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.