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Right Turn
Posted at 08:45 AM ET, 03/09/2012

Limbaugh attack boomerangs on the White House

Perhaps the left carried on a little too long and a little too loudly regarding Rush Limbaugh’s nasty language about Sandra Fluke. Conservative activist Penny Nance, executive director of Concerned Women for America, has sent a letter to the White House chief of staff demanding President Obama’s super PAC live up to the same standard Democrats have articulated for Republicans and Rush Limbaugh. ABC News reports:

After making a point of standing up for women during the Rush Limbaugh controversy, President Obama is taking flak from one corner for not speaking out against “vile misogynist” and liberal Obama supporter Bill Maher.
Maher, a comedian who specializes in politics, is also a $1 million contributor to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC that supports Obama’s reelection.
Penny Nance, president of the conservative group Concerned Women for America, said in a letter to White House chief of staff Jack Lew that Obama “needs to publicly disassociate himself from Priorities USA” until it returns Maher’s money.
“President Obama cannot put forth the eloquent position he announced on Tuesday, while sending administration officials out to raise money for an organization that not only counts a vile misogynist as its largest single donor, but whose executives actively boast about that vile misogynist’s support,” Nance wrote in her letter to Lew.
Last month, in an about face, Obama approved support for Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing his campaign, allowing senior White House officials to appear at Priorities fundraisers. . . .
A spokesperson for Maher declined to comment when reached by ABC News.
“It’s never appropriate to degrade women, no matter whose side you’re on,” said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt in an e-mail.

I would have reiterated the examples Nance used of Maher’s language, but I was informed that such language doesn’t meet with The Post’s standards (not even for illustrative purposes). So you can use your imagination, or go look for yourself, or run a Google search. You’ll be appalled, I imagine.

So why not give the money back? White House press secretary Jay Carney lamely tried to argue that Obama “has no direct ties to Priorities USA and cannot tell the group what to do with respect to Maher.”Oh no, it’s not that easy, Mr. Carney. Didn’t Obama just announce he would help the group with fundraising? I bet if he made a rule that he wouldn’t appear before or assist groups that don’t abide by his “Sasha and Malia” standard they’d snap to. The White House and its allies set the standard — condemn, distance, disassociate — with misogynistic entertainers. Now the president is stuck with it.

And by the way, why have all the lefty bloggers crying foul about Limbaugh fallen silent on this subject? I must admit, I got quite a laugh when Carney, sounding a great deal like Right Turn, intoned: “We are not and cannot be the arbitrator of every statement that everybody makes in the policy and political arena.” Ummm, has anyone checked with David Axelrod and his blogospheric pals who’ve been trying to goad Mitt Romney into wading in on this issue?

This is one issue on which the mainstream media is offering the White House no cover. As National Journal put it: “[E]ven the most ardent Obama supporter would have to admit that if Limbaugh crossed the line on acceptable discourse, then Maher obliterated that line, even acknowledging the difference between a political talkmeister and a comedian.” As for the argument that you can’t compare Maher and Limbaugh, there is something to that: Maher is a lot worse. “Direct quotes of Maher’s most nasty comments about Palin would make the point well. But his colorful descriptions of various parts of the female anatomy are not words easily used in National Journal stories. Perhaps the mildest was when he call Palin ‘a bully who sells patriotism like a pimp, and the leader of a strange family of inbred weirdos.’”

The White House, I am quite certain, never expected this issue to come back to bite the president and his campaign. But in the New Media era with energetic grassroots conservative activists, it is not as easy as it once was to apply civility rules only to the right. Call it the legacy of Andrew Breitbart: The left needs to abide by the same rules it sets for its opponents.

More from PostOpinions:

Rubin: The left can’t throw a counterpunch

Petri: Rush Limbaugh show targets jerks

Rubin: Enough with the Limbaugh inanity

By  |  08:45 AM ET, 03/09/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign, Media

 
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