Let’s have a chat about sluts, shall we? For surely, this is what is the most IMPORTANT THING EVER in this election year. Before I even get into the science of slutology, let us first and forever dispense with the notion that the glorious fury of the left over Rush Limbaugh’s comments has anything to do with the defense of Sandra Fluke. The outrage is, as ever, simply directed kabuki theater aimed at getting a major conservative talker off the air and into the corner with a pointy hat on his head. It’s about taking away a microphone. That is all that it is about, and it is about it is nothing else whatsoever. I’m just trying to be abundantly clear here: they don’t care about the slut comment outside any other context than taking down a mortal enemy, and would, without that opportunity, alternately revel in being called a slut, even claim it as a title of honor on par with being knighted, or use it freely and as often as possible when referring to conservative women. In fact, terms like slut, and other words I can’t use on the front page of RedState, are used so ubiquitously on the left, so frequently and with such fervor and practiced skill … well suffice it to say, they are “slut” sluts. They sleep around with any opportunity to use words like slut and worse that they can sink their greasy little keyboards into.
But enough about them. For now. Let’s talk about us. When I first heard what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke, it was through Twitter. I admit that I spent several days, watching Twitter, being uncomfortable with the fact that my timeline was filled with people discussing the personal sex life of a college student. It seemed very inappropriate to me, and I remain, if I’m to be honest, offended by what some people, even some I like, had to say. I did not want to discuss Sandra Fluke’s sex life. I didn’t want to speculate about how many people she was having sex with. The question at hand was whether or not a religious organization should be forced to become a contraception provider, not whether or not she spent too much on contraception. This is especially true considering, given her career, that it was likely the expense figure was as fake as the Sasquatch, global warming, or the idea that Dane Cook is funny.
(And as an aside, that’s what, at least it seemed to me, was the original point [such as it was] of Limbaugh’s ill-advised and tasteless commentary. That her testimony was absurd. The idea that the cost of contraception is prohibitive, given the easy availability, low prices, and indeed, abundant free contraception, is so silly, that the only way it could possibly take up such a large part of one’s budget was if they were so busy getting down with the business that they must suffer several other side effects, such as, perhaps, back problems or bed sores.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh right, being uncomfortable. On Twitter, I don’t follow many people on the left side of the fence, so I was reading mainly commentary from the right. Of course, I use the term commentary with artistic license out of personal interest, as 140 characters may not rise to the level of commentary, but I get most of my traffic from Twitter so SHUT UP, IT’S COMMENTARY! So I’m reading the commentary and feeling uncomfortable and eating Count Chocula out of the box while wearing pajamas having just woken up at 3 in the afternoon (I’m a blogger), and I finally start to notice the pushback. At first I thought, well I can see why they’re upset. I mean, I’m an unhinged right-wing keyboard jockey, and even I was offended. But as the pushback grew, the hypocrisy of it all really started to reveal itself. Where were the boycotts and calls for dismissal when Keith Olbermann called Michelle Malkin a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it”? Oh sure, Jon Stewart called him on it, but exactly which advertisers did he lose? Did Malkin get a “let me kiss your boo boo” call from the President? A token pushback at best.
I could now, at this point in my post, provide you with links to dozens of other similar such incidents from left-wing talkers, but A) they are already posted on every single other right-leaning blog or website on the internet, B) they’re pretty gross and I don’t know if you’ve eaten and, C) I’m pretty lazy. (I’m a blogger.)
And here, we can begin to discover whether or not I have a point. We will discover this together, since I am as unsure as you. This organized, concerted effort by the left to get Rush Limbaugh off the air has all the genuineness, originality, and creativity of a Hamburger Helper Lasagna (which, by the way, I’m currently eating). Advertisers are, (forgive me), pulling out. There is a full-scale war on Twitter. There is a boycott. And the online left’s toadies in the mainstream press have become (or remain) little more than the television version of serial retweeters, parroting the outrage in the hopes of a pat on the head or a Scooby Snack. This, one might wish to add, comes right on the heels of the gleeful denizens of the left spending days speaking horrors in the wake of the death of Andrew Breitbart. Civility, indeed.
It is an ever-present argument in politics, on both sides: well YOU did it! But that argument is particularly galling from the one side of the aisle that cannot stop lecturing about civility, among other boring topics. (It is also, we might note, galling to use the left’s yardstick to measure ourselves, as Rush pointed out in his opening monologue today. And goodness knows I’ve been guilty of the same thing.) The same party comfortable with calling tea partiers “terrorists”, the party infinitely comfortable with anything at all you wish to say about Sarah Palin, however grotesque, has the nerve to organize a boycott because Rush Limbaugh said the word “slut”??
Let’s be clear. Rush Limbaugh missed the mark. Saying that if it was true that Sandra Fluke was spending that much money on contraception makes her a slut, or that wanting it paid for not out of pocket makes her a prostitute, was definitely wrong. There was nothing she said that would justify calling her either. The reason these words bother so much is because, from a pulpit the size of his, it seems to amount to a public shaming. Worse, it was so derogatory, even if he meant it as a rhetorical device to deliver a point, one could scarely avoid wincing. Though Rush is an entertainer, he’s not a stand-up comedian. In fact, even from an objective and mechanical standpoint it was wrong, as it was predictably bound to swerve the conversation bus off the highway and into a ravine.
But let us also be clear about another thing. In the realm of what is right and what is moral, Limbaugh was right and moral to apologize. But in the realm of the political, that means almost literally nothing. The dudgeon is as high and predictable as it is trumped up and fake.
The left wants what it wants, and in this case it wants voters to think that the Republican party is trying to ban contraception, which it isn’t, that conservatives are misogynists, which we aren’t, and that the Occupiers don’t smell really, really bad. Which they definitely do.
(Another aside: it would be nice if the left could muster at least as much wounded moral sensibility for the Occupiers raping each other all the time as they have for Rush Limbaugh saying “slut”.)
Remember when you and I stepped together into the darkness and tried to discover if I had a point? Good times.
Anyway, Rush, I am certain, will survive. And that is a blessing. Sandra Fluke, I speculate, will get a lot of face time on cable news this year. And that is what is. Contraception, obviously, will remain cheap and abundant. And that works for me. And Caleb Howe, I pray, will win the lottery and become a rich, pompous jerk. Hey, I’ve got two out of three already!
And to my “outraged” friends and foes on the left I have one parting thought: spare me.