Could The End Of Political Hate-Speech Be Due To a Fluke?

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Georgetown University Law Schooler Sandra Fluke may have been able to do something George Soros’ millions, a whole gaggle of Democratic strategists, and Al Franken’s book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, couldn’t do – dethrone the King of Caustic in the court of public opinion.  She may have done something else, too. Something truly unexpected in red-blue battlefield where American politics is played. The feisty feminist may have just made political discourse civil again.

On February 29, 2012 (appropriately a leap year for such a pratfall), Limbaugh started the firestorm calling the 30-year-old women’s rights advocate a “slut” and “prostitute” after her testimony before an unofficial congressional committee in support of mandated private health insurance coverage for contraceptives. Fluke’s crime: calling for coverage of birth control drugs to treat her friend’s polycystic ovarian syndrome. Prescriptions for pain from ovarian cysts is just one of many noncontraceptive uses of birth control denied women when their employers refuse to include contraception services in their health care plans because of moral or religious reasons.

Refusing to accept Ms. Fluke’s motivation, Rush doubled down a day later offering what he termed was a “compromise” to contraception coverage: purchasing “all the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as possible”. He continued that he “[ran] some numbers” on contraception costs and arguing that contraception coverage was “flat-out thievery” that would force taxpayers to pay to “satisfy the sexual habits of female law students at Georgetown”.

The rant was unrelenting: “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch,” bellowed the wounded giant. He then added, “Who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade? Or your contraception. Who bought your contraceptive pills in high school?” He described Fluke as “a woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her life woman. She wants all the sex in the world whenever she wants it, all the time, no consequences.” By some counts, he attacked Ms. Fluke 46 more times that day and throughout the broadcast.

By March 2nd, Rush still wasn’t done with Ms. Fluke. Limbaugh said that requiring insurance companies to cover contraception is “no different than if somebody knocked on my door that I don’t know and said, ‘You know what? I’m out of money. I can’t afford birth-control pills, and I’m supposed to have sex with three guys tonight.’ ” He added “she’s having so much sex she can’t pay for it and wants a new welfare program to pay for it,” he’d be “embarrassed” and “disconnect the phone”, “go into hiding”, and “hope the media didn’t find me”. He continued later, “Oh! Does she have more boyfriends? They’re lined up around the block. They would have been in my day.”

Criticizing someone for an out-of-control libido must have caused even hardline — but memory-equipped — “ditto-heads” to blush. In March of 2009, Limbaugh was reportedly detained by US Customs officials for three hours  with 29 tablets of the male sexual enhancement drug, Viagra, in his suitcase. Limbaugh’s  Gulfstream IV jet (courtesy of Premier Radio Networks)  with Rush and 4 male buddies aboard had landed in Palm Beach, Florida, fresh off a stag party vacation in the Dominican Republic. Nothing newsworthy there except that the Viagra prescription was not in the radio celebrity’s name. Instead, it was “labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes,” according to Roy Black, Limbaugh’s attorney. For his part,  Limbaugh was nonplussed and in a bragging mood about his sexual proclivities south of the border. “I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it,” he beamed.

Such arrogance all but guaranteed a backlash from both Right and Left labeling Limbaugh both a bully and misogynistic. Advertisers began to hear rumblings from social media that boycotts were planned and got antsy, especially in view of the size of the potentially offended demographic involved. Laurie Cantillo, Rush’s old boss at WABC (770 AM) explained that,

It is perceived by many as an attack on young women. … Women 25-54 is the prize demo for most advertisers, and Rush’s remarks strike at the heart of the audience they’re trying to reach….

Reagan speech writer, Peggy Noonan, called Limbaugh’s remarks “crude, rude, even piggish,” and “deeply destructive and unhelpful.”  House Speaker John Boehner called the remarks, “Inappropriate.’ Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), the party’s 2008 candidate for president, said Limbaugh’s statements were unacceptable “in every way” and “should be condemned” by people across the political spectrum. Even the bow-tied ambassador from the Country Club Right, George Will, clucked that  Boehner’s remarks were more suited to a faux pas of using a salad fork for the entrée and lamented that “… it was depressing because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh.” Duh!  Now how about some coffee to really wake you up, George.

