Argus News Editor
There’s an old saying, “if you sleep with a dog with fleas, pretty soon you’ve got fleas too.”
I thought about that when I read about conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh and the incredibly asinine remarks he made about a Georgetown University law student last week.
Third-year law student Sandra Fluke went before Congress on Feb. 23 to testify on the Obama administration’s policy requiring that employees of religion-affiliated institutions have access to health insurance that covers birth control.
Fluke said that Georgetown, a Jesuit institution, does not provide contraception coverage in its student health plan and that contraception can cost a woman more than $3,000 during law school.
Fluke also spoke of a friend who had an ovary removed because the insurance company wouldn’t cover the prescription birth control she needed to stop the growth of cysts.
On Feb. 29 Limbaugh unleashed his first attack on Fluke when he said, “What does it say about the college coed…who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”
Limbaugh continued: “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
I was driving home from work last week when I first heard about this. I came very close to driving right off the road!!!
Of course there was a tremendous uproar from persons of many walks of life. That didn’t faze Rush. In fact, for two straight days he said he wouldn’t back down and appeared to be relishing in all the additional limelight.
The following day Fluke received a supportive phone call from Pres. Obama. The conservative talk show host didn’t miss a beat.
On March 2 Limbaugh continued his assault mocking the President’s phone call to Fluke.
“Oh right is that … Well, that’s touching. Obama just called Sandra Fluke to make sure she was all right? Awww (kissing sound),” he ranted, according to his show’s transcript.
“That’s so compassionate! What a great guy. The president calls her to make sure she’s okay. What is she 30 years old? Thirty years old, a student at Georgetown Law, who admits to having so much sex she can’t afford it anymore.”
Most members of the Republican Party were scrambling in the opposite direction, attempting to distance themselves from the man they considered the champion of conservative dogma and the person they named as a honorary member of the Republican Congressional caucus.
Mitt, Rick, Newt and Ron (almost sounds like the names of a good rock ‘n roll band) all went on record as being totally opposed to the language Rush used. Even the most conservative members of the Republican Party said Rush had crossed the line.
It wasn’t until more than a dozen national and international companies that had been supporting Limbaugh’s radio show through advertising, pulled all of their advertising did Limbaugh finally acknowledge that he maybe was too harsh on Fluke and he made a public apology.
The older I get, the more it seems to me that both political parties continue to shoot themselves in the feet. Rush Limbaugh’s incredibly absurd remarks and assault on a young woman he never met, never talked to, is just another example of how crazy this world has become.
And to think the Republicans felt Rush was such a champion of their conservative platform that they made him an honorary member of Congress!
Start itching those fleas.