The Washington Nationalists

We’re down a homme this week (details about that in the show), but we’re still full to the brim on compelling and clever conversation with our guest National Review editor Rich Lowry, who stops by to talk about his new book, The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free. Is America an idea or a nation? Or both? It’s a wide ranging and detailed conversation (as planned, which is why we only have one guest this week) and raises a lot of interesting points about the pluses and minuses of the movement at the forefront of the political debate not only in America, but in many other countries as well. Also, hats off to @drbastiat for winning this week’s much coveted Lileks Post of The Week award for his The Paradoxical Popularity of Progressive Professionals post. Finally, because we have to, we check in on impeachment and wind up the show revealing our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Mmmmm, sweet potato with marshmallows.

We’re off next week. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our listeners, especially the ones who are members, and we’ll see you in December!

Music from this week’s show: My Country ‘Tis Of Thee by Aretha Franklin

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  1. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    No show next week? You guys probably could have taped a show with a pair of book authors or something…

    Oh well. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • #1
    • November 22, 2019, at 6:25 PM PST
    • Like
  2. Henry Castaigne Member

    I think that Rich Lowry’s criticism of Trump’s Baltimore tweets are unfair.

    “The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people. … Elijah Cummings has failed badly!”

    As ugly as his tweets are, as unseemly as Mr. Trump is, he has a point doesn’t he?

    • #2
    • November 22, 2019, at 6:35 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Great show, gents. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • #3
    • November 22, 2019, at 6:56 PM PST
    • Like
  4. Arahant Member

    Since we don’t have a Long Poll, perhaps we could use this: What dishes do you have to have for Thanksgiving?

    • #4
    • November 22, 2019, at 6:59 PM PST
    • 1 like
  5. Henry Castaigne Member

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Arahant MemberArahant

    Since we don’t have a Long Poll, perhaps we could use this: What dishes do you have to have for Thanksgiving?

    There is a coffeecake from my Mom’s side of the family that is great. 

    • #5
    • November 22, 2019, at 7:03 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    @jameslileks says there’s never the same group of people twice at his Thanksgiving gatherings. James? Is this trauma? Do you mow down the game players? Holy cow. What have we stumbled on to?

    • #6
    • November 22, 2019, at 9:49 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. James Lileks Contributor

    EJHill (View Comment):

    @jameslileks says there’s never the same group of people twice at his Thanksgiving gatherings. James? Is this trauma? Do you mow down the game players? Holy cow. What have we stumbled on to?

    My sister-in-law always brings the wild-cards. Euro friends, people from church with no other place to go, and so on. 

    • #7
    • November 22, 2019, at 10:00 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. kedavis Member

    Best single moment of the podcast: A guy named Peter referring to James’ favorite organ.

    • #8
    • November 22, 2019, at 10:41 PM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Arnold Falk Member

    If one thinks about it for only a few minutes, the following is obvious: The only way to assure accountability for those elected to public office is in an atmosphere of local, state and national politics. This is at the core and essence of nationalism, along with language, norms, etc. Globalism is and always has been a pathway to distancing the accountability of those who manage to rise into supranational political authority from the common citizen.

    • #9
    • November 23, 2019, at 2:47 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. RufusRJones Member

    Great opening by James. What they should have done except their rabid base is too stupid to understand this, is they just should have run it through foreign affairs with the aim of censuring him. They could have very dependably raised all kinds of hell that could have been used in the election. This is not a legitimate impeachment, this is oversight. 

    • #10
    • November 23, 2019, at 7:09 AM PST
    • 1 like
  11. kedavis Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Great opening by James. What they should have done except their rabid base is too stupid to understand this, is they just should have run it through foreign affairs with the aim of censuring him.They could have very dependably raised all kinds of hell that could have been used in the election. This is not a legitimate impeachment, this is oversight.

    Oversight of what? Foreign policy? If the Constitution says that foreign policy is the purview of the executive branch, then what oversight is there supposed to be? On the other hand, as the top law-enforcement… arm… what justification is there to claim that the executive branch has no business checking on what the Bidens are up to, overseas? The answer seems to be “none” in both cases.

    • #11
    • November 23, 2019, at 12:29 PM PST
    • Like
  12. RufusRJones Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Great opening by James. What they should have done except their rabid base is too stupid to understand this, is they just should have run it through foreign affairs with the aim of censuring him.They could have very dependably raised all kinds of hell that could have been used in the election. This is not a legitimate impeachment, this is oversight.

    Oversight of what? Foreign policy? If the Constitution says that foreign policy is the purview of the executive branch, then what oversight is there supposed to be? On the other hand, as the top law-enforcement… arm… what justification is there to claim that the executive branch has no business checking on what the Bidens are up to, overseas? The answer seems to be “none” in both cases.

