A few years ago, Al Franken – before he became a Senator - wrote a book titled “Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot.” Just this past week, Rush Limbaugh opened his mouth and confirmed that Franken’s observation is still true after all these years.
It all started when Sandra Fluke, a grad student, was denied the right to testify at a recent House Oversight Committee hearing on the topic of contraceptives as it related to health care law. Instead, the panel consisted of all men.
Many women across the country were appalled that women - the ones who pay the physical price (pregnancy and related health costs) for the inability to access birth control - had no say in the matter. Making the issue more complicated is the fight over whether the religious organizations can be told by the government to pay for medical coverage for contraception for its female employees. It’s important to note that the Catholic Church, the most vocal against being forced to pay for birth control coverage, is a organization run by celibate men. The Catholic Church has been out of touch for years when it comes to allowing women to have a say about anything, much less birth control. The Catholic Church also forgets that its many organizations may employ women who are not Catholic. Many women who say they are Catholic don’t follow the Catholic Church’s rules when it comes to birth control. But that is another story for another day.
Back to the idiot – er, topic – of Rush Limbaugh. When Sandra Fluke was eventually given the right to speak to the committee, her words drove Rush to spew some nasty vitriol. Here are excerpts from his radio show transcript:
“Three thousand dollars for birth control in three years? That’s a thousand dollars a year of sex — and, she wants us to pay for it. … They’re admitting before congressional committee that they’re having so much sex they can’t afford the birth control pills!...
…What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps. (interruption) The johns? We would be the johns? No! We're not the johns. (interruption) Yeah, that's right. Pimp's not the right word. Okay, so she's not a slut. She's "round heeled." I take it back.”
The following day, Limbaugh even makes himself sound even more idiotic (if that is even possible!) by going on to say:
“Folks, if you ask 'em - if you ask 'em - the Washington, DC, Department of Health will send you free condoms and lube. The DC Department of Health free condoms and lube if you just ask 'em for it! So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
I rest my case.
It’s been a long time since I have been so deeply appalled at one man’s attitude toward women. And make no mistake, even though he is responding to Sandra Fluke’s testimony, his comments are directed to all women.
Without mentioning Limbaugh’ name, Sandra Fluke released this statement:
“I thank the thousands of women and men, including members of Congress, Georgetown University students and faculty, and total strangers of all political stripes across the country who have offered kind words and support following recent egregious personal attacks.
“We are fortunate to live in a democracy where everyone is entitled to their own opinions regarding legitimate policy differences. Unfortunately, numerous commentators have gone far beyond the acceptable bounds of civil discourse.
“No woman deserves to be disrespected in this manner. This language is an attack on all women, and has been used throughout history to silence our voices.
“The millions of American women who have and will continue to speak out in support of women’s health care and access to contraception prove that we will not be silenced.”
Yesterday, the Senate voted 51-48 to set aside the measure that would have exempted employers like Catholic hospitals, universities and charities from an Obama health care provision requiring most employers to offer free insurance coverage for women's contraceptives.
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