miguel cervantes wrote:

No, I would say using the mass murder of hundreds of your countrymen
to stigmatize your political opponents, as Dick Morris, counseled Clinton
to do, was a failure of moral leadership, and hell it works, because Mark Penn has recommended the same strategy.

Exposing and indicting demagogues for pandering to and whipping up paranoia and hatred is always a good thing to do, even if done under the tutelage of morally dubious opportunists.

The part where Van Jones talked up 2nd Amendment remedies and endlessly shrilled about agents of foreign powers and alien ideologies being hell-bent on destroying Real America and instituting a death panel tyranny... yeah that was some pretty strong stuff...

fuster wrote:

pu-lease. nothing in our political system calls for great moral leadership. Clinton ran a competent administration. So did the first Bush.

"Great moral leadership" is your phrase. I'm not sure how often that comes along at all in history. It's called for in rare moments - the greater, the rarer.

As for moral leadership, great or merely adequate, it's not our "political system" that calls for it, but our national culture - you might even say our humanity. We not only ask of it from our presidents, we require it. That's something our political system implies and makes room for, even though it's a not purely political function, but that's because politics is never merely politics. As for the kind of moral leadership that Bush 41 and Clinton exercised, that's a complex discussion, but I think each in his own way embodied a certain kind of appealing humility about the limits of political power, and that's also a form of moral leadership that you seem to respond to positively.

@ fuster:
The OJ jurors said that the prosecution didn't prove his guilt. As someone who watched the trial from beginning to end, I can say that in my opinion they were right according to the rules of the system. The prosecuting team was incredibly incompetent, and the defense was rather brilliant. Some of the jurors made it clear that they believed OJ probably was guilty, but they couldn't find him guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt based on what the prosecution gave them to work with. They were vilified for not taking more time to reach their decision, but that was mostly from people who were thoroughly convinced of OJ's guilt, as I was at the time, but who didn't quite comprehend what had transpired.

@ miguel cervantes:
William Jacobson also doesn't get it. "Innocent of the crime" is not much of a platform for national leadership. 310,000,000 other Americans are also pretty much innocent of the crime, except in the deepest sense - which, however, is where a moral leader begins.

Cant believe you're bringing the Simpson case into this.

Even if Palin didn't have some slip showing in a rather chilling way - up to the point that Giffords herself offered a premonitory warning after she was "targeted" - she should have handled this differently if she aspires to be a national leader - not just a leader of the Tea Party Americans, whoever they are, but of the whole country. That's what Frum's very reasonable analysis was about. Her conduct suggests that she either doesn't really want to be one or has no concept of what it requires, so doesn't deserve to be treated as one. I heard a conservative analyst ably defending her today - but who felt compelled to bookend his defense front and back with how irrelevant she has become to questions of national leadership or even leadership of the Republican Party or conservative movement. That's what those Intrade numbers also show.

That's okay. That's fine. There are something like 310,000,000 upstanding Americans just like her in that respect. Doesn't have anything to do with what you believe about the role of Beckist insanity on our political life or what motivated Loughner.