The Corner

In the Levin-Manzi Crossfire

So, over at the New York Times, Ross Douthat had something nice to say about my tax-cuts article:

When I suggested recently that “conservative domestic policy would be in better shape if conservative magazines and conservative columnists were more willing to call out Republican politicians (and, to a lesser extent, conservative entertainers)” for advancing bad ideas and bogus arguments, I didn’t expect to summon up anything quite as controversy-generating Jim Manzi’s evisceration of Mark Levin’s views on global warming. For an example of what I did have in mind, though, read Kevin Williamson’s fine piece on supply-side economics from the last National Review, in which he goes after the panglossian misinterpretation of supply-side theory that’s become dogma among too many Republican politicians and activists — namely, that tax cuts generate so much economic growth (and with it, increased government revenue) that they more than pay for themselves.

I suspect it was the presence of the words “Jim Manzi,” rather than the presence of the words “Kevin Williamson,” that inspired Mark Levin to take notice of Douthat’s post, and to comment:

A small group of hacks repeatedly quoting each other and linking to each other? This is pseudo-intellectual incest. And Douthat relies on it to spread his self-indulgent ramblings. Oh, do we miss William Safire. Instead, we get this crap.

When I first read Manzi’s much-remarked-upon remarks re: Mark, I thought them unduly harsh. I am revising that opinion, just a little.


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