If the right was disappointed, the left was outraged. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), wrote that “Rush Limbaugh, the voice of the ultra-conservative right, issued one of the most vile tirades against women I’ve ever heard.” House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, called the diatribe, “obnoxious” and “vicious and inappropriate attacks.” Seventy-five Democratic Party lawmakers signed a letter expressing outrage at the remarks labeling them as “sexually charged, patently offensive, obscene”, “indecent” and “an abuse of public airwaves.” NOW described Limbaugh as  a “bigoted bully” and a speaker of “hate-filled speech” for trying to “shame a young woman for coming forward, speaking her mind and standing up for women’s rights.”

An apology was inevitable if not for ethical reasons then for financial ones. On March 1st, Rush issued the first of what critics would call his non-apologies. Grasping the golden EIB microphone on March 3rd, the Right’s most quoted standard-bearer bit the bullet saying:

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.

Too little, too late. And besides, Fluke was not in an accepting mood.  Talking with Barbara Walters on ABC’s The View, Fluke said,

I don’t think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything, and especially when that statement is issued when he’s under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support from the show.  I think any woman who has ever been called these types of names is [shocked] at first. But then I tried to see this for what it is, and I believe that what it is, is an attempt to silence me, to silence the millions of women and the men who support them who have been speaking out about this issue and conveying that contraception is an important healthcare need that they need to have met in an affordable, accessible way.

Advertisers were not in a forgiving mood either.  confirmed that 141 — not 8 as once reported — sponsors have been identified in an internal Premier Radio Networks memorandum as declaring that their ad spots are to be run on controversy-free radio programming. Put another way, on Rush-free programming. The feminist trio of Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan  called for the FCC to ban Rush, and defender of all things woman, Gloria Allred, wanted the rotund pundit prosecuted.

Oh, there were some Rush defenders like actress/activist, Patricia Heaton, and the usual chorus of  wacky Michelle Malkin, educationally-challenged Sean Hannity, and Fox’ s trotted-out lawyer of the Right turned pundit, Megyn Kelly, but they were quickly caught up in the deluge and slinked away with lukewarm Twitter apologies (Heaton) or a quick change of topic (all the rest).

While extreme positions are easily dismissed as preposterous, they have the effect of focusing the debate on the reasonable propositions and then drawing a consensus as to the right course of action. It ‘s the case of two equally matched but exhausted palookas in a bar fight who are simply tired of the tussle that leads to no result and makes both look weak.  The fight may have gone out of both sides. Also the Law of Unintended Consequences may be at work, too. Speaking on msnbc’s Morning Joe, McCain’s 2008 campaign chief, Steven Schmidt, was asked to comment on McCain’s combative running mate Sarah Palin, the subject of  HBO’s new production, Game Change.  He made an interesting comment about the Hockey-Mom-Turned-Rogue, and in doing so, about the system the got her there in the first place.  ” She has become a person who I think is filled with grievance, filled with anger who has a divisive message for the national stage when we need leaders in both parties to have a unifying message. . . .” Schmidt seemed to be echoing Barbara Bush’s comments made a few days earlier at SMU about the 2012 campaign, “I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word. It’s not a dirty word,” the former First Lady emphasized.

The same sentiment was expressed by outgoing Republican Senator, Olympia Snow:

The great challenge is to create a system that gives our elected officials reasons to look past their differences and find common ground …. In a politically diverse nation, only by finding that common ground can we achieve results for the common good. That is not happening today and, frankly, I do not see it happening in the near future.

For change to occur, our leaders must understand that there is not only strength in compromise, courage in conciliation and honor in consensus-building — but also a political reward for following these tenets. That reward will be real only if the people demonstrate their desire for politicians to come together after the planks in their respective party platforms do not prevail.

Snow, long regarded as one of the moderate Republicans in the Senate who was willing to work with the opposition in promoting the public good, left the institution in disgust at what she called the “corrosive trend of winner-take-all politics.” When the beneficiaries of the Lee Atwater school of politics think things have gone too far, things have really gone too far.

Other signs also point to an increase of civility in the wake of the across-the-board outrage at Limbaugh.

John "Jack" DeGioia, President of Georgetown University

Following the lambasting of Ms. Fluke by Limbaugh, Georgetown President Jack DeGioia stepped up to defend his student’s right to speak and called for civility. The leader of the Jesuit school — that officially opposes the mandatory contraception services — eloquently laid out the case for letting the opposiong view be aired. In a letter to the school, DeGioia wrote, “[Ms. Fluke] provided a model of civil discourse. This expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people. One need not agree with her substantive position to support her right to respectful free expression.” He branded the reaction of Limbaugh and some other commentators as “misogynistic, vitriolic and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.”

