March 3, 2012

"Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."

An H.L. Mencken quote from 1916.

Now, here's something Rush Limbaugh said yesterday. He was talking about Sandra Fluke, "a student at Georgetown Law, who admits to having so much sex that she can't afford it anymore." Fluke is a woman who testified last week at an unofficial hearing (set up by Nancy Pelosi) in support of requiring health insurance coverage for birth control, even for those who get their health insurance from institutions affiliated with religions that see birth control as sinful. Opponents of that requirement had crafted their argument around respect for religious belief, and before Rush's loud voice took over, they seemed to want us to think about the exalted religious feeling underlying the objection to birth control. But Rush dragged our attention to the spectacle of a woman having sex, over and over — 3 times a day! — and she wants us "to pay for it." Heh heh. Wants us to pay for it?!! So she's a slut! A prostitute!
When [President Obama telephoned Fluke and] asked her if she's okay, she said that Obama told her that she should tell her parents they should be proud. (pause) Okay, I'm button [sic] my lip on that one.  The president tells Sandra Fluke (chuckling), 30-year-old Sandra Fluke, that her parents should be proud.  Okay.  Let me ask you a question.  I might be surprised at the answer I would get to this question.  Your daughter appears before a congressional committee and says she's having so much sex, she can't pay for it and wants a new welfare program to pay for it. Would you be proud?  I don't know about you, but I'd be embarrassed.  I'd disconnect the phone. I'd go into hiding and hope the media didn't find me.  See, everybody forgets what starts this, or what started this whole thing. Or maybe they don't! Maybe that's normal behavior on the left now, for all I know.
If that were your daughter, you should be ashamed. Shame! She's having so much sex. Shame. 3 times a day. Wants to get paid. Shame. That's Rush's theme. He can't let it go. That's where he found the resonance with the audience he imagines as he speaks. Who are those listeners? They're not those people on the left. (Who knows what "normal behavior" for them is now?) But his audience, he knows how to talk to them, and he's sounding the theme of shame — shame for the woman who openly enjoys her sexuality. Rush is plying the audience, playing on their haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. So much sex!

Now, I know he's also got the small government theme in there. "We" shouldn't have to pay for it. There shouldn't be "a new welfare program" for it. That's distorted. It's not a welfare program funded by taxpayers. It's an insurance regulation that will have some effect on insurance premiums. That's a conservative theme that resonates with listeners who don't worry about how much sex other people are having. But he doesn't bother to get the conservative argument straight. He has to distort it so it works with his joking about prostitution, and he's only talking about it in connection to sex — that very, very frequent sex that somebody else is having.

And whatever happened to religion? I mean religion as the exalted aspiration toward God, the theme that other Republicans had worked so hard to refine and articulate before Rush's big voice drowned them out. Now, the connection to religion seems to be about the old sexual Puritanism. This is a theme that makes many modern American women suspect that what people like Rush are really about is preserving the body's uncontrolled sexual function for the purpose of subordinating women. How dare women seize the power to disconnect sexuality from the consequences God built in!

But it is fundamental to women's freedom that we have the ability to decide for ourselves when our bodies will go through pregnancy and bear children. At some point, society ought to intervene to protect a developing child, and we will argue until doomsday about exactly where that point is, but it is nevertheless crucial to the equality of women that we control our bodies' reproductive function. There are in this world societies that appropriate the reproductive function and use it as a means of intimidating and punishing women who might act upon sexual desire, but that is not the United States, not since quite a long time ago. Now, we could become a society like that, and I suspect some of Rush's listeners, if not Rush himself, love that idea.

Yes, yes, no one is currently proposing taking away birth control. The debate is about who pays for it. Of course. But the political effort to channel public opinion reaches more deeply into the human mind. Politicians make choices about what emotions to stimulate. The Republican Party and the Republican candidates seem to have decided that their emotional theme would be freedom of religion. That might elegantly balance the Democratic Party's theme of reproductive freedom. And then Rush lumbered into the spotlight and spouted about sex. Sex! The women are having too much sex! Sex, sex, sex, all the time, 3 times a day! Sex!

In the long comments thread on yesterday's post about Limbaugh and Fluke, Mark O said:
This is part of a wonderfully orchestrated maneuver to distract the voters from Obama's economic failures to something nearly irrelevant.
And I said:
Nice of Rush to sit in on Obama's orchestra.

535 comments:

1 – 200 of 535   Newer›   Newest»
Mark O said...

This time Rush is playing second fiddle.

Paco Wové said...

If we analogize the world to the Internet, there is no getting around the fact that the Republicans got trolled on this one.

Darleen said...

Good lord, Maher calls Palin the "c" word often loud and seriously and the Left ignores it, Limbaugh mocks MOCKS Flukes embarrassing "testimony" that contraception for some must be paid for by others and ZOMG the sky has fallen!

Get.over.it.

Martha said...

It is no one's business how much sex Ms. Fluke enjoys.
Rush clearly jumped the shark when he called Ms. Fluke a slut and a prostitute.

But I do not think I am an over-the-hill prude to think parents would not be proud to hear their 30 year old law student daughter discussing her need for access to free contraception before Congress.

Howard said...

I sincerely hope that at some point, both the left and right of this country begin treating Limbaugh as the entertainer that he is, rather than some sort of political philosopher.

Freder Frederson said...

But I do not think I am an over-the-hill prude to think parents would not be proud to hear their 30 year old law student daughter discussing her need for access to free contraception before Congress.

If I had a 30 year old daughter who was not having sex or could not discuss her sexuality maturely and openly, I would be concerned about her.

You can argue about when people should become sexually active, but most sane people in this society think it is perfectly normal for a 30 year old woman to be sexually active.

Ann Althouse said...

@Darleen You're acting as if the problem is between Rush and the left. I'm talking about how Rush is hurting his own party. Maher may hurt Democrats too, but that doesn't clear Rush out of center stage where he is actively damaging the Republican Party's prospects in this fall's elections. If you can drag Maher into center stage and make him more important, that might begin to offset Drudge's damage, but he's not there now, and Rush is hurting the GOP. You say "get over it." I say: Face it.

I'm right there with you if you want to say both parties purvey sexism. I call everyone on it when I see it.

Tom Spaulding said...

"If what goes on in people's bedrooms is none of my business, why then should I be forced to pay for their contraception/consequences?" - Facebook post

AJ Lynch said...

You have a blind spot on Rush's bit here Althouse. These law students are attending a high-priced law school. Rush could extend his argument to fat girls demanding free donuts or a party girls demanding free booze. Would you get it then?

Jim in St Louis said...

Personal responsibility. Autonomy of one's own body. What are we arguing about here? "uh-oh" baby talk about the boy parts and the girl parts?

Eight year olds across the nation are entranced.

SGT Ted said...

She lied before Congress about the availability and cheapness of contraceptives, trying to be a drama queen with a failed sob story of her friend who seems unable to grasp that theres more than one form of contraceptives out there and most of them are cheaper than the latest trendy chemical pills. Her "poor me, the GTown law student" act is what was offensive.

And yea, I doubt parents would be proud to have their law school daughter up in DC asking for them to force companies to provide her with expensive chemicals so she can fuck worry free, when she should be using a condom in the age of AIDS.

Having sex isn't a medical issue. It's a personal issue. Men used to be responsible for bringing the condom. Now that women are expected to take responsibility, they want it at extrememly reduced rates or for free, and they want their choice, regardless of cost.

Men and women can both get a vasectomy or tubed tied under insurance. Thats a one and done. Viagra is for a medical dysfunction, not a contraceptive for already functioning genitalia.

If women want to pay extra on thier HC plan for expensive BC chemicals, then there's no problem. If they can't afford the extra for expensive BC chemicals, theres' always condoms, which are far more effective at preventing disease than expensive chemical pills.

And if private companies don't want to cover contraception costs, there should be no law forcing them to do so, simply because the buyer is a woman.

That is the real issue: Women using the government to force other private parties to give them or to cover something they don't want to give or cover under a VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT that was previously agreed upon mutually when they signed up for their healthcare. Instead of having to nag their husbands in order to get their way, they are now proceeding to nag the Nation to give it to them.

She wants Congress to intervene and violate the contract she already signed to get what she wants at a very nice cut rate. Who woule ever sign a contract with people like that?

Ann Althouse said...

"I sincerely hope that at some point, both the left and right of this country begin treating Limbaugh as the entertainer that he is, rather than some sort of political philosopher."

For the last couple months he hasn't been very funny. He's gone over and over the social conservatism and economic themes in a pretty dreary way. You can scarcely say he's just a big old comedian. He uses humor, often very well, but he's very seriously trying to mold political opinion. He puts tremendous energy and skill into persuading people to be conservative. But in this case, he's hurting his own cause. I listen to him all the time, via podcast, nearly all of every show, and I have often talked about how much I like him, and I have defended him against charges of racism (and sexism).

But the old meme that he's just "an entertainer"... it's not true. Though he is, usually, entertaining.

John M Auston said...

Here is Rush's main point, and I think it deserves consideration.

He wants medical insurance to be more like car insurance. When you buy car insurance ( and before that, when you purchase the car ) you are expecting that your choice in what kind of car it is, should be reflected in the amount of premium you pay.

Perhaps you purposely buy a very safe car, of medium top-end performance potential. You expect to be able to purchase a policy that takes into account the things that might happen to your car, like lower repairs, avoidance of the types of accidents that can occur at 100+ miles an hour, etc. Let the person who chooses to drive a Ferrari pay those higher premiums.

Or how about house insurance? I choose to buy a house that is NOT in the flood plain. I don't expect my premiums to include protection against floods.

Same with Health Care. If I am not a female, I should be able to buy a policy that has not loaded in the potential costs of a hysterectomy, for example, or birth control pills and the necessary attendant doctor visits.

Who I am, and the behavior I choose to exhibit, should affect my premium, and not yours. And vice versa.

Simple point. Not without merit.

And this doesn't even bring up the ridiculous situation that Health Insurance is tied to an employer, or a learning institution.

Bob_R said...

Yes, the question is who pays. And three-condom-a-day-girl's answer is that the people not benefiting from birth control should subsidize the people who are. Three-condom-a-day-girl believes that insurance should pay for predictable routine expenses. Someone who pays $1000 per year for birth control undoubtedly finds it hard to pay for oil changes and tuneups for her Jag. Someone should subsidize that. And it so tiresome to pay for those meals at 1789 and Citronelle. No doubt someone should subsidize that.

