Rush Limbaugh’s inappropriate language was anything but a fluke
Not since Anita Hill at the Clarence Thomas hearings has a young woman who sought only to offer testimony she believed to be in the public interest been so vilified by the Republican right as Sandra Fluke.
Fluke is the Georgetown University law student who spoke in favor of requiring all employers — including religious institutions like hospitals, educational institutions and charitable agencies that refuse to provide these services for theological reasons — to make free birth control a benefit for their women employees.
President Barack Obama has proposed a compromise that requires the free birth control coverage, but puts the cost on the insurance companies rather than religious entities.
Offended by Fluke’s testimony, Limbaugh unleashed an outrageous attack on this brave young woman. Calling Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” because she wanted free birth control pills.
While other conservatives tried to frame the free access to contraception as a “freedom of religion” issue, Rush Limbaugh made it all about sex. In Rush’s twisted logic, the monetary value of free birth control pills is the equivalent of paying women to have sex.
In a spectacular display of ignorance of the female reproductive cycle, Limbaugh made the assumption that the number of birth control pills taken monthly reflects the frequency of sexual contact.
“If you’re her parents, how proud of Sandra Fluke you would be?” he asked. “Your daughter ... testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she agrees that Obama should provide them, or the pope.”
Doubling down again in the face of criticism, Limbaugh demanded, “Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
After three days of bluster, Limbaugh’s nerve failed as his advertisers started to leave him — nine of them, according to the latest count on Tuesday — and two stations canceled his program.
His first effort at an apology to Fluke consisted only of a grudging admission that “slut” and “prostitute” were poor word choices to describe her.
Fluke, who has handled the entire controversy with courage, intelligence and class, rejected out of hand Rush’s offer. “He insulted me more than 50 times over three days,” she announced.
As the heat on Limbaugh continued, he acknowledged that Fluke was none of the things he had called her during days he was publicly berating her regarding her sex life. Limbaugh admitted that the “prostitute” and “slut” references were “inappropriate and uncalled for ... I didn’t think she was either of those things.”
When that entreaty failed to impress either Fluke or her growing group of supporters, Rush explained, “The mistake I made was that in fighting (the leftists), I became like them. Against everything I know to be right and wrong, I descended to their level.”
But as this weak man tries to shift blame for his rash behavior to “the leftists,” and to portray himself as the victim, rather than the young woman he attacked, Limbaugh exposed himself as the insecure tyrant he is.
To their disgrace, not one of the Republican primary candidates except for Rep. Ron Paul, raised a voice as Limbaugh publicly tried to destroy Fluke’s reputation and credibility. As they have been for years, Republicans from the level of primary candidates to sitting Congressmen fear to speak out against Limbaugh for fear of retaliation.
Calling the GOP candidates out for their cowardice in the face of Limbaugh’s bluster, conservative columnist George Will found the situation “depressing because ... it indicates ... that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”
Will shared with George Stephanopoulos of ABC the irony that, the GOP candidates “want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”
Realistically, are any of these candidates individuals we want making the decision to bomb Iran or not? Or would they defer that decision to their overlord, Rush Limbaugh.