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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The condemnation roundelay

by digby

I will happily join the Women's Media Center's condemnation of Hustler Magazine for the demeaning, sexually explicit depiction of SE Cupp in its pages. Nobody deserves that kind kind of treatment.

I was curious, however, to see if any of the right wing women's groups had likewise come to the defense of Sandra Fluke when Limbaugh went on his days long tantrum. Here's all I could find at Concerned Women for America:

In an election year gambit to unite women everywhere, feminists have launched the "Rock the Slut Vote" campaign.

Why, you ask? Their answer, "Our mission is to fight the GOP effort to bully, subjugate and silence women. We will wrest the power from the word slut and help women get informed, get involved, get registered and vote." (Seems to me it was the left trying to bully, subjugate, and silence Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, by calling them names far more offensive than "slut.")

According to the Daily Caller, "The previously not politically active study guide publisher, Susan McMillan Emry, started the group in early March following The Susan G. Komen for the Cure/Planned Parenthood controversy, an increase in pro-life legislation and radio giant Rush Limbaugh's controversial comments about contraception activist Sandra Fluke."

So, this is about the GOP having a difference of opinion with feminists. That would be the feminists who declare they don't need a man, while they are on Capitol Hill begging members of Congress (many of whom are men by the way) for money to support their sexual practices and resultant consequences of said sexual practices, which frequently occur with men. At least those that end up with a pregnancy. Once pregnant, these independent feminists need big daddy government or big daddy employer to step in and pay for their abortion. Of course, they claim if big daddy would provide them with contraception they might not need abortions too often.

They also mentioned it in this article condemning Bill Maher, referring to it as a "flub."

Too Much Hypocrisy in Limbaugh-Fluke Fight

Decrying Rush Limbaugh's recent Sandra Fluke flub while supporting comedian Bill Maher, who refers to conservative women as "Bimbos," is a pure double standard.

Other than that, nada. As far as I could tell Concerned Women of America didn't issue any kind of official condemnation of Limbaugh. And the unofficial criticisms were all prefaced by flowery paeans to Rush's overall wonderfulness.

There was a blogger at the Independent Women's Forum who expressed some discomfort with Limbaugh's words:

From listening to Rush, I know what point he wanted to make. He wanted to highlight the absurdity of women, under the banner of feminism, who want to be seen as independent as they try to force other people to pay for their choices and lifestyle. Painting yourself as a victim for having to figure out how to buy your own contraception, especially when