The fallout continues from Rush Limbaugh's ill considered verbal attack on contraception activist Sandra Fluke.
After the expected critiques from the left, conservative commentators pushed back by pointing out the double standard that governs left wing attacks on conservative women. At her website, Michelle Malkin reflected on some of her own experiences and mentioned other noteworthy examples of liberal misogyny. And in a somewhat surprising reaction, liberal commentator Kristen Powers over at The Daily Beast reviewed similar attacks on conservative women. The most egregious offender from the left seems to be Bill Maher.
Defenders of liberal misogyny deflect criticism by attempting to draw distinctions between Limbaugh and Maher. Limbaugh, they say, is a conservative operative or de facto head of the Republican Party, while Bill Maher is only a comedian. Bill Maher himself takes up this defence. He claims that he is a comedian dealing with public figures and that Limbaugh attacked a "civilian."
Of course, all of this is nonsense. Fluke is no longer a civilian. She is a veteran volunteer soldier in the "culture wars." In addition, Limbaugh does not lead the Republican Party in any sense of the word. That's just another example of the "paranoid style" of politics from the left that imagines that Republicans do not think for themselves and that Limbaugh or the Koch brothers are behind the scenes pulling all of the strings. Finally, what difference does is make to say one is a comedian? Does being an entertainer exclude one from accountability for words one uses? I am still searching for how Maher's premise relates to the conclusion that he can say anything he wants.
Rush Limbaugh himself admits he is an entertainer. So Rush's cases is not all that different. He and Maher are comedians and neither are very funny.
Is comedy now, "the last refuge of a scoundrel?"