In the midst of obscene racism and misogyny and bashing of labor and gays by right wing extremists in the media and the Republican Party, every now and then, we get some who feel guilt and confess to their horrific work and ask to be forgiven.
Examples include Lee Atwater, who mastered the concept of the political smear for the campaign of George H. W. Bush in 1988 against Michael Dukakis, and later confessed and asked for forgiveness on his death bed, dying from cancer.
Another such case was David Brock who smeared Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas controversy in 1991, and did other dirty deeds for right wing hate mongers including smearing Bill Clinton, but later confessed and works to expose Fox News Channel and others who distort and smear, through his leadership of Media Matters For America.
And a third is Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the George W. Bush re-election committee in 2004, who helped to promote an anti gay agenda that year, and yet is himself gay, and has now apologized for what he did eight years ago.
This kind of conservative dirty tactics, as practiced by Atwater, Brock, and Mehlman still is very widespread, so we find Republican leaders unwilling to condemn Rush Limbaugh, for his description of a college student, who testified for the right of women to have contraceptive coverage on health care plans sponsored by employers, as being a slut and prostitute, who should produce sex tapes for Rush and others to watch! Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have no ethics that allows them to openly condemn such outrages by Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and other propagandists.
At the same time, there are conservative commentators who are decent and principled enough to condemn these kinds of statements and actions, including David Frum, Kathleen Parker, and Chris Buckley.
What a disgrace, that there is no standard of decency past or present on the right, in the mad rush to condemn, besmirch, and smear those they oppose, rather than criticize based on issues and viewpoints alone!