Every time I think that today’s GOP has reached the apex of suck, they come back with a whole new brand of crazy.
Today, Rush Limbaugh made an aggressive push to regain the Raging Asshat title from Rick Santorum, who’s had a death grip on the thing for the last week. Limbaugh, for some reason, felt that he had informed opinion on the [frankly ridiculous] bitchfest that Congress is engaged in over birth control; specifically, over insurance companies and employers covering the cost of birth control, costs which can be prohibitive for some women.
You may recall that the House held a hearing on this issue in which they refused to hear from any, you know, women on the issue. This visual fail was made possible by Republicans’ piss-poor attempts to recast birth control–a matter of women’s health–as one of religious freedom [?!], one in which teh evil evil government was attempting to enforce its questionable morality on the long-suffering penises of America.
That is: some [men] in Congress don’t want to have to pay for birth control, because that goes against God’s plan of sex only being for procreative purposes, for women to be tied to the home and children, and for men to rule the motherfucking world. Or, as Rick Santorum put it in October of 2010 [dude was ahead of his time, right?]:
Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.
As Dean Winchester would say: “Okay, you lost me there, sparky.”
The Democrats on the committee had a field day with the all-male panel image and ran with it for a couple of news cycles. Last week, they staged their own hearing–a purely performative one, since they are in the minority in the House, and thus on the relevant committee–on birth control in which they heard from Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student. In her testimony, Fluke:
told the story of a fellow law school student who required access to the pill in order to deal with a medical condition. Not being able to afford it, because it wasn’t provided on the health care plan, the student wound up losing an ovary.
Got that? So a fellow student [not Fluke herself] LOST AN OVARY, which, hey, she might have wanted to use, thanks, because the school’s health care plan didn’t cover the cost of birth control. Pretty clear connection, for me, between women’s health and health care covering birth control.
Rush Limbaugh, bless him, doesn’t agree. He weighed in on the issue today [ETA: On Wednesday, actually]:
What does it say about the college co-ed Susan [sic] Fluke who goes before a Congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? That makes her a slut, right?
Yes, he really said this.
But oh, wait. There’s more:
Makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex, she can’t afford the contraception she wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the the pimps. The johns. We would be the johns. No! We’re not the johns–well, uuuhhhhh, pimp’s not the right word. Ok, so she’s not a slut, she’s round-heeled [???]. I take it back.
[I love the metadiscussion he has with himself over the difference between a pimp and a john. Heh! And this is my transcription, for what it’s worth, so any errors are mine.]
So it’s evident, right, that he has no fucking clue what he’s talking about: he clearly did not bother to read or listen to Fluke’s actual testimony, since he a) gets her name wrong; and b) misunderstands the content of her testimony. Could be dismissed out of hand right there.
But it’s Rush, and I imagine this sort of gleeful ignorance is pretty de riguer for him.
I find this conceptual leap completely confounding, if one uses Earth logic, but totally understandable in fake Conservative logic:
- Woman wants to use birth control.
- Birth control is related to sex.
- Woman wants to have sex.
- Ergo, woman is a whore.
And this is, in large part, why the GOP is so hot and heavy to recast birth control–women’s health in general, I’d argue–as a question not of morality but of “religious freedom.” Such a rhetorical move–however lumbering and poorly executed–allows them to have their cake and eat it too: they can still have yahoos like Rush and Fox News make the old familiar, always-already argument that women are whores [what’s up, Eve?], while politically positioning themselves as champions of liberty, rather than would-be installers of chastity belts around the scary, scary ladyparts.
But, hey, what about men?
If the government shouldn’t subsidize female sexuality, shouldn’t encourage women to have lots of dirty sex, then it shouldn’t subsidize men either, right? Surely the GOP is pushing for insurance companies not to have to cover Viagra?
Rush, you have some experience with this one, don’t you, darling?
As Rick Perry might say: oops.
Here’s what I’d say: Rush, you do not have control over any woman’s reproductive system or her sex life. You are not a moral paragon, nor does any uterus tremble in fear at your opinion. At your dick, maybe, but your opinion? No.
So you keep spewing Santorum about women’s sex lives and I’ll keep reminding folks that you can’t keep it up. A small protest, perhaps. But, given its subject, that seems only fitting.