    They have every right to bitch about what he is doing.

    His wording wasn’t careful enough for lack of a better way to say it. Having said that, they are impeaching him for something that clearly isn’t as bad as Obama’s hot mic conversation. The whole thing is very wrong.

    The real crime is that Cimeralla is a leaker. The whole thing is affectively fruit of the poisonous tree and it should be treated as such.

    • #12
    • November 23, 2019, at 12:38 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. civiltwilight Lincoln

    James – I love the beginning of the podcast. Especially the very beginning where the particular combination of music and the quote make it seem like WFB is performing a rap.

    • #13
    • November 23, 2019, at 1:30 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. WilliamDean Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Great opening by James. What they should have done except their rabid base is too stupid to understand this, is they just should have run it through foreign affairs with the aim of censuring him.They could have very dependably raised all kinds of hell that could have been used in the election. This is not a legitimate impeachment, this is oversight.

    Oversight of what? Foreign policy? If the Constitution says that foreign policy is the purview of the executive branch, then what oversight is there supposed to be? On the other hand, as the top law-enforcement… arm… what justification is there to claim that the executive branch has no business checking on what the Bidens are up to, overseas? The answer seems to be “none” in both cases.

    The Constitution does not say foreign policy is the purview of the executive. Congress declares war. Congress must approve any treaties that the president prepares. Congress, as always, has ultimate authority to investigate and restrain the president’s actions through it’s normal powers.

    Because the executive acts as the point man for contacting and interacting with foreign powers, and because flexibility is required for the executive to respond to the actions and communications of foreign powers, he generally has more freedom to act and empowerment to influence foreign policy than domestic. But that doesn’t mean he alone owns the policy, or is even supposed to be in charge of it. 

    • #14
    • November 23, 2019, at 3:09 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. RufusRJones Member

    LOL

     

     

     

    • #15
    • November 23, 2019, at 4:22 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. LibertyDefender Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I think that Rich Lowry’s criticism of Trump’s Baltimore tweets are unfair.

    “The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people. … Elijah Cummings has failed badly!”

    As ugly as his tweets are, as unseemly as Mr. Trump is, he has a point doesn’t he?

    Rich Lowry’s staff at National Review is still majority NeverTrump. Rich Lowry can’t go around being realistic, much less supportive of the everyman that is expressed via Trump’s twitter, lest he alienate his writers.

    It’s a shame. I used to enjoy reading National Review. Now I wish I’d stopped the day Mark Steyn disappeared from their back page.

    • #16
    • November 23, 2019, at 4:53 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Annefy Member

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I think that Rich Lowry’s criticism of Trump’s Baltimore tweets are unfair.

    “The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people. … Elijah Cummings has failed badly!”

    As ugly as his tweets are, as unseemly as Mr. Trump is, he has a point doesn’t he?

    Rich Lowry’s staff at National Review is still majority NeverTrump. Rich Lowry can’t go around being realistic, much less supportive of the everyman that is expressed via Trump’s twitter, lest he alienate his writers.

    It’s a shame. I used to enjoy reading National Review. Now I wish I’d stopped the day Mark Steyn disappeared from their back page.

    Thank Heavens for Steynonline.com. Steyn is like Trump – their days appear to have 48 hours.

    • #17
    • November 23, 2019, at 5:24 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. kedavis Member

    WilliamDean (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Oversight of what? Foreign policy? If the Constitution says that foreign policy is the purview of the executive branch, then what oversight is there supposed to be? On the other hand, as the top law-enforcement… arm… what justification is there to claim that the executive branch has no business checking on what the Bidens are up to, overseas? The answer seems to be “none” in both cases.

    The Constitution does not say foreign policy is the purview of the executive. Congress declares war. Congress must approve any treaties that the president prepares. Congress, as always, has ultimate authority to investigate and restrain the president’s actions through it’s normal powers.

    Because the executive acts as the point man for contacting and interacting with foreign powers, and because flexibility is required for the executive to respond to the actions and communications of foreign powers, he generally has more freedom to act and empowerment to influence foreign policy than domestic. But that doesn’t mean he alone owns the policy, or is even supposed to be in charge of it.

    That sounds more like “advise and consent” (which Obama got around by calling things “agreements” rather than “treaties”), not “oversight.” Congress may get to put final approval or disapproval on what the president does, but they don’t get to write their own treaties, conduct foreign policy directly on their own, etc.

    • #18
    • November 23, 2019, at 5:24 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Samuel Block Support

    Not even two minutes in and I gotta say something. Can we have more foreign words or phrases on the podcast. I like “boulevardier.”

