Jennifer Psaki, the deputy communications director, said, “Alan Simpson has apologized and while we regret and do not condone his comments, we accept his apology and he will continue to serve.”
What’s to say? They’re doing it because they want to.
A Krugman reminder (again my emphasis):
At this point, though, Obama is on the spot: he has to fire Simpson, or turn the whole thing into a combination of farce and tragedy — the farce being the nature of the co-chair, the tragedy being that Democrats are so afraid of Republicans that nothing, absolutely nothing, will get them sanctioned.
When you have a commission dedicated to the common good, and the co-chair dismisses Social Security as a “milk cow with 310 million tits,” you either have to get rid of him or admit that you’re completely, um, cowed by the right wing, that IOKIYAR [It's OK if you're a Republican] rules completely.
And no, an apology won’t suffice. Simpson was completely in character here; it was perfectly consistent with everything else he’s said, and with his previous behavior. He has to go.
Is this an admin throw-down? You decide.
UPDATE: Hmm. As Teddy Partridge points out, the White House can’t accept Simpson’s “apology” since it wasn’t the White House he insulted. Nice catch.