(And yes, if you go to a congressional hearing and give an inflated, gold plated, price for birth control you deserve to be called three-condom-a-day-girl for the rest of your life.)

William said...

You cannot rationally debate affirmative action and use the n-word. The debate will not be about affirmative action, but about your use of the n-word. Ditto with Rush calling this young woman a slut. This argument will now be about Rush and his attitude towards women......Was it a fluke of luck that this young woman has a name that subliminally reminds one of a flock of fucking?

Mr. Forward said...

I’ve been workin’ on the Rush Show all the live-long day!
I’ve been workin’ on the Rush Show just to pass the time away!
Can’t you hear the whistle blowin’? Rise up so early in the morn!
Can’t you hear Bo Snerdley shouting, “Limbaugh, blow your horn!”

Limbaugh won’t you blow! Limbaugh won’t you blow!
Limbaugh won’t you blow your horn?
Limbaugh won’t you blow! Limbaugh won’t you blow!
Limbaugh won’t you blow your horn?

Someone’s in the kitchen with Limbaugh!
Someone’s in the kitchen I know!
Someone’s in the kitchen with Limbaugh!
Strummin’ on the old banjo! And singin’:
Fee-for-fiddley-oh-no! Fee-for-fiddley-oh-no-no-no-no
Fee-for-fiddley-oh-no! Strummin’ on the old banjo!

Ann Althouse said...

"You have a blind spot on Rush's bit here Althouse. These law students are attending a high-priced law school. Rush could extend his argument to fat girls demanding free donuts or a party girls demanding free booze. Would you get it then?"

You have a blind spot. This isn't about welfare. This is about health insurance. A person, rich or poor, buys health insurance. They pay for it and they are entitled to the coverage they bought. This is a debate about what coverage should be required.

And by the way, students paying a lot of money for tuition and room and board and the required health insurance plan are in a very tight situation, going deeper and deeper into debt and facing a tough job market. Their arguments for the insurance to cover the things they use make plenty of sense. You don't have to be persuaded, but your joking about fat girls isn't persuasive!

Lucien said...

Puritanism as defined by Mencken is also one of the motivating forces behind the WAR ON DRUGS. Every time someone comes out with a new "designer drug" there is a rush to ban it. No one needs to amass evidence that the drug is unusually dangerous or addictive, the real criterion for making it illegal is that it makes the user feel good. (And sometimes it makes them want to have sex, more, too.)

Meanwhile Rush has repeatedly shot himself in the foot as to Ms. Fluke and his response seems to be to reload and look for another foot. The fact that birth control is often used by married women with children just doesn't seem to sink into (penetrate?) the minds of many on the right. Of course, most abortions are obtained by women who are mothers, too, but folks seem to think they are so unfamiliar with the child bearing process that they need to be forced to see ultrasound scans of fetuses.

Still, the spectacle of testimony of the plight of law students seeking birth control does seem a little funny, or at least to those of us who look back on how little sex law students actually have.

Martha said...

FREDERIC FREDERSON SAID: If I had a 30 year old daughter who was not having sex or could not discuss her sexuality maturely and openly, I would be concerned about her.

Ms. Fluke is asking you and me and everyone else to pay for her mature sexuality. I am thrilled she has an active, hopefully healthy sex life. But I do not want to hear about it and reallly really do not want Georgetown, a Catholic University, to be forced to pay for Ms. Fluke's contraception, abortifacients, and abortions which would violate the tenets of the Church.

SGT Ted said...

And Althouse is trying to make the issue about prudery when it is about the overweening sense of entitlement of the modern woman. I don't think mocking this eminently mockable girl hurts Limbaugh at all.

Leftist women say they want equality, but when harsh words are directed their way they, and all their enablers, go all Victorian on us with their fainting couch and vapors and faux chivalry bullshit.

I request a "faux Victorian chivalry bullshit" tag for the defensive reaction about what Rush said.

Ann Althouse said...

"Here is Rush's main point, and I think it deserves consideration. He wants medical insurance to be more like car insurance. When you buy car insurance ( and before that, when you purchase the car ) you are expecting that your choice in what kind of car it is, should be reflected in the amount of premium you pay."

That's an important point about health insurance, and it's been made for years, but it's not the main point in Rush's last few shows. I agree that the debate would be better if that were highlighted.

It's something I really dislike about Obamacare. Forcing people to buy the most expensive kind of insurance that covers all sorts of preventive care that everyone needs to buy. That kind of care is more like food, shelter, and clothing... just your regular expenses. Why are we pooling money for that? Pooling makes more sense for unexpected calamities.

The fact that there is a good argument somewhere in the mess that Rush spewed doesn't make it his "main point." He's getting attention now because he called Fluke a prostitute.

Mike said...

Frankly I'm a little confused here. I listen to El Rushbo on occasion; a little Blowhard, whether it be Limbaugh or O'Reilly goes a long way.

Did Limbaugh use the words "slut" and "prostitute" or did he simply say this woman had sex three times a day and she wants us to pay for it?

Certainly the testimony of Ms. Fluke was a bit of a drama queen act. She had fellow female students at Georgetown Law (tuition $45,000 a year) who had to give up sex for three years because they couldn't pay for three years of birth control (which works out to about a grand a year).

I don't know (because I didn't hear--turn that stuff off pretty quick) whether Limbaugh used the words slut and prostitute or whether those people who got the vapors about it simply connected the words "sex" and "pay for it".

Jane said...

Everyone is missing the point that, if she is right that "everyone" is using contraception at the rate of $1000 a year, then the only impact of adding contraception to an unsubsidized policy with rates without sex differentiation is that the men would be obliged to split the cost 50/50 via their insurance rather than women and men working this out in their individual relationships. And you can bet that if contraception were in the health insurance policy (assuming that everythings' in-formulary), woman would be electing the brand-name, high-convenience products.

Carol_Herman said...

Rush, whose had multiple wives. Drug addiction. And, other assorted behaviors; thought he'd lash out at Ms. Flake, and "save" the republican's ass. Given how must people don't like the NAME CALLING that goes on from the "social conservatives." And, the only BOUNCE has been the GOP's dropping numbers ... for election day, ahead.

If you don't think a mistake has been made, good for you.

But Scott Brown attached himself to the Blount piece of legislation. And, Harry Reid ate the GOP's lunch.

Even in Massachusetts, you're watching the GOP with self-inflicted wounds.

Not that I care. It's the ECONOMY, stupid.

Skyler said...

"But it is fundamental to women's freedom that we have the ability to decide for ourselves when our bodies will go through pregnancy and bear children."

But apparently this doesn't require responsibly choosing when and with whom to have sex. Nor does it include taking resonsibility for what happens after choosing to have sex.

Yes, Rush stepped into a trap and dropped the argument from the religious high ground. But you shouldn't pretend that there is any high ground in premarital sex. It's not illegal and not even bad, but it is not some lofty principle of a free society.

Ann Althouse said...

"And Althouse is trying to make the issue about prudery when it is about the overweening sense of entitlement of the modern woman. I don't think mocking this eminently mockable girl hurts Limbaugh at all."

He could have mocked her successfully, but he did not. He made what was a great opportunity into a very damaging display that has hurt his party.

AJ Lynch said...

You are right - it is about what is required. And where is it written that the President decides what is required?

And what if fat frat boys demanded free donuts or free beer? And why is there never ever a complaint about the cost of Georgetown Law School?

I had two nieces who attended Fordham. When they took a trip home, they opted for the economical Bolt or Megabus because Amtrak is too pricey. Maybe they should have gone in front of Congress and whined for free train tickets.

virgil xenophon said...

I'd like to zero in on the "slut" bit here. Wasn't it not too long ago that "progressive" women were having "slut-walks" all over America & Canada to celebrate their sexual "freedoms?" And now many of these self-same people are getting the vapors and clutching their pearls over Rush's use of the term? I thought the whole purpose of such "walks" was to shout loud and clear to one and all that as progressives they were PROUD to be called "sluts" if by that one meant it as a slur against their open sexuality and "control" over their "own" bodies. And NOW they complain? Plueeeze..

Richard Dolan said...

"How dare women seize the power to disconnect sexuality from the consequences God built in!"

Since God gave people the power to make that disconnect, it's an overstatement to say He "built them in." It's the power to act as if sexuality had no consequences. I am very doubtful that those who think there are no such consequences will be proven right as their lives play out. But that's something that each must figure out (and live with) on her own.

If there is a point at all in Rush's rant (I don't think there was much of one), it would be a fractured-fairy-tales version of Charles Murray's argument -- the 'disconnect' here really is about the decline of stable familial relationships, of which no-consequences sexuality is a major part. But Rush never really takes his own rant seriously enough to pursue it.

The economic argument, to the effect that a regulatory requirement that contraceptives be included in insurance plans without add'l premium amounts to cost-shifting, probably fails empirically. You'd have to compare the costs avoided to the costs incurred to conclude whether there is any net cost being shifted, and contraception probably comes out on that scale as a highly efficient net cost-avoider in any broad-based (as opposed to cherry-picked) insurance pool.

Ann's point about shame is well taken, but also perhaps reflects values more typical of the parental generation than Ms. Fluke's 20-somethings. I am afraid that today's 'hook-up' culture is not the road to nirvana that some think it to be.

Tom from Virginia said...

Rush's instincts as to what attracts an audience (and hence advertisers) have been vindicated over and over and over. Obama's instincts as to what attracts voters has been likewise vindicated. Who's to say they both won't come out winners using Ms. Fluke for their own purposes, using their own metrics.

Levi Starks said...

Clearly we live in a world where "traditional values" no longer exist, It's possible they never did, However, I do think that if society is now responsible for this and every other woman's healthcare then it's reasonable that we would seek to insure that women don't intentionally expose themselves to dangerous infections through unsafe sexual practices. And it hardly seems to me that providing birth control to women is going to accomplish this. In fact I think government may need to restrict the kinds of activities that can take place in order to insure that healthcare recipients don't impose an undue financial burden on society, since we are financially responsible. A lesson that citizens of the USA have yet to learn is that you cannon both demand unfettered freedom to behave as you wish, and expect to maintain total dependance on those who support you. This is a small detail that would be socialist's/communists would prefer to keep locked in the closet.

Titus said...

Rush has been married four times and has no children.

Maybe he is birth control.

This entire episode made me think of him having sex and that is a really gross thought.

He did say the women should put the sex on line though so we can see it, and that would be hot, but not if he was watching it.

Bill Maher isn't the democrat kingmaker, but Rush Limbaugh is the republican God.

