My reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s apology, like my reaction to Komen’s shit-canning of Karen Handel, is two words: Uh. Winning.
Rush Limbaugh and Nancy Brinker backed down because they were scared, mostly of losing sponsors. They didn’t see the error of their ways, they saw their careers flash before their eyes.
There are those of you (though I’d like to think I’ve alienated most of the hard-core totebaggers at this point) who think that everything would be fine in American politics if Mark Shields could just make the most thoughtful, incisive possible argument to David Brooks. You know I ain’t down with that shit, Lieutenant. Human beings are greedy, fearful, irrational beings, and most (maybe all) of what makes conservativism ascendant right now is its ability to scare — xenophobes into voting against their own economic interests, “journalists” into deference, elected officials into toeing the teahad line, liberals into keeping their mouth shuts — and bribe (do I even need to give you examples?).
Andrew Breitbart’s so-called success is a testimony to the power of intimidation. Anne-Laurie’s post gives a perfect example.
Never forget that. When liberals cower in fear of the awesome moral and political power of right-wing Bishops and talk show hosts, we lose. When we say “I wish a motherfucker would try to ban contraceptives”, we win.