When your enemy is self-immolating, you should not intervene. So I’m not sure why President Obama and the Greek chorus of outraged Democrats are now helping Limbaugh by casting this as a political windfall. When your enemy goes on the air to tell millions of listeners that a law student with whom he disagrees is a slut and a prostitute, do you really need to underscore the outrageousness of it? Do you really need phony online petitions demanding an insincere apology? Limbaugh went way beyond the arguable political issue at hand — contraceptives as a fundamental right — and into the realm of drunken bullying. The prosecution rests.
The smart move from the Democrats would have been near silence, with only a figurative roll of the eyes to say, “see what we’re dealing with?” It would have been an eloquent counterpoint to the stampede of Republicans trying to distance themselves from the man many consider to be the de facto leader of the party. It would have further marginalized Limbaugh as a desperate loser and probably ensured the uninterrupted decline in his ratings.
Instead, Limbaugh now is a top trending topic on Google, and retains his footing as the patron saint of Tea-Party blowhards. That’s because the president got involved. Too bad. Sometimes, you have to let indecency speak for itself.
UPDATE: It figures that R.L. would issue an equivocal apology not long after I posted this. But it’s really just an attempt to have it both ways. You assault someone, and then say you’re sorry if that bothered them. I’m sure nobody will boycott Limbaugh who was not already boycotting him, but the man has earned a long season in obscurity.