Fine by me if we call this “Marshall’s Rule,” per this bit of advice for Stu Rothenberg from Josh Marshall after the famous beltway election handicapper and occasional pundit called the treatment of Chris Christie over BridgeGate “a political lynching.”

All things considered, best to keep the ‘lynching’ metaphor to people who are black, come from historically terrorized minorities and/or most of all end up dying by being hanged from a tree.

The metaphor was especially clumsy given the rest of his column, which backfilled all sorts of admissions that Christie may have done terrible things and protestations that Stu didn’t think Christie was going to win the 2016 nomination anyway. All the more reason to avoid the attribution of violent and terroristic motives and actions by people who refuse to just shut up after Christie denied culpability.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.