Bill Bennett had this to say on CNN about the Rush Limbaugh hypocrisy fest: “My question is whether the president will give back the million dollars Bill Maher gave him. I don’t know how he’s going to explain that to Sasha and Malia, when that guy uses language that would make Rush blush.”
The comment is, in a word, perfect. The gentle tone of irony contrasts with the left’s hyperventilating. The matter-of-fact assertion highlights how the left’s “outrage” is reserved for political opponents’ entertainers. And his gentle rebuke to the president — who chose to drag his daughters into a phony political gambit — is the frosting on the well- baked cake.
Donna Brazile is left to mouth lame platitudes about a consistent standard for right and left, but her standard does not permit a call for the president to distance himself from or return the check from the misogynist Maher.
Notice, in fact, how it is now the representative of the left who wants to move on? The Obama spinners have got as much mileage out of Limbaugh as they can, and if the conversation is now going to turn to their side, well then, for heaven’s sake, it’s time to turn the page!
Or, as Dave Weigel put it in reference to David Axelrod’s inanity (“If Romney couldn’t stand up to “the most strident voices in your party, how can he stand up to Ahmadinejad?”): “Axelrod has no case. He’s a nomad flogging a camel to get one last mile out of it after it’s already crossed half the Gobi with no water.”
There are a few lessons here for conservatives. First, the left can throw a punch but not a counterpunch. Confronted with their own double-standard, they suddenly wish to “move on.” Second, tone is everything. Bennett’s smile and gentle tone served to underscore his message on CNN, namely that we should all be on the alert for incivility. (As an aside, angry presidential candidates who invoke inflammatory language to decry the collapse of our moral fiber are not helping their cause.) And finally, it’s important for the right not to defend the indefensible or blame the media for everything. The right has fallen into a pattern of leaping to defend anyone attacked by the mainstream media (e.g., Herman Cain). Sometimes, like a broken clock, the mainstream zeitgeist is accurate.