And here’s what Carbonite CEO David Friend said about this company’s decision to pull its ads from the Limbaugh show.

No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.

Friend made the statement in the face of a threat by investors to leave the Inc. 500 company if he abandoned the ad campaign on the Limabugh show. Sensa Weight Loss, another show sponsor, tweeted: “Rush Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with SENSA values so we are pulling our ads indefinitely which should be down in the next couple days.’  That tweet was mimicked by VitaCost, another longtime sponsor. GEICO Insurance issued a strongly worded statement that it was not a Rush Limbaugh sponsor and never would be one, “We do not place ads on Rush’s program. We do not sponsor the show. We have repeatedly alerted our partners that our ads are never to run during his program. If this does not change rest assured that we will remove all advertising from this radio network.” Tell us what you really think there, Caveman! JC Penney immediately followed suit on Twitter.

This incident bears striking resemblance to the 2007 scandal when long-time shock-jock Don Imus called the Rutger’s Women’s basketball team “a bunch of nappy headed hoes.”  Though known for his off-the-wall commentary, Imus was not insulated when sponsors and fellow performers at CBS demanded that his show be cancelled. Eight days after uttering the fateful words, it was. CBS later settled with the radio host but the public sentiment was clear.

The point to be made is that when Wall Street, Congressional Republicans, Congressional Democrats, and the media all agree that civility should improve, civility will improve. It seems now that they have.

Ironically, perhaps the first step in fostering toleration is in politely refusing to tolerate the intolerant. Sandra Fluke  taught us that important lesson by simply standing up for what she believed was right when it mattered.  Real persuasion starts in speaking your truth humbly, compassionately, knowledgeably, and honestly.  That may be the true antidote to the politics of haughtiness and hate. Sandra Fluke reminded us of that, too, with every word.

Sources: Linked Throughout; Wikipedia, Daily Beast; NY Daily News; Smoking GUn; Huffington Post

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

88 thoughts on “Could The End Of Political Hate-Speech Be Due To a Fluke?”

  1. Mespo:

    “No one is advocating a free lunch for those who can pay, just a little compassion for those who can’t and a little more of our own money to spend for butter for us instead of guns aimed at another.”

    I wont disagree with that sentiment. It is how it should be. People who truly cannot fend for themselves should be helped as much as they need.

  2. lottakatz,

    Well said!

    What many of these far right-wing misogynists like Limbaugh want women to do: Just say “NO”…to every man but them.

    Guys–I refuse to call them men–like Limbaugh seem to hate intelligent, well-educated, outspoken, thoughtful women who can’t be intimidated by the likes of them. I think they fear them.

  3. Aside from the fact that pregnancy should not be a punishment for sex or that celibacy is the appropriate response to insurance companies and employers not providing it pregnancy is a medical problem for many women. Women need birth control because pregnancy can kill them and makes them ill.

    Does anyone see a corollary in this whole argument with the philistine argument that arose over homosexual sex and AIDS? If there wasn’t gay sex there wouldn’t be AIDS and if gay people have sex and get AIDS then it’s their own fault and insurance companies shouldn’t have to pay for it and take a loss nor should the government have to pay for it. It was considered a subsidy for sin but that was just another way of discriminating against gays because as a group people felt comfortable about kicking them around publicly.

    Just try making the argument that Sickle Cell Anemia shouldn’t be covered because some Jews and African Americans are being punished by god for being Black or Jews. Or that they shouldn’t procreate if they don’t want to pay the cost of treating their children if/when the gene is passed along. Or that it’s in the long term interest of the nation to have to deal with the consequences of untreated illness for millions. Can’t do it and wouldn’t dare. Why is it that no such hesitation is present when women’s health, specifically contraception is the subject?

    You (Bron) and others may couch contraception and who pays for it and gets it as an establishment clause argument or an economic/free market argument but I’ve heard it all before and it’s just BS. It’s about who gets to kick who around based on how you feel about them as a group.

    The only virtue of an argument like this one coming up every now and then is it lets you know who your friends are.

    “Doubling of maternal deaths in U.S. ‘scandalous,’ rights group says

    Deaths from pregnancy and childbirth in the United States have doubled in the past 20 years, a development that a human rights group called “scandalous and disgraceful” Friday.

