From David Axelrod's Magic Land of the Double Standard: "Cleanup attempt at CNN. Bring the hazmat suits."
Tonight on CNN, as reported by several outlets (Mediaite, Politico, LA Times, but not the Associated Press, which as of 11:45 p.m. on Thursday hadn't done a national story about Maher in 10 days), David Axelrod told Erin Burnett, in the process of dodging a question about whether an Obama Super-PAC would give back Bill Maher's $1 million contribution, said that Maher's outrageous, misogynist comments against mostly conservative women really aren't as important as Rush Limbaugh's one-time, apologized-for hits at Sandra Fluke:
Story Continues Below Ad ↓
Well, first of all, let me say there’s been a coarsening of our political culture. I don’t think that language is appropriate, no matter who uses it. And I think whoever you are in politics, you ought to be willing to say so. I was disappointed that Governor Romney didn’t stand up more forcefully when Rush Limbaugh said what he said.
But understand that these words that Maher has used in his standup act are a little bit different than — not excusable in any way — but different than a guy with 23 million radio listeners using his broadcast platform to malign a young woman for speaking her mind in the most inappropriate, grotesque ways.
Nor does Bill Maher play the role in the Democratic party that Rush Limbaugh plays in the Republican party, where he’s really the de facto boss of the party. Everybody responds to him, which is the reason why I think Governor Romney was afraid to take him on.
The horse manure is really deep here:
Building on the last point, the latest issue of Rush's newsletter, the Limbaugh Letter, has as its cover topic the fact that the GOP establishment is at war with its base. I am proud to point out that Rush used a column written by yours truly in early February as the starting point for his writeup.
I pointed to specific evidence from Utah, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio where the party is trying to marginalize tea party and social conservative challengers to protect incumbent moderates, and in some cases trying to derail the careers of successful activists who won elections in 2010. Rush nationalized the topic, among other things pointing out the following:
So it's news to all of us that Rush is "the de facto boss of the party." Many in the party establishment openly loathe him, while others quietly work to undermine those who largely agree with him.
As to the "coarsening of our political culture" to which Axelrod refers, I might conceivably consider taking him seriously when all of the following occur:
I surely won't be waiting by the phone.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.