Sunday, March 11, 2012


Latest Newspaper Column:

This week, I'd like to reach across the aisle, as it were, and offer my thanks to a couple of Republicans.I know this might seem shocking, and it does break with the position of many of my fellow liberals, but I'd like to extend the hand of thanks to Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh.

Sen. Santorum, as a supporter of this president and someone who'd like to see him win a second term, I'd like to offer my warmest gratitude to you for your complete inability to stay on message.

Oh, I know that, with employment rising and other good economic news, the Republican platform of "everything sucks and it's all Obama's fault" becomes somewhat problematic. It's going to be hard to keep those moderates and independents on your side when you have to keep dismissing, mocking and trying to change the subject when there's any piece of good news. The Debbie Downer character from "Saturday Night Live" may be amusing, but I wouldn't pick her for my communications director.

 Nevertheless, economic gloom and doom is the message the Republican Party has chosen to embrace, and that's the one the candidates are expected to broadcast.

But you, Sen. Santorum - when it comes to any issue involving sex in general and contraception in particular, you're like my dog when he sees a squirrel on our morning walk. He knows he's not supposed to take off running full-tilt after it, but he just can't help himself.

Likewise, whenever the subject of contraception comes up, you may know, somewhere back in the recesses of your mind, that the issue is an electoral minefield, given that polls show three-quarters of American women have used the pill, only 8 percent of them think that birth control is morally wrong, and 89 percent of Catholic women - your own fellow religionists - not only have no problem with birth control, but favor expanding access to it for people who can't afford it. But you can't help but chase that squirrel, can you?

You can't keep from blurting out things like how contraception is "a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be," and that states should have the power to ban it, even for married couples.

Which brings us to Rush Limbaugh. Thank you, Mr. Limbaugh, for your recent comments regarding Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke.

When Republican House members refused to let any women testify at a hearing involving a rule that private insurance plans had to include contraception, the Democrats held their own hearing. Ms. Fluke was a witness.
She talked about the financial hardship some women suffered because the student health plan at her private university did not provide coverage for contraception and related how a friend who took the pill to control her agonizingly painful polycystic ovarian syndrome was denied coverage and suffered as a result.

So you, Mr. Limbaugh, then went off on a bizarre diatribe over three days about how Ms. Fluke was a "slut" and a "prostitute" who "wanted taxpayers to pay her to have sex," even though, again, this was a discussion of regulation of a privately funded insurance plan at a private university and had nothing to do with taxpayer funding.

Further, Ms. Fluke hadn't even talked about her sex life. Nevertheless, in one of the creepiest jokes ever heard on the American airwaves, you demanded that Fluke should videotape herself having sex and post it on the Internet so you, a 61-year-old man, could watch it.

Now, a lot of people have given you grief for that. As of this writing, 45 sponsors have pulled out of your show after a storm of Internet protests. There have been calls to take you off the taxpayer-funded Armed Forces Radio.

But I say, please continue. Keep disrespecting women with whom you disagree in the crudest possible fashion, while positioning yourself as the voice of American conservatism.

And Sen. Santorum, please stay in the race as the "conservative alternative," while uncontrollably spouting off a radical position on birth control that's sure to alienate the vast majority of female voters.

Because pretty much all of the women of voting age that I've talked to recently are as angry and energized as I've ever seen them over these issues. And they're not energized for your party.A recent AP poll showed the president's approval ratings up 10 percent among women since December, beating Romney 54 percent to 41 percent in this key demographic.

Thank you, fellows. And enjoy the second Obama term.


Karen in Ohio said...

Dusty, I read yesterday that now nearly 100 sponsors have pulled out. (There's a joke there somewhere, don't you think?)

My biggest problem with the hullabaloo is that hardly anyone defends the ruling by pointing out that all OTHER prescription drugs are covered, except this one, which is only used by women. Presideht Obama is trying to end a pretty serious example of discrimination. He deserves to get way more credit for this than the grief the right has dished out.

chris the fascist bastard said...

As someone who thinks what's covered in health insurance should be between the employer and the employee (and I include vasectomies in that mix, too), Rush and Santorum have done a magnificent job obscuring that issue.

Then again, as someone who believes that, in part because of Rush and Santorum's response, I am by definition a misogynist who is part of the war on women. Thanks guys.

The 1919 White Sox have nothing on you.

Celine said...

Chris, I don't know how you can talk about insurance coverage being "between the employer and the employee" when employees are generally not given ANY voice in what their health insurance does or does not cover. Are you sure that was how you intended to phrase it? Because as stated, it doesn't make sense.

