There’s no explanation for why President Obama’s political strategist decided not to join the comedian on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. A campaign spokesman simply confirmed that Axelrod is “not scheduled to go on at this time,” despite promotions saying he would appear, website Politico reports. But we can make a pretty good guess as to what’s going on: Maher has become a lightening rod for critics on the right who argue that there’s a double standard in the recent barrage of attacks on Rush Limbaugh — who has been losing advertisers since he went on-air to call an advocate of employer health plan payments for contraceptives a “slut” and a “prostitute.” (He later apologized for using the words.) Maher put himself into the political fray recently when he donated $1M to PAC Priorities USA, a super PAC that supports the president. Last week Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren attacked Axelrod’s plan to appear with Maher, who has used virulent language to describe Sarah Palin. Van Susteren asked: “Is that the Obama price tag for decency? Give a million and you can be as nasty to women as you want?” Axelrod isn’t alone in his new skittishness about Maher. The Alabama Democratic Party reportedly stopped promoting the comedian’s scheduled performance this Saturday in Huntsville. Last week Maher said on his show that while he objected to Limbaugh’s comments, “I don’t like it that people are made to disappear when they say something, or people try to make them disappear when they say something you don’t like. That’s America. Sometimes you’re made to feel uncomfortable, okay?”
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