Was this Rush’s Imus moment?

The radio star said he was just kidding about that vile remark he made about young women. It was a joke, you know, the kind he had told before. The big reaction against it amazed him.

So people would move on from this, right? Whoops. Sorry. Won’t happen again.

But, it was too late. It damaged his career, perhaps forever.

Rush Limbaugh? No, I’m referring to Don Imus, whose career collapsed after his racist, heinous attempts at humor exploded in his face in April 2007.

Imus ended up fired from his TV gig, his friends and radio guests scurrying away. After a run on the RFD-TV network — and wasn’t THAT a good fit — he’s now on the Fox Business Network. I think.

El Rushbo still has his national radio network and millions of loyal fans. He sets the tone for the national Republican Party and GOP candidates for president bow to him on a regular basis.

But this might be different. Limbaugh’s three-day attack on a young woman over contraception has enraged millions and millions of women. Meanwhile, President Obama and Democrats are smiling and fist pumping, in private of course, over Limbaugh’s self-inflicted wound. They’re also raising money and getting support from tons of women’s groups.

Rush finally apologized Saturday. He said he was just trying to be funny and that is so difficult, you know. Whoops.

The fact that advertisers were jumping ship and most GOP heavyweights were either criticizing him or avoiding the topic may have persuaded him a bit.

He may move on from this. Rush is still a big man in the conservative movement.

But if not, I bet there’s room on whatever network Don Imus is on now.