    In addition, the rights group said, about 1.7 million women a year, one-third of pregnant women in the United States, suffer from pregnancy-related complications.

    Most of the deaths and complications occur among minorities and women living in poverty, it noted.

    Amnesty International issued a report Friday that calls on President Obama to take action.”

  4. Bron,

    There is more than one kind of birth control pill. I asked which one you were talking about.

    I’m not sure why you’re complaining about health insurance coverage of contraceptives when you think it’s fine for health insurers to cover Viagra. Is it because women take birth control pills and men take Viagra?

    “Go to a MDA summer camp and volunteer and listen to the stories the parents tell.”

    Why not fight to have better health insurance coverage for everyone–including children with MDA and other severe medical problems?

    BTW, Georgetown’s health insurance plan covers contraceptives for its faculty and staff–just not for its students.


    Head in Sand Syndrome – Getting Fluke’s argument wrong on purpose

    Georgetown, a private Jesuit University, requires their students to have health insurance. You can have your own health insurance or you can pay for the university’s health insurance. Here is a statement from the Georgetown website – For all students, good health is essential to achieving educational goals. Because maintaining good health requires access to health care when you need it, Georgetown University requires the students described below to have health insurance. So, let’s all agree that were not talking about providing services to those who are not paying for it. This has nothing to do with Obama Care. This has nothing to do with government takeover. Instead, it has everything to do with students paying for services and only getting a portion of what they paid for.

    Now, let’s look at Sandra Fluke’s testimony in front of the Democratic forum. She said, “I attend a Jesuit law school that does not provide contraception coverage in its student health plan.” She went on to say, “…without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.” So, in a nutshell, what these women are asking for is that the health insurance that they’re currently paying for extend its benefits to cover women’s contraception. I just don’t see how this is unreasonable. Those institutions that are religiously based and are opposed to contraception for whatever reason could easily offer an alternative insurance plan that would be completely maintained and administered by a third party so that there is no religious objections. It seems that compassionate alternatives like this simply escape many of these religious institutions. There is no excuse for people who are paying for health insurance not to get the comprehensive health insurance that they’re paying for. That is the argument here. We are talking about students who are paying for comprehensive health insurance getting something less than comprehensive for their healthcare dollars. Questions?

  5. Bron:

    “Pay for it all, why limit it to health care? Food is every bit as important as health care, more so actually.”


    Agreed. That’s why we have a Food Stamp Program, WIC Program, and school lunch subsidies among others. Not all rights derive from the vaporous, ethereal land of Natural Law. Sometimes we just give them to ourselves by majority vote. Although it would be hard to argue that Natural Law doesn’t at least include some form of maintaining the subsistence of our fellows who can’t for themselves. Even the most base animal knows that much about living.

    Bottom line we have a communal right for the government to support the general welfare. How we accomplish that depends on our pocketbooks and our compassion. No one is advocating a free lunch for those who can pay, just a little compassion for those who can’t and a little more of our own money to spend for butter for us instead of guns aimed at another.

  6. Mespo:

    health care is not a right owed to us by government.

    If health care is a right and you can force doctors into it, then I think legal representation should be paid for by government and lawyers salaries should be capped.

    Why should people go bankrupt filing for divorce? The general welfare should cover everything why limit it to health care? What about food, shelter (why should people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a house), transportation, clothing?

    Pay for it all, why limit it to health care? Food is every bit as important as health care, more so actually.

  7. Elaine:


    Some equipment is covered, most is not. A person needing a walker is not the level of handicap I am talking about.

    Go to a MDA summer camp and volunteer and listen to the stories the parents tell.

    Birth control and how to afford it isnt even a tempest in a tea cup.

    As I said before pay $9 for the pill at Wal-Mart.

    This is a ridiculous topic. Rush didnt make enough fun of it. Ms. Fluke must be dumber than dirt or have an agenda.

    If the school or the employer doesnt want to cover something it is their right not to. Quit whining and go get a job waiting tables; 1 night a month to cover your birth control pills.

    People ought to be outraged over the idea that this woman or any woman or any man for that matter has a right to tell an employer or any organization, what she or he is entitled to.

    Dont like the compensation, find another job. Dont like the fact that Georgetown doesnt provide Rx birth control go to another law school.

