Don’t mess around with Jim

I’m sorry to go so nuts over ManziGate, but I thought you’d all want to see this.  Robert Stacy McCain is on my RSS reader so I never miss any of the craziness, but he snuck this one by on the American Spectator (so h/t to Tom Hilton):

Don’t Tug On Superman’s Cape

By  on 4.22.10 @ 3:59PM

Yesterday at National Review’s Corner blog, Jim Manzi launched an out-of-the-blue assault on Mark Levin over how the global-warming issue was treated in Levin’s bestseller, Liberty and Tyranny. Borrowing a famous historic phrase from J.E.B. Stuart, I remarked, “James Manzi Will Regret This But Once, and That Will Be Continuously






93 replies
  1. 1
    wheaton Pat says:

    Levin is sadly the braintrust of Limbaugh and Hannity and also the “No Retreat” commandant. To say it another way –he is the head of the snake.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    This must be the pseudo-intellectual incarnation of Peak Wingnut. At least I hope that’s what it is.

  3. 3
    tony says:

    I love it when stupid people throw around terms like AGW. It’s their attempt to convince people that their anti-scientific screeds are based in actual science.

  4. 4
    r€nato says:

    Shun the unbeliever! SHUUUUUNNNNN!

  5. 5
    Dave C says:

    How R.S. McCain has any audience whatsoever is something I will never understand. The man has the intellectual capacity and the writing ability of a rank piece of roadkill.

  6. 6
    Stefan says:

    I can’t decide whether to laugh or be appalled. Manzi’s whole point was that “you know what, we don’t have epistemic closure on the right, we have open debate here, and just to prove it I’m going to debate an issue with a fellow wingnut.”

    And what happens? Hordes of wingnuts descend on him screaming “heretic! Heretic! Burn him! Burn him!”

    I mean, are they really so fucking blind and stupid that they can’t see that they’re making our point for us?!?!

    Also. Too.

  7. 7
    freelancer says:

    @r€nato:

    Shun the unbeliever! SHUUUUUNNNNN!

    The art in all of this is just how fucking meta the entire thing is.

  8. 8
    r€nato says:

    @freelancer: I am aware of all internet traditions.

  9. 9
    jwb says:

    @Stefan: “I mean, are they really so fucking blind and stupid that they can’t see that they’re making our point for us?”

    I think they’d call that a feature, not a bug.

  10. 10
    kid bitzer says:

    but extra points to neo-confederate white supremacist stacy McCain for quoting another white supremacist.

    it’s confederate history month all over the republican party!

  11. 11
    r€nato says:

    James Manzi Will Regret This But Once, and That Will Be Continuously

    yeah right, what does this mean? He’s going to organize an epic beatdown in WoW?

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    I’m really getting a kick out of this whole ManziGate nonsense. Sully seems to think it could be the beginning of the breakdown of the wingnutosphere. I think they’re just getting going with their circling of the wagons. Where will those who are cast out go? There’s no place for them. It’s lonely off the wingnut gravy train.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @r€nato: No, more like Robert Stacy McCain is threatening to fart in Manzi’s general direction. And he just ate a big bowl of chili so watch out.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    James Manzi Will Regret This But Once, and That Will Be Continuously

    It rubs the lotion on it’s skin, or else it gets the hose again.

  15. 15
    Jeff Fecke says:

    @kid bitzer:

    No doubt. As McCain fails to mention, the Stuart quote was with regard to his father-in-law’s decision to remain loyal to the United States of America, while Stuart preferred to commit (ultimately fatal) treason by fighting for the Confederates.

    Indeed, the McCain quote is apt. Just not for the reasons he thinks.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    MikeJ says:

    What’s really amazing is that people keep saying peak wingnut. You *know* in a month they’re going to do and say stuff even crazier than this. In six months the “polite” republicans will be at the stage today’s crazies are. By election day, 2012, David Brooks will be wearing a bone through his nose making racist jokes in public about Obama and he’ll *still* look like the sanest person the Republicans can muster.

