Douthat feels that labeling Levin's antics entertainment is the only defense:

Both politically and intellectually, American conservatism would be better off if Levin’s fans responded to Manzi’s post, not by objecting that he didn’t take “Liberty and Tyranny” seriously enough (he did take Levin’s arguments seriously, and that’s precisely why his criticisms were so scathing), but by saying “relax, it’s only entertainment.”

 Ah, yes, Limbaugh is just a comedian. Beck is just a showman. Palin is just a hockey mom. Screw that. It's the lamest excuse imaginable. Either these people are making political arguments or they are not. If they are they have to be able to counter opposing arguments and deal with debate. Period. Friedersdorf counters:

I am sure we’d all be better off if Mr. Douthat prevailed, and they were considered mere entertainers. But imagining that this is even a possibility ignores overwhelming evidence that their very existence as popular entertainers hinges on an ability to persuade listeners that they are “”worth taking seriously as political and intellectual actors.”

Manzi caps off the debate. Not on the Corner.

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