    So what if they cover Viagra? It isnt the question. The question is does a private entity have a right to determine what is and is not covered?

    When I need something not covered by insurance I buy it out of my own pocket and dont go whining to the government that it isnt covered. I take care of myself, find alternatives or I do without.

  8. Bron:

    “Why is birth control a right? People with physical handicaps have no insurance coverage for vans or lifts or special adaptive equipment or in home care if they need ”

    Most enlightened Western societies have adopted universal healthcare as a right of citizenship and provided for government sponsorship or subsidy. It’s called “providing for the general welfare” and an inherent right and responsibility of a government. We’re a little slow on the uptake given our Puritanical aversion to anything sexual or women-friendly (another vestige of our religion of love – Chritianity), but it’s coming. In the meantime, we’ll have to fight these battles over what private insurance has to include. That is the case in this debate Fluke has raised.

    By the way it’s a national disgrace that those least able to care for themselves aren’t aided by the government they and their families pay (and have paid) to do just that.

  9. The Sandra Fluke “Co-Ed” Conspiracy
    By David Weigel
    March 15, 2012

    This was how Sandra Fluke described herself when she testified before a special — and let’s be honest, media-centric — hearing on birth control funding.

    “My name is Sandra Fluke, and I’m a third-year student at Georgetown Law School. I’m also a past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice or LSRJ.”

    Now, this was how Rush Limbaugh described Fluke in the broadcast that kicked off weeks of advertiser protests.

    “What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her?”

    Spot the difference. Fluke said she was a law student. Limbaugh said she was a “college co-ed.” These aren’t interchangeable terms. Calling someone a “co-ed” implies that he/she’s an undergrad — certainly, he/she couldn’t be a past president of a law school club.

    While Limbaugh was digging in on Fluke — he only apologized the following Saturday — quadrants of the conservative blogosphere were getting his back. An early “scoop” came from Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft’s news blog, and the site that first revealed the 9/11 Truth petition that got Van Jones fired.

    “Georgetown “Coed” Sandra Fluke Is a 30 Year-Old Women’s Rights Activist”

    Fluke had never pretended to be a current co-ed. The evidence for the claim is that Fluke, in other interviews, had described some decisions made when she was younger. Seriously. That’s the evidence. In her testimony — which the tenor of anti-Flukism suggests the critics haven’t read — she spent most of her time talking about a lesbian student who used birth control to manage ovarian cysts. The idea that Fluke misrepresented herself as a doe-eyed co-ed living a hardscrabble existence was totally invented by Limbaugh, who basically just riffed off the news clips that had irritated him. (He does this sometimes.)

    This takes us to Gateway Pundit’s latest Fluke story: An expose of Facebook photos she took when she and her boyfriend vacationed a year ago. “Poor Sandra Fluke… She Wants You To Pay For Her $9/Month Birth Control As She Frolics in Spain & Pompeii.”

    Sorry, no, not actually what she’s been campaigning for. When Democrats opted for Fluke, and not Barry Lynn, as their sole pro-birth control panelist, they must have realized that a female voice would do more for the testimony. But did they realize how Fluke-obsessives would start embarrassing themselves For the Cause?

  10. Bron,

    Birth control pills require a prescription….that requires a visit to a physician. Add that to the cost. Birth control pills are not “one size fits all”. The $9 generic may be contra-indicated for many women.

  11. “I just wish there were a little bit more intellectual honesty going on in this debate.” I’ll try.

    Federal law requires that an insurance company wishing to sell a universal health care policy in interstate commerce must sell a policy which covers all health issues which an insured might face.

    A health policy which lacks payment for contraceptives fails to cover various women health issues, to wit: those related to an unwanted pregnancy and some others that aren’t. No one has a problem with the latter. The use of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy is the issue

    Who doesn’t believe that pregnancy is a serious health issue?

    If you happen to be such a blithering idiot, please identify yourself by copying the following line and pasting it in a reply so that we may know who to ignore henceforth:

    “Pregnancy is not a health issue.”

    Contraceptives which prevent pregnancy prevent the onset of a serious health issue, i.e., a legitimate medical need. Just like a flu shot. Or taking insulin.

    Of course, those in favor of a ban have another concern – contraceptives permit women to engage in sex with whomever they want, whenever they want including outside the bonds of marriage. You know, like guys. And some folks don’t like that. They just can’t stand a woman who is willing to accept and explore her own sexuality on her own terms.