  18. 18
    The Truffle says:

    @kid bitzer: At what point will Manzi be crying in his beer along with Chris Buckley and David Frum?

  19. 19
    DougJ says:

    @Violet:

    I honestly believe this is an important moment.

  20. 20

    I honestly don’t even know how to respond to the fact that Robert Stacy McCain thinks Levin’s piece is an adequate rebuttal. We seriously must be living in completely different universes.

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    Holy shit. How did I miss this? The Dems called Republicans “liars”, using the word lies explicitly on the floor today.

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com.....77190.aspx

  22. 22
    dmsilev says:

    @DougJ: You’re more optimistic than I am, then. I think this will end with Manzi being declared guilty of thoughtcrime, and subsequently becoming an unperson as far as the professional conservative movement is concerned. The rest of them will spend roughly 0.1 picoseconds in introspection, and then proceed as before.

    dms

  23. 23
    burnspbesq says:

    I feel sorry for anyone who shorted popcorn futures. This is going to be epic, and it’s far from over.

  24. 24
    matoko_chan says:

    I don’t think Dr. Manzi is dependent on the wingnut wurlitzer.
    He has his own company and looks almost exactly like Vin Diesel as Riddick in Pitch Black.
    He could do film.
    :)
    He is a very decent guy that has been trying to behave honorably….by his standards….. by representing the losing side in an intellectual debate that has been going on since Pythagoras and Kylon.
    I just think he just had enough.
    He has devoted himself to a true intellectual conservative position on climate change, arguing that we need to make small changes because we can’t afford the large ones.
    He has exhaustively researched and analysed the cost-viability/risk-threat matrix and presented empirical data.
    He has a tonne of work on this.
    I think the chapter of raw dishonest denialism in Levin’s book just blew up his belief matrix.
    I can only hope he joins Cole and me on the Darkside.
    :)

  25. 25
    Tom says:

    @dmsilev: I tend to agree with you. My suspicion is that this will end with Manzi joining Frum on the “Dead To Us” list, nothing more.

  26. 26
    priscianus jr says:

    @MikeJ:
    Peak Wingnut is a theoretical, one might almost say a mathematical concept. It potentially exists, it has definite logical parameters, but no one knows just when, where, how or by whom it will be manifested. Science will probably not be able to pinpoint the precise place/time coordinates of Peak Wingnut until after it has been achieved, when wingnut has once again embarked upon a downward trajectory. Until then, we may regard Peak Wingnut as an ideal that is being continually approximated in ever sharpening definition. One can only hope that, when discovered, it will have been recorded in some stable and archivable medium.

  27. 27
    demo woman says:

    Hey Cole, This is OT but…

    The Steelers are not actively trying to trade suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and intend to keep him and help him get his life and career back on track in Pittsburgh, the Post-Gazette has learned.

    When the Raiders say no, who else is there? IMO Tom Brady is looking like a saint.

  28. 28
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    R.S. McCain is an asshole and the only reason anyone pays attention to him is his riding his brother’s coattails to infamy.

    I just heard Lawrence O’Donnell quoting Fig Newton Gingrich saying that the teaparty will probably become the militant wing of the Repub partaaaay!

    Wow, I almost agree with Newtie! I think they already are their militant wing.

    @Tom:

    Maybe they ought to get together for a Conservative Dead Head tour?

  29. 29
    calipygian says:

    @Violet: Me thinks Frum is trying to start his alternative wingnut welfare.

  30. 30
    Pat says:

    Not to mention that by citing the various national academies, Manzi was trying point was that Levin’s appeal to authority–which was most of the chapter–was bogus. Attacking Manzi’s selection of authorities doesn’t really hurt his argument, and in fact, makes you look like an idiot.

    By the way, I finally went to that visualizing ten dimensions thing, and that is some crazy-ass Deepak Chopra-ish bullshit, and has nothing to do with either physics or ten spatial dimensions in the least.

