Commentary by Bill Buchanan
On his radio show that reaches millions of listeners, Rush Limbaugh recently called Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute. Fluke is the Georgetown law student who testified before House Democrats advocating health insurance coverage for birth control. In addition to calling Fluke a slut, Limbaugh made fun of her sex life, and suggested that she repay taxpayers by posting sex videos on the internet.
Limbaugh gets paid a reported $56 million a year for being outrageous, and often coming across as a flawless moron (a term borrowed from the late author, Robert B. Parker, a favorite read of mine). What a sweet gig. When I was a child, my parents used to whip my behind for saying things that are much less offensive than what he gets paid millions to spew on a regular basis.
I defend Rush Limbaugh’s right to utter whatever inane utterances he wishes to, well, inanely utter. I am a capitalist, as well as a defender of free speech and the First Amendment. As the famous quote says, “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
My problem with Limbaugh is that he waited to apologize until his sponsors started sprinting away from his show. As more sponsors dropped, he apologized again. He did not issue a sincere, “I am deeply sorry for my stupid comments” kind of apology, but more the non-apology kind of apology that has come into vogue among certain celebrities and politicians. Limbaugh said he chose the wrong language, not that he was truly sorry for the grief and embarrassment he caused.
I am kind of amazed that we are having this retroactive national birth control debate in the first place. Didn’t we settle this about 40 or 50 years ago? Do people really not want women to have access to affordable birth control? If so, are those same people prepared to raise or subsidize the cost for raising all the unwanted babies that would be the result?
Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has made contraception a high-profile issue in his campaign, forcing other Republican primary candidates to debate the issue as well. Lately, Santorum seems more interested in limiting contraception than in dealing with the economy and other major problems facing the country.
Those politicians who jump on this bandwagon are headed for a steep cliff. The Republicans are alienating a large group of voters with their throwback comments of “slut” and “just put an aspirin between your knees, gals.” President Obama and the Democrats must be jumping up and down for joy.
Beating up on women for trying to control their own bodies will prove to be costly. It has cost Rush Limbaugh several advertisers and radio stations, and it will likely cost the Republicans the election in the fall.
Limbaugh was typically bold and brash when he made his comments about Ms. Fluke. But once the money starting leaving, he quickly recanted. Who looks like the prostitute now, Rush?