Three days after causing a huge uproar by calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut,” a “prostitute,” and a “feminazi,” Rush Limbaugh has apologized. But his statement makes clear that he has absolutely no clue what Fluke said in her testimony to Democratic members of Congress, or what her arguments on the subject of contraceptive coverage actually were. Either that, or he’s intentionally smearing her again by misrepresenting her position.
Here. Take a look. Judge for yourself:
Limbaugh: “I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress.”
Fluke made no reference to her own sexual history in her congressional testimony. She spoke not on the basis of her own personal experience of birth control use, but in her position as past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice.
Limbaugh: “I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities.”
Fluke was not advocating for public financing of contraceptives, but for a policy mandating “contraception coverage in [the Georgetown] student health plan.” There was no contemplation of a government contraceptive entitlement program in Fluke’s testimony, or in the Obama administration proposal she spoke in favor of.
Limbaugh: “What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line?”
As Fluke made abundantly clear, coverage of contraceptive services is a matter that affects students who do not use the prescriptions for birth control. She spoke movingly and at length of a friend at Georgetown who “has polycystic ovarian syndrome and has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries.” Her insurance claim “was denied repeatedly on the assumption that she really wanted the birth control to prevent pregnancy,” despite the fact that she is a lesbian.
Limbaugh: “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?”
Again, the question at hand is not what “taxpayers should pay” for, but what services will be covered under insurance plans established by institutions for employees, students, and other beneficiaries. There’s no issue of taxpayer funding on the table at all.
Limbaugh: “In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom…”
Actually, Mr. Limbaugh, you not only discussed Ms. Fluke’s sex life — a subject which she had made literally no reference to in her testimony — at length and in graphic detail, you also demanded that she “post the videos online so we can all watch.”
This is worth underscoring. Sandra Fluke made no reference to her own sexual behavior in her congressional testimony. She said nothing to indicate that she has ever had heterosexual sex in her thirty years on the planet. Mr. Limbaugh’s extensive, repeated, prurient allegations and speculations as to her history and her proclivities had literally no basis in anything she had said to the members of Congress she addressed.
Limbaugh: “…nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.”
The president’s February 10 announcement of his contraceptive coverage policy made no reference to anyone’s sexual behavior. In fact it, like Ms. Fluke’s testimony, emphasized the importance of contraception “as a way to reduce the risks of ovarian and other cancers, and treat a variety of different ailments.”
The president also recognized the significance of prescription contraceptives as a method of birth control, of course, but given that — as he noted — “nearly 99 percent of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives” — the prudent course for those who are uninterested in public discussion of “what is going on in anyone’s bedroom” is to make contraception universally available to those who need it.
Limbaugh: “My choice of words was not the best…”
“She must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It 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’s having so much sex, it’s amazing she can still walk.”
Limbaugh: “…and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”
Cool story, bro.