|Posted by RichAndPretty , Mon, Mar 05, 2012, 15:40:44||Reviews by RichAndPretty||Archive||Main BigDoggie.net site|
By Bruce Thornton, Mar 5th, 2012
Rush Limbaugh has got the progressives pitching a fit over some remarks on his radio show about a Georgetown University law student named Sandra Fluke. Fluke had made the preposterous claim, while addressing House Democrats over President Obamas rule forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception, that the cost of birth control was prohibitive for Georgetown law students. Limbaugh responded by calling Fluke a slut and a prostitute who is having so much sex, she cant afford the contraception; she wants you and me the taxpayers to pay her.
Progressive dudgeon hit the stratosphere. Democrat Representative Louise Slaughter wrote a letter that decried Limbaughs sexually charged, patently offensive, and obscene language and atrocious and hurtful words. MSNBs Jonathan Capehart called the comments hateful and rude, and said they were low even for Limbaugh. Democrat strategist Krystal Ball (sic) called Limbaugh despicable, disgusting, and a loathsome individual. The Washington Posts Jamila Bey called the remarks hate speech and claimed they crossed into the realm of sexual harassment. The president of Georgetown said the remarks were misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.
And in the midst of crisis in the Middle East and the ticking entitlement time bomb, President Obama found time personally to call Fluke and deplore Limbaughs inappropriate personal attacks. Following the loss of some advertisers, Limbaugh apologized for what he called his attempt to be humorous.
Im not interested in Limbaughs comments or whether or not they are appropriate. When you enter the political kitchen, as Fluke did, you should be ready to get scorched. As always, more interesting is the reaction to the comments. And that reaction once again reveals the monstrous hypocrisy of progressives. The folks who proclaim their sensitivity, nuanced thinking, therapeutic concern for the tender sensibilities of others, and open-mindedness have always been the most vicious, bigoted, narrow-minded, crude, dogmatic, conformist people on the planet. Take everybodys exhibit number one, the HBO blowhard Bill Maher, whos on record calling Sarah Palin a ct and inviting Jon Huntsman to suck my dk. I dont remember the President calling Palin or Hunstman to regret that our political discourse has become debased, as his flack Jay Carney put it. Nor is anyone demanding that Obama-supporting superpac Priorities USA Action should return the million bucks Maher gave it. Why should they? Remember when Obama called the Tea Party folks tea-baggers, a vulgar sexual term? Appropriate and debased are in the eye of the progressive beholder, and depend on the ideology of whoever is being attacked.
Of course, in the progressive hysteria we are also subjected to the chilling free speech charge, as when Fluke on the Today Show Friday said that Limbaughs comments were an attempt to silence me. She apparently doesnt think that her threat to sue Limbaughthe lefts favorite WMD when it comes to destroying free speech might be an attempt to silence him. In fact, rather than silencing her, Limbaughs comments have given an obscure law student the biggest platform on the planet, at the same time Limbaughs apology suggests that it is his free speech thats been chilled. And are the media so dumb that they dont see the absurdity of a guest on the Today Show claiming to its 5.6 million viewers that someone tried to silence her?
More important than occasioning a display of progressive hypocrisy is Flukes claim that law students at a prestigious private school cant afford birth control. If Fluke could produce one of her colleagues who doesnt have an I-phone, an I-pad, an I-pod, a high-speed internet connection, or cable television; who doesnt spend $20 a week at Starbucks, or has to eat ramen every night, or never takes a vacation, never eats out, never goes to bars or concerts; or who has parents on welfare who cant contribute to her education, or works part-time at a burger joint, or has any other characteristics of someone so poor she cant budget for birth control pills, then maybe shed have a point. But even then, condoms are available for free at numerous clinics and even at some retail stores. And God forbid we should suggest that the young lady just say no.
The cost of birth control, though, is just a smokescreen. More pernicious is the assumption that, as Fluke puts it, This is about womens health. In other words, unplanned pregnancy is a disease, something that like breast cancer just sort of happens to a woman, and for which she bears no responsibility. Thats how House minority leader Nancy Pelosi sees it. Speaking of the failed Senate amendment to allow religious organizations not to fund contraception, Pelosi said that the measure was part of the Republican agenda of disrespecting womens health issues [by] allowing employers to cut basic health services for women, like contraception, mammograms, prenatal and cervical-cancer screenings.
Since pregnancy is a disease, then, someone else should pay the premium for insuring against the consequences of a womans risky, careless behavior. She shouldnt even be responsible for grabbing some free condoms at the clinic and taking care of the risk herself.
Look even closer, and we see the real progressive agenda at work: increasing the power and reach of the federal government and its bureaucratic minions by discrediting and marginalizing any other source of authority over our behavior, especially institutions of moral authority such as churches. That way the government can aggrandize its power by relieving people of the responsibility for their choices through palliating their damaging consequences while making others pay for them. Tocqueville noticed 150 years ago this tendency of centralized power to expand by infantilizing the citizenry. Centralized governments, Tocqueville remarked, act as if they thought themselves responsible for the actions and private conditions of their subjects, as if they had undertaken to guide and to instruct each of them in the various incidents of life and to secure their happiness quite independently of their own consent. Moreover, this insidious paternalism corrupts the people, who invoke its assistance in all their necessities, and who fix their eyes upon the administration as their mentor and their guide. But all for a price: the diminishment of our freedom and autonomy, both of which require accepting the burdensome and sometimes painful responsibility for the consequences of our actions.
Our modern progressives, however, have added a new twist to this process. Removing sexual behavior from the strictures of traditional authority, and then taking responsibility for the consequences of careless sex like pregnancy, make state-subsidized sexual pleasure a seemingly cost-free distraction from the erosion of freedom and autonomy, as Aldous Huxley foresaw in Brave New World. Sexual freedom now trumps political freedom, and sexual pleasure is the honey that sweetens the bitter poison of diminished freedom. Hence the progressives elevation of contraception and abortion into rights, which puts the necessary discussion of the obvious destructive consequences of sexual promiscuity out of bounds. But these rights have nothing to do with womens health and everything to do with the progressive governments aim of consolidating and increasing its power at the expense of other authorities, like churches, that might have something to say about the personally and socially destructive price of those rights. Thats the real significance of the uproar Rush Limbaugh caused: not his crudity or insensitivity, but calling attention to the centrality of sexual libertinism to the progressive agenda of increasing government power at the expense of individual freedom.
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