« Ashley's Story | Main | Spring Training For Universal Health Care »

October 10, 2007

Let's Debate

"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.

October 10, 2007 | Permalink


Don't hold yer breath on this one. 'Cause one thing we all do know about The Mighty Malkin is that she's a coward.

I find it 'interesting' that no Democratic 'leader' has spoken out on this issue.

Posted by: A.Citizen | Oct 10, 2007 1:10:34 AM

I agree with "A. Citizen" there is zero chance that she will even respond to your challenge much less agree to it.

Michelle Malkin's entire career in based on one simple but effective technique: Piss off as many people as possible.

She pisses off the sabre-toothed sheep on the right, whipping them into mindless stampedes of little black hoofs and braying and pisses off the "dhimmocrats" and "moonbats" on the left to condemn her. That's really as deep as she gets.

Posted by: Cuzco | Oct 10, 2007 1:44:56 AM

Just be sure it's one-on-one, with no moderator. Lincoln and Douglas didn't need one, and neither do you.

Thanks for making this good-faith effort, Ezra. It's great that you're issuing this challenge to Malkin to engage in a real debate and I hope you get one.

Posted by: David W. | Oct 10, 2007 1:52:35 AM

I agree with the comments above, but I say, keep it up. Issue challenges, document them, and eventually someone somewhere (oh please let it happen) will bring to light the fact that MM and others are flat-out cowards.

Call them cowards at every chance, and don't just call them cowards, challenge them.

And challenge the media (in all forms) to address this sicko cowardly, and flat-out deranged behavior.

I hope that Ezra's next appearance on Hardball will place him next to Mr. Krugman on the "shrill" stage. Nothing will change until enough people shame the media elites into recognizing how awful people like MM are.

Call them out Ezra, no time like the present, and nothing diminishes social/political/popular goodwill so much as "waiting for the right moment."

Posted by: abject funk | Oct 10, 2007 1:56:44 AM

The truth is much simpler: Malkin is a bot, programmed to spew lies and insults. You might just as well offer to debate your toaster.

Posted by: Johnny Pez | Oct 10, 2007 2:07:11 AM

Jonny Pez: "You might just as well offer to debate your toaster."

: )

Posted by: Cuzco | Oct 10, 2007 2:12:49 AM

More likely she'll scrape up every piece of your personal information she can and try to unleash the hounds on you. Please be careful.

Posted by: lux | Oct 10, 2007 2:14:41 AM

I get the feeling that Ezra is somewhat stoked. Good. I want to see the poor wingnut who gets in his way on this.

It almost makes me sad that Tweety's producers like having him in a less confrontational roundtable.

But of course Brave Sir Michelle will bravely bravely run away from this one, no doubt accusing Ezra of being a 'bad faith leftist' for wanting to discuss tangential issues such as healthcare, when the real issue is the right to intimidate anyone who speaks up for a position they dislike.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Oct 10, 2007 2:18:59 AM

No one in their right(wing) mind should argue health care with Ezra. She may have all sorts of visceral reasons to decline, but rationally she'd be toast as soon as the first specific was offered.

She should, intellectually (we skim the light fantastic here, I know), be able to argue immigration or (softball coming) internment. Let the wagering begin.

Posted by: Mudge | Oct 10, 2007 3:01:21 AM

Did you know that Ezra Klein, supposedly a big advocate of single-payer health care for the poor, himself relies on a gold-plated private-sector health plan which he gets through his job -- working for a liberal media outlet? The disgusting hypocrisy. These champagne-swilling limousine liberals are willing to advocate Communist-style government health care for everyone else, as long as they know they themselves can still rely on the world-best health care provided by America's private sector. /malkin

Or some such gibberish. I don't even know if any of the above is true, but it's the kind of crap I expect Malkin will begin spewing next.

Posted by: brooksfoe | Oct 10, 2007 3:56:48 AM

Repubs believe in economic Calvinism. If you don't heave health care it's because you were predestined not to have it by God.

Posted by: jr | Oct 10, 2007 4:29:58 AM

I hope the debate happens, partly because I think it would help help defuse some of the heat that's developed around this, but also because Malkin is so, so wrong on this and ought to have to defend her (weak) position. But I think the call and response on this will be interesting, because Malkin is likely to "innocently" ask to do it on Fox News, or someplace similar - and an argument over forum will make a nice distraction from actually having the debate.

Posted by: weboy | Oct 10, 2007 5:04:49 AM

Make sure you control all the logistics, especially podium height and risers, since Malkin is taller than you.

Posted by: flying monkey | Oct 10, 2007 6:22:28 AM

Malkin makes me ashamed to be an American, ashamed to be a woman, ashamed to be human.

