Danielle Allen’s well-crafted op-ed in today’s WaPo is on the theme--with Machiavelli well-used--of the distinction between accusation and calumny, or slander. She explains why accusations are fine, but calumny is not. She is right, of course, in principle and her piece is a good short treatise on the subject. Yet, her soft-accusation that the slander is only against Obama is another matter. I would guide her to be careful not to start slandering those who may just be accusing Obama of something or other (needless to say, by saying this I mean no defense of those who are actually slandering). For example I think I am going to start accusing him of not standing for anything, or, of not being principled. I wouldn’t mind it so much that he lacked principles, if he had a larger record of accomplishment, but, alas, he does not. As far as I can tell, he only has charisma at the moment. And, of course, I will sign my name to such accusations.