From time to time, the question of comments on the Dish comes up. I've never had them and when I've raised the issue, the emails have run strongly against adding them. On a personal level, I like finding the sharpest comments, editing and posting them myself; and my in-tray is among the most informed on the web. I should add that I'd keep doing this with or without comments and I sure hope you wouldn't stop emailing me directly.

Still: many readers want comments, and now I have the Atlantic infrastructure to manage them, it's a good time to revisit the question. Most other blogs have them; they give readers a place to write and vent and discuss. No one has to read them. The experience of reading the Dish would not be affected if you don't like comments by a little extra spinach at the end of posts. I'd keep doing what I've always done - which is read your emails and post the best - but readers would also be able to comment spontaneously, without my filter. Some have criticized this blog for not having them, as if I'm scared or something. My only worry is personal, anti-gay or anti-HIV diatribes. But they're out there anyway, I suppose, and tend to indict the emailer rather than yours truly. So what the hell?

So it occurred to me to leave it to you. It's a simple poll question; I'll post it every day this week, and close off voting at noon on Friday. You can vote any number of times, so those who care strongly about this - pro and con - can have their passions reflected. This blog has become as much about you as me over the years, and on a question like this, it seems appropriate to engage in a little direct democracy. Maybe I'll regret it - but it's your call. Let me know, if you care enough either way.