Point/counterpoint: Limbaugh 'slut' scandal - Debate hijacked by the Left

By the time you read this, the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke controversy will be 13 days old. That’s 13 days too long.
It is important to know at the outset that Limbaugh’s comments about Ms. Fluke were rude, impolite and indelicate. He referred to her as a slut and prostitute and suggested she post videos of herself having sex online.

No matter how wrong she may be on the issue at hand, Limbaugh should not have characterized her in the way that he did.
Yet Limbaugh saying something offensive does not warrant two weeks of national news coverage and discussion. It should have been a one day story.

First, Limbaugh is a radio talk show host who is paid to be controversial and bombastic. It is his job to offend people. Everything he says is hyperbole. That doesn’t make his comments appropriate, but it should frame the situation.

Limbaugh was making a comparison about funding someone’s sexual activity by way of paying for their birth control prescription in the same way that you would pay a prostitute to have sex. Limbaugh was not actually suggesting Ms. Fluke was a slut or that she post videos of herself, he was making a point.

That doesn’t excuse the personal attack, but these comments were not actually about Fluke.

She isn’t a public figure, you might say, so it’s not kosher to target her. I would argue that it isn’t really kosher to target a public figure like this either (see Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin the C-word), so that argument doesn’t hold up.

Secondly, Limbaugh is not a politician asking for your vote or political power. Limbaugh is an entertainer. An entertainer saying something distasteful is not a national political news story.

Why is it Romney, Santorum, Gingrich or Paul’s problem that a radio host said something mean? These men are vying to be president, and they didn’t make these comments. How does this relate to them in any way? You can ask them about their views on the contraception issue, but they should not have to respond to a comment made by a paid radio host who has not endorsed
any of them.

Third, this is only a story because the paranoid Left is using this unfairly against the GOP candidates. The GOP candidates did not make these comments, but everything you hear is about the GOP’s role in this. Limbaugh is a conservative; conservatives are not Limbaugh.

Also, this contraception debate has been hijacked by the Left. The conservative objection to the administration’s ruling is that religious groups had to pay for contraception. Their problem with the compromise is that it put the burden indirectly on population at large.

This has never been an argument about access; it’s an issue about who pays. The GOP is not anti-women, because they don’t want institutions that object to birth control to have to pay for birth control.

The GOP argument is that birth control is a luxury good because people choose to have sex and can survive without it.
For those of you that say birth control has other health benefits, you’re right. but you can’t win that discussion if you don’t put the other benefits front and center and focus on fear-mongering.

The Fluke controversy should not be a news story, because Limbaugh being rude is not news, and he does not speak for the GOP. His influence with Republicans is dramatically overstated by liberals.

Explain to me why Chris Brown assaulting a woman was less of a news story than Limbaugh calling one a bad name?

The reason is because the media and the Left think it is sexy and can paint the GOP as outside the mainstream.

However, if you actually understood the GOP argument about contraception, you would know that this is something very different.

We can have a fundamental argument about forcing people to pay for things they don’t believe in, but we can’t have a real conversation if people are using a non-story to craft a narrative about the other side.

If you’re wondering why there’s gridlock in Washington, this is your answer: It’s one thing to attack your opponents when they are wrong, but it’s another to blatantly misrepresent their position to win an election.

The best way to limit Limbaugh’s reach is to ignore him, not to make him a story. If the people crying foul really cared about co-pay free contraception, they would argue its merits, not the failings of one person on the other side of the issue.


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