  31. 31
    calipygian says:

    By the way…they are doubling down over at the Frum Forum:

    Palin’s comments on START reveal a disturbing truth; that when she doesn’t have an expert to tell her what to think, all she can do is recite the factoids that were drilled into her during the campaign. Switch to the GOP Southern Leadership Council where Palin is seething. Without Randy Scheunemann to advise on foreign affairs, she has to wing it. She reaches in and pulls out a card from the past:

    “With all the vast nuclear experience he acquired as a community organizer, a part time Senator and a full time candidate, all that experience and still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran.”

    She retaliates like an Israeli commando, striking back twice as hard as she is hit, and yet there is a new element that is decidedly odd. Why is she speaking in campaign slogans from two years ago? Obama has been commander in chief for over a year, a period in which he has met or spoken with the Russian President sixteen times to personally negotiate details of the treaty.

    Can it be that her real beef is not about policy, but the suggestion that she knows less than he?

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal): If the Democratic party had a self-proclaimed “militant wing” that was similarly embraced by the establishment, the punditry would be calling for the abolition of the Democratic party.

  33. 33
    matoko_chan says:

    also….it may be a test…for the rightside….I think he might switch if they can’t handle him telling the truth.
    I think…he may testing conservative epidemistic closure to see how real and inflexible it may be…perhaps he hoped K-Lo and Andy would get the luck….who can say?

    Dr. Manzi does believe in evolution.
    He knows the right has to evolve or go extinct.

  34. 34
    r€nato says:

    If you want to know when we reach Peak Wingnut, just go watch Leaving Las Vegas again.

    Many drunks – or gambling addicts – bent on self-destruction won’t reach the end until they have nothing left to lose.

    In 2012, the economy should have recovered sufficiently that the GOP won’t have that as an issue. By then, we should be drawing down in Afghanistan so the GOP can’t pose as born-again doves.

    It’s still a couple years away, but I don’t see any potential GOP presidential nominees who have any appeal outside the wingnut/teabagger base. And if the GOP does somehow manage to put up a sane-sounding moderate, the wingbaggers will throw a fit and possibly try to put up their own candidate.

    The GOP may only come to its senses when it has been thoroughly, utterly defeated a second time by our Kenyan-born president and the Democrats, who while not at all perfect at least have the virtue of being sane and in touch with reality.

  35. 35
    gnomedad says:

    Rick “Nixonland” Perlstein on Facebook:

    I’m going on Rachel Maddow tonight. I’ll be talking about how Republican Party chairman Michael Steele now admits the Republican Party has been mean over the years to black people.

    The next traitor?

  36. 36
    Francis says:

    To reiterate what I said a few threads back, the funniest thing about all of this is that Manzi is on their side! He believes that the appropriate response to the threat is to do nothing … to wait until the global society is richer when it can then afford to respond to the levels of CO2 (and other warming gases) in the atmosphere.

    All Levin had to do was cite Manzi and say even if the scientists are right, the economics of the problem are minuscule. But he couldn’t even do that.

    (btw, a lot of people think that Manzi is way off on his economic analysis. But that’s another post.)

  37. 37
    giltay says:

    Oh noes! He attacked out of the blue! How dare that nasty man criticize us without asking our permission! Exclamation points!

  38. 38
    jwb says:

    @Tom: I agree, this whole thing has played out in depressingly predictable fashion. It’s just another data point certifying the closing of the conservative mind. But really, we didn’t need any more confirmation of that fact.

  39. 39
    celticdragonchick says:

    I can’t bring myself to give a page hit to that vile racist. I hadn’t heard of RS McCain until Charles Johnson at LGF called him out as a bigot and denounced his writing. I looked for myself and that was enough.

  40. 40
    r€nato says:

    @giltay: LOUD NOISES!

  41. 41
    jwb says:

    @calipygian: Yes, and soon, Obama will have more actual executive experience than she has had, and then what will happen to her talking points?

  42. 42
    geg6 says:

    I’m out popcorn, dammit. I haz a sad.

