By Dennis Culloton
In my experience when I have worked with politicians and pundits, I’ve found they sometimes dwell in an alternate universe where they believe there are no boundaries. It is our job as media strategists to reign them in and remind them what the voters at home are thinking.
There are people that don’t know their boundaries, then there is Rush Limbaugh. His latest bloviation was to call a Georgetown law student a “slut” for testifying in favor of President Obama’s health care plan mandating contraception coverage.
My wife, who cancels out most of my ballot choices anyway, loves to point to me and blame me for “your crazy Republicans.” I was disappointed by the muted response of national Republican leaders. So I was glad to see on the Sunday morning talkers that conservative voices I admire, George Will and Peggy Noonan to name a couple, condemned Rush’s slurring of Sandra Fluke as simply deplorable.
This is not a partisan issue. I was proud to see Fluke’s high road response which was to wonder what happened to acceptable discourse. Regardless of the passions of the issue, that kind of gutter mud-slinging of someone, especially a young law student participating in a Congressional committee, is beyond contemptible.
With fast pace of media and high stakes of politics, I see this happen more. We’re not just content to debate, disagree and maybe even defeat our opponents. We want to eviscerate.
For media strategists and campaign advisors, here is the lesson: we are better than that. Sandra Fluke showed us the way.