Politics & Policy

The Sound of Silence

They never call, they never write. So far we’ve heard nothing official from the editors of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. They haven’t contacted us, nor have they posted another videotape from one of their editorial conferences, nor have they written anything in their pages or on the web about our debate challenge.

It’s funny: You almost get the sense they don’t want to debate immigration with us. This is odd, and a little disappointing. Odd because just the other day our friends at the Journal seemed absolutely certain that they could take all comers on the issue, that opponents of the bill had no real arguments for their position.

Disappointing because the Journal editorial page hosts an excellent and thoughtful crew of writers and reporters, who produce a robust and fearless page every day. In short, these are the type of people who ordinarily you’d expect to welcome a challenge and a good old-fashioned intellectual rumble. But maybe not on this issue.

Again, what we’re proposing is a Firing Line-style debate, two or three of us versus two or three of them in a public forum in Washington where both sides get to engage on the substance in an extended fashion. This would be a more substantive exchange than you can get on radio or TV. And heaven knows, there’s enough invective and sound bites to go around on both sides of this issue. This would be a way to elevate the discussion.

Judging by the response to our challenge in the blogosphere and talk radio, there is a real appetite for this kind of substantive, public debate. We’re ready to go. But from the Journal? Only silence.

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