that feeling you get when you're about to bite into something really
spicy, like a super hot pepper? That feeling of salivating eagerness
mixed with dread? That's how pundits feel about Sarah Palin's potential
presidential bid. And so they periodically declare certain events to be "tests"
in which Palin might perform in an unexpectedly presidential, manner, full of gravitas. Pretty much every time they decide she has failed, and go for the jugular.
The latest "test" has come in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Palin's notorious crosshairs map has brought her a lot of criticism for, at minimum, glamorizing violent political speech. Thus, her response to the Giffords shooting was closely watched. Would Palin handle the tricky situation with grace?
On Monday, black sheep conservative David Frum laid out what Palin needed to do to pass this test. On Tuesday, Palin posted with a video on Facebook in which she accuses the media of "blood libel" for suggesting she had anything to do with Jared Lee Loughner. The thing with the phrase "blood libel" is that, given its fraught history, it's not a term you want to toss around in any old political fight. It's like when, say, strippers declare their battle against a lap-dancing ban is like the struggles of Rosa Parks. It's just kind of, well, tacky.