Republicans Should Have Learned The Komen Lesson

Filed in National by on March 4, 2012

Let’s take a look at Rush’s “apology” first:

For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week.  In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.

That. Is. Not. An. Apology.

What that is the classic: Sorry, if you can’t take a joke.  I was just being humorous, but you’re too sensitive to have a sense of humor. I was simply making a very important, bigger point, that you’re too stupid to understand.

An apology isn’t an apology if you can fit in the word “but.”  Go ahead and add that word after Rush’s first sentence.  It fits beautifully.

And the backlash that’s building around this situation has much in common with the Komen fiasco.  Attack women, or an institution women love, and face the consequences.  2012 is shaping up to be the year of the woman.

Komen cuts its funding to Planned Parenthood and when there’s a public outcry they simply double down – citing a reason that they don’t apply to any other of their beneficiaries.  They held this position as the voices opposing their decision grew louder.  They decided they could weather the storm.  How did that work out for them?  In under a week their brand was destroyed and advertisers fled.  And once they started losing their advertisers, and only then, did Komen rethink their position.  Too little, too late.  I will never give Komen another dime.

And now Rush is using the Komen playbook.  And I get why he’s shocked by the reaction to his words.  After all, Rush Limbaugh’s show is full of misogynistic rants.

Here’s one of them:

“She comes to me when she wants to be fed. And after I feed her — guess what — she’s off to wherever she wants to be in the house, until the next time she gets hungry. She’s smart enough to know she can’t feed herself. She’s actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn’t have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat’s taught me more about women, than anything my whole life.” –Rush Limbaugh, on his cat.

So why shouldn’t he expect to get away with calling a young woman a slut when he’s already gotten away with comments like these in the past?

Because, like Komen learned through its attack on Planned Parenthood, contraception is a given in women’s lives.  It was settled.  If anyone told me a year ago that Republicans would be making contraception part of their platform I would have laughed and said no one would be that stupid.  I was wrong.

And now Republicans and Rush are whining about contraception being part of our political discourse.  Which takes a lot of nerve since they were the ones who pushed this issue into the national debate.  Rick Santorum led the way and Republicans followed.  And they’re still following.  And every time they open their mouths to mansplain Rush’s comments the hole they’re digging gets deeper.

And now Rush is sorry?  Not a chance.  The only thing he’s sorry about is losing advertisers – just like Komen.  That, and only that, is what triggered his non-apology.  Too little, too late.

On the bright side, both Komen and Rush (along with all those nifty transvaginal ultrasound bills) have accomplished what the very important, inside the beltway talking heads drone on and on about – Bipartisanship.  Women across party lines are united.  See you in November, boys.

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A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

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  1. Fat White Guys and Women : Delaware Liberal | March 8, 2012
  1. Jason330 says:

    Read the whole diatribe against Fluke. It is one of the most rancidly mysogynistic things I’ve ever read.

  2. cassandra m says:

    Women brought every politician into this world, and we can take you out of your offices.

    Seriously, this *you just don’t get my entertaining humor* is Wingnut Excuse #1. If you don’t get the dog whistle, you are just supposed to laugh, apparently. Which is one of the reasons why I’m willing to hold modern conservatives is such high contempt — they’re willing to insult your intelligence to justify their corrupt ideology and when you refuse to let them get away with it, they feel victimized.

    Slut-shaming isn’t funny and isn’t an appropriate political response. Not that any of Limbaugh’s millions of listeners will get this. Somewhere along the way I read a comment that noted that Limbaugh gives each of his listeners the comfort that there are 15 million more assholes just like them. Not letting everyone normalize that stupidity is work, we have to do it.

  3. pandora says:

    And the Republican base is thrilled with Rush. They continue to defend him and trash Sandra Fluke. And no matter how many GOP operatives beg Rush and the base to drop this, they won’t. Rush will be more careful with his wording, not because he thinks what he said was wrong, but because he’s losing advertisers.

    Rush is only saying what most Republican men think.

    This is not going away.

  4. Mike says:

    Sorry for linking to my own blog here, but this whole Limbaugh foulness and “apology” prompted me to look back at an example of what a public apology should be like. This is from 2009 when Cape Henlopen School Board member Noble Prettyman lost his cool and subsequently sent a heartfelt apology for publication in the Cape Gazette:

  5. pandora says:

    No problem, Mike. Link away!

    And you’re correct. That is what an apology sounds like.

    An apology is about taking responsibility for your actions/words – something Rush did not do.

  6. Jason330 says:

    Very well said Cassandra:

    “…this *you just don’t get my entertaining humor* is Wingnut Excuse #1. If you don’t get the dog whistle, you are just supposed to laugh, apparently. Which is one of the reasons why I’m willing to hold modern conservatives is such high contempt — they’re willing to insult your intelligence to justify their corrupt ideology and when you refuse to let them get away with it, they feel victimized.”

