The constant calls for political candidates to prove their bona fides by condemning or denouncing something somebody else said or to renounce a person’s support or to return her tainted money are a tiresome new tic in American politics. They’re turning politics into a game of “Mother, May I?” Did you say “Here is my plan for health‐care reform”? Uh‐oh, you were supposed to say “I condemn MoveOn.org’s comments on General Petraeus, and here is my plan for health‐care reform.”

Michael Kinsley