    • #23
    • June 5, 2020, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Memberkedavis

    Right, because if Trump hadn’t won, we sure wouldn’t be having the second term of President Hillary! Absolutely not!

    Geeze.

    Hillary would have lost to any of the Republican candidates. We didn’t need Trump. We don’t need Trump.

    • #24
    • June 5, 2020, at 6:53 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. kedavis Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Memberkedavis

    Right, because if Trump hadn’t won, we sure wouldn’t be having the second term of President Hillary! Absolutely not!

    Geeze.

    Hillary would have lost to any of the Republican candidates. We didn’t need Trump. We don’t need Trump.

    Ah, that explains a lot. It could be where you first went off the rails.

    • #25
    • June 5, 2020, at 7:04 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. Architectus Coolidge

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Architectus (View Comment):
    And also, I am going after Mattis. Let’s recall that it is quite possible for someone to be an outstanding individual and war hero, and actually NOT be perfect at other things. In this case, his recent comments were off base (my opinion), and wrong in important ways.

    I disagree. Strange that you don’t have this problem with Trump who is not outstanding in any way except that he is a contemptible man. It needed to be said and I’m glad General Mattis said it.

    Really, I’ve had plenty of criticism of Trump, but that means nothing when it was the comments of Mattis that were at issue. I can’t imagine what it would be like to agree with someone’s actual comments, only because they disagree with someone I dislike. That’s irrational. 

    That said, though he is not without his faults, Trump has been outstanding at selecting judges, deregulation, economic growth, ending the Iran deal, getting out of silly green agreements, and more. 

    • #26
    • June 5, 2020, at 8:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like