    The notion that Rush gets special privilidegs because he is an “entertianer” is something that Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney need to be called out on.

  7. Jason330 says:

    That said, George Will just called Santorum out on that very thing:

    “It would’ve been nice if they had shared that with the larger public, the Republican leaders,” Will said on ABC’s This Week. “Instead, Mr. Boehner comes out and says, Rush’s language was inappropriate. Using a salad fork for your entree, that’s inappropriate. Not this stuff. I mean, and Rick Santorum says well, what he says was absurd, but an entertainer is allowed to be absurd. No. It is the responsibility of conservatives to police the right in its excesses…And it was depressing, because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”

    Could this the begiing of some Republicans deciding to try in reign in the whackjobs ?

    If so, far too little and far too late.

  8. Lisa says:

    I wish I had written this article. It eloquently and succinctly conveys EXACTLY what I have been steaming about.
    And you are so right… there will be hell to pay in November.

  9. pandora says:

    Thanks, Lisa! What I wrote here is simply what I’ve been hearing from women, no matter their political affiliation.

  10. PBaumbach says:

    An apology should not only include a sincere “I am sorry” (and exclude but this and but that), it should also include a “as I see the error in my ways, I will take these steps to ensure that I don’t err in this manner again”

    I’m not holding my breath…

  11. puck says:

    I forgot who started this whole thing. Is it Santorum’s fault?

  12. Jason330 says:

    Kinda. But it took off when Darrell Issa said that only old, celibate, white guys should testify on women’s health issues.

    Thanks Darrell !!

  13. puck says:

    The tried and true GOP blueprint of rolling out hotbutton “values” issues during a campaign is backfiring on them.

    Republicans have lost the culture wars and are giving themselves wedgies with their own wedge issues.

  14. Jason330 says:

    Yes. This is the culture war we’ve been hearing about for all these years, and what a sad showing for the forces of “family values” after such a long build up. I guess as the losses mounted (gay marriage, a mixed race President, Jersey Shore, etc….) the Republicans got freaked out and started making unforced errors.

  15. Obama 2012 says:

    There are two important points I can think of here:

    1) Fluke wasn’t talking about her “sexual recreational activity.”

    2) This is dark ages puritanical woman hating garbage. Women aren’t allowed to have sex?

  16. cassandra m says:

    Have you read this dKos post? This is why it is so important to make sure they know this behavior is unacceptable.

  17. pandora says:

    That diary breaks my heart.

  18. Sarah G. says:

    A friend of mine said this: “To people defending Rush with the first Amendment: public censure is not the same thing as government infringement, nor is a right to speech the same thing as an entitlement to a medium…. If you’re going to support hate speech of THAT caliber, please come right out and say you are cool with a misogynist who marginalizes women who express their opinions by using the patriarchy’s time-honored tradition of implying that they are promiscuous. Let’s not couch this in legal arguments that are completely idiotic.”

  19. Geezer says:

    “Women brought every politician into this world…”

    Can’t get any blunter than that. I promise I won’t hold it against y’all.

    “Women aren’t allowed to have sex?”

    I think they’re just not allowed to enjoy it. Hey, under the Santorum plan, you could have intercourse up to 20 or 25 times in a lifetime! Quitcherbitchin.

    “They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”

    Hey, I just got an idea. Why don’t they drop Rush Limbaugh on Iran?

  20. I am so sick of the non-apology apology. Just say “I am sorry” and stop right there. His so-called apology doesn’t an wrongdoing and also contains lies about contraception. What words should he have used instead? Harlot? Fast? Loose?

    There is also no acknowledgement that he accused Ms. Fluke of using condoms as a 12-year-old and that he asked her to post a sex tape.

    One thing I’ve found interesting is Limbaugh and his RWNJ apologists appear to have no idea 1) how contraception works 2) how insurance works and 3) what Ms. Fluke actually said. She isn’t asking for the government to subsidize her sex life like Limbaugh is saying. She is asking that the health insurance she pays for with her money cover a common prescription. That’s it. She has said nothing of her sex life.

    Don’t even get me started with the responses of Romney, Paul and Santorum, who can’t even stand up to Rush Limbaugh.

  21. Joanne Christian says:

    @Geezer–“Why don’t they drop Rush Limbaugh on Iran?”–too much collateral damage.

  22. Jason330 says:

    This has grown to reaction about this specific incident – to a belated reaction to Limbaugh’s body of work.

    ProFlowers Latest Limbaugh Sponsor To Bail Post-Apology

    In yet another sign that Rush Limbaugh’s apology over the weekend won’t be enough to silence his critics, online florist ProFlowers became the latest advertiser to withdraw its sponsorship of Limbaugh’s radio show Sunday.

