SELF-PARODY WATCH…. I remember, when Enron and other corporate scandals first broke during Bush’s first term, some conservatives argued that the scandals were Bill Clinton’s fault — not because of lax regulations, but because the Lewinsky scandal sent an “anything goes” signal to the nation, which in turn led business leaders to abandon their ethical standards.

It was a reminder that, when it comes to the right’s drive to blame unrelated events on Democratic presidents, conservatives’ creativity and imagination are practically limitless.

This occurred to me again today when Rush Limbaugh, without a hint of humor, argued that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) cheated on his wife, betrayed his family, and abandoned his professional responsibilities to fly off to Argentina … and it’s President Obama’s fault.

“This is almost like, ‘I don’t give a damn, the country’s going to Hell in a handbasket, I just want out of here,’” Limbaugh said. “[Sanford] had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn’t want any part of it; he lost the battle. He said, ‘What the hell. I mean, the federal government’s taking over — what the hell, I want to enjoy life.’”

Limbaugh added, “The point is, there are a lot of people whose spirit is just — they’re fed up, saying, ‘To hell with it, I don’t even want to fight this anymore, I just want to get away from it.’”

A listener apparently sent Limbaugh an email during the program, asking if he was kidding about the White House’s economic policies being responsible for Sanford’s affair. “No!” he said, adding that the governor may have realized, “The Democrats are destroying the country; we can’t do anything to stop it.”

What’s especially funny about this is the way in which Limbaugh’s attempts to pass the buck and shift the blame — Mark Sanford isn’t responsible for his own behavior, Barack Obama is responsible for Sanford’s behavior — is that it can be applied to practically any situation. Any time anyone does anything wrong, following Limbaugh’s logic, he/she could simply chalk it up to Obama-driven despair.

Remember when conservatives used to say that liberals were opposed to people taking responsibility for their own actions? Good times, good times.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.