Jon Chait is defending her:
Okay, it’s a little over the top for Sarah Palin to accuse her critics of “blood libel.” But she does have a basic point. She had nothing to do with Jared Loughner. He was not an extremist who embraced some radical version of her ideas. And her use of targets to identify districts Republicans were, um, targeting is not exceptional or prone to incite anybody.
What’s happening is that Palin has come to represent unhinged grassroots conservatism, and people in the media immediately (and incorrectly) associated Loughner with the far right. Moreover, the Republican establishment understands her potential candidacy as a liability and is looking to snuff it out. So you have this weird moment where Palin is on trial for something she has no connection with at all.
For what it’s worth, I think Chait is basically right (Jennifer Rubin’s best guess about what actually went on inside the Palin camp is mine too), and my only hesitation in saying so is that it required me to publish another blog post about someone I wish we would all talk about a lot less. As such, I’m going to get my one other Palin related thought out of the way, and then ignore her for as long as possible.
If you’re someone who thinks that Governor Palin inspires extreme irrational hatred and needlessly strident, knee jerk opposition from the liberal half of the country… shouldn’t it follow that you regard her as a terrible politician who should never run for office again (whether because you don’t want a substantial number of your fellow citizens acting all extreme and needlessly irrational, or because you don’t want half the country to be more knee-jerk in their opposition to whatever you want than they’d otherwise be)? But a lot of people treat that characteristic of the former Alaska governor as a feature rather than a bug. (Speaking of old hobbyhorses…)