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Conservative Pundit Says Criticism of Palin Like 'McCarthyism'

by Bob Cusack

A conservative pundit on Monday ripped liberals who have suggested that Sarah Palin is to blame for the shooting tragedy in Arizona.

During an appearance on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," Bill Kristol of the conservative-leaning Weekly Standard magazine called the criticism of the former Alaska governor "a disgrace."

He said there is no proof that Jared Loughner, the suspect, was a fan of Palin or went to her website, which had labeled Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and other Democrats a political target last year; it was illustrated with a graphic of crosshairs that has triggered a political debate.

Federal authorities on Sunday filed murder charges against Loughner.

Kristol said those who are blaming Palin, such as Paul Krugman of The New York Times, are practicing "McCarthyism."

"The attempt to exploit this tragedy is distasteful," Kristol said.

He added that both parties have used words like "targets" in seeking to win political campaigns. And Loughner doesn't appear to have been involved in partisan politics, he said.

Asked if Congress will be the same after the shooting, Kristol responded, "I think it will be the same."

He believes security steps will be taken to protect members of Congress, but does not think that a "huge, protective apparatus" will be put in place.

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