Bob_R said...

Martha - Sorry. When you are in congress demanding that EVERYONE'S sex life become a matter of federal legislation, then YOUR sex life becomes everyone's business. Having a private sex life and getting the federal government involved with it are not compatible.

Just for the record, I do think Rush crossed the line. I obviously believe that three-condom-a-day-girl deserves mockery, but Rush's was too mean-spirited. It also, as others have said, distracted from the pathetic weaknesses of her testimony.

Hagar said...

At the top of the bra-burning tempest some years ago, there was a young woman who wrote in to say that is was nobody's business what she did or did not wear, and that if she went to the office one morning stark naked, none of those nasty men had the right to raise an eyebrow or even notice.

Ms. Fluke's testimony belongs in that bracket and goes it one better, since she did not just write in an anonymous post, but went before Congress with it on national television and stating her full name and address.

Again people, this has nothing to do with anything but the coming election, and our "Uniter in Chief" throwing out some red meat to stir up the passions and deflect attention from the record of government.

jfm said...

Democrats: "The economy sucks so let's talk about birth control."

Republicans: "OK."

SGT Ted said...

"Rush Limbaugh joke makes humorless angry feminists extra mad. Film at eleven."

The only ones trying to make this about Rush calling her slut are the leftist media that is delighted to have him as the target.

It is phony outrage and phony chivalry, particularly in light of how they treat conservative women who speak out.

And since when has Limbaugh been successful being careful what he says? His success rest on the exact opposite; in tell us what he really thinks, even when it offends.

And if certain women cannot take a joke or think things through, he isn't responsible for their emotional reactions.

Howard said...

Ann, your point is valid that Rush is trying to mold political opinion. But he doesn't try to persuade the uncommitted, and in that I continue to think of him as basically a parrot, mostly useful as company to shut-ins. He has a real megaphone, and to use it in a way that is, as you said, ugly, is a detriment to the cause of liberty. It helps the statists.

garage mahal said...

The mask slips off from "It's all about conscience and religious freedom", to "she's a slut".

Hagar said...

And please look up the definition of "slut" in your Funk & Wagnall's.

It is an accurate term for the behavior implicit in Ms. Fluke's testimony.

MayBee said...

Nice of Rush to sit in on Obama's orchestra.

Nobody is making you (or the press) pay more attention to Rush than Obama or the economy.
It's a choice!

SGT Ted said...

Well, garage, the slut thing is her choice. But the overriding issue is about government force and entitlement based on sexual activity.

But, I don't want to subsidize sluts either. They can be free self funding sluts all they want, but the moment they demand government intervention to make their slut life more convenient at someone elses expense, they've crossed the line.

That you want it to be about calling sluts what they are is typical. She should be a Proud Slut. They even hold rallies.

Freder Frederson said...

It is an accurate term for the behavior implicit in Ms. Fluke's testimony.

So she is a slut if she is in a long term relationship and she (and her boyfriend) are monogamous?

You really should reassess your assumptions.

Canuck said...

I saw this comment on the internets and LOLed.

"My sister is on the pill. She is in her ’50s, post-menopausal. It’s to keep her from bleeding so much she becomes anemic. THAT WHORE."

Yeah. I'm still stunned that Rush (and some other men on this blog) have no idea how birth control works or that lots of women take it for hormonal control.

Yes, virgins take the pill for acne. THOSE SLUTS.

hombre said...

Limbaugh reflects Puritanism?

How silly is that?

Ann Althouse said...

"Did Limbaugh use the words "slut" and "prostitute" or did he simply say this woman had sex three times a day and she wants us to pay for it?"

Yes, he did use those words -- over and over again. For 3 days. That's why he got so much attention.

You don't have to listen to the show. There's a website. I linked to it. It has transcripts. You can do a word search.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd like to zero in on the "slut" bit here. Wasn't it not too long ago that "progressive" women were having "slut-walks" all over America & Canada to celebrate their sexual "freedoms?" And now many of these self-same people are getting the vapors and clutching their pearls over Rush's use of the term? I thought the whole purpose of such "walks" was to shout loud and clear to one and all that as progressives they were PROUD to be called "sluts" if by that one meant it as a slur against their open sexuality and "control" over their "own" bodies. And NOW they complain? Plueeeze.."

Some women did "slut walks." Some women criticized the slut walks. I know I did. It's not like women are just one big undifferentiated mass. We think and say different things. We are human beings. Individuals. It's quite a concept. Contemplate it now and then.

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O said...

What's the definition of a "slut"?

Also, Skyler @9:25am is exactly right.

Personal responsibility over our bodies includes taking responsibility over our bodies, not just insisting that we can do whatever we want to do and people should pay for our choices. Women are not required to have sex. It's a choice.

That's precisely why we require a man to pay child support. The man made a choice to have sex, so is responsible for what happens. Should the government pay for men's choices in this matter? Why does a woman get subsidized choices on her sexuality but not a man?

Both take responsibility when make a choice among the array of choices available.

Again, if a woman is socially or psychologically unable to make a choice about her sexual activity, then that's a whole other issue.

If she finds her identity through multiple sexual partners on a frequent basis, then that's not something the Catholic Church should be mandated to subsidize. Like it or not sexuality is not simply an issue about moral choices but an issue about our identity itself. You're mandating a theological position, that sexuality and religion should not overlap.

Unfortunately, that's something Christian theology has rejected from the very beginning. How we assert our identity is indeed a religious issue. The Church, fortunately, cannot mandate behavior, but it can still assert what it itself believes.

Otherwise it ceases to be what it is.

Jane said...

If she were in a long-term relationship with a boyfriend, then I would hope that she wouldn't see the cost of contraception as an intolerable burden on HER as opposed to a cost shared by the couple (even if it's that he treats her to dinner more often). The perspective of "contraception is an intolerable expense borne solely by women" is one of someone not in a long-term relationship.

By the way, do you believe her when she says that she has a married friend who stopped using contraception because she couldn't afford the cost? (Did she buy a thermometer, start using NFP, and gripe about abstaining when fertile?)

But as for "slut" -- I'm fine with calling a woman with multiple sex partners as "slut" as long as there is an equivalent pejorative term for men.

And, yes, Ann, Limbaugh went too far -- just wondering: has he ever in the past walked back a statement he's made? I think it's just something that, as policy almost, he never does.

garage mahal said...

Well, garage, the slut thing is her choice. But the overriding issue is about government force and entitlement based on sexual activity

Fluke never testified about her sex life. That is Limbaugh's fantasy, and it looks like he has no idea how birth control even works. We went through this a few yrs ago when dittoheads had to defend Limbaugh mocking a Parkinson's victim. I expect this to be no different.

Jane said...

Oh, and did Rush actually use the word "slut"?

Jess said...

Instead of having to nag their husbands in order to get their way, they are now proceeding to nag the Nation to give it to them.


What has Katrina vanden Heuvel to do with this?

Jon Burack said...

I am not any longer the fan of Rush that Ann is, so I am not quite as disappointed in his antics on this as she appears to be. I used to like him a lot. But in fact he has lost his "entertaining" touch and has kept pace instead with the shrill descent of the right into realms of self-righteousness (and, yes, Puritanism) better left to the left. This descent is what has doomed the right this time around, as it has scurried in sequence after each of the utterly mediocre second-stringers who have arisen to proclaim themselve the "not-Romney" of the day. I am almost hopeful now that, with Rush's laughable and self-destructive obsessiveness here, this descent will fully burn itself out (yes, mixed metaphor, I know)by the end of the primary season, so grown up voices can return, help make Romney a better candidate, push his initially promising stances on taxes and entitlements and get on to the real world task of confroning Obama.

roesch/voltaire said...

Althouse you have touched one source of Rush's problem but here are other layers. I think Rush reveals what lurks in the hearts of many men, Republicans in particular, which is a fear of women who want more control over their lives. These Rush types see the right for women to control their fertility as just another example of women exerting a power, often times sexual in nature, which they are afraid of and of course which they wish to control through any means possible.
Rush and the Republicans have become obvious bullies in this case in their attitudes towards women, and in their belief expressed in the Blunt Bill that would allow any employer to arbitrarily cut off access to services recommended by the Institute of Medicine, whether it be contraception or screening for cervical cancer.

phx said...

I believe most Americans who are moderate and may be undecided are only hearing this stuff at the far edges of awareness. There are millions who are moderates because they don't care to follow this stuff that closely, they aren't really that interested in politics. They will vote but they aren't especially informed voters. I'm kind of like that sometimes I suppose.

They don't hear the underlying message of government mandates and congressional committees and details of health insurance coverage. The stuff reasonable Republicans want to talk about.

What they hear is a lot of Republicans with big mouths calling woman sluts and shaming them about birth control. That's what they hear, thanks to the loudmouths who are making a point of saying exactly that, or cloaking their arguments in that message.

Just my theory of what's helping to seriously undo the GOP's chances in November. YMMV.

chickenlittle said...

AJ Lynch said...
You have a blind spot on Rush's bit here Althouse. These law students are attending a high-priced law school. Rush could extend his argument to fat girls demanding free donuts or a party girls demanding free booze. Would you get it then?

Exactly, AJ. And Althouse will point out that Puritans dislike indulgence in liquor and overeating. She not out to get Rush's point--she's out to needle religion.

Fluke is demanding more preventive healthcare. She is asking for subsidy no matter what Althouse argues. If her additional copay covered the entire added cost, this wouldn't even be an issue.

FLUKE.IS.ASKING.FOR.A.HANDOUT

Like I said yesterday, new preventive care is an expense on top of fast growing acute and elder care. The rationale is that such care will prevent future outlays. This is not going to square well with current demographic trends. Young, healthy people like the insistent Ms. Fluke are actually taking resources away from sick people and the truly indigent. In a sense, Ms. Fluke should be ashamed that she is not "paying forward."

Hagar said...

If using words like "slut" and "prostitute" is what it takes to call attention to the utter irrationality of this argument about the bill presently before Congress, el Rushbo is right to use them.

From the above, not least from the Professor's input, it looks like he is failing. The arguments are just going farther off into outer space.

Paco Wové said...

"...this descent will fully burn itself out ... grown up voices can return, help make Romney a better candidate..."

Republicans — The Phoenix Party! Victory from the ashes!

AprilApple said...

Again, this is about forcing someone else to pay. Tax payer, insurance payer, insurance company: Someone has to pay a little more for something else to be "free".
That is the big deal here. We are sick to death of added entitlements.

pm317 said...

