March 07, 2012


Michael Kinsley talks sense on the Rush Limbaugh slut boycott:

any apology induced in these circumstances is almost by definition insincere. You can’t demand a public recantation and then expect sincerity along with the humble pie. If they wanted a sincere apology, Limbaugh’s critics would have had to defend his right to make these offensive remarks, and then attempt to change his mind using nothing but sweet reason. Go ahead and try.

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 caves in and steps down 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 keep saying offensive things just to keep me entertained. Still, it’s a pity.


The New Republic's Timothy Noah struggles to find a rationale for dismissing charges of hypocrisy from the right and comes up with this: Limbaugh's statements are objectively worse because he has a bigger audience. Er, sure. Partisanship has its reasons, which reason never knows.

This was my comment last year when everyone was pretending to think that the Tuscon shootings were caused by Sarah Palin's maps and uncivil "discourse" from the bad people (but not us) and I'll quote myself because it's apt here as well: of course you think the other side does it all the time while your side does it hardly at all; thinking that is part of "it."

I'm with Nick Gillespie:

If you've ever needed a reason to rethink dumb attachments to the left-right, liberal-conservative Manicheanism at the heart of conventional politics, the sort of idiotic Team Red vs. Team Blue mentality underscored by Noah's need to exonerate the misogyny of his ideological allies should give you something to ponder.
Ideology makes us into dopes, no matter how good we are.

Posted by Dr. Frank at March 7, 2012 04:05 PM