DiscoDollyDeb said...

I've thought for years that Rush was a damaged individual who would eventually run off the rails. No one can maintain the level of venom and malice he has for decades without being unhinged in a serious way. However, I figured what would finally do it would be an accidental uttering the n-word on the air. He'd be completely radioactive (pardo the pun) at that point. With this hateful misogynistic rant, he's coming close, but there are still cretins like Brent Bozell and his "I stand with Rush" campaign. Could we really see Bozell running to his aid if Rush had said "n----r" instead of "slut"?

Also, the media has been so caught up in words like "slut" and "prostitute," they aren't paying attention to what else Rush said. Things like, Fluke had so much sex in junior high it's a wonder she can walk straight. Read the entire transcript. If we lived in saner times, Rush would be committed. Sadly, this oaf can still command an audience of millions. As von Schiller said, "Against stupidity the very gods strive in vain."

Chris the misogynist pinhead said...

Celine, I don't think the Federal government should be dictating what employers must include in health insurance. I don't think that's appropriate.

JD Rhoades said...

But Chris, as Celine pointed out, the employee basically has no say in the plan. Your plan would centralize all power in the hands of the employer, and none in the worker. Unless they unionize, which I'm guessing you'e not a fan of either.

Judy5cents said...

I'm hoping this latest escapade from Rush finally shows the emperor has no clothes. There are not 20 million people who are glued to their AM radios between the hours of 12 and 3 pm every day. That's just a figure his staff came up with and it's been quoted ever since. His demographic is cranky old white guys, a fairly small group to begin with and even they have better things to do than listen to Rush for three hours a day.

I expect Limbaugh will soon join fellow shock jock Howard Stern in satellite radio. Let's see how many dittoheads are willing to pony up $10 a month to hear Rush pontificate, ad free.

Charlieopera said...

the employee basically has no say in the plan ...

Or anything else. That is one of the effects of the no-strings attached bailout (thank you, Presidents Bush & Obama). If the American worker has ever been a slave to wages, it’s now. Whether it’s the net effect of outsourcing or the Too Big To Fail theory, the one thing this government (both parties) was very clear about in their $700 billion gift to Wall Street was that the worker is their collective last concern. White collar workers now more than ever are “grateful” for their jobs and don’t expect wage increases and welcome (for the sake of keeping their jobs) cuts in benefits (as do many union workers--because, don’t you know, it’s teachers and other union workers who are bankrupting America): The average starting salary is $39,000; the average ending salary — after 25 years in the profession — is $67,000. This prices teachers out of home ownership in 32 metropolitan areas, and makes raising a family on one salary near impossible.

The fact Republicans killed the Wisconsin public workers union right to collectively bargain AND President Obama AND Richard Trumka were hiding safe from having to perform during that particular union war with that state’s lunatic Governor speaks volumes to both parties concerns for workers and workers rights.

This start to a crawl out of the economic abyss (the so-called free market put us in) we’re now seeing should be put in proper prospective. Of course people are happy to find jobs and work for much less than they used to (they have to survive) but don’t ignore how upper management (and investors) have thrived since the bailout ... roughly translated, too big to fail meant ten for them (the already wealthy) and tough noogies on us (what was once considered the middle class and everybody unfortunate enough to fit the tax brackets below middle class) ... when 23-28% of what was the middle class drop to a poverty level, their voices fade even further into the abyss.

Thank you, fellows. And enjoy the second Obama term.

American workers (and those graduated from colleges with mortgage payments that come in the form of student loans) can hardly wait ... this government (both parties) is there to protect corporate America. The bones either party tosses those doing the actual work that generate the actual profits (profits the workers get an ever declining pittance of) gets smaller and smaller.

Capitalism no longer works. Playing the Rep. vs. Dem game for another four years is nothing short of absurd. Unless, of course, you’re “invested” in the game.

Gerard said...

This is a perfect opportunity to a my return at baiting Rhoades by calling him a misogynist. I have not done that in a long time. Sadly, I do not have the energy right now to fake those accusations.

Deb, I had not heard Rush's "jokes" about Fluke as a middle school kid. That is both despicable and unsurprising.

Gerard said...

This is a perfect opportunity to a my return at baiting Rhoades by calling him a misogynist. I have not done that in a long time. Sadly, I do not have the energy right now to fake those accusations.

Deb, I had not heard Rush's "jokes" about Fluke as a middle school kid. That is both despicable and unsurprising.

Gerard said...

This is a perfect opportunity to add a third post to go with that accidental double-post.