    They are eating their own: first Sullivan, then Buckley, then Frum, and now Manzi. Who’s next? Who cares! This is some fun shit. The only thing that will be more fun is when the Dems move on from financial reform to what they have signalled is next on the list: immigration reform! Yay! Hope Giant Eagle has popcorn on sale. I need to stock up!

  43. 43
    Chyron HR says:

    @jwb:

    She will continue to repeat them with impunity. Questions you know the answers to you don’t need to ask.

  44. 44
    qwerty42 says:

    (Via Sullivan) Julian Sanchez adds a comment. It is interesting. He includes a link to Noah Millman which is also interesting. here is a portion of Millman’s post:

    Young conservatives in the late 1980s and early 1990s saw their movement go from strength to strength – and learned that conservatism was always right and that people who didn’t see that were fools. These same folks in the Bush years tutored their successors in appalling intellectual tactics: bullying and sophistry and identity politics. By contrast, the generation of liberals who came of age in the Bush years had to weather that bullying, had to cut through that sophistry – and were vindicated by events. I am continually impressed by the intelligence and sophistication of liberals ten years younger than I am. They are the leaders of tomorrow’s left even more than today’s, and the right is just not in the same league. It was, once, in 1960s and 1970s, when left-wing ideas were dominant and left-wingers intellectually complacent – even as their intellectual roof was falling in.

    I don’t agree with the idea that the conservatives went “from strength to strength”, but by the time Clinton became President, the Republicans had become a different party. By the time GWB became President, the cake was baked.

  45. 45
    dmsilev says:

    @geg6: I just bought a couple of pounds of the stuff; I’ll save you some. Once immigration reform gets going, I predict national shortages.

    dms

  46. 46
    Violet says:

    @DougJ:

    I honestly believe this is an important moment.

    Could be. It’ll only be clear in retrospect. No doubt it’s a key break, but in the larger scheme of things does that really matter? What do a bunch of elite thinkers matter when it’s the Beck-Limbaugh-Hannity axis that rules the wingnutosphere?

    That’s really the right’s larger problem. They’ve hitched their horses to the carnival barkers. The loudest and most outrageous wins. There’s no space for honest thought and discussion. And their followers seem to love that kind of thing. Where are the followers of thoughtful, honest conservatives? They’re not waving tea party signs, that’s for sure.

  47. 47
    Pat says:

    Where are the followers of thoughtful, honest conservatives?

    They’ve become “libertarians.” Which means the real libertarians are now progressives, I guess.

  48. 48
    Mark S. says:

    @jwb:

    Yes, and soon, Obama will have more actual executive experience than she has had, and then what will happen to her talking points?

    Don’t forget, she was mayor of Wasilla for awhile. That’s like being president.

  49. 49
    El Cid says:

    Robert E. Lee was really from Krypton? And still lost?

  50. 50
    freelancer says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Are you okay?

    Your last two posts are bordering on incoherent, and there are some signs of symptomatic aphasia in your writing.

    If you want to sit down, that’s okay. Can I get you a glass of water?

  51. 51

    Ot but caught this little snippet on BBC

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_.....638176.stm

    canst thou imagine a College Principal (ie the head of a University) making $180,000 per year in the US?

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    OT – Are you keeping up with the UK elections? I can’t stop following Clegg news.

  53. 53
    matoko_chan says:

    @Francis:

    btw, a lot of people think that Manzi is way off on his economic analysis.

    But his economics arguments are supported by some sorts of empirical data.
    I have argued with him a lot….once he was a kindof mentor to me.
    The thing I can’t swallow is vouchers,
    When Manzi rejects vouchers then I think he will leave the conservatives.

    There are decent intelligent people there…..they are trying to repair a halfcentury of racebaiting and IQbaiting….like Cole says.
    How do you tell people that they are being scammed because they are not smart enough to see it?

