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.