So you're indirectly chastising your buddy Rush for falling prey into Obama's trap.

But the fact that Obama laid the trap at the expense of women tells you something about that bastard. Are you liberal women Obots listening?

Romney is not a politician and he didn't want to play this game even after a bait from George S (and Obama). Smart man. Now who is listening to that?!

Jason said...

There is a bigger picture element here. Where does the entitlements end?

I could care less about Ms. Fluke's sex life. This issue is about what is being mandated in health insurance policy. If one ends up on the government plan of ObamaCare - which is what Obama wants after driving up the price on private insurance to make it unaffordable by forcing all of these things to be covered by either insurance companies or employers - that means someone else WILL be paying for it. Which means that, yes, you will be getting it for nothing if you are on the government plan. So Rush's point about it being a new kind of welfare is not far off.

But where does it end? I mean, I would love for other people to pay for tons of stuff that I want. I want my fuel for less than I pay. Does that mean car insurance should be mandated to cover fuel costs because someone is having a hard time paying for gas? While we are talking about women's health, what about men's health? Why arent condoms being talked about in the same breath as contraception? Shouldnt that be included as well?

We have become a society that, sadly, when someone complains about not getting something that they want, we just magically give it to them, and then make somebody else pay for it. That's what society has become under this president. We saw it here in Wisconsin, when Scott Walker had the gall to ask public employees to actually pay for part of their own health care and pensions.

Is there not a responsibility for anyone to pay for anything or do anything for themselves anymore?

mc said...

Completely Overreacting.

Now to whom am I referiring?

Rush? Mrs. Meade? The Scarlet Testifier? Media? The Loathsome Barry O?

Can this list be trimmed?

Yes, Barry is not genuine, his drama is a lie.

Paco Wové said...

"I think Rush reveals what lurks in the hearts of many men, Republicans in particular..."

"We are human beings. Individuals. It's quite a concept. Contemplate it now and then."

John M Auston said...

Ann Althouse said...
He could have mocked her successfully, but he did not. He made what was a great opportunity into a very damaging display that has hurt his party.


'his' party? Shucks. I thought you were coming around.

Is this really a time to be fence siting, attempting an aloof objectivity?
Personally I think this is an "our lives and our sacred honor" type election.

Ann Althouse said...

"That's precisely why we require a man to pay child support. The man made a choice to have sex, so is responsible for what happens. Should the government pay for men's choices in this matter? Why does a woman get subsidized choices on her sexuality but not a man?"

The woman is required to buy the health insurance, and she's making the argument that her health care needs should be covered.

The man who fathers a child isn't made to pay because he made a choice to have sex. It's not about retribution and consequences. It's the simple reality that there is a child, a child is a dependent, and there are expenses involved. It's his child, and he owes something to the child.

Framing it as an issue of sex, that people can refrain from having sex, so they should pay for the sex that they have... Well, that's one way to frame it. You can try that politically, but it will be successful, if it is, because people feel prudish/jealous/censorious/etc.

I don't like to see Republicans go there.

MayBee said...

Ha! People on the left like to use the idea that Republicans want to control women. This includes President Obama.

But it is the left, thesupporters of this rule that want women to dance for their free birth control. It is the left expecting women to want "free" birth control so badly they will actually ignore everything else to get it.
Who is it looking at women as sex objects again?

phx said...

"This issue is about what is being mandated in health insurance policy."

More simply, that's the issue you want to discuss. But the moderates and undecideds are hearing "slut" and other such judgmental ugliness - by Republicans, not Democrats.

AprilApple said...

Why is Fluke so important? Rush should have ignored her. Fluke is a Pelosi prop and I am certain Fluke does not come close to representing how most Americans feel.
Sex or no sex, Fluke is asking someone else to pay a little more so she can pay a little less.

Rusty said...

Are yo trying to us something Ann? There seems to be an unstated theme here.


@Darleen You're acting as if the problem is between Rush and the left. I'm talking about how Rush is hurting his own party. Maher may hurt Democrats too, but that doesn't clear Rush out of center stage where he is actively damaging the Republican Party's prospects in this fall's elections. If you can drag Maher into center stage and make him more important, that might begin to offset Drudge's damage, but he's not there now, and Rush is hurting the GOP. You say "get over it." I say: Face it.

As Rush has said many times, he doesn't represent the GOP. He represents himself.
I really don't think you give the people that listen to him enough credit for being at least on the same intellectual level as the democrats that ,say, post here.You're making an assumption that gives you no credit.

Titus said...

Could you imagine Rush mounting you?

Fat, sweaty, blob with fat everywhere, gyrating, sweating, flopping, heavy breathing, perhaps hoping for a heart attack in order to alleviate all the weight on your little frame.

The women must have to tell themselves at that time, "I am getting a new car for this".

Ann Althouse said...

"'his' party? Shucks. I thought you were coming around. Is this really a time to be fence siting, attempting an aloof objectivity?"

I'm an independent. I don't want to be in a party. But if I were choosing a party, I would feel that stuff like this is pushing me away.

I don't know who I'll vote for for President, but I don't like birth control as a wedge issue. Mitch Daniels was right about a truce on social issues, but some people love that stuff. And now we're seeing the damage it's done to the GOP's prospects.

madAsHell said...

I'm still having trouble with the math.

$3000 for contraceptives?...or does she expect us to pay for her Agent Provocateur underpants?

Mooove over Michelle!! I wanna ride that gravy train too!!

MayBee said...

The woman is required to buy the health insurance, and she's making the argument that her health care needs should be covered.

She's making the argument that women are special and deserve very special support in a way men do not.
It isn't about her health care. Then she might want free statins or free penicillin. That's not what she's asking for.

Tank said...

Ah, Ms. Fluke is not the only one getting fucked. But, what else is new?

Once upon a time, long, long ago, people WERE ashamed to ask other people, whether they be insurance premium payers or taxpayers, to pay for their ordinary everyday stuff. That shame was a good thing. It's pretty much gone now.

We're the most bankrupt country that ever existed, and we're working on figuring out how to spend more money.

DEAD COUNTRY WALKING.

m stone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...

When Althouse is right, Althouse is right.

MayBee said...

I don't know who I'll vote for for President, but I don't like birth control as a wedge issue. Mitch Daniels was right about a truce on social issues, but some people love that stuff. And now we're seeing the damage it's done to the GOP's prospects.

So what do you think of Pelosi inviting Fluke to have a hearing?
What do you think of Obama's "permission slip"?
Who do you think is using this as a wedge issue?

Jason said...

I don't know who I'll vote for for President, but I don't like birth control as a wedge issue. Mitch Daniels was right about a truce on social issues, but some people love that stuff. And now we're seeing the damage it's done to the GOP's prospects

The problem with that viewpoint is this: when the main parts of ObamaCare are enacted starting next year and 2014, people's eyes will be opened to social issues, as anyone who has health insurance through a private company is going to have their premiums skyrocket through all of the new stuff Obama is going to be mandated to be covered by EVERY insurance policy. The argument of what should or shouldnt be covered by insurance, thus the argument over key (and touchy) social issues will be made.

This argument needs to be framed around ObamaCare, not about the sex lives of certain women.

Having a "truce" about this issue means nothing will be done about it. Well, the biggest the reason Social Security and Medicare are now pretty much bankrupt is because no politician has been willing to touch it seriously.

Ann Althouse said...

"Fluke is demanding more preventive healthcare. She is asking for subsidy no matter what Althouse argues. If her additional copay covered the entire added cost, this wouldn't even be an issue."

Does she not pay the insurance premium? Whatever the coverage is, the premiums will reflect those costs.

You might say it's not fair that men have to pay premiums and there's extra strong coverage on things women use and men don't get. But contraception necessarily involves men, so it's not really unfair in a sex-based way.

In fact, that's the argument for required coverage for all insurance policies, because otherwise men will opt for policies that exclude the coverage they are never going to use.

pm317 said...

@Ann
I don't know who I'll vote for for President, but I don't like birth control as a wedge issue. Mitch Daniels was right about a truce on social issues, but some people love that stuff. And now we're seeing the damage it's done to the GOP's prospects.
-----

Exactly. Romney didn't play along when he was baited on this issue. But Santorum did and got a bump. Republicans want to lose this election.

If Rush is reading this, how do you think he will walk back this detour?

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Rush's big mistake was not calling her what she is.

Slut or prostitute isn't the issue; she is a liar and a fraud.

And the point here is, like all good little Lefties, she wants everyone else to pay for her good time and, if that means requiring a religious institution to bow to government in violation of the First Amendment (just like the Constitutional Lecturer in Chief), that's fine with her.

And Darleen's point about Sarah Palin is on the money.

And, yes, Paco is right about much of this being a misdirection ploy to keep us talking about something other than the economy.

Good news is, it's over a weekend, so people are out having a life.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O said...

"Well, that's one way to frame it. You can try that politically, but it will be successful, if it is, because people feel prudish/jealous/censorious/etc."

This is where your liberal perspectives come out.

I am personally conservative, but if people want to sex it up, have at it. But it's still a choice. And choices come with different responsibilities. That's why I pay one set of insurance premiums driving a Honda Civic as opposed to a Porsche.

Choices for behavior come with added liability, and the government is not in the business of equalizing behavior choice liability.

And a man's paternity payments certainly isn't punitive. You're right. It just is there because there is a child, a child that resulted from choices and thus enabled responsibility. Choices carry with them responsibilities. Having sex, like it or not, has consequences, so who bears the weight of that responsibility from freely made choices?

You think sexual behavior discussions is inherently about prudish or moralistic assumptions. That's where, I think, you're arguing more against those Puritans of the 1950s than conservatives today.

It's about responsibility and who pays for our choices. Making this about prudishness is mischaracterizing the debate, and that's precisely where Rush went wrong as well, inasmuch as calling someone a slut returns the debate to the 1950s.

This issue is not about morality it is about taking responsibility for our personal choices.

Conservatives are arguing not for prudish moral behavior but for adult responsibility for actions. This is something we require men to follow, but seem to have a curious view that women are less able to bear the weight of their choices, and thus we must share the burden of their compulsions.

Does it really take a village for a woman to have sex whenever she wants to?

Howard said...

Just realized something apropos: up until 1/1/2012, I could use my HSA to pay for condoms tax-free. And the missus is latex-intolerant, so it's lambskin for us. Now I don't get that 25% break. Maybe I should go testify? Not doing it 3 times a day, though, so it doesn't cost me $3,600 per year, but still.

John M Auston said...