    “When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and a true maxim, that a “drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men.
    If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great high road to his reason, and which, when once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing his judgment of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause really be a just one.
    On the contrary, assume to dictate to his judgment, or to command his action, or to mark him as one to be shunned and despised, and he will retreat within himself, close all the avenues to his head and his heart; and tho’ your cause be naked truth itself, transformed to the heaviest lance, harder than steel, and sharper than steel can be made, and tho’ you throw it with more than Herculean force and precision, you shall no more be able to pierce him, than to penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw.
    Such is man, and so must he be understood by those who would lead him, even to his own best interest,” – Abraham Lincoln, address to the Washington Temperance Society in 1842.

    That is what Manzi and Obama are both trying to do.

  54. 54
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @beltane:

    You know it. I am glad that Newt is speaking openly about them becoming the “militant wing” of the G(NO)P. When they proudly proclaim it I am just as happy to throw it right back in their faces. For some reason (Obama) the nutjobs aren’t even trying to cover up their hateful sides, they want to fly their freak flag proudly. I think part of it is because they believe that they will attract supporters (Obama haters) to their cause. They think the ‘time to strike’ is now and they are engaging full metal wingnut mode.

    You reap what you sow and they sow hate and division. It looks like they have a bumper crop this year but I think they are having problems finding people to buy their ‘crop’. Too much manure on the field will do that.

  55. 55
    The Populist says:

    Best Seller, that is funny stuff.

    If Levin’s book is actually selling to NORMAL people and not the con intellectual crowd and their think tanks (to give away for nothing) then I’d be shocked.

    NOBODY reads crap like this. NOBODY outside of self important blow hards who are all offended when they get called on their own bullshit.

    HA! is what I say. What is even better than that? The fact that NOBODY cares about Mark Levin outside of a few mouth breathers.

  56. 56
    geg6 says:

    @dmsilev:

    You are a doll. I think we should have been stockpiling since last January. I let all the hysterics of the townhalls fool me and failed to see that they had a tiger by the tail. Thus I let the popcorn supply dwindle. That won’t happen again. After all, 2012 is just a little over two and a half years away.

    And just an OT aside, I have finally figured out how to reply to a post via the iPhone. Yay!

  57. 57
    Martian Buddy says:

    @r€nato: If we wind our current wars down by 2012, they can abandon the awkward and unconvincing pseudo-dove routine and go back to demanding an invasion of Iran. Come to think of it, some of them aren’t even waiting.

  58. 58
    Violet says:

    @The Populist:

    If Levin’s book is actually selling to NORMAL people and not the con intellectual crowd and their think tanks (to give away for nothing) then I’d be shocked.

    I know someone who isn’t in the conservative intellectual crowd who read it. He’s always reading books by conservative “stars.” He raved about it. He’s an average guy with a relatively high-paying job.

  59. 59
    The Populist says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    Question now becomes what happens should a GOP candidate become prez? Will they be shocked at all the shit getting shoveled back their way?

    You truly reap what you sew. I don’t believe I am gonna wax nostalgic here, but I do miss the concept that a guy like Reagan could sell his bullshit, get called on it by Tip O’Neill YET the two were friends and met halfway on many things.

    I miss those days. What the fuck happened to tolerance and live and let live. The liberals sure as hell didn’t kill that concept as much as the right wants to say it.

    I trace the end of cooperation to the Newtie led congress that made Clinton’s life a living hell, their think tanks that smeared him and his wife AND the impeachment trial.

    I also trace it back to the concept that far-right losers (of which Reagan courted) pushed this culture war/the only thing you find in the middle of the road is dead blah blah blah.

    The right invented this and it’s funny that they just don’t understand how their minions aren’t towing the line anymore.

  60. 60
    The Populist says:

    @Violet:

    Okay, I count 1 regular person. I know two raving cons and they haven’t read it (nor do they listen to him). They are the type to read the WSJ or books by rightie economists. Basically the intellectual types (or that is how they sell themselves).

  61. 61
    jenniebee says:

    @r€nato: corpse camping panels?

