Is this the best Shelley Berkley can do?

If this is the best defense U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., can do in explaining how she differentiates between Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher, maybe we ought to not only question her judgment in standing up for basic American rights like free speech, but also her intellectual ability to think through issues.

Rush Limbaugh called a woman who testified before Congress at "slut." He apologized. Berkley, who says she is outraged for women, is sponsoring a petition to remove Limbaugh from the airwaves.

Maher, meanwhile, who gave $1 million to re-elect President Barack Obama, does not register on her "ire-o-meter." She says she will not sponsor a petition to remove him for calling Sarah Palin a "c—" and a "twat."

Her reason for trying to force one off the air and not the other? She’s quoted today in "The Damon Political Report" saying:

"Berkley drew a distinction between Maher and Limbaugh, saying one is an entertainer and the other is tantamount to a Republican operative.

" ‘If you cross Rush Limbaugh and you’re a Republican office holder, then you have to crawl over and kiss his ring,’ Berkley said. ‘There’s a big difference between what is being said by Bill Maher and his humor, although I don’t find that funny, and what Rush Limbaugh does, who pretty much calls the shots in the Republican Party.’ ”

Rush Limbaugh calls the shots in the Republican Party? Seriously? Exactly what would be the specifics on that, candidate Berkley?

There is no intellectually honest reply to that, of course. Yet, that canard is what Rep. Berkley is trying to pass off to Nevadans as a credible distinction between Limbaugh and Maher. Next time a member of the media has Berkley in her presence, I hope they will ask a follow-up question or two about that statement. Maybe even point out that the head of the DNC has appeared on the Bill Maher show, laughing all the way.

If she’s going to stick to that line, which apparently she is, then voters have every legitimate reason to ask whether Shelley Berkley posses the intellectual capacity to be a good U.S. Senator.

While I don’t bring up the Berkley mush, my column last week explains the hypocrisy of this whole deal. It’s worth a re-read.

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