  23. Truth Teller says:

    Has anyone pressed the local radio stations to drop this Junkie from their line up toss Beck into the mess also. It’s a loosing cause down here in Sussex but we tried.

  24. Truth Teller says:

    Unstable Isotope Newt, Mittens and little Ricky Cowards all scared to death to stand up to the big wind bag, however, even though it didn’t go far enough Paul’s response to this incident did have some meat behind it . I chalk this up to the fact that the Drug Abuser has panned Paul on air.

  25. MJ says:

    Fantastic post, Pandora.

  26. Rustydils says:

    While many of us are in agreement that the advertisers should have dropped rush over his bad comments, I wonder what everyone’s opinion is about whether the obama campaign should give back Bill Mahers’ one million dollar contribution over the bad words he publically called Sarah Palin. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

  27. jason330 says:

    See? SB. This rabbit hole is for wingnuts so that they have a shred of a talking point to cling to. Poor things.

    Frankly, I’m surprised it took them this long to organize this entirely predicable and thoroughly lame response.

  28. Rustydils says:

    Jason, the word lame has a very vague meaning to me when you use it in this context. Could you just be more specific with your answer, do you think obama should give back bill mahers., contribution, yes, or no

  29. Liberal Elite says:

    What a silly question. The logic behind it is truly twisted.

  30. Jason330 says:

    Chech this out. Nothing but dead air and PSAs.


  31. pandora says:

    Wow! I’ve never heard anything like that. He must be panicking.

  32. Jason330 says:

    Rush never stopped to question the legitimacy of his standing as nation’s sexual moral arbiter.

    In fact, with all the illicit gay bathroom sex and serial adultery, the more privately “dirty” Republicans have become as a party – the more the party’s leaders, like Limbaugh, have spun into a sexual mania in an attempt to appear publicly “clean.”

    Brilliant strategy.

  33. socialistic ben says:

    It must kill him that HHS advertises on his show….. this may actually be a superb opportunity for progressive causes and PACs to buy time on his show…. all the airwaives care about is the money. As air time on Rush’s show plummets, the anti-conservative commercials should (hopefully) increase

  34. socialistic ben says:

    Rusty is confusing people like Laura Ingraham and Palin with Ms Fluke.
    I get the line of reasoning…. dont buy into it, but i get it. If Maher is allowed to call them C*nts, then why isnt Rush allowed to say “Slut”?

  35. MJ says:

    Um, Rusty, Bill Maher did not donate $1 million to the Obama campaign. He donated it to a SuperPAC which has no connection to and operates independently from the Obama campaign. That being said, Palin is still an idiot.

  36. socialistic ben says:

    MJ…. come now. if all the republican superpacs are connected to the candidate, so are the D’s superpacs. you’re right… Obama cant “give the money back” but he CAN condemn it, or request it be returned… you know… exactly what you’d want Mitt Romney to do in the same situation….. that said, Palin is an idiot.

  37. Jason330 says:

    “…. this may actually be a superb opportunity for progressive causes and PACs to buy time on his show… ”

    That would be awesome.

  38. socialistic ben says:

    kinda like acidic salt in an open wound eh jason? Make Rush spend half his show refuting what was said by his sponsors?

  39. Jason330 says:

    I love it.

  40. MJ says:

    SB, what? Are you sure? I totally thought that the SuperPACS were not connected to the candidate in any way, shape, or form. Geesh, totally destroys my faith in the system. 🙂

  41. socialistic ben says:

    dude, the whole thing has pushed my cynicism so far past what i ever thought possible. Tomorrow Newt Gingrich could read Mien Kampf to a roaring crowd of rednecks, and id be shocked that they understand german more than enything else.

  42. puck says:

    Republicans are once again pushing on the Overton Window and to their great surprise, for the first time it is not budging. Their response is predictable: push harder. Moving ever-right seems to be OK for GOP primary voters, but even they can see the horror and amusement their far-right positions are generating in the country at large. They will of course regroup for the general election, splash some water on their faces and straighten their ties, and go back to pushing on that window behind a single candidate. They’ll keep pushing on that window, but try not to look so crazy doing it. It’s worked before. Don’t underestimate the power of the press to launder all the crazy and turn it into a legitimate policy debate.

  43. Jason330 says:

    The power of the press to launder all the crazy and turn it into a legitimate policy debate will go something like this:

    President Obama: Because of health care reform, we have stories like the Michigan Keystone Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Project, which has increased quality and lowered

    Romney: Wolf, let me point out …Obamacare is evil socialism and we needz religious liberty !!

    Wolf Blitzer, Debate Moderator: Mr. President, that’s a fair question. Why ARE you attacking Christianity?

  44. puck says:

    Conservatives claim this is a center-right nation, but they keep forgetting about the “center” part.