    I kinda rely on the Ricochet podcast to boost my sophistication. So, anyway, finely annunciated, fancy words – preferably with some context, so I can find it – are much appreciated.

    • #19
    • November 23, 2019, at 6:17 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. James Lileks Contributor

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Rich Lowry’s staff at National Review is still majority NeverTrump. Rich Lowry can’t go around being realistic, much less supportive of the everyman that is expressed via Trump’s twitter, lest he alienate his writers.

     

    Speaking as one of the writers, Rich’s opinion on Trump is irrelevant one way or the other. NR isn’t like Salem radio, where the parameters of acceptable dissent have, shall we say, narrowed a tad.

    Annefy (View Comment):
    Thank Heavens for Steynonline.com. Steyn is like Trump – their days appear to have 48 hours.

    Steyn isn’t going to give you the depth and breadth of what you find on NR’s home page.

    • #20
    • November 23, 2019, at 10:17 PM PST
    • Like
  21. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Maybe nobody noticed, but Nancy Pelosi did create (and mostly pass) a “top ten” of bills that will die in the Senate. 

    Here’s a list of bills the House has passed so far.

    Health care
    HR 259 — Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019
    House Resolution 271 — Condemning the Trump Administration’s Legal Campaign to Take Away Americans’ Health Care
    HR 986 — Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019
    HR 987 — Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act
    HR 1520, the Purple Book Continuity Act (bill aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs)
    HR 1503, the Orange Book Transparency Act of 2019 (bill aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs)

    Civil rights
    HR 1 — For the People Act of 2019
    HR 5 — Equality Act
    HR 7 — Paycheck Fairness Act
    HR 124 — Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals
    Gun control
    HR 8 — Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019
    HR 1112 — Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019

    Environment
    HR 9 — Climate Action Now Act
    HR 1331 — Local Water Protection Act
    S 47 — National Resources Management Act
    HR 2578 — National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2019

    Military/foreign affairs
    HR 840 — Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act
    HJ Res. 37 — Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress
    SJ Res. 7 — To direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress
    HR 31 — Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019
    HJ Res. 30 — Disapproving the President’s proposal to take an action relating to the application of certain sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation
    Mueller report
    H.Con.Res. 24 — Expressing the sense of Congress that the report of Special Counsel Mueller should be made available to the public and to Congress.
    Other legislation
    HR 1585 — Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019
    HR 1500 — Consumers First Act
    HR 1994 — SECURE Act
    HR 1644 — Save the Internet Act of 2019
    HR 2157 — Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019
    HR 269 — Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019
    HR 251 — Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Extension Act
    S 24 — Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019
    HR 430 — TANF Extension Act of 2019
    Concurring in the Senate Amendments to HR 251 — Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard Program Extension Act
    HR 790 — Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act of 2019
    HJ Res. 46 — Relating to a national emergency declared by the President on February 15, 2019
    H Res. 183 — Condemning anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and condemning anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States, as amended
    HR 2480 — Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
    HR 375 — To amend the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian Tribes (also known as the “Carcieri Fix”)

    • #21
    • November 24, 2019, at 3:43 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Gary Robbins Reagan

    We are coming up on Episode #500. Might I suggest that it be broadcast before a live audience? Might I secondly suggest that it occur at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library?

    • #22
    • November 24, 2019, at 9:00 PM PST
    • 1 like
  23. kedavis Member

    Or, wait and do an extra-special edition in January 2021 from the Klobuchar-Buttigieg inauguration.

    • #23
    • November 24, 2019, at 9:38 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Blue Yeti Admin

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    We are coming up on Episode #500. Might I suggest that it be broadcast before a live audience? Might I secondly suggest that it occur at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library?

    All options are on the table. 

    • #24
    • November 24, 2019, at 10:02 PM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Annefy Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Rich Lowry’s staff at National Review is still majority NeverTrump. Rich Lowry can’t go around being realistic, much less supportive of the everyman that is expressed via Trump’s twitter, lest he alienate his writers.

     

    Speaking as one of the writers, Rich’s opinion on Trump is irrelevant one way or the other. NR isn’t like Salem radio, where the parameters of acceptable dissent have, shall we say, narrowed a tad.

    Annefy (View Comment):
    Thank Heavens for Steynonline.com. Steyn is like Trump – their days appear to have 48 hours.

    Steyn isn’t going to give you the depth and breadth of what you find on NR’s home page.

    That may or may not be true. But you’ll get Mark Steyn on SteynOnline, which you won’t get at NR. My life would have been poorer had Steyn simply disappeared post NR.

    • #25
    • November 24, 2019, at 10:36 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. Wolfsheim Member

    As a linguist, in both the scholarly and practical (“polyglot”) senses, I wish to point out that language differences in and of themselves are typically not the cause of ethnic tensions within a nation-state but rather an excuse for aggravating preexisting antagonisms, with mythologizing ideologies thrown into the mix, making for a vicious circle. People cannot adapt to another language as easily as to another food, and so linguistic differences become a convenient tool for perpetuating “us” vs. “them.” But it need not be that way. In northern Germany, where Plattdeutsch is still spoken in rural areas, there is none of the “we” vs. “them” mentality that was stirred up by cynical opportunists in Québec. The poisonous notion of “La Raza” in parts of the United States cannot be blamed on the use of Spanish; likewise, finding a magical way to make all non-Hispanics fluent in the language would not result in everyone singing Kumbaya, mi Señor…I live in Japan, whose largest ethnic minority is of Korean origin. The first language of the great majority is Japanese, and many only know a few words of Korean. And yet at least until recently there has been strong resistance to full assimilation. One can only hope that Japan will be spared narcissistic identity politics—or some illiterate Al-Gore-like figure translating e pluribus unum into Japanese to suggest ‘out of one, many’. What Americans need is less “one common language” (commendable as that may be) than a common sense of good will.

    • #26
    • November 25, 2019, at 5:06 AM PST
    • Like
  27. Bishop Wash Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    We are coming up on Episode #500. Might I suggest that it be broadcast before a live audience? Might I secondly suggest that it occur at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library?

    All options are on the table.

    All options huh. I suggest the National Museum of Nuclear Science for the selfish reason that I wouldn’t have to travel. 

    • #27
    • November 25, 2019, at 5:20 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Wolfsheim Member

    I understand nationalism with my head but not, I confess, with my heart. There are American liberals who, though monolingual, unclear as to just what the language of Austria is, and uncertain as to where they have put their expired passports, insist that their compatriots should all be much more “international”—and would no more display the American flag on their front lawn than they would give up their subscriptions to the New Yorker. And that makes me much more sympathetic to the kind of nationalism espoused by Rich Lowry. Again, I think of the pretentious utopianism of well-heeled Germans who look down on their cleaning ladies as ignorant fascists for not being wildly enthusiastic about all the hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern “refugees” whom Angela Merkel has so generously welcomed. (An old friend let the cat out of the bag when, in furious reaction to the Brexit vote, referred to “die dummen Engländer”: so much for European solidarity and equality.) But again, while admiring the practical, realistic side of nationalism, I see in myself a distinct lack of emotional fervor…I inwardly groan when I hear Europeans make scornful remarks about “primitive Americans,” but I also wince when American conservatives dismiss Europe as dead, dying, or at least decadent. I live in neither America nor Europe, but if I had to choose between the two as my abode, I would, for quite non-ideological reasons, choose the latter.

     

    • #28
    • November 25, 2019, at 5:41 AM PST
    • Like
  29. RufusRJones Member

    I follow a really smart economist on Twitter, Harald Malmgren, and he says Europe is toast. Germany is too dependent on exports and Asia is going to take a lot of that over and the rest of it just sucks. Something like that. Britain needs to get the hell away from those guys.

    • #29
    • November 25, 2019, at 5:49 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Taras Coolidge

    Wolfsheim (View Comment):

    I understand nationalism with my head but not, I confess, with my heart. There are American liberals who, though monolingual, unclear as to just what the language of Austria is, and uncertain as to where they have put their expired passports, insist that their compatriots should all be much more “international”—and would no more display the American flag on their front lawn than they would give up their subscriptions to the New Yorker. And that makes me much more sympathetic to the kind of nationalism espoused by Rich Lowry. Again, I think of the pretentious utopianism of well-heeled Germans who look down on their cleaning ladies as ignorant fascists for not being wildly enthusiastic about all the hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern “refugees” whom Angela Merkel has so generously welcomed. (An old friend let the cat out of the bag when, in furious reaction to the Brexit vote, referred to “die dummen Engländer”: so much for European solidarity and equality.) But again, while admiring the practical, realistic side of nationalism, I see in myself a distinct lack of emotional fervor…I inwardly groan when I hear Europeans make scornful remarks about “primitive Americans,” but I also wince when American conservatives dismiss Europe as dead, dying, or at least decadent. I live in neither America nor Europe, but if I had to choose between the two as my abode, I would, for quite non-ideological reasons, choose the latter.

     

    It is well known that living in a decadent society can be very pleasant, for a generation or two.

    Until the barbarians arrive and there’s nobody left to oppose them.

    • #30
    • November 25, 2019, at 8:02 AM PST
    • Like