  62. 62
    Walker says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    That is roughly what they make at second/third tier SLACs (small liberal arts colleges)

  63. 63
    jl says:

    @wheaton Pat:

    “Levin is sadly the braintrust of Limbaugh and Hannity”

    I have heard a few audio clips of Levin ranting on his show. I cannot believe he could be the braintrust of even those two.

    Is that really true?

  64. 64
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @The Populist:

    I think Nixon/Atwater chose the theater, Reagan set the stage and Newt hopped up on it and performed to raptured crowds (or at least ones waiting to be raptured). Their elephant has become the symbol of the three ring circus the Republican party has become. Hell, their motto ought to be “There’s a sucker born every day”.

    It was good enough for P.T. Barnum and his circus.

    I heard The Man of Steele told blacks that there’s no reason for them to vote Republican. Then he followed that up with saying that the “Bubba’s” of the south all voted for Clinton.

    I think Steele has three brain cells and two of them are using the third one to play Pong.

    ETA: Oh, and Steele mentioned the “Southern Strategy” as one of the reasons blacks have no reason to vote for them.

    That’s gonna hurt. Next on the chopping block…

  65. 65
    DonkeyKong says:

    The ape community concludes that the society’s sacred law (“ape must never kill ape”) has been broken. As the community repeats “ape has killed ape”-Battle for the Planet of the Apes

  66. 66
    WereBear says:

    @geg6: And just an OT aside, I have finally figured out how to reply to a post via the iPhone. Yay!

    So… I guess you like it? I know you had trouble getting going.

    OnTopic (it has the same initials) I kinda feel for Manzi, who was somehow operating from another universe, one where thought was still valued… he must feel like he “woke up as a cockroach.”

  67. 67
    Cat Lady says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    And yet, Steele and the Repubs are all chained together by the bargain they made with each other’s devils – Steele’s their race card and the RNC provides his welfare. It’s a Greek tragi/comedy. Popcorn!

  68. 68
    jwb says:

    @Chyron HR: Of course she will, which will only add to the ridiculousness. Why sacrifice a good talking point just because it happens to be false and makes you look stupid?

  69. 69
    DougJ says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I agree that Manzi seems like a reasonable guy. I originally lumped in with Bobo but he’s better than that.

  70. 70
    qwerty42 says:

    @matoko_chan: I believe by 2008 there were many in the Republican party who could not imagine themselves to be Democrats, but equally could not abide what their party had become. I think most have left by now (most probably became independents, some would gravitate toward the Libertarians and some to the Democrats). What will follow is anyone’s guess, but I do not believe the Republicans can (or will even see any need to ) examine what has happened to them until they have lost another election. So nothing until 2013. Maybe longer. maybe a generation.

  71. 71
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @Mark S.:

    Don’t forget, she was mayor of Wasilla for awhile. That’s like being president.

    Wassila, Alaska, what the Hell’s the difference? So she was chief executive of Alaska. Alaska has as many people as what…Tacoma, WA? I couldn’t tell you the mayor of Tacoma’s name and I live in Seattle. South of Seattle, actually. Yeah, I hope the wingnuts keep pumping her “executive experience” vs. Obama. Maybe the mayor of Tacoma could quit his (or her) job halfway through and then run for President? Let’s make this a horse race!

  72. 72
    qwerty42 says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    Maybe the mayor of Tacoma could quit his (or her) job halfway through and then run for President? Let’s make this a horse race!

    Now yer talkin’!

  73. 73
    Yutsano says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: I couldn’t tell you either, so I had to do teh Google. Turns out the mayor is a woman of a rather interesting background:

    http://www.cityoftacoma.org/pa.....Strickland

  74. 74
    matoko_chan says:

    @DougJ: it is possible…maybe even probable….given what I know about Dr. Manzi….that this is a field experiment, designed to see how deep empirical denial and epistemic closure have penetrated the conservative intelligentsia.
    In that case he is surely analyzing the data of the NRO response.

    I think this going to be a teaching moment….I’m just not sure who is going to be taught what.
    :)

  75. 75
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal): Who is R.S. McCain’s brother?