Here is another point about Rush's tactics that you may be overlooking.

Whatever else Rush is, he is not stupid. He knew what would happen with the 'slut' remarks.

Just like (the also not stupid) Ann Coulter knew when she pointed out that the so-called 9/11 Widows seemed to be enjoying their 15-minutes of fame just a little too much.

Outrage!! But then, you didn't hear from the widows again, did you?

The Left does this all the time. Trot out a 'spokesperson' that is supposedly unassailable (think Sheehan), and have them spout the liberal line.

Coulter was having none of it, and now in this case, nor is Rush.

Nice looking, soft-spoken Co-ed at a top university? Pelosi calls a 'fake' hearing to get the media sycophants some optics?

All the elements are there. Rush is right to mock it. Alinski would approve.

EDH said...

And then Rush lumbered into the spotlight and spouted about sex.

Limbaugh should have known that spotlight is controlled by his opponents, and his argument would be highlighted at its weakest and most controversial point. His proffered “prostitute/slut” analogy was tenuous at best. But I still don't think his argument was puritanical.

His argument was about Fluke’s claim of unaffordability and women’s health. For years, Limbaugh has assailed the left’s dogma that condoms are an easy, cheap and effective form of birth control and protection against STDs, and all that is needed is “education”. Hence, if you are educated yet income constrained, as Fluke claims, condoms should be an inexpensive choice... provided you don't have so much sex that the cost of one-use condoms eclipses prescription forms of contraception. Limbaugh was trying to turn the left’s own arguments about affordability and efficacy of condoms against them, but failed to make that literal connection.

Remember, Obama soft-peddled oral contraception when he first sought to change US policy, both domestically and internationally, from abstinence only. Why? The most likely reason being the issue of “women’s health”: in comparison with abstinence, only condoms ostensibly protect against STDs, whereas promotion of oral contraceptives does not. Even Obama didn’t want to appear as though he was putting women’s health at risk by promoting oral contraception over abstinence.

Fluke’s argument was about affordability and women’s health. So was Limbaugh’s when viewed in context of his long-standing critique of condoms as a panacea.

Sayyid said...

"Now, I know he's also got the small government theme in there. "We" shouldn't have to pay for it. There shouldn't be "a new welfare program" for it. That's distorted. It's not a welfare program funded by taxpayers. It's an insurance regulation that will have some effect on insurance premiums."

Calling food stamps "Food Insurance" wouldn't make it less of a welfare program. Running the government's birth control stamps program through insurance companies doesn't make it an insurance program.

Ann Althouse said...

"The problem with that viewpoint is this: when the main parts of ObamaCare are enacted starting next year and 2014, people's eyes will be opened to social issues, as anyone who has health insurance through a private company is going to have their premiums skyrocket through all of the new stuff Obama is going to be mandated to be covered by EVERY insurance policy. The argument of what should or shouldnt be covered by insurance, thus the argument over key (and touchy) social issues will be made."

It's possible that more birth control coverage will reduce costs overall, since pregnancy is more expensive than avoiding pregnancy.

Also, there are other costs to society if women have children at the wrong times. Why not help young people avoid ill-timed parenthood? Let's incentivize their getting educated and positioned in stable families before they have children.

Michael said...

We are a stupid people led by stupid people. No one will remember this in November. What they will then believe is that Republicans want to take away their contraception just like they want to take away their right to have as many fucking abortions as they want. And the stupid 30 year old "girl" deserves to be the leader of contemporary feminism because it is clear that of all our stupid population women are the most stupid and the most susceptible of being led by the stupid.

pm317 said...

Also, there are other costs to society if women have children at the wrong times. Why not help young people avoid ill-timed parenthood? Let's incentivize their getting educated and positioned in stable families before they have children.
-----------

Now that IS the liberals argument. So you don't mind when they say this and in the process make it a wedge issue?

Tom Spaulding said...

I don't know who I'll vote for for President...

That statement is more outrageous and indefensible than anything Rush Limbaugh has ever said. Unless, of course you mean "you don't know who you will vote for" because it might be Newt, Santorum or Romney.

When the curtain closes around the voting booth, who, with cruel neutrality, will consider the fate of the Nation and pull the "four more years of this guy" lever?

You, Ann?

phx said...

It's too bad. We probably could use a good argument about whether it would be cost beneficial to pay for BC or not. I don't have a take, it would be informative to hear.

But we'll never get there because the GOP has so many people in its ranks who want to look at BC in judgmental terms. And all the Dems have to do is point at that and for many people, that closes the case.

hombre said...

Althouse wrote: But it is fundamental to women's freedom that we have the ability to decide for ourselves when our bodies will go through pregnancy and bear children.

Basic liberal feminist tenet.

Penumbra: If we decide to have sex and not to go through pregnancy the taxpayers must pay the price for prevention and the unborn must pay the price when prevention fails.

Lefty-feminist-Democrat nonsense 101.

rhhardin said...

Rush is not clear on how birth control pills work and as usual doubles down. Usually it's economics that he doubles down on.

With economics he gets the right answer for the wrong reason.

It's probably the same here. Right answer, wrong reason.

The right reason, as Belmont Club put it, is looting, not prostitution.

Howard said...

Perversely, I would support free government condoms to the young and horny, but do not want to have government mandate free condoms via health insurance. I guess I'm just a fan of plain talking, i.e. take you want and pay for it.

Not to mention the slippery slope aspect of this argument.

MayBee said...

Where is the study about how people on private insurance are having more ill-timed babies than women on MediCaid?

Has there been a rash of unwanted babies born on college campuses?

Writ Small said...

When Stephanopolis asked Romney the contraceptive debate question, I thought, "what the hell?"

When Ann said "The central project of civilization has been controlling women's bodies," I thought it was melodramatic hyperbole.

Rush is determined to make George and Althouse prescient.

Meade said...

By the way, the Pill has always been an anti-cancer drug.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Nice of Rush to sit in on Obama's orchestra.

Like flies to shit, so are Republicans drawn to scrutinizing the sex lives of others.

And then there's the control factor.

They simply can't help themselves.

AprilApple said...

Sure sure, Rush said slut and everyone is passing out. The odd twist is that this woman makes an odd prop. She is a law student at an expensive and prestigious law school. Since birth control isn't that expensive, and we already provide contraception for those who are at an economic disadvantage, this is about providing contraception for people who can afford to pay for it.

This is all about behavioral economics.

sunsong said...

Rush stepped in it. He needs to apologize. REal conservatives are gentlemen - not jerks.

Rush is impacting conservatism itself - he is doing harm.

Howard said...

Don't you come in here with your pot-stirring antics, Meade.

Moose said...

I like to drink alot, can I get some help paying for it?

Now don't be a Puritan?

Wow - see how well that works?

Lyssa said...

It seems like he should have said "whore" instead of "slut", given his argument that it's about her wanting to be paid for it. I've always understood whore to mean prostitute, someone who gives away sex (or otherwise compromises morals) in exchange for material goods, while slut was more about promiscuity, having sex without discretion, that sort of thing.

I wonder why he mixed the two words up.

rhhardin said...

The disrespect in slut comes not from a woman's loose morals but from her making a bad deal for herself.

A good deal being a man good enough to show off to her friends.

I think slut can be enlarged to cover looting, which is shortsighted in the same way.

Howard said...

Like flies to shit, so are Republicans drawn to scrutinizing the sex lives of others.

And like monkeys to flinging poo, so are Democrats compelled to reveal way too much information about themselves.

Jason said...

It's possible that more birth control coverage will reduce costs overall, since pregnancy is more expensive than avoiding pregnancy.

That may be true. But that still doesnt explain to me why I - a man - should be forced to pay for a woman's contraception. Its issues like these that show the real, inherent problems of ObamaCare. And stuff like these is beginning to leak out every day, as lawyers and politicians are finally getting around to actually reading the monstrosity of a bill that they were in such a hurry to pass. (Remember Pelosi? "We wont know whats in the bill until we pass it.")

Also, there are other costs to society if women have children at the wrong times. Why not help young people avoid ill-timed parenthood? Let's incentivize their getting educated and positioned in stable families before they have children.

That's a completely different argument about a completely different situation, though. We've wasted more money on programs like the one you describe above, because it doesnt work. Its not the government's job to be parents.

phx said...

The pill has been prescribed to help women with severe periods and cramping as well.

rhhardin said...

REal conservatives are gentlemen - not jerks.

True Scotsmen all.

Jane said...

The "friend who stopped using contraception" and the "friend with PCOS" were two separate instances. In the former, she didn't give any medical reason. Just said a married friend no longer used contraception because she couldn't afford it, which seems pretty hard to believe.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Don't know about cancer, but use of hormonal birth control for many other medical conditions is not uncommon at all.

But to bother knowing something like that would require more knowledge than the average Republican is interested in. Knee-jerk outrage is sooo much easier.

Just admit that you find lady parts yucky when not specifically involved in the birthing and gestation processes.

Jane said...

by the way, speaking of women's vs. men's health, we've now reached the time of year when we're told to "Go Red For Women" in a campaign to fight heart disease in women. Discuss.

phx said...

The GOP has to split off - one group who are committed fiscal conservatives, the other group who are trying to decide whether Rush should have called her a slut or a whore, such as Lyssa above.

The fiscal conservatives will forever be tied to "social conservatives" who are becoming increasingly marginalized in our society.

PatCA said...

So, if government pays for birth control, what can't it pay for? Obama's argument is always, if you take our money you play by our rules. If you don't believe this is a slipper slope, read the words of Mr. Holdren, his Science Czar from Ecoscience:

"Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society." (The Blaze)

How does Rush's firebombing of the issue prevent this slow takeover?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

...so are Democrats compelled to reveal way too much information about themselves.

A weak mind can handle only so much information, it's true. That's a good point.

Ann Althouse said...

"Calling food stamps "Food Insurance" wouldn't make it less of a welfare program. Running the government's birth control stamps program through insurance companies doesn't make it an insurance program."

It would if people paid food insurance premiums and the coverage came out of the pool of money that was collected.

Howard said...

Don't know about cancer, but use of hormonal birth control for many other medical conditions is not uncommon at all.

I doubt that anyone is talking about restricting medically efficacious treatment here. That was not what the young woman from Georgetown Law put into the public discourse. She did, however churlishly Limbaugh put it, specifically reference her sex life.

Howard said...

And I find lady parts delicious.

Love said...

I realize how conservative most here are, but for many to continue to defend Limbaugh really illustrates just how out of touch you are.

