Talkshow host Rush Limbaugh has 'apologised' for his vicious, personal attack on a university student who dared to argue the case for public funding of women's contraceptive health...but it was how he did it that says so much more about him and his Republican party devotees....

It is now very clear why Republican nominee wannabe Rick Santorum disparages President Obama’s hopes that all American kids can go to university.

It is because he wants American kids to be molded in the image of that blowhard at the heart of the Republican party - Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh is the college dropout whose most recent bon mots have included calling a young law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” for wanting contraceptive care to be included in health insurance.

This debacle has its ugly infancy in the culture wars that have preoccupied the Republicans since Santorum rose to the giddy heights of challenging Mitt Romney’s expected coronation. It is part of the hope and a prayer (literally) ‘anything but Romney” conundrum.

Santorum has risen in the Republican ranks because he says what he believes, even though that has exposed him as some sort of 1950’s misogynist, patriarchal, homophobic, god-bothering practitioner of class and religious warfare.

He has the Republican hierarchy worried as hell, along with the distinct possibility that no matter how hapless Obama, not one of their four still in the race could be elected.

The Santorum stuff is actually pretty scary, not because he will ever be President of the United States with his desired swipe card into every bedroom in the nation.

Rather it is because there are so many people who take his already far right morality preachings and the issues he is dredging up as the green light to go further and to heck with the constitution or any other right that may be in the way.

Santorum told the nation he wanted to “throw up” over the stance J.F. K. took concerning the separation of church and state. It was a speech the Catholic President made to provide assurances that he would not take his marching orders from the Vatican. Why he would have to do that is an entire other issue. 

And Santorum’s other great gem is calling Obama a “snob” because he wants American kids to go to university. College graduate Santorum’s conspiracy theory for this one was that Obama was secretly wanting to mold Americans “in his own image”. 

Santorum was not referring to Obama’s academic, social and family achievements. No, Obama the”snob” who is of mixed race and was brought up by a single mother on food stamps and with help from his grandmother, wants to indoctrinate young people as secular liberals. Excellent snob credentials.

Which brings us to Rush.

Well first of all third-year laws student from Georgetown University, Sandra Fluke.

The Republicans refused to allow her to give evidence to their Congressional hearing into the existential threat posed to freedom of religion through a requirement for employers to include contraceptive payments in their insurance cover. The all-male panel duly delivered the ‘evidence’ Congressional Republicans were after.

Fluke did however present her evidence at a hearing hastily organised by the Democrats.

And now, Rush.

He excoriated her - personally of course because when you have no argument you attack the person.

He called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” who was so busy having sex and expected the country to pay for her to have sex. Then he added the ultimate in creepy, that American taxpayers want something back for that payment....a video of Fluke having sex so we can all see. 

I use the word ‘we‘ as Limbaugh’s delusion that anyone who is not already on police watch would want to join him for his little video evenings.     

Never mind Limbaugh’s glaring ignorance over the role contraceptives play in women’s health, including but not exclusively, prevention of unwanted pregnancies which often result in abortions.  Surely a reduction in abortions is the key achievement for Santorum and his ilk...and many others besides?  

Fluke should take Limbaugh to the cleaners and be awarded the sort of settlement that not only pays off her college tuition, but leaves he swimming in contraceptives if that is her wish.

As for the ‘snob’ - well, President Obama phoned Fluke to express his support of her, and tell her that her parents should be proud of her.

I watched Fluke on a number of political talk shows as she reacted to Limbaugh’s slander in an eloquent, calm, reasoned manner, employing no histrionics, no personal insults towards her detractors, and no outrageous political claims.

It is instructive to watch her interviews in tandem with the footage of Limbaugh double down on his hideous ravings.

He has since apologised, no doubt due to the anxious hovering of an attorney or twelve and the potential flight of more advertisers from his radio show.

If, according to Santorum’s definition of a “snob”, it befits a young student advocate arguing the object, as opposed to a college dropout who goes straight for the jugular of the subject, its pretty clear the Obama doctrine wins every time.

The Republican contenders have been conspicuously silent on this one, because they know from past experience that criticising Limbaugh is an election death knell and Super Tuesday is almost upon them.

