Can't Debate, Busy Pummeling Strawmen

Friedersdorf enjoyed Matthew Continetti's article on the tea parties and Glenn Beck. He adds:

Mr. Continetti focuses on the political cost associated with this kind of rhetoric. I submit that it also exacts a cost in the world of ideas. Insofar as the conservative rank-and-file confronts an imagined cabal of leftists intent on destroying America from within, it'll remain utterly unequipped to argue with, persuade, or even intelligently oppose the actual liberals and progressives who compose the other half of the political spectrum. It's heartening to see more conservatives calling out Glenn Beck. In pushing back against this poisonous pathology, however, there is much more work to be done.