The Fury over Rush Limbaugh’s “Slut” Comments and the Blunt Amendment — The War Over Birth Control

Rush says this law student is a "slut," but then again, he is the original media promiscuous woman, right?

Many of our readers are trying to navigate the complicated fight that is going on in the world of American politics over contraception.  In our normal fashion, Common Sense Conspiracy wants to break it down to the bare facts.  It’s really quite simple.  The Obama administration wants to require employers to include coverage for birth control methods in health care packages.  This is currently a decision each employer can make on its own.  Some allow for the coverage, while others don’t.  There are a wide variety of reasons, from religious or moral views to those that simply don’t want to help pay for any more than they have to.

Republicans were naturally against the suggestion, and rallied behind the Blunt Amendment, named after Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican from Minnesota.  This amendment, had it passed, would have effectively overridden the Obama legislation by allowing employers to continue to choose whether they would offer contraceptive coverage for themselves.  The amendment did not pass, despite complete unity in the Republican base.    Now, it appears that Obama is willing to compromise with the Republicans slightly.  They are now saying that they may work out a special privilege for Catholic churches and businesses to be exempt from the requirement due to their religious beliefs.  Of course, this will open up much debate on why Catholics should have the right while other religious and moral views are forced into compliance.

So, that’s the bottom line on what the ruckus is all about.  However, popular Republican talk show host Rush Limbaugh took it all to the next level last week when he launched what many feel was a personal attack on a young law student who testified in favor of the new policy.  Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown, was called out on Limbaugh’s radio show.  Rush had this to say about Miss Fluke:

“She wants to be paid to have sex.  She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.  She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”

The attack didn’t stop there.  Rush went on to refer to her as a “slut” and “prostitute.”  Naturally, the comments caused quite a stir, and many Democrats spoke out, rebuking Limbaugh for his abusive comments.  President Obama himself even took the time to give Miss Fluke a phone call to reassure her.  Rush didn’t give in.  As a matter of fact, he continued with his charade, even going so far as to offer to “buy all of the women of Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want.”  This was a reference to an embarrassing situation presidential-hopeful Rick Santorum found himself in when one of his most prominent supporters, Foster Friess, offered up aspirin as a better alternative for birth control.  Friess, unlike Rush, did relent and later apologized for his comments.

Democrats are just as opportunistic.  They immediately labelled Rush’s comments as a “Republican war on women,” and many other such things.  Some even used the occasion to launch fundraisers.  Republican presidential candidates all distanced themselves from the comments, with Rick Santorum calling Limbaugh “absurd.”

With us so far?  Good.  Here’s what it all amounts to.  Rush Limbaugh masquerades as a Republican personality, and in a lot of ways, he is.  However, Rush has made his career off of situations like this, seizing the moment to make shocking comments that draw the ire of those around him.  He is not a politician, no matter how much he fancies himself to be (or how much he acts like one).  He is an entertainer, a radio personality, that makes millions of dollars by getting people to do one thing and one thing only:  tune in.  To paint the picture better, think of it this way.  Rush Limbaugh is no different than Howard Stern.  Howard Stern uses the same “shock jock” tactics to build a listening audience that has made him a millionaire many times over.  He is unapologetic and will say near about anything at any time.  Limbaugh is precisely the same way.  Chances are that Rush is somewhere smoking a cigar, enjoying the media hailstorm he has created.  While presidential candidates should be taking center stage in an election year, somebody like Rush is able to use his soapbox to grab some of the limelight.  And that, folks, is the real dirt.

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