  76. 76

    @DougJ: Manzi better than Bobo? — I’d go with that.

    But he’s still not that good, and for all his cleverness, is still trapped in error because of ideological commitments he can’t or won’t shake.

    That said, he is, as many have noted, the best they have on the right just now. He is actually resident in this world and has some connection to the notion of empirical research and evidence. He’s also willing to engage in genuine argument (as I found when I wrote a wholly rude and unpleasant post on him a while back at my place, and he responded with admirable restraint. I don’t think either of us moved the other, but he at least confronted the argument in a reasonable manner, and was, as I said, an exemplar of better manners than I muster).

    What this whole Levin comedy suggests to me is that we all stop trying to engage in the debate and go back down to bedrock: while peak wingnut is a fine concept to contemplate, what really matters is the conservatism, or, if you prefer “conservatives” are simply wrong. They’ve failed. The things they said would happen if we did what they said didn’t, and over several generations, now, we’ve seen that imperfect liberals do a better job of running the country and living in the world than do “conservatives,” by any reasonable measure.

    That’s it: they’re wrong, and we’re right, and we should trumpet that over and over again — always with the supporting evidence needed to make it more than chest beating.

    TL +4

  77. 77
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    “James Manzi Will Regret This But Once, and That Will Be Continuously”

    A reference to a quip from Confederate Major General J.E.B. Stuart with regards to his father-in-law Union Major General Phillip St. George Cooke.

    Of course Jeb Stuart died in agony, shot in the stomach at age 31 in 1864. His father-in-law died in 1895 at age 85 after long and honorable service to his country.

    General Cooke, despite being a notable native of Virginia and Civil War veteran, is unfortunately excluded from consideration during Confederate History Month by reason of not being a traitor to his country.

    By the way, McCain used this exact same line about Charles Johnson about a year ago. His book of pithy quotations must be the abridged version.

  78. 78
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @Yutsano:

    Thanks! I take back the jokey part of my tirade—I wish she would run. (In 2016 of course.)

    Or maybe King County Executive Dow Constantine? There are 17 states with fewer people (and 2 with less area) than King County.

    It just drives me nuts when they cite Sarah Failin’s “experience” as a governor. It’s fucking Alaska, people!

  79. 79
    demimondian says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: One of my kids goes to UPS in Tacoma. he’s actually moderately impressed with their mayor.

    That said, Tacoma is a depressing place to visit.

  80. 80
    jwb says:

    @thomas Levenson: “That’s it: they’re wrong, and we’re right, and we should trumpet that over and over again—always with the supporting evidence needed to make it more than chest beating.”

    This may well be true but it’s irrelevant; unfortunately no one can hear even our trumpets over the mighty wurlitzer.

  81. 81
    celticdragonchick says:

    @qwerty42:

    I believe by 2008 there were many in the Republican party who could not imagine themselves to be Democrats, but equally could not abide what their party had become.

    That about sums me up. I had enough by 2006 when Hurricane Katrina had me in fits of apoplexy as “HeckuvajobBrownie” was being feted in Mississippi. Considering I was bed ridden and recovering from major back surgery, I wasn’t able to actually throw things at the TV.

  82. 82
    danimal says:

    I’m going to summon everything I know about the personalities that populate the right-wing wurlitzer and take a stab at why some prominent conservatives are starting to stray off-point. This is only an educated guess.

    The money must be drying up.

  83. 83
    Mike in NC says:

    Jeb Stuart died in agony, shot in the stomach at age 31 in 1864. His father-in-law died in 1895 at age 85 after long and honorable service to his country.

    Hell, they never mentioned that as part of Confederate Traitor Appreciation Heritage Month!

  84. 84
    Liberty60(Veteran, Great war of Yankee Aggression) says:

    @MikeJ:

    What’s really amazing is that people keep saying peak wingnut. You know in a month they’re going to do and say stuff even crazier than this.

