Rejecting and denouncing rejecting and denouncing

The Atlantic‘s James Fallows can’t resist blogging about the American presidential campaign from China. This particular post is about the audacity of the Clinton campaign in getting its messages out via publications owned by Richard Sciafe, one of the leaders of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" that tried to hound Bill Clinton out of office in the 1990s. (Also see Josh Marshall on this point.)

But the best line in Fallows’s post is this: "I don’t like attempts to stifle argument when they occur in China, and I don’t like this in the United States." One of the most discouraging developments in American politics is the constant pressure on candidates to denounce, condemn, disavow, repudiate, and, whenever possible, take a job away from any supporter (or even family member?) who says or writes something impolitic. Given that one of the main criticisms of President George W. Bush is that he has sealed himself in a bubble, ignoring anyone with contrary views, it seems odd to ask those who want to succeed him to stop associating with people who might challenge their thinking.