Going Way Out on a Limbaugh
A fortnight has gone by since Rush Limbaugh excoriated Sandra Fluke, an exceptionally well-spoken Georgetown University law student, for advocating insurance-subsidized birth control.
Limbaugh extrapolated this to assert that Ms. Fluke wanted to be "paid for having sex," which made her a "slut" - and worse, a "prostitute." Then he demanded she discharge her debt to the American public by taping her sexual encounters for creeps like him to ogle - a scene more inductive to vomiting than any emetic.
I have pondered Limbaugh's semantic obfuscations in the political context (let me know when the words get too big, Mr. L.) and offer these conclusions:
- If every consenting adult woman who has birth-controlled sex is a slut, then sluttiness is the norm, not the aberration. You, Mr. Limbaugh, have been married four times. Your latest, a little blonde hottie, looks about half your age. If, by the remotest possibility, you cohabited (I'm making this a verb because it sounds nicer than other choices) one of your wives premaritally, how should we call her? And if she accepted expensive gifts before, during or after said act, what then?
- Prostitute, the verb, currently describes the behavior of public servants who trade favors for access to private jets or island hideaways. Prostitute, the noun, is a man or woman who accepts payment, not necessarily money, in exchange for sex. Hmm. By Limbaugh's quid pro quo reasoning, that implies Ms. Fluke should be offering sexual favors to her health insurance carrier, one and/or all of its agents, in exchange for prophylaxis. Still, Mr. Limbaugh, you assume the general public deserves voyeur rights, even though Ms. Fluke has private insurance.
- As for government "health insurance": Medicare starts at 65. Bring on Viagra, not The Pill. Of course Medicaid and public health clinics shouldn't offer free birth control. Much cheaper to support crack babies, abused children and dysfunctional adults than dispense prevention according to the recipient's religious beliefs.
- Speaking of Viagra (which Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole did do eloquently, probably for a fee), this is reimbursed by many insurance plans because it addresses "a medical condition." Yeah, like pregnancy isn't. As the saying goes, if men gave birth, birth control devices would be thrown to the crowds like candies at a Mardi Gras parade.
- I strenuously object to your equating birth control with cheap, hedonistic sex. Is it OK for insurers to pay for tubal ligation when a future pregnancy might threaten the mother's health? The couple with genetic risk factors who choose to adopt? Loving parents unable to support another child? Who draws the line?
- I do not recall whether Rushie stands for or against privately funded birth control, but something's afoot, since he has no children (that we know about). Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
- Perhaps, Mr. Limbaugh, you did not intend for your remarks to escalate. But you warmed to the subject so nicely, almost as if you were visualizing, salivating over the very sluttiness of the proposed videos, like a guy in a porno movie booth. Indeed, your apology read, "I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation." Right. "Ho" would have been infinitely better. Or, for the Washington crowd, lady of the evening, working girl, escort, intern.
- Divergent yet germane: What shall we call a man who becomes addicted to prescription painkillers? A junkie? A user? Limbaugh was arrested for doctor-shopping to obtain his meds. He admitted to addiction. Charges were later dropped when he complied with recommendations and entered treatment. Did insurance reimburse any of the doctors who allegedly issued prescriptions? Would that (excellent, I'm sure) insurance be part of a benefits package through Limbaugh's employer? Show them the video! Put it on YouTube! Let's see Rushie higher than a kite!
- Oh, sure. Sarah Palin defended Limbaugh's First Amendment rights. Obviously, daughter Bristol's no pill-totin' slut/prostitute who demanded contraception from mom's insurance, likely through the state of Alaska. But I'll bet said insurance contributed to her prenatal care/delivery. Rick Santorum called Rush an "entertainer." Michele Bachmann referred to the "little pinprick issue." I think she meant his comments.
Personally, I think this is a case of the Rush calling the -kettle black - and only regretting it when his sponsor-johns yanked payment. Not to worry. Eventually little pinprick issues like Rush Limbaugh just shrivel up and blow away.
Contact Deborah Salomon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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