Saturday, March 3, 2012
A Terrorism Enabler Trashes a Young Law Student
[from http://www.dps.state.ia.us/DNE/oxycontin.shtml ]
Although I was aware of the basic facts about "the pill," I was only somewhat aware of the glaring mistake Mr. Limbaugh (and Hannity and O'Reilly and several others who have publicly clambered on to the #4 Trolley to Haight and Devine, not to mention all those silent passengers, including the entire Republican presidential field and every elected Republican in the land) have made, not once but in each daily diatribe. Ms. Maddow made the mistake crystal clear last night. You can google all the details of Limbaugh's mountain of puke that you care to (no links provide here though), but essentially what he's done in his ongoing effort to smear Ms Fluke is entirely mis-state the basic facts of the birth control pill--which are that one takes one pill each day of the month, whether one is having sex or NOT. (The methodology was to simply ignore this basic truth of what "the pill" is and then rush on to mountains of statements suggesting that a pill was required for each "event", which then grounded calls for smelling salts and worse--until Ms Maddow's analysis I confess that I wasn't following the whole diatribe closely enough to tease out this shell game Limbaugh was playing.)
Starting with an entirely false premise--that a woman takes a pill each time she has sex--Limbaugh then concludes that Ms Fluke must be a "slut" because she needs thousands of dollars worth of pills. For a person who's been married 4 times and also takes the odd trip to the Dominican Republic, you'd think he'd know the basics about female birth control. Or maybe you'd just think that he would rather build a Rube Goldberg of lies, and knows full well what he's doing--which is getting to a conclusion which makes a nice young law student pay for having the courage to get up in front of some congresspersons and make a statement in opposition to the Republican lies about how Mr. Obama is stepping on Georgetown Law School's alleged moral scruples by finding a way to have students who choose to be "on the pill" have it covered in their health insurance without making Georgetown Law School actually pay for it. It's actually much like what happens when a nice young girl accuses a rich connected guy of raping her. She can expect to be called a whore and a slut. It's the first line of defense.
What's pretty strange is this is all coming from a person who's stayed on the radio after being convicted of purchasing thousands of dollars of prescription pain killers illegally, and even served some "time" for his crime (in an obviously crappy medical facility which didn't manage to broaden Limbaugh's views on anything at all), particularly when illegal drug monies are known in many cases to have made their way into the coffers of terrorist organizations.
The cap-it-off moment in all this (unless it turns out that Limbaugh is actually driven off the air, like Don Imus) is that Mr. Limbaugh actually used the mysoginistic aspirin "joke" in his diatribe on Ms. Fluke. Aspirin, after all, is an over-the-counter pain medication. If Limbaugh has just kept an aspirin between his knees (so to speak), his illegal drug addiction might not have happened.
As many different commentors have pointed out about this latest Limbaugh extravagance, the silence or even doubling down coming from the Republicans is simply breathtaking, and perhaps the most important fact about it, at least if anyone is looking for information about who to vote for this fall. Digby remarks that Romney had a complete no-brainer here, and flubbed even this. Indeed. Yet many women will probably join in the chorus of "slut, slut"--Hannity fielded such a call yesterday on his radio show, sitting back and letting some "Amy from Baton Rouge" say all the same stuff Limbaugh was saying. When the dissonance becomes painful, the volume increases--same as it ever was.
Just keep in mind that the quarter from which all this garbage spews is this one:
Wrap your mind around that view of the Girl Scouts. Suddenly the whole Right Wing view on women comes into focus. Limbaugh even attacked Ms Fluke's parents yesterday, in his third outing on the "issue". So which is less acceptably "parental," producing a young woman who can speak articulately on the issue of birth control insurance coverage before Congress, or producing a young woman who can choose to be the fourth wife of an absurdly rich old fat guy who makes his millions trashing people for political ends, and who may have, in fact, given some of his money to al Qaeda. Well, Limbaugh's fourth wife is probably set for life, particularly if she signed a good pre-nup. In a world of patriarchy, a girl's gotta look out for herself, and a good parent probably should impart that lesson to her daughters. It's for sure true that if a young woman dares to stand up to the rich white men running things, she'd better be ready for the shit to start to fly. Or as Hazel once sang, "Don't put her down, you helped put her there." There will always be parents who teach "realism," and those who teach "idealism." I'd sure be happier with a kid who stood up to Congress, and I don't think I could stomach having Limbaugh in the family even if my kid was set for life. That's just me.
(I looked for a version of Hazel singing this--she sang it so well at the Augusta Festival that it probably should now be hung up on the wall, like Uncle Ned's fiddle and bow. I did come across my old mentor's version, which is pretty swell.)
UPDATE. Yesterday Mr. Limbaugh allegedly "apologized." This is being reported as simple "news." The hope no doubt--in many quarters--is that Limbaugh's "apology" is now the end of the story. It's worked before. (See, e.g., Scalia's "get over it" answer to questions about the Bush V. Gore 2000 decision.) In fact, Mr. Limbaugh did not apologize. After repeating his slanders for three days, there was enough push back via his advertisers that they apparently gave him a talking to. In other words, Mr. Limbaugh is now in a financial business decision mode. Even in such straits, which are coercing an "apology," the best he can muster is some mumbling about a "poor choice of words," after which he again entirely falsifies the gist of Ms Fluke's testimony to Congress.
Limbaugh has traded, for his entire career, on the elision of two different things--entertainment and political argument. In many previous instances (including quite a few involving blatant racism and or blatant chauvinism), he has when pressed reverted to his "I'm just an entertainer" stance. Even this Friday, in his third day of attack, he was shifting somewhat, remarking at one point that "the Left doesn't seem to have a sense of humor" (e.g., I'm just a comedian, sorry you don't get my jokes).
I for one hope no one lets up on Mr. Limbaugh's advertisers until he is left with nothing at all but the gold sellers and the lawyers in search of class action cases (both of whom seem to have no scruples at all about who they use as pitchmen.) It's not an apology if you're only brought to it by economic leverage. Mr. Limbaugh clearly doesn't believe he did anything wrong. Otherwise, he would have apologized in the segment right after his first diatribe on Ms Fluke's character. Mr. Limbaugh has been a poison in the cultural and political discourse since he arrived on the scene, back when George H.W. Bush was President. He has gone "too" far so many times the goal posts have disappeared from the stadium, and in fact, that is one of his long-term purposes. People of decency and common sense have mostly just turned him off, but his base of followers becomes more politically influential with every passing day. Indeed, Limbaugh more than any other one person can be said to be responsible for the destruction of the Republican Party--an event we observe in this primary season in disgusting detail. Apology is not in Limbaugh's vocabulary. It never has been. The only response to him is economic--don't patronize any of his advertisers. And the best we can hope for is that Limbaugh will eventually find himself running a Serius channel. That will at least keep him off car radios as old as mine.
Meanwhile, in other news: