Much as I hate to say it, Charles Pierce may be right:
"The counterattack from the defenders of porcine junkie sex-tourist Rush Limbaugh seems to be occurring on two fronts at once. The first is that Sandra Fluke deserved everything he said about her, hardy-har-har. By and large, this is coming from the mouthbreathing fauna of the wingnut blogosphere. However, the other front has opened up recently in more respectable quarters, and that is the argument that our whole national dialogue is too corrosive these days, and everybody does this sort of thing, and what about Bill Maher, huh? Huh?"
The key as Pierce suggests is respectable quarters-the David Brooks of the world-are giving Rush a pass by claiming that sure what he said was wrong but it's partisan for liberals to focus only on him, he's just one more voice in the general cultural morass of "intemperance."
I mentioned David Brooks, but how about Michael Kinsley? As Pierce suggests Kinsely is sort of David Brooks for the eggheads-I for one have read a lot of Kinsley and can barely stomach Brooks.
"Michael Kinsley, a man who has dedicated his life to bringing Olympian insufferability to an art form. Kinsley is what you'd get if you infused David Brooks with the madcap humor you find around the doughnut cart at The New Republic. You see, says Michael, everybody involved in this is just a big fake because nobody really believes anything anyway, and oxen are always being gored, and it's all a silly stupid game, so suck it up, Sandra. Tell your folks about the marketplace of ideas."
Listen to Kinsley givng Limbaugh a pass:
"Nevertheless, the self-righteous parade out the door by Limbaugh's advertisers is hard to stomach. Had they never listened to Rush before, in all the years they had been paying for commercials on his show? His sliming of a barely known law student may be a new low — even after what he's said about Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Obama — but it's not a huge gap."