Sandra Fluke Is No Martyr, and Rush Limbaugh Is No Monster

by John R Guardiano on March 3, 2012

The media are up in arms about Rush Limbaugh because what he says resonates and strikes a nerve. Good for him.

As is his wont, Conor Friedersdorf has taken to lecturing us conservatives about our alleged moral shortcomings. His latest lament is that we haven’t thrown Rush Limbaugh under the bus for calling media/left-wing celebrity Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

Prominent and influential conservatives, writes Conor, would never dream of saying such a thing. And yet, when Rush makes this type of remark (as he often has in the past, Conor alleges), conservatives “just stay mum.” And so, Rush remains a “frequently celebrated, seldom criticized figure within the conservative movement.”

Conor finds this “embarrassing”; I don’t.

Politics and public affairs ain’t beanbag, OK? It’s a contact sport. If you enter the arena, then you had better expect to get hit — and hit hard. Otherwise, don’t play this game.

Sandra Fluke is a 30-year-old Georgetown law student, a well connected — and well-heeled — left-wing activist, and she’s nobody’s victim. She’s no “martyr.”

In fact, Fluke knew exactly what she was getting into. As a past president of “Law Students for Reproductive Justice,” reports Robert Stacy McCain, she “evidently enrolled at Georgetown University Law School with the specific purpose of challenging the Catholic university’s policy of denying insurance coverage for contraception.”

Are certain hits beyond the pale and out of bounds? Absolutely. But I don’t think Rush’s comments can be categorized as such, given the full context of his remarks.

“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?” Limbaugh said on his radio show on Wednesday.

“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 wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps.”

The conservative radio host continued on to joke, “OK, so she’s not a slut. She’s ‘round heeled.’”

Agree or disagree with Rush, there’s no denying the indisputable logic behind his decidedly non-PC commentary.

Now, Conor’s right about one thing: Rush’s statements here are not ones that I would make. His type of freewheeling, roundhouse humor isn’t always appropriate for the boardroom, the halls of Congress, or even this blog.

But in modern-day America, earthy, rough-hewn jocularity is par for the course. And it only becomes controversial and “embarrassing” when political conservatives are the ones dishing it out. When, though, we’re on the receiving end of the left’s venomous “humor,” that’s OK.

In truth, politics and entertainment (Congress and talk radio), are very different and distinct fields. As such, they adhere to two very different standards, and thank goodness for that.

But what explains the double standard between liberal “humor” (which the media and our cultural guardians say is just fine)  and conservative humor (which they judge “inappropriate”)?

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Rush has issued a thoughtful and gracious apology to “Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

I say not surprisingly because Rush has always been a better man than his vitriolic critics. Indeed, we will wait in vain for an apology from Bill Maher, Al Franken, Ed Schutlz, and any of the other left-wing smear merchants.

And, unlike them at least, Rush’s commentary is not gratuitous and designed merely for shock value. Instead, there is a rhyme, reason and logic behind his criticism. Mr. Fluke, remember, has been soliciting other people’s money (through insurance subsidies) to sustain her private sexual habits.

Cross-posted at the Minority Report blog.

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