    The ban on contraceptives is an attempt to subjugate women to the opponents’ moral code. And the opponents feel very strongly about this.

    And so do I – get your goddamned hands off my daughters’ bodies.

    1. “I just wish there were a little bit more intellectual honesty going on in this debate. Maybe if there were, it’d become less of a debate and more of a conversation.”

      Oro Lee,

      Your 3:10am answer to B95’s comment was elegant in its impact and conciseness. To me B95’s comment was the same old “balance game” that is played out so often in the media. It is the same framing of arguments that would give equal time to creationism vs. evolution. Your comment brilliantly summed up and demolished that argument with a just right minimum of words.
      Your ending sums up my feelings too, with one minor addition on my part

      “get your goddamned hands off my daughters’ [and granddaughter’s] bodies.”

  12. Bron,

    “Why is a Rx you can buy at Wal Mart for $9 per month considered a big deal? Go to Wal Mart with a Rx from your doctor and buy the god damn thing and quit bitching that you cant get it from your employer or from the student insurance policy.”

    Well, if god damn birth-control is so god damn cheap, and you’re not paying for it with your god damn taxes, why are you god damn bitching about god damn insurance policies paying for it?

    Now quit your god damn bitching.

    Sounds really cranky, stupid, and disrespectful when people talk like that, doesn’t it?
    Now try keeping a civil tongue in your head. Civility is what this article is about.

  13. B95,

    Do you think that married women have a “legitimate medical need” for birth control if they and their husbands want to limit the number of children that they have?

    Who suggested that the cost of contraceptives should be covered by taxpayers?

  14. The storyline being pushed by the left regarding birth control seems as disingenuous to me as the right’s staunch opposition seems misguided.

    The left is telling two different stories – one about how ubiquitous birth control is and how reasonable it is that it should be available as part of healthcare plans. This I largely agree with. But then at the same time, they are pushing the storyline that birth control is only marginally related to recreational sex, and is really about “preventative female reproductive health” – preventing ovarian cysts, and all.

    The left will then lambast any suggestion by a conservative or moderate, however, that birth control covered by taxpayer money should require proof that is is being used for medical (and not recreational) purposes. The accusation will be that “the right fears and despises sex and feminism.” But doesn’t this reasonable compromise come directly from the logic and rhetoric employed by the likes of Ms. Fluke, when her testimony is so largely geared toward serious health concerns unrelated to the use to which 90% of birth control users will put the medicine?

    I just wish there were a little bit more intellectual honesty going on in this debate. Maybe if there were, it’d become less of a debate and more of a conversation.

    (Personal stance: I have no moral qualm with sex or with birth control. I think it should be available to anyone and everyone who wants to buy it, and it should be subsidized, as other legitimate medications are, only for those who have a legitimate medical need for the drug.)

  15. Bron,

    My elderly mother’s walker was covered by insurance. Why should Viagra prescriptions for men be covered by insurance but not birth control pills for women?

    “Why is a Rx you can buy at Wal Mart for $9 per month considered a big deal?”

    Which birth control pill/contraceptive are you talking about?

    I have to wonder why so many right-wing men are bitching about health insurance coverage of contraceptives for women. How about people like you and Rush quit your bitching?

  16. Mespo, Bdaman:

    Why is birth control a right? People with physical handicaps have no insurance coverage for vans or lifts or special adaptive equipment or in home care if they need it. Most pay for that out of pocket or require help from charities to cover these expenses. Those expenses can run into 10’s of thousands of dollars a year. A van equipped with a lift and automatic doors is around $50,000 for a new one and $35,000 plus for a decent used one. In home help is $12-$20/hour with a 2-4 hour minimum or over $1,000/month.

    Why is a Rx you can buy at Wal Mart for $9 per month considered a big deal? Go to Wal Mart with a Rx from your doctor and buy the god damn thing and quit bitching that you cant get it from your employer or from the student insurance policy.

    And what about people with orphan diseases who have to pay thousands of dollars a month for medication to stay alive? I think they would be very happy to pay $9/month to Wal Mart.

  17. “Perry, who slammed the federal government constantly during his short-lived bid for the Republican presidential nomination, has directed state health officials to find the funding to keep the program going from other parts of the budget, but he has promised not to raise revenues to cover the costs.”

    Robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Comments are closed.