Posted by: msquick | Oct 10, 2007 6:32:58 AM


new story on the attack of the Frost family at the Baltimore Sun

Posted by: blackfrancis | Oct 10, 2007 7:05:27 AM

Wasn't it not 18 months ago that Malkin was posting on about how vile the left was and how she feared for her children's safety because some blogger posted her address.

Do you think she even tries to rationalize her actions anymore?

Posted by: Manzanar | Oct 10, 2007 7:23:50 AM

That Baltimore Sun story is encouraging. I hope this gets picked up in more places so people see what the modern Right is truly about.

The pattern is consistent. Whether the target happens to be Iraq veterans, 9/11 widows, or some 12-year old kid, they engage in relentless personal attacks and then, when the public reacts with horror, whine that the Democrats keep fronting people with "absolute moral authority." It's like they don't understand there's another way to debate political issues other than with vicious personal attacks.

With S-CHIP, the facts are so egregiously on the Democratic side (you even have Chuck Grassley calling the White House a bunch of liars, albeit not in so many words) that maybe I'm not surprised this is all they've got. But all they're going to end up doing is illustrating that middle-class entrepreneurs, a natural Republican constituency, have a good reason to like Democratic policies. Thanks for the extra votes, guys.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 10, 2007 7:47:46 AM

It would be a very short debate, I'm afraid. Ms. Malkin would stalk off in another of her snits after realizing she was lacking even the faintest hologram of an interpretive sketch of a partial leg to stand on.

It would be a cake walk for Ezra, I'm afraid. Too easy, but yeah, fun to watch while it lasted.

Posted by: litbrit | Oct 10, 2007 8:19:11 AM

One of the products that has been ignored by the liberals is High Deductible Health Insurance coupled with HSA accounts. Instead, the focus has been on low deductibles that are very, very expensive. The difference in premiums can be as much as 40% with essentially the same coverage.

Yet Ezra doesn't wish to discuss this growing option. If the goal is to lower health insurance costs and make it affordable for all, it seems reasonable. However, if the goal is to push us all into a beehive of socialized medicine / insurance, the lack of discusion makes perfect sense. It might actually require consumers to take some responsibility.

Posted by: El Viajero | Oct 10, 2007 9:06:36 AM

"El Viajero", Ezra has discussed HSAs in a multitude of places including:

And those links were just from the first page of "HSA" search results. After that, I got bored.

Posted by: Ravi | Oct 10, 2007 9:25:53 AM

One of the products that has been ignored by the liberals is High Deductible Health Insurance coupled with HSA accounts.

Guess what? I have one of those plans with Blue Cross of Florida. And it still costs me nearly $500 a month to cover my family of three, none of whom have pre-exisitng conditions and are in perfect health.

So before you go spouting off about the 'affordability' of such an option, dig a little deeper. Granted, the $500 a month I pay (with a $3000 annual deductible) is less than the $900 a month I would pay for an identical PPO plan, but it still isn't chump change. And if I had to cover my full deductible for a year, the grand savings of my HDHP plan would be $1000 vs. the PPO, which is about 10%.

Posted by: John S. | Oct 10, 2007 9:30:01 AM

I think you spend the bulk of your time working to keep Stalkin'-Malkin on topic. You'd need a resonant voice, a blank-stare-blink-blink affect, and a fairly rapid rhetorical style, but it would perfectly offset her likely increasing frustration and non-knowledge of the subject. It would result in your controlling the debate and would show Malkin to her "best" advantage.

Posted by: mk | Oct 10, 2007 10:12:23 AM

And those links were just from the first page of "HSA" search results. After that, I got bored.

Posted by: Ravi

I know I've mentioned this before, and I guess it could sortakindamaybe be seen as a personal attack rather than a substantive reply, but am I the only person who thinks El Viajero is Fred Jones?

Posted by: Cyrus | Oct 10, 2007 10:26:15 AM

I remember seeing Ann Coulter in a debate in which she was one of three people representing the right-wing side (the others were the head of the ACLJ and Rush Limbaugh's brother). She was completely over her head and unable to contribute anything other than insults. Her team would have been far better off if she were entirely absent. I imagine Malkin's debating abilities are similar.

Posted by: KCinDC | Oct 10, 2007 10:27:21 AM

Wasn't it not 18 months ago that Malkin was posting on about how vile the left was and how she feared for her children's safety because some blogger posted her address.

Remember, that was done in retaliation for her having published the home addresses of a group of antiwar UC Santa Cruz students . . .

It's only vile when it's done to her--it's okay for her to do it to other people. After all, she's a Republican . . .

Posted by: rea | Oct 10, 2007 10:32:42 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.