These umbrage episodes that have become the principal narrative line of our politics are orgies of insincerity. Pols declare that they are distraught, offended, outraged by some stray remark by a political opponent, or judicial nominee, or radio talk-show host. They demand apology, firing, crucifixion.
The target resists for a few days, then steps downs or apologizes. Occasionally they survive, as Limbaugh probably will, but wounded and more careful from now on.
More careful means less interesting. Limbaugh is under no obligation to stop saying offensive things just to keep me entertained. Still, it's a pity....
Rush is just "a radio talk-show host". He's not important at all. He's certainly not responsible one iota for the political climate we find ourselves in these days, of course. You stupid liberals keep bringing this up. It's all your fault. Steve:
Give me a freaking break. Nobody with a conscience wants Rush Limbaugh to wallow in the pig-trough of his misogyny on the public airwaves for several days, directing his unbridled hate at a genuinely vulnerable target. (Well, nobody except Michael Kinsley, perhaps, or others who consider this sort of thing "interesting.") Wanting Limbaugh (or Murdoch) to get his comeuppance for beyond-the-pale behavior isn't the same as cheering the fact that that behavior happened in the first place.
Kinsley has set a standard whereby no one can call out an opponent's behavior without being accused of insincerity. If I opposed the Catholic Church on abortion or gay marriage or condom use and then felt it was justifiably disgraced in the priest sex-abuse scandal, was I delighted that boys got raped? Where's the limit? How do I escape Kinsley's la-di-da-everyone's-a-cynic infinite loop?
You don't. And our media never will, at least not in my lifetime. It's always false equivalence. "Because you guys compared Bush to Hitler" will forever justify any behavior by Rush and his friends.