Eminentoes

Obama’s Waiver for Bill Maher

We're still waiting for the president to call to Sarah Palin.

By 3.7.12

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After Rush Limbaugh referred to Georgetown University Law Student Sandra Fluke as "a slut" on his radio program last week, the Obama Administration wasted little time in coming to her defense.

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that President Obama had spoken with Fluke. When Carney was asked to describe their conversation, he replied:

They had a very good conversation. I think he, like a lot of people, feels that the kinds of personal attacks that she's -- that have been directed her way are inappropriate. The fact that our political discourse has become debased in many ways is bad enough. It is worse when it's directed at a private citizen who was simply expressing her views on a matter of public policy.

Although Rush would issue an apology the following day it wasn't enough for longtime Obama adviser David Axelrod who said, "I think what Rush Limbaugh said about that young woman was not only vile and degrading to her, but to women across the country."

So what do Messrs. Carney, Axelrod and, for that matter, President Obama have to say for Bill Maher?

It is no secret that Maher despises conservatives especially of the female variety. Nearly a year ago, Maher delighted both himself and his left-wing audiences when he called Sarah Palin "a dumb twat" and "a c--t" -- words even harsher than the ones Rush used against Fluke.

Let us remember that Carney lambasted Limbaugh for being inappropriate towards Fluke because she is a "private citizen who was simply expressing her views on a matter of public policy." Well, the last I checked Sarah Palin is a private citizen who expresses her views on public policy. Does the Obama Administration believe Palin should be afforded the same courtesy as Fluke? Do they believe what Maher said about Palin was inappropriate? Or does the Obama Administration believe that some points of view more equal than others?

Let us also remember that Axelrod wasn't satisfied with Rush's apology because what he said about Fluke "was not only vile and degrading to her, but to women across the country." So does Axelrod also believe that Maher said things about Sarah Palin that "were not only vile and degrading to her, but to women across the country?"

Or has Bill Maher been granted a waiver by the Obama Administration for saying degrading things about Sarah Palin and other conservative women who do not agree with their policies? Consider how Maher bragged that he could get away with what he said because he is on HBO while Rush is at the mercy of commercial sponsors. This surely sounds like a man who has been granted dispensation from the highest authority.

After all, it was with great fanfare last month that Maher donated $1 million to Priorities USA Action, an Obama Super PAC. As the large check was being hauled out on stage, Maher said to his audience at Yahoo headquarters in Silicon Valley, "I think Mitt Romney's going to get the (Republican) nomination, and then I hope Obama beats him like a runaway sister-wife." Well, it's good to know that a joke about domestic violence (not to mention Mormonism) is such a hit with liberal audiences. Of course, had Rush joked about domestic abuse (not to mention Muslims) the very same audience would rise in unison to accuse him of hate speech.

Now I, for one, did not like what Rush said about Fluke. In one fell swoop, he shifted the issue from the heavy handedness of government in compelling religious organizations to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives to the heavy handedness of Rush Limbaugh in casting aspersions upon someone for taking a point of view which differs from his own. His intervention was not helpful and Rush was ultimately right to make amends to Fluke. Unlike Axelrod, I accept both Rush's apology and his reasons for doing so. As Rush put it: 

I ended up descending to their level. It's important not to be like them, ever, particularly in fighting them. The old saw, you never descend to the level of your opponent or they win. That was my error last week.

Of course, it should come as no surprise that Axelrod would not accept Rush's apology. The Left has wanted Rush excised from the airwaves for nearly a quarter century. Now Rush has stumbled and they see blood in the water. So at this point, the Obama Administration is about as willing to accept Rush's apology as Afghan President Hamid Karzai is willing to accept the Obama Administration's apology last week for the accidental Koran burnings at Bagram Air Base. Karzai wants to put American soldiers on trial while liberals yearn to do the same with Rush. Both proceedings would be sure to have all the fairness found in a kangaroo court.

Unfortunately, I suspect that this double standard is not likely to be raised by the White House Press Corps (with perhaps the possible exceptions of Jake Tapper at ABC or Ed Henry at FNC). If I were a member of that scrum, I would ask Jay Carney the two following questions, "In light of Rush Limbaugh's apology to Sandra Fluke for his inappropriate comments, why didn't you call upon Bill Maher to apologize for his inappropriate comments against Sarah Palin a year ago? Will President Obama now publicly call for the Super PAC acting on his behalf to return the $1 million donated by Maher?"

When it comes to Sarah Palin and other conservative women being pilloried for expressing their views on public policy, I don't think the Obama Administration will put the money where Bill Maher's mouth is. In other words, the Obama Administration has no waivers for conservative women like Sarah Palin.

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About the Author
Aaron Goldstein writes from Boston, Massachusetts.