In my column that appeared in today’s Greenwich Time, I wrote:
Limbaugh’s misogyny against Georgetown University law student, Sandy Fluke, is an outrage. But equally outrageous is the fact that Republicans have not denounced Limbaugh for his vile statements.
Think how powerful it would be if the Republican presidential candidates and Republican Senate and House leadership joined with Democrats in telling Limbaugh, and his ilk, that it is abhorrent and unacceptable to call a Georgetown law student who testifies before a Congressional committee a “slut” and a “prostitute,” or to suggest that “if we are going to pay for your contraceptives… we want something for it. We want you to put the videos online so we can all watch.”
When I first wrote this, no Republican leaders had yet commented on Rush Limbaugh’s vile, misogynist diatribe that continued over a period of three days last week. Before my column went online Friday evening, there was just time to insert a tepid comment made Friday by a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.
The speaker simply termed Limbaugh’s words “inappropriate,” while mainly criticizing the Democrats for using this as an occasion for fundraising.
So, here is an implication that there might have been a more appropriate way to say such things. Certainly, no sense of outrage, no assertion that it is unacceptable to treat a woman this way.
Since publication of my column, all the Republican presidential candidates have answered reporters’ questions about Limbaugh’s statements . The candidates’ indifference to Limbaugh’s misogyny is astonishing.
Rick Santorum: “He’s being absurd, but that’s you know, an entertainer can be absurd. He’s in a very different business than I am.”
So, what Limbaugh said is really okay. No big deal. It’s just entertainment. It’s “absurd,” entertainingly nonsensical, so don’t take it seriously, have some sense of humor.
Mitt Romney tried to duck the issue altogether until reporters cornered him into a response: “I’ll just say this which is it’s not the language I would have used. I’m focusing on the issues I think are significant in the country today…”
So, does this mean there may have been better language to say the same thing? And clearly it’s: don’t bother me with this because it’s not significant.
Newt Gingrich used this as an opportunity to attack Democrats for infringing on religious liberty and Obama for being opportunistic in phoning Sandra Fluke to let her know of his support.
But while not commenting directly on Limbaugh’s comments, Gingrich had this to say: “I think the most important use of language in the last week has been the president’s apology to religious fanatics… and I think what he said was inexcusable …”
In other words, Obama’s apology for our having burned the Koran was far worse than anything Limbaugh may have said. This is indeed a perverse perspective.
Ron Paul: “It sounded a little crude the way it came across to me. I don’t know why it has to be such a political football like this, so you have to ask him about his crudeness.”
Okay, it’s “a little crude,” but really no reason to make such a big deal of it.
But fortunately many have been making a big deal of it, and may have been signing various petitions expressing outrage. Public pressure has caused a number of companies to withdraw from advertising on Limbaugh’s radio program. And yesterday, undoubtedly pressured against his will, Limbaugh posted an apology to Sandra Fluke on his website.
Limbaugh concluded his weak apology: “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.”
Thank goodness so many Americans do not share Limbaugh’s perverse sense of humor.And too bad the Republican leadership cannot find the will to share our outrage at this very not-funny misogyny.