The Left has been attacked from multiple fronts for being allegedly too willing to tolerate sexist slurs from pundits like Bill Maher while attacking Rush Limbaugh for equal or lesser offenses. Yet senior Obama adviser David Axelrod argued that’s not the case after all on CNN tonight. His reason, ironically enough, is that Maher isn’t important enough for anyone to care about, whereas Limbaugh is.

Mediaite caught the video of Axelrod’s appearance with CNN anchor Erin Burnett. This is the relevant quote (emphasis added by Blaze staff):

Well, first of all, let me say there’s been a coarsening of our political culture. I don’t think that language is appropriate, no matter who uses it. And I think whoever you are in politics, you ought to be willing to say so. I was disappointed that Governor Romney didn’t stand up more forcefully when Rush Limbaugh said what he said.

But understand that these words that Maher has used in his standup act are a little bit different than — not excusable in any way — but different than a guy with 23 million radio listeners using his broadcast platform to malign a young woman for speaking her mind in the most inappropriate, grotesque ways.

Nor does Bill Maher play the role in the Democratic party that Rush Limbaugh plays in the Republican party, where he’s really the de facto boss of the party. Everybody responds to him, which is the reason why I think Governor Romney was afraid to take him on.

And here’s the video:

Got that? According to Axelrod, Maher’s an irrelevant pundit compared to Limbaugh, who Axelrod claims is in charge of the GOP. Much as that might please some voters, Axelrod’s rationalization probably won’t sit well with Maher.