It has now been a week since the Washington Post put up the picture of Jon Favreau and his bud acting out a hilarious joke about date-raping Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama has said nothing.
There can be no doubt that he is aware of this, the controversy over Gov. Blagojevich notwithstanding. It's been on CNN. Dee Dee Meyers has condemned it. It's been all over the blogosphere.
So he knows. And once he knows, there can be only one appropriate reaction -- moral outrage. And there can be only one action that demonstrates leadership -- firing Favreau, accompanied by a public statement that his behavior does not represent the beliefs and values of the American government or American society or the Obama Administration.
Failure to have that reaction and to take that action shows one of two things, neither of which is savory. Either Barack Obama simply doesn't see this as an important problem. or he and his people have been spending this time behind closed doors, figuring out how to spin it. Waiting to see whether there's enough of a stink about this that they have to respond in some way, or whether it'll just fade away.
Even if you don't believe it's important to send a signal to the women in his government -- and the women and girls of the world -- that misogyny is wrong (that is, even if you are a sexist pig), you still must, as a leader, defend your people. He apparently doesn't care enough to show the world that one of the key players on his team can't be treated with contempt.
Well, time has run out. The clock has finished ticking. All pens have been put down, and the blue books have been handed in. Our incoming president has flunked his first major test on values. That's a bummer.