Liberalism is not particularly popular in America these days, which is why many liberals prefer to be called progressives.
But some causes associated with liberalism remain popular and a favored tactic of the left is to accuse conservatives of opposition to such causes.
Chief among these is racial tolerance. Accusations of racism are flung about with abandon on the left, most recently against the Tea Party, a group almost exclusively preoccupied with the size and cost of government.
So exquisitely sensitive have we become on this question that there will soon be a new edition of Huckleberry Finn, a profoundly anti-racist story. An edition in which all instances of the offensive n-word, despite its relevance and historical accuracy, are excised.
Americans of course are also strongly opposed to violence and highly sympathetic to its victims. That may help explain the immediate effort to link the murderous rampage of Jared Loughner to prominent figures on the American right. There was not a particle of evidence to link Loughner to anything or anyone on the right, but the reflex apparently proved irresistible to some liberals.
Sarah Palin, a principal subject of this blame game, responded as you heard today calling such accusations a ‘blood libel’, arguably a regrettable reference since that term has a specific historic meaning relating to a false claim leveled at Jews and Israel.
Some Jewish groups professing great offense.
Here we go again.