Alan Dershowitz defends Sarah Palin's use of "blood libel" in a metaphorical rather than literal context. Yup, the "Blame Sarah" crowd has gotten that silly (although Jonah Goldberg thinks they have a bit of a point).
Jim Geraghty has an excellent recap of the use of "blood libel" a metaphor. Frank Rich and Andrew Sullivan go gay; here is Rich:
Frank Rich, New York Times columnist, October 15, 2006: “The moment Mr. Foley’s e-mails became known, we saw that brand of fearmongering and bigotry at full tilt: Bush administration allies exploited the former Congressman’s predatory history to spread the grotesque canard that homosexuality is a direct path to pedophilia. It’s the kind of blood libel that in another era was spread about Jews.”
WaPo columnist Eugene Robinson goes ethnic:
Ann Coulter’s column, October 30, 2008:
His expert pontificator on race was The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, who said the Pittsburgh hoax was “the blood libel against black men concerning the defilement of the flower of Caucasian womanhood. It’s been with us for hundreds of years and, apparently, is still with us.”
And he has many others (including a defender of Al Gore against "blood libel"), but Mr. Geraghty's list does not include this use by Ken Blackwell in The American Spectator:
The Blood Libel of the New York Times
...So, let’s see an example of what the Times calls civility. A leading Thoughtful Writer for the Times is Peter Steinfels. Steinfels writes on religious topics. Here’s a sample of his work in the form of a recent book review:
A Provocative Work About the Christian Right
By PETER STEINFELS The New York Times April 25, 2009
If you wanted a book title to speed the pulse of liberal academics, journalists and politicians, you couldn't do much better than "The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right." For many people that's a title akin to "The Winning Ways of Serial Killers."
I call attention, however, to that vile line: “…a title akin to ‘The Winning Ways of Serial Killers.’” If ever Rush Limbaugh’s term “Drive-by Media” applied, it applies here, in this libelous -- even blood libelous -- terminology.
Works for me.
THE MORNING AFTER: Some reviews are good; I am irked, and I bet I will find others similarly situated. I have a Post In Progress; my gist will be that President On The Other Hand seems to rebuke the lefties who laid the blame on the right, then adopts their message by calling on all of us to be more civil.