The man is a cretin.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I doubt that anyone is talking about restricting medically efficacious treatment here. That was not what the young woman from Georgetown Law put into the public discourse. She did, however churlishly Limbaugh put it, specifically reference her sex life.

Either/or fallacy.

You know for a fact that her medical history precluded other uses for OC on top of contraception?

I doubt it. But judge away, anyway. That's the point, right?

bagoh20 said...

Who here is really obsessed about the sex part? I think Althouse is most distracted by the idea that someone might not approve of it. That's the reciprocal obsession that's really in play here. That someone might be openly criticized for their promiscuity is so threatening. It's also the same energy and anger behind the gay rights issue. The idea that anyone can go off the P.C. bus and criticize someones sexuality is just unforgivable. Their personal opinion about sexual behavior is hated to the point of bigotry similar to that it decries.

I have no problem with people having sex as often or with any consenting adult they wish, but I also have no problem with those who strongly disagree.

I do have a problem when either drags me or my wallet into the fight.

Althouse, your imagined stylized social conservative just isn't that common, nor a threat to anyone. They are just a small part of a much larger group who doesn't want to pay for or encourage people's personal mistakes anymore.

MayBee said...

That's the problem with all these "studies" behind the idea that giving free - zero copay- birth control pills will reduce unwanted pregnancies.
It's all very anecdotal, based on women who self-report that at some point they felt they had trouble paying for "birth control". We don't hear whether they considered condoms, or what they are spending their money on, or if they asked their partner to pay. It's just this weird, undefined, self-report.
It's much like the people who suddenly can't scrape together the bus fare to go get an ID to vote.

I suspect if there were really a case to be made, we wouldn't be hearing about it in these terms.

hombre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JOhn said...

I disagree with you here, Anne.

The reason having sex 3 times a day came into the discussion is that Fluke claimed contraception can cost over $3000 during one's tenure at law school. Some people calculated that the only way that was really possible is if a person was having sex 3 times a day. The idea that conservatives are covertly trying to make people feel ashamed about sex is pretty silly in my opinion. This issue is about religious freedom and freedom in general.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

How many comments will be posted until Limblob's use of shame as a tactic is compared to the fact that he can't get it up and uses prescription bottles of Viagra with other people's names on it when he goes on his Dominican sex tourism stops?

Carol_Herman said...

I think the GOP has met the TITANIC. Rush went overboard. WHY? Because he always sets his sail to reach more publicity.

Ms. Flake? Who even knew her name? Or watched the testimony on TV? John Dean is long gone, now. Nixon did lose the public, though, when Congress held "hearings."

A lot of good Nixon's 1972 landslide did for his administration, though.

Harry Reid's not upset at his success. He may yet get Warren elected to Scott Brown's senate seat.

Jackie Gleason could play pool like that. Hit one ball with a stick ... and watch other balls falling into pockets. SCORING POINTS.

Howard said...

Now whose mind can't process so much information? Do you really believe that if there were some medical necessity for this young woman that the trap would not have snapped shut already?

Think for yourself, it helps.

Lyssa said...

Ritmo said: Just admit that you find lady parts yucky when not specifically involved in the birthing and gestation processes.

I don't know much about anyone else's lady parts, but mine are kind of awesome, thank you very much. That still doesn't mean that I get to demand someone else pay for their delightful useage.

Howard said...

And no, I don't judge this young woman. That would be churlish of me. I just want her to pay for what she wants.

Nora said...

Rush Limbaugh's rhetoric, added to the appalling hypocrisy of the Catholic Bishops and any number of prominent Catholic bloggers re this mandate (which I think is as wrong as wrong can be) are exactly why I've hightailed it far, far away from the Catholic Church and why I'm becoming increasingly more moderate as I get older.

I'm just so freaking sick of the politics of self interest, of the dumbed down, immature, it's-all-about-me-in-the-now thinking that goes on at both ends of the political & religious spectrums and at every point in between.

When Limbaugh, a big fat drug addict d-bag, publicly calls a girl a slut on the air because he disagrees with her over a political issue, he's proven he's a piece of shit and completely dishonorable. He's disgusting. He's worthless.

When bishops, who couldn't man the FUCK up and do the right thing when it came to little children being sodomized, raped and molested, start puffing and huffing over this mandate because of their oh so FUCKING high and mighty morals (and not because it's just plain bad business, which is the ONLY reason to be against it), you know the Catholic Church is worse than dishonorable and isn't worth shit, either.

When Catholic bloggers take up the hue and cry and go all over moral and ethical and religious conscience and the rest of that bullshit, but are CHOOSING to pay into insurance programs that cover birth control, you know they're just a pack of dirty attention whores.

Rush's comments and the gleeful virtual high-fiving the holy-holies on the right engaged in over the comments were the final nail in the coffin regarding religion and the far right, AFAIC.

MayBee said...

So do people who keep arguing about cysts think all medicines for all cysts should be mandated at zero copay?

Is there a study showing women who don't have free birth control pills suffer more frequently from untreated ovarian cysts?

Jason said...

I realize how conservative most here are, but for many to continue to defend Limbaugh really illustrates just how out of touch you are.

Other talk show hosts, especially on the left, say just as bad or worse things.

When Ed Schultz called Laura Ingraham a "whore" about a year ago, nobody really knew about it until he showed up on his TV show to announce he suspended himself for a week.

The only reason Limbaugh is lambasted and others are not is because people actually listen to Rush.

G Joubert said...

What bagoh20 said. Whatever happened to individual personal responsibility? People should be responsible for arranging their own birth control. This is what most conservatives are saying.

AprilApple said...

Right on cue, the pro-democrat media are on a scripted rampage to force each and every Republican to disavow Rush and his slut comments.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I don't know much about anyone else's lady parts, but mine are kind of awesome, thank you very much. That still doesn't mean that I get to demand someone else pay for their delightful useage.

Glad to think your narcissism will be an effective form of inoculation against Limblob's misogyny, there.

I mean he's a real moral exemplar, in every other regard. No wonder he prefers moralizing to more straightforward arguments.

Howard said...

The fact that you read that as a defense of Limbaugh, Segundo, shows that your comprehension skills are subpar.

By the way, it's unhelpful to your argument to make up pejorative soundalike names.

Jason said...

We bail out the birth control failures already.

Best line of the thread.

Howard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

Who exactly is deciding to vote for a Repub or not based on what Rush says. I just doubt that anyone is sitting around on the fence waiting for Rush to scare them away from the GOP. Everyone has a well formed opinion of Rush already. This is classic Rush, and consequently has no new influence one way or the other.

Paco Wové said...

"This issue is about religious freedom and freedom in general."

Well, it ought to be. But Limbaugh fucked it up big time.

Hint: If your joke has to be explained and footnoted and annotated after the fact, it didn't work.

Ann Althouse said...

"Whatever happened to individual personal responsibility? People should be responsible for arranging their own birth control. This is what most conservatives are saying."

They need to get their message out in persuasive terms, then. And they can't be heard over Rush Limbaugh's big voice.

Lyssa said...

Ritmo argument A: "You hate lady-parts if you don't want to pay for their usage."

Me: "I have lady parts and like them very much."

Ritmo argument B: "You like your lady-parts, what a narcissist."

You so crazy, Ritmo.

phx said...

People should be responsible for arranging their own birth control. This is what most conservatives are saying.

Maybe. But I don't think that's what most moderates or undecideds are hearing.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

This is classic Rush, and consequently has no new influence one way or the other.

Other than to remind everyone that the clown car full of Republican candidates to date are part of a "package deal", socially speaking.

mariner said...

But it is fundamental to women's freedom that we have the ability to decide for ourselves when our bodies will go through pregnancy and bear children.

I'd accept that if you also believe that it is fundamental to men's freedom that we should have the ability to decide whether we will foot the bills for you to bear children.

But somehow I doubt that.

MayBee said...

Althouse- so no comment on Obama's big voice with the fake permission slip?

hombre said...

phx wrote: But we'll never get there [to the "real" debate] because the GOP has so many people in its ranks who want to look at BC in judgmental terms.

Pure lefty deflection. This is what the Dems and their allies at Pravda Media want to talk about. After that, they will deflect to a "cost-benefit" discussion. Right phx? (10:23 AM)

The dupes will buy into this BS and will neither see nor understand the basic constitutional issues. Fortunately, mistrust of Pravda Media coupled with the rise of the Internet as a news source are thinning the ranks of Dupedom.

ps. As nearly as I can tell, the malfunctioning mechanics of the comment procedure on this site are unparalleled.

edutcher said...

JOhn said...

I disagree with you here, Anne.

The reason having sex 3 times a day came into the discussion is that Fluke claimed contraception can cost over $3000 during one's tenure at law school.


One presumes she'd be working as an "escort" to pay her way through law school in such an instance.

PS Nora sounds like Carol Herman off meds.

Carol_Herman said...

Proof's gonna be in the pudding.

Doesn't matter how Ann votes on election day. What will matter is what carries the majority.

Did Harry Reid just punk the GOP?

Time will tell. Up ahead we shall see what happens to Scott Brown's changes of being re-elected to his senate seat?

And, of course, if the GOP can insult Obama enough, so that the majority either sits at home and won't vote. (Which I doubt.)

Because nothing brings out voters to Obama like casting him as the underdog, always receiving abuse from right wing nutters.

Which group is bigger? What if Mitt, or whoever runs in the top slot ... only garners 37% of the vote?

Will a 3rd party candidate emerge, ahead? REALLY? The elder Bush was the republican who lost to Bill Clinton in 1992. How did the elder Bush lose? When people could choose someone else (not Bill Clinton), Ross Perot got 19% of the vote.

It always seems to be the republican party's STUPID pandering that gets people motivated to VOTE AGAINST their candidate.

Like back in 1948. When they thought General Douglas MacArthur was way too smart. So they went with the LOSER DEWEY. Dewey who had lost to the sick and dying FDR back in 1944.

Stupid people just never learn from experience.

phx said...

Hombre tries again. You lost me at "Pravda Media."

Meade said...

Howard said...
"And I find lady parts delicious."

Sorry, Howard, your food stamps do not cover that.

bagoh20 said...

So if someone want's the taxpayers to fund their sex life to the tune of $3000, you think the problem is the sex? I just don't see that, but it is just about impossible to argue against it without getting to the question of why anyone needs that much sex. She is suggesting she needs this because she has no choice. Rush is just shining the light on how ridiculous that is.