    And right on cue….next Obama initiative-

    IMMIGRATION REFORM! Givin AMNESTY to TEH BROWN HORDES!
    WHO INTENTIONALLY CRASH THEIR LOWERED CHEVY’S INTO YER JEEP WRANGLER WITH TEH ENGINE YOU BUILT BY HAND!

    God, I can’t wait.

  85. 85
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    I should have put ‘brother’ in tongue-in-cheek quotes. Sorry about that. :)

    ETA: The wife interrupted me there and I was referencing his crap during the McCain campaign. He latches his wagon to the nearest star.

  86. 86
    PolluxTheCat says:

    As I see all this go on it explains a lot of the right wing view to me — of course they think blacks must be incompetent – their only experience is Michael Steele, women must be nuts – they have Michele Bachmann – affirmative action promotes the incompetent – look at what we have to endure to meet the PC framework!!!! I thought TNC had a good post about this about the difference between just working for something because you believe in it versus trying to get approval (sorry about the lack of link – I’m kind of incompetent at the linky thing – plus I’m + 3 or 4 or something)

  87. 87
    demimondian says:

    @Liberty60(Veteran, Great war of Yankee Aggression): Theatrically, though, immigration reform doesn’t make as good headlines as financial reform. The Teabaggers will have a much easier sales job.

  88. 88
    stickler says:

    Oh, immigration. That’s going to bring the crazy, bigtime.

    Man, is that 16-level chess thesis starting to look compelling, or what?

    Will be interesting to see what happens in Florida. Will Crist bail? Will we see the first flowerings of Peak Wingnut with Rubio? The mind boggles.

  89. 89

    […] McCain is on my RSS reader so I never miss any of the craziness . . .”That’s liberal “Dougj” at Balloon Juice, reacting to my American Spectator blog post about Mark Levin’s evisceration of Jim […]

  90. 90
    IronyAbounds says:

    Amen brother, Amen. I just hope the economy turns around by 2012 so we don’t have to sweat the dark side winning the Presidency.

  91. 91
    Brutus et tu says:

    It’s official, 99% of Americans that are not Young Earth Creationist and reject AGW, do so because they think Tree Huggers or the NWO made up AGW. YEC of course reject it because they are YEC and they think science is of some guy named Stan.

    AGW Denialist will highlight each and every perceived”flaw” in AGW and ignore any kooks on “their” side that just make up merde as they go.
    It would be nice if most AGW Deniers would give in and admit that AGW =/= the worst case scenarios possible under some models. Even a moderate increase for some more “conservative” models isn’t going to be a grand thing for the next generations.

  92. 92
    Joey Maloney says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen and BJ Commentbeings, I give you the great Thers of Whiskey Fire and a post entitled….

    Episeptic Cloacture

    It ought to be sufficient to observe that “conservatives” spew all sorts of preposterous cod-intellectual horseshit, and leave it at that. “Epistemic closure” is I suppose a way of saying that without saying it so you can have nice polite conversations with the people you’ve just called morons. Which is just wanking. The proper response for the scientist is to drop the specimens in the bell jar and never mind how they caterwaul. The proper response for the blogger is to fill the bell jars with pee.

    Much, much, ever so much more at link.

  93. 93
    matoko_chan says:

    DougJ, I am not sure most understand how furiously Dr. Manzi’s heresy on climate change is going to be rejected.
    Climate change denialism is foundational to the current conservative liturgy….it the lich pin of a core populist belief, that commonsense and magical thinking trump education and intelligence….
    That climatologists and research scientists are FALLIBLE–> [implies] Science is fallible.
    Climate change denialism allows perpetuating the belief in IDT and the ensoulment of diploid oocytes, ToE denialism, the belief that neurologists were wrong about schiavo, that scientists are egomanical atheists out to take over the world, that academe is poisoned against conservative principles.
    Here is the meme….you noble “real” americans are just as smart as those snotty elitist scientists and intellectuals….you are smart in a different way…a better way….the only way that really counts…..you are godsmart!

    In a way, Manzi has challenged the whole firmament of populist conservative doctrine…..
    and still it moves…

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