I Honestly Can’t Tell Which Thing I’m Feeling More…

… complete shock or a huge sense of relief.  I always assumed we’d read something like this someday, but I didn’t think it would be today – or tomorrow, or even this year.  Rush Limbaugh has actually apologized on an issue he was doubling down on just a couple of days ago:

For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week.  In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.

Not only an apology, but one that lacks snark, or derision, or anything but – at least on paper – sincerity.  Releasing this must have been more than a little unpleasant for a man that so prides himself on never apologizing for anything.

I have to think that this came not from Rush’s innate desire to mend fences, but from the GOP leadership’s intervention after its realization that its long-standing tactics of ratings-first messaging was starting to do more harm than good.  Maybe that’s a hopeful overreach on my part, but Rush having done such a firm and contrite mea culpa seems no small thing.  I’m not sure I  ever remember seeing him do anything close to this, and he’s said a lot of things that were inappropriate or out of bounds over the years.

If so – if the GOP leadership convinced him to back down and say he was sorry – then this is good news for the Republican party and it’s a good thing for the nation.  Erik spoke on Friday about the way that constantly searching for the next Birtherism outrage or the next Common-poetry-reading non-toversy has been keeping us from actually facing and solving the difficult problems that we face.  I of course agree.  Over the past several months I have been writing – nay, begging – for those that represent a much needed fiscal conservatism to act like grown ups, take their mission seriously, and start concentrating on governing and not media ratings.  I have always assumed that it had to happen eventually; this is the first sign I can think of that’s made me think maybe – maybe – that process has already started.

And so on that note, words I never thought I’d type:

Thank you Rush.

And to whoever it was in the conservative leadership that made this happen, you have my most sincere thanks as well.

(hat tip to Andrew Sullivan & the Dish on the whole mea culpa)

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