Lyssa said...

phx said: People should be responsible for arranging their own birth control. This is what most conservatives are saying.
Maybe. But I don't think that's what most moderates or undecideds are hearing.


I think that this is probably right, and I largely agree with Ann's criticisms for that reason. My facebook feed is telling me over and over that folks "can't believe that we're arguing about the morality of birth control," and if you try to tell them that we're not, they dont' believe it.

It makes me sad for my country, and embarassed for my sex, that we can be so easily and blatently misled, but so it goes.

chickenlittle said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Just admit that you find lady parts yucky when not specifically involved in the birthing and gestation processes.

Stop it! Just stop it! Stop channeling Andrew Sullivan!

TmjUtah said...

"Now, I know he's also got the small government theme in there. "We" shouldn't have to pay for it. There shouldn't be "a new welfare program" for it. That's distorted. It's not a welfare program funded by taxpayers. It's an insurance regulation that will have some effect on insurance premiums."

Why the quotation marks?

If the State mandates that a private individual or corporation spend resources or face State action, that's pretty important stuff. It's not FREE. It comes from SOMEWHERE.

Althouse, you are supporting incremental steps to dictatorship. This BS isn't about fairness, rights, or sunshine. It's laser-focused on making people accept they are wards of the State, and as such powerless to protest.

Tell me, if the State can tell the Catholics to put condoms on the altar, can overturn five hundred years of contract law, can force me to pay for some yuppie's sex habit (a meme manufactured from the ground up), then exactly what power is not given the State? What restraint is there.

Limbaugh's words were provacative. But find me a single woman engaging in sex at the pace Ms. Fluke claimed and "slut" does come to mind. And looking for somebody else to pay for her actions sounds close enough to "prostitution" for me.

This administration is not some bumbling but well meaning Lefty circle jerk. It's the real thing - a coup, with a plan, and a schedule. This latest meme, all the brouhaha going back to Stephanopolous' seemingly innocuous "lady parts" line of questioning to Santorum back in the debates, has certainly sucked all the oxygen out of a nation full of folks who would be better served discussing debt, energy, and security issues.

What is wrong with you people?

Peter Hoh said...

What's good for Limbaugh and what's good for the GOP are two different things.

And yes, Mitch Daniels was right.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

I don't care if this woman screws 5 times a day, or not at all.

The takeaway is that she 'says' birth control is expensive. Now why does she say this? I think its to forward the idea that she shouldn't have to pay for it. This is a parallel health 'care' argument promoted by the left. They use the same 'rights' meme in a parallel fashion.

If this exhibition is accepted and allowed to stand, there will simply be no limit to what could be next on the left's agenda. This is consistent with the predicted effects of the big government health care law passed unilaterally by democrats.

Its a knock on the door.

cubanbob said...

Ann iam pretty amazed that a law professor doesn't see this for what it is; a fundemental contract law issue. It's a basic principal of contract law that contracts entered under duress are invalid. Fluke is not the contracting party in GU policy. The university is. She is perfectly free to buy her own policy. Or not. By forcing the University to purchase something that isn't under any definition an insurable event and or something it doesn't want to purchase and forcing the company the contract is entered under duress. At the heart of this , this is the fundemental reason the supreme court will probably rule against Obamacare and mandates like this birtth control matter. I do not belive the court is going set aside centuries on contract law and it's fundemental core just to defer to the other branches.

Fluke is not the policy holder there
fore she has no say in what the university contracts.

As for the silly liberal arguments about the potential future costs of having kids besides the fact there is no core requirement that government provide health care or pay for it, no present congress can bind a future congress, it is an irrelevant argument. Besides the very logic of the left can easily turned arround to ban contrception in the future if there are not enough kids being born to pay the taxes necessary to fund future retirements or health care payments, the cost of having children being less than the costs of being unable to fund entitlements. Notice that European countries in the worst financial are the ones with negative population growth so this argument ( while something I am not advocating for) is grounded in reality.

Finally if Fluke has a right to be subsized for something that is not required just to sustain life then she is to paraphrase Orwell more equal than others.

Rush is right. While unpleasent to publicly say, money for sex is prostitution and by demanding that others help pay for her sex life she has defined herself.

In short, she has a right to engage in sex and she has the obligation to purchase her birth control. She doesn't have th.e right to expect others to be forced to subsidize her right.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd accept that if you also believe that it is fundamental to men's freedom that we should have the ability to decide whether we will foot the bills for you to bear children."

Here's a clue: Children are human beings.

Jason said...

Why the quotation marks?

If the State mandates that a private individual or corporation spend resources or face State action, that's pretty important stuff. It's not FREE. It comes from SOMEWHERE.

Althouse, you are supporting incremental steps to dictatorship. This BS isn't about fairness, rights, or sunshine. It's laser-focused on making people accept they are wards of the State, and as such powerless to protest.

Tell me, if the State can tell the Catholics to put condoms on the altar, can overturn five hundred years of contract law, can force me to pay for some yuppie's sex habit (a meme manufactured from the ground up), then exactly what power is not given the State? What restraint is there.

Limbaugh's words were provacative. But find me a single woman engaging in sex at the pace Ms. Fluke claimed and "slut" does come to mind. And looking for somebody else to pay for her actions sounds close enough to "prostitution" for me.

This administration is not some bumbling but well meaning Lefty circle jerk. It's the real thing - a coup, with a plan, and a schedule. This latest meme, all the brouhaha going back to Stephanopolous' seemingly innocuous "lady parts" line of questioning to Santorum back in the debates, has certainly sucked all the oxygen out of a nation full of folks who would be better served discussing debt, energy, and security issues.

What is wrong with you people?


Amen.

John Stodder said...

Has anyone mentioned the more immediate political impact of this flap? Rush is, in effect, Santorum's proxy. But Romney, going back to the Stephanoplous debate, has avoided making this his issue. For about a week, Santorum's embrace of the "freedom of religion" aspect of this issue seemed to help him. But now the combination of Obama's "orchestration" and Rush's plain idiocy has made this issue toxic--and Romney's untainted by it.

Not bad for a Rino. Assuming he wins the nomination, this whole circus passes inconsequentially. No wonder the union guys are trying to help Santorum.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Wow Bag. Still hung up on the "how much sex is too much" issue?

It must really leave a splinter in your brain (and the Fat Man's) to accept that with OC you can have a lot of sex or as little as someone like yourself can countenance, and it still works.

But please, keep trying to convince us that judgment of someone else's sex life is NOT the issue.

Is Santorum ready for rotation into this circle jerking tag-team operation, yet? The mental masturbation is starting to gross me out.

phx said...

Limbaugh's words were provacative. But find me a single woman engaging in sex at the pace Ms. Fluke claimed and "slut" does come to mind. And looking for somebody else to pay for her actions sounds close enough to "prostitution" for me.

Just keep saying it over and over. High and outside, can't hit it, can't lay off it.

bagoh20 said...

We can take away the sex aspect and replace it with any other choice that's personal and unnecessary that she would want us to pay for and the disagreement would still be there, but take away the expense and nobody gives a dam how much sex some anonymous person is having in college. Just imagine the war if we did, but we don't, even the social conservatives don't really.

This is about money and responsibility, and only the left and those who don't realize they are still stuck in it think otherwise.

D.D. Driver said...

That is one of my two favorite Mencken quote. My other favorite being:

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

Howard said...

Sorry, Howard, your food stamps do not cover that.

Well, soon they won't. Gonna have to try something else.

somefeller said...

Here is a link to Fluke's testimony. As you can see, despite the ignorant comments of Limbaugh and his acolytes here, Fluke (a) doesn't talk about her personal sexual activity, much less the three times a day calculus that the Limbaugh brigade is citing, (b) does talk about people who use birth control pills for purposes like treatment for ovarian cysts, (c) mentions the cost as being $3000 if one doesn't have insurance "during law school" (which is to say, over three years, which comes out to a little over $80 per month, which isn't out of line when it comes to getting prescription medication) and (d) makes it clear that she is a reproductive rights/feminist activist, so no hiding of the ball there.

I know none of these things would matter much to the imbecile and grumbling loser set that is attacking Fluke, but facts are stubborn things.

edutcher said...

Peter Hoh said...

What's good for Limbaugh and what's good for the GOP are two different things.

And yes, Mitch Daniels was right.


No, Daniels wouldn't make the First Amendment fight, which will lose GodZero the Catholic vote if the Republicans press it.

And, if the Libertarians want to get us to be more fiscally responsible, that means changing the entitlement culture and that, ultimately, means pushback on social issues.

AJ Lynch said...

I bet Rush will re-frame this issue this week. It is really small vs. big intrusive govt and state's rights vs. soviet style central diktats.

MayBee said...

Everyone saying Mitch Daniels is right, please tell me how the GOP has turned it into an issue?

I propose the only way they had to keep it from becoming an issue was to simply not comment on anything about Obamacare's new mandatory provisions.

Democrats wrote this law, Democrats passed this law, Democrats fought for this provision, Democrats wrote the provision, Democrats wrote the rules about who had to follow.
Because the mandatory provisions (aside from prostate exams) are women-friendly, any push back about logic, or expense, or creeping government intervention was built to be used to point out the GOP hates women.

At least admit that. It was either let it go on every level, or "create" a wedge. Our Democratic president designed it that way, in an election year.

phx said...

This is about money and responsibility, and only the left and those who don't realize they are still stuck in it think otherwise.

Who brought up sluts and prostitutes? Who?

gk1 said...

I feel like I am in a time warp back to the early 90's with Murphy Brown having a child out of wedlock and the vapors libs had with Quayle saying that behavior shouldn't be cheered. Lots of self rightious posturing over a point no one cares about. What so hard with understanding religious institutions shouldn't be compelled to fund things they disapprove of?

Francisco D said...

I am wondering if this is one facet Ann's way of justifying another vote for Obama. I know it tortures her liberal soul. (I mean liberal in the best and classic sense of the word).

After deep and serious consideration, she will decide that conservatives are just too tone deaf and lack media savvy. Therefore, the Affirmative Action Man will continue to salve her liberal angst.

Then again, there will be another liberal in the race, one that makes right wingers foam at the mouth - Mitt Romney. Tough decision, Ann. I feel your pain.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

This is about money and responsibility...

Except when you jump right back in and say it's about how many times per day the sex was being had.

Shift your pretend-argument back and forth into shaming and blaming mode as you see fit. A neutral and objective case can obviously pack only so much of a punch!

Fen said...

"is no one's business how much sex Ms. Fluke enjoys."

It becomes our business when Ms. Fluke demands that we finance her sex.