The culture wars and the Republican fratricide continue, and they have only themselves to blame. 


Comments (8)

by Graeme Edgeler on March 05, 2012
Graeme Edgeler

It is now very clear why Republican nominee wannabe Rick Santorum disparages President Obama’s hopes that all American kids can go to university.

That wasn't what Obama said. He hoped that all young Americans would get at least a year in training after leaving school. Could be university, or community college, or something on the job in a trade, etc.

by John Stroup on March 05, 2012
John Stroup

"to heck with the constitution or any other right that may be in the way".

Contraception is not a constitutional right, neither are health services which is why "Obamacare" is being challenged in court.

 

by Andrew Geddis on March 05, 2012
Andrew Geddis

@John: "Contraception is not a constitutional right..."

Which is what Santorum claims, which is why he's in favour in favour of allowing individual States to decide whether or not to outlaw contraception. However, the Supreme Court ruled in 1965 (in Griswold v Connecticut) that States are not permitted to do this, as the use of contraception falls within a "zone of privacy" protected by a number of the rights ennumerated in the Constitution's first 10 amendments. 

Therefore, insofar as the Supreme Court ultimately says what is or is not a constitutional right, Santorum does think "to heck with the constitution" ... just as liberals who believe the Supreme Court got it wrong in Citizens United also think "to heck with the constitution" when they argue for tighter campaign finance controls. The real problem is that you've got 9 people who get to decide for everyone else what laws they can and can't have, then dress that conclusion up as "the Constitution says it must be this way".

As for the challenge to Obamacare - this is being mounted on federalism grounds. The claim is that the Federal government simply is not permitted under the US Constitution to require individuals to purchase health insurance ... that's a power that the individual States can exercise (if they so choose - like Massachussetts did under Mitt Romney). So it's got nothing to do with "rights" one way or the other.

by Conorjoe on March 05, 2012
Conorjoe

Some 'apology' Jane. 

by Graeme Edgeler on March 05, 2012
Graeme Edgeler

However, the Supreme Court ruled in 1965 (in Griswold v Connecticut) that States are not permitted to do this, as the use of contraception falls within a "zone of privacy" protected by a number of the rights ennumerated in the Constitution's first 10 amendments

Without having read the decision is full, surely a zone of privacy protected from State intrusion would also rely on the 14th amendment?

 

by Chris de Lisle on March 05, 2012
Chris de Lisle

I do not understand how opposition to contraception can be a popular policy platform with the electorate at large. 

I mean, according to Goldscheider and Mosher's study of 1991 (http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/1966780) even among Catholics, 75% (and increasing) of women 15 - 44 were using contraception. Presumably the men they were having sex with largely approved of that use of contraception.

So who is Santorum and his ilk appealing to exactly? The elderly? The clerics themselves?  The hold-out fundamentalists (many of whom want nothing to do with any secular government or are not Catholics)?

How can they think that that is a winning coalition?

by Graeme Edgeler on March 06, 2012
Graeme Edgeler

So who is Santorum and his ilk appealing to exactly?

Given that Santorum is not calling for a ban or contraception (he may support one, but that's not his policy, at least), I imagine he is appealing to anyone who is concerned about government interference with religion: if the government can force people to pay for contraceptives for their employees, violating perhaps the employer's religious beliefs, then what thing could they force me to do in violation of my religious beliefs, etc.?

by Andrew Geddis on March 06, 2012
Andrew Geddis

Graeme's right.

The issue of mandating the coverage of contraceptives in health insurance plans plays into a narrative of Obama's overreaching government trying to tell people how they must live. (As opposed to the heirarchy of the Catholic Church et al telling people how they must live, which is OK.) And the line that it should be for states to decide whether or not to ban contraceptives is part of a broader attack on those "activist liberals" on the Supreme Court, who are forcing their godless elitist ways on the good American people. (As opposed to Scalia/Thomas, who are just interpreting the Constitution as the founders (who are almost the same as God) intended when they strike down laws.)

There is precisely zero chance that contraception ever will be banned again by any State, so even if Santorum wanted to do this (which he actually hasn't said he does) he'd never be able to.

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