“That’s why Al Gore says things: ‘The time for argument is over, the time for discussion is over,’” Goldberg said. “Well, this is a democracy and democracy, the time for discussion is supposed to never be over. If you take out the idea, if you champion the idea that unity is good in of itself, that the collective is a good in of itself regardless of what it is doing, then you are buying into a fundamentally fascist political aesthetic.”
Lets look at a few issues where the time for discussion really is "never over". These issues include the great Metaphysical debates: free will vs. determinism, tastes great vs. less filling, are the Beatles better than the Stones (and can either hold a cande to Led Zep?), and so on. Discussion continues because such questions can never be answered.
On the other hand, some questions can be and have been effectively answered. Nobody, outside of the Pope , maybe, argues these days that the Sun orbits the Earth. Nobody argues that the Earth is flat. And that is because the assertion that the Earth is a globe that orbits the Sun has been determined to be true, has been determined to be a fact. Once this determination has been made, it is both futile and anti-democratic to continue arguing. Anti-democratic because it is in the nature of democratic debate that, once we have determined via discussion what the facts are, the discussion then moves on to what we should/should not do about these facts.
Because even in a Democracy it is sometimes necessary to make fact-based choices.
The debate over Intelligent Design, and the debate over AGW, joined the latter variety of discussion a long, long time ago. And if Mr. Goldberg does not see this, or worse if he considers all discussion to be of the first kind, this frankly suggests that he has abandoned the notion of fact and truth, which is an alarming notion, especially from a Conservative.