Darleen said...

@Ann

Sorry...stepped away to make the grandsons pancakes and haven't read all the comments yet. but this

This isn't about welfare. This is about health insurance.

Um... when you require REQUIRE someone else to pay for something so you can get it "for free", that's welfare.

This is not what health insurance is about anyway. "Insurance" is to protect you from a rare, catastrophic event ... you pay in with the pool to spread the risk and hope you never have to collect. I.E. auto insurance

What if some idiot politician (but I repeat myself) started demanding that all autoinsurance had to include "free" oil changes, tune ups and tire alignments? Cuz too many uninsured drivers are causing havoc and the reason they are uninsured is they "can't afford" it? What do you think auto ins. premiums would look like?

"Health care" is NOT A RIGHT. One never has a "right" to a commodity that someone else has to produce.

Wake up...the Left wants slavery back, they just call it "social justice".

Ellen said...

"In fact I think government may need to restrict the kinds of activities that can take place in order to insure that healthcare recipients don't impose an undue financial burden on society, since we are financially responsible."

Like for instance, banning alcohol, so we don't have to pay for costly liver transplants for alcoholics, or the medical costs of victims of drunk drivers? (Or at least Mormom employers shouldn't have to pay for plans that cover those costs, since their religion prohibits the use of alcohol, right?) Perhaps, fast food restaurants should also be banned, so we don't have to pay for high cholesterol medications and heart surgeries? The possibilities are endless. Why stop at sexual activities of women?

somefeller said...

And it's nice to see Althouse acknowledge this about Limbaugh: You can scarcely say he's just a big old comedian. He uses humor, often very well, but he's very seriously trying to mold political opinion. He puts tremendous energy and skill into persuading people to be conservative...But the old meme that he's just "an entertainer"... it's not true. Though he is, usually, entertaining.

That's essentially what Limbaugh's critics have been saying for years (except maybe the part about him being entertaining, though I can agree with that part too sometimes). Whenever the topic of his work comes up, you can count on many of his defenders saying he's just an entertainer and not a political player, and as such why are you taking him so seriously (can't you take a joke, man?). That has always been a b.s. response and it's good to see someone who actually respects his work acknowledge that.

John Stodder said...

The other effect of all this I haven't seen mentioned: Will Rush be suspended by any of his affiliates?

In LA, on the same station where Rush plays, "John and Ken" were forced to take a week off for calling Whitney Houston a "crack ho."

How is what Rush said materially different?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"(c) mentions the cost as being $3000 if one doesn't have insurance "during law school" (which is to say, over three years, which comes out to a little over $80 per month, which isn't out of line when it comes to getting prescription medication) and (d) makes it clear that she is a reproductive rights/feminist activist, so no hiding of the ball there.

I know none of these things would matter much to the imbecile and grumbling loser set that is attacking Fluke, but facts are stubborn things."

Somefeller, it matters not her motivations or circumstances.

If you are so willing to absolve responsibility, step up and volunteer to pay for her birth control yourself.

Are you willing to do that? My guess is, you'd rather pretend to know what others happen to think, and then insist everyone else pay for it.

That's the gutless, easy choice anyone can make.

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

What would Fluke say that slut means?

The word hasn't changed its meaning, but the existence of its meaning is incompatible with the party line.

So pretending to be offended by it isn't consistent.

phx said...

"Health care" is NOT A RIGHT. One never has a "right" to a commodity that someone else has to produce.
That's Darleen's opinion, and probably a lot of rightwingers' opinion.

I favor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says health care is indeed a human right.

Probably not a document real popular with the Rush Limbaugh crowd though.

pm317 said...

John Stodder said...

--------------

That is my point too. Thank you! But I want Obama to pay a price for going there and that will happen when Romney defeats him.

Repeal the damn Obamacare thing and start from scratch.

Lyssa said...

The other effect of all this I haven't seen mentioned: Will Rush be suspended by any of his affiliates?

As far as I can tell, Limbaugh basically makes the stations that carry him. His audience is huge, and people would tune out. I can't imagine that any station out there could get away with suspending him.

Darleen said...

This isn't about welfare. This is about health insurance.

Ms. Fluke, when she demanded that some people are required to pay for the sex of other people.

I don't care what Limbaugh's supposed "issues" with women are/are not. The screeching about "sexism" always goes one way.

You can see the most awful stuff written, spoken about non-left women or minorities and it's "Well, they deserve the labels, they are traitors" but even reasoned policy disputes with Obama are labeled "racist."

Time to push back, hard. This is "I hope he fails" all over again. It's like Lucy and the football, we non-leftists have got to stop being Charlie Brown.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

"is no one's business how much sex Ms. Fluke enjoys."

It becomes our business when Ms. Fluke demands that we finance her sex.


At which point Fen will get his buddies together and determine a quota. It will not surpass the paltry amount of sex that they are able to enjoy without being fully spent. Because obviously OC should only be used if the sex can be confined to episodes as few, short and conventional as the typical conservative is capable of.

Otherwise it's just not fair.

rhhardin said...

In LA, on the same station where Rush plays, "John and Ken" were forced to take a week off for calling Whitney Houston a "crack ho."

How is what Rush said materially different?


KFI has a weak-kneed woman program director.

She pretty much destroyed the J&K franchise. Now nobody trusts J&K not to take the party line, with their grovelling apology; and they depend on that audience.

Armstrong and Getty in San Francisco, also Clear Channel, said they couldn't imagine apologizing like that.

(And a much better show than J&K, which has pretty well descended to all outrage all the time, from its original whimsy.)

bagoh20 said...

"Wow Bag. Still hung up on the "how much sex is too much" issue? "

Montana, I know you're dense, but here's a clue:

I hope that females have plenty of sex, as close as possible to me in fact, but I only want to buy dinner on the nights I'm taking her home. I'm a gentleman, not a sucker.

garage mahal said...

Rush is right. While unpleasent to publicly say, money for sex is prostitution and by demanding that others help pay for her sex life she has defined herself.

Only to emotionally stunted mental midgets like you and Limbaugh.

The most common reason U.S. women use oral contraceptive pills is to prevent pregnancy, but 14% of pill users—1.5 million women—rely on them exclusively for noncontraceptive purposes. The study documenting this finding, “Beyond Birth Control: The Overlooked Benefits of Oral Contraceptive Pills,” by Rachel K. Jones of the Guttmacher Institute, also found that more than half (58%) of all pill users rely on the method, at least in part, for purposes other than pregnancy prevention—meaning that only 42% use the pill exclusively for contraceptive reasons. Link

Adam2Smith said...

"Tempest in a Teapot" is the operative description here. This will all be over in a week or less once something actually happens in the world.

There's a certain audience that is interested in this crap. That audience can't be bothered with crazy dictators killing people in Syria, tornadoes killing people in Indiana, or anything else -- because they can't pin the blame on mild-mannered Republicans for something a blowhard (although amusing) radio guy says on the air.

The fact that Olbermann, Maher, et. al say crazy stuff all the time and this never happens tells you everything you need to know about the major media outlets in the USA.

Jason said...

The other effect of all this I haven't seen mentioned: Will Rush be suspended by any of his affiliates?

Affiliates cant "suspend" Rush. Rush's show is owned by Clear Channel. If Rush is suspended, it would have to come from Clear Channel. And I dont see that happening.

Rush's parodies are often as much or more insulting than what he said the other day on the radio that has caused this "uproar". Regular listeners of Rush know he does this kind of provocative radio very often.

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pm317 said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Calling food stamps "Food Insurance" wouldn't make it less of a welfare program. Running the government's birth control stamps program through insurance companies doesn't make it an insurance program."

It would if people paid food insurance premiums and the coverage came out of the pool of money that was collected.
------------

Well isn't our (mandated) tax dollars some kind of pooling?

somefeller said...

Don't Tread says:Somefeller, it matters not her motivations or circumstances.

Maybe that's true for you, but it's not true for many if not most of the people commenting against her. Just look at the comments here. Sorry, but that line is bullshit.

If you are so willing to absolve responsibility, step up and volunteer to pay for her birth control yourself.

Nice dodge. Sort of like when people say "if you support policy x, why don't you volunteer to spend your life doing it". Elevate your game.

Are you willing to do that? My guess is, you'd rather pretend to know what others happen to think, and then insist everyone else pay for it.

I already pay for other people's birth control with my health insurance premiums. And other people pay for my medical care (when I need it, which is thankfully rare) with their premiums. That's how health insurance works. Fluke is just asking that birth control be part of the plan she's on and that this shouldn't be something that's left to employers to decide.

That's the gutless, easy choice anyone can make.

See above.

Don said...

"Rush is hurting his own party." The Republican Party is a big tent, there is a lot of disagreement among its members on social issues and not everyone in it is religious. If one faction or another is disadvantaged by another faction's protest, so be it. That said, Rush would be more effective if he connected the dots implied by Administration's scheme: first, let the government into the bedroom by paying for contraception, then you have better standing to require compulsory amniocentesis procedures on pregnant women, then, since the cost of a "defective" fetus is too much for society to bear you can coerce abortion. There. Now we can improve the human race. Eugenics has been at the heart and soul of progressive ideology since the beginning and don't think for a minute that "contraception rights" has anything to do with freedom to choose.

John Stodder said...

Mitch Daniels is right in that whenever Democrats are poised to lose on their economic policies, they turn things around by pushing social conservatives into revealing the unacceptable implications of their seemingly homespun but ultimately power-grabbing "principles."

Given a choice between government in the wallet and government in the bedroom, a majority will pick the former.

Jane said...

you know what's interesting? How many people are assuming she's using condoms. There must be a lot more use of condoms than I thought, for it to be the first thing that comes to someone's mind. Now, many people choose hormonal b.c. because of its higher effectiveness, but it is true that condoms lend themselves to the couple sharing the cost rather than the woman alone a lot more easily, also.

Peter Hoh said...

MayBee: Democrats wrote this law, Democrats passed this law, Democrats fought for this provision, Democrats wrote the provision, Democrats wrote the rules about who had to follow.

And it was pretty much the same provision that many Republican governors signed with regard to insurance coverage mandates in their states. This includes Huckabee, who has been preening about this as if his position was somehow different than the Obama administration's.

If Republicans had wanted to shape the health care bill, they had ample opportunity to do so. Instead, they sat on their hands. In the end, they got pretty much the same plan that Heritage had been pushing for years, and the plan that no one seemed to mind when Romney was taking credit for his program in Massachusetts.

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