Whenever liberals point out that the entire conservative case against climate change legislation consists of the ravings of cranks, liars, and know-nothings someone eventually trots out Jim Manzi. Indeed, National Review tapped Manzi to write its big feature-length denunciation of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Manzi, you see, isn’t a crank, a liar, or a know-nothing—he’s cooked up some wonky reason for agreeing with the cranks, liars, and know-nothings on the question of climate legislation.
Then Jim Manzi read Mark Levin’s book, focused his attention on its climate section, and discovered that Levin is a crank, liar, and/or know-nothing. The result? Manzi is savagely and hypocritically attacked by the staff of National Review. Because, after all, the crankery and the know-nothingness is the essence of conservative politics. The wonks are useful just insofar as they can be used to support the crank agenda—when they take the cranks on, they get trashed, even by publications that were happy to cite them as experts on the very issue at hand just a few months ago.