Any idiot, except Rush Limbaugh, apparently, could identify Rush’s outrageous, uncivil, mean-spirited, and ignorant (does he really think a woman has to take more birth control pills the more she has sex?) rant against Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke (who testified before Congressional Democrats to advocate insurance coverage of contraceptives) as indefensible. That is why I wasn’t going to insult anyone’s intelligence by stating the obvious by posting to that effect. But a commenter here reminded me of the Ethics Alarms post about Bill Maher’s misogyny when he called Sarah Palin a “dumb twat” on his HBO show, and I decided that it should be made clear that as despicable as Maher’s statement was, Rush’s was worse.
Yes, Maher’s words were uglier than Limbaugh’s, as El Rushbo only referred to Fluke as a “slut” and “round-heeled.” Sarah Palin, however, is a public figure. It is unfair and repulsive to insult her purely on the basis of her gender, but at least she is fair game to a political comedian like Maher. Fluke is a private citizen and student, properly participating in our system by testifying before Congress. For the nation’s highest-rated radio personality to attack her character and dignity in such personal and vile terms goes beyond unfair and cruel to outright bullying. It also smacks of intimidation,and an attempt to discourage political speech. Rush should have no defenders, None.
However, Democrats demanding that Republicans condemn Limbaugh’s remarks are over-reaching wildly. Republicans are not responsible for what Limbaugh says; I don’t see Democrats running to condemn the vicious nonsense commentators like Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann spew out on a regular basis, nor should they. If Democrats want to establish a tradition of party accountability for what partisan performers and talking heads say, it’s not too late for Nancy Pelosi and President Obama to condemn Maher for the “dumb twat” comment, and he just gave a million dollars to Obama’s Super-Pac.
Forget about the grandstanding efforts to tar Republicans with Rush’s crude incivility. Nonetheless, to any conservative or Republican—elected official or commentator–who does condemn Limbaugh’s attack on Ms. Fluke, I say…
Good, bravo, and thanks.
21 thoughts on “Rush’s Misogyny: No Defense”
That is true. However…
Will there be a political profit in doing so?
Will Democrats be imposed with a political cost if they fail, or refuse, to condemn the vicious nonsense of Maher, Olbermann, and Schultz?
Of course. That’s why it doesn’t happen. There may be integrity somewhere out there, but it’s invisible to the naked eye. Rush’s followers comprise much of the GOP base; there is no political benefit, only sacrifice, in holding him accountable. The Democrats know this, and would (and have) act according to the same pragmatic considerations—their indignation at Republican leadership is a sham, and hypocritical.It’s cheap political point-scoring for them, and that’s all.
I watched a little of the grandstanding on MSNBC last night. That was self-torture, forcing myself to view visages of two angry women as the “bread” of a “Schultz sandwich.” “Food for thought” – yeah, right. There was talk of boycotting products advertised on programs that put Limbaugh on the air. Time to check my watch. I guess maybe it’s time, maybe overdue, for yet another flip-flop on the sanctions-don’t-work position.
Such talk exposes hypocrisy .
Nothing undermines ethics more than double standards and hypocrisy. Imagine if supporters and enforcers of Prohibition were drunkards. Imagine if supporters and enforcers of heroin bans shot up heroin. Imagine if supporters and enforcers of handgun bans bore handguns. Imagine if supporters and enforcers of polygamty bans practiced polygamy.
Logic dictates that it is NOT hypocrisy for addicts to support banning of the substance they are addicted to. I get your intended point, but those are two awful analogies. Addicts can’t avoid using alcohol and drugs in many cases-they can be some of the most passionate advocates for restricting access. The argument is like the teens who accuse their drug-opposing parents of being hypocrites because they used drugs at the same age. That’s not hypocrisy—that’s wisdom.
Perhaps my point would have been made better if I reworded it to read, “Imagine if supporters and enforcers of Prohibition were drinking alcohol habitually. Imagine if supporters and enforcers of heroin bans were shooting up heroin”
Oddly enough, you’re the only person I’ve seen pointing out the stupidity of Rush’s apparent assumption that more sex = more pills. As abhorrent as the entire rant was, that’s the bit that’s stuck in my head like an irritating grain of sand rubbing up against the logical part of my brain.
I can’t take credit for it—Prof. Eugene Volokh made the observation earlier. But it really was a stunningly stupid argument. I saw another article on line that suggested that Rush thinks birth control pills work like Viagra,
The democrats are giving Rush WAY too much power. His show only gives people permission to be more rude in an already rude society.
How Democrats and the media ascribe so much influence to Rush is one of his favorite topics.
This gal, who can afford to attend Georgetown at $65,000.00 a year, says she can no longer pay for birth control. She is not only an idiot, she is a democratic pawn. Rush makes a jackass out of himself as usual and the President of the United States gets into the catfight. Now isn’t this just priceless?
Have you considered she may be on loans or a scholarship?
He probably thinks you need a rooster to get eggs too. I will never understand how such a waste of skin was given any platform to spread his stupidity.
Rush apologized: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/03/03/a_statement_from_rush
I saw. A real one, too. Thanks for the link.
An apology is a good idea in a world where society holds everyone to the same standards of conduct.
Do we live in such a world?
No, but it’s still a good idea.
In a world where society holds everyone to the same standards of conduct, the only issue would be that Rush Limbaugh made an offensive remark, got chastised for it, and apologized for it, as Alan Grayson has done over two years ago .
But what if one side gets a free pass? After all, we all know how fairly, honestly, and accurately we can expect the media to report on this issue . This hypocrisy will actually incite more incivility, more offensive remarks. After all, if only one side is being taken to task for offensive remarks, that reduces the deterrent effect of chastisement against such remarks.
Rush got Fluked again.
Related to this issue, there is some truth to be exposed about both Sandra Fluke and Georgetown University.
As for Georgetown, it turns out that it covers contraceptives for faculty and staff. Not that this is wrong, a university certainly can reserve benefits for faculty and staff, while denying those same benefits to students. But it can not credibly claim that it denies contraceptive coverage for students for moral or religious reasons.
Partisan maneuvering must be presumed whenever someone testifies before Congress as Fluke did. In the tactical sense of one-upping with hyperbole, I am shocked that Rush got so personal about Fluke, instead of pontificating about a “war on religion” and a “war on taxpayers” to counter the “war on women” rhetoric.
Speaking in the bitterest sarcasm I can muster at the moment, my heart is warmed beyond Valentine’s Day greetings to see that there are still political forces determined to pick my empty pockets so that some poor little rich law school student gets “free” health care. I expect someone like Fluke to testify before Congress at some future date, advocating a “winners’ tax” on attorneys to pay her “loser’s costs” in future court cases – that is, for requiring the winners to pay whatever she bills to anyone for her representation, but especially, when she loses in court. Let’s keep our ears open for that advocacy and the inevitable “war on justice” rhetoric.