COMMENTARY | The Obama administration has made much use of the dust up between Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke to change the birth control mandate from a religious freedom issue to a women's rights issue. But there is one fly in that ointment.
The fly's name is Bill Maher, the host of HBO's "Real Time," a million dollar campaign contributor and a misogynist, at least suggested by the Weekly Standard. If Limbaugh calling Fluke a "slut" is an excuse to force the Roman Catholic Church to provide birth control services against its will, what price should be exacted for Maher calling women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann names so vile they cannot be repeated?
Perhaps Obama's Super PAC should return Maher's tainted money. It would be the least that an administration that is said to be so solicitous about the needs and feelings of American women would do.
On the other hand, we have the word of liberal commentator Kirsten Powers that leftist men have a women problem of their own. Besides Maher, she cited liberal media lions such as Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Matt Taibbi and Chris Matthews who have said less than kind things about conservative women.
There is also the example of Ted Kennedy, who did not say anything insulting to women but did leave one to die on one occasion and allegedly physically assaulted one on another in the infamous "waitress sandwich" incident. And there is the rape accusation that Juanita Broaderick made against former President Bill Clinton.
Imagine if, say, Glenn Beck had called Michelle Obama the same name Maher has called Palin. Imagine if a Republican senator had crashed his car into a body of water and left a female companion in it to die. Imagine if a Republican president had been accused of raping a woman. One suspects that the Republican Party would be history and the conservative movement consigned to a fringe group.
And yet the Democrats, while going into the vapors about a Republican "war on women" have been, in effect, conducting one of their own for decades. Nothing seems to be prohibited. There are no consequences for anything said or any misbehavior.
Double standard? That doesn't even begin to describe the situation.