Thursday, October 11, 2007

Miss Malkin Declines

In an attempt to get the discussion about SCHIP back to the discussion about SCHIP and not about the assets of a family in Baltimore and the stalking thereof, Ezra Klein proposed a debate between himself and Michelle Malkin.

“It’s militant leftist bloggers,” writes Malkin, “who wouldn’t know a good-faith argument if it bit them in the lip.” Let’s have a good faith argument. I will debate Michelle Malkin anytime, anywhere, in any forum (save HotAir TV, which she controls), on the particulars of S-CHIP. We can set the debate at a think tank, on BloggingHeads, over IM. Hell, we can set up the podiums in the shrubbery outside my house, since that seems to be the sort of venue she naturally seeks out. And then if Malkin wants an argument, she can have one. We’ll talk S-CHIP and nothing but — nothing of the Frosts, or Congress, or her blog.

My sense has been that Malkin doesn’t want an argument. Rather, she wants to feed her readers the steady stream of outrage that keeps her traffic numbers up. But I realized tonight that I could be wrong, and I shouldn’t assume Malkin doesn’t want a real argument unless I actually ask her.

So c’mon Michelle: Let’s debate health care. Prove to the world that you really want “a good-faith argument.” We can talk crowd-out, and cross-subsidization, and whether lower-middle class entrepreneurs are able to procure health care on the individual market. If this is a policy argument you care so deeply about as to travel to the Frost family’s house to see if they really deserved S-CHIP benefits, surely you’ll want to set up a web cam and talk through the issue.

Ms. Malkin declined the invitation because in previous posts, Mr. Klein had said mean things about the right-wing blogosphere, of which Ms. Malkin in a charter member.

Not a big surprise, and I don’t think Ezra is surprised that not only did she turn him down, she used the opportunity to launch another full-scale attack on him and anyone he’s met, talked to, or sat next to in an airport departure lounge. And frankly, I think that while Ezra may have made the debate offer in good faith, he knew what the response would be. But it was nice of him to at least make the offer and to prove once again that the right wing is not interested in discussion or discourse; they just want to make a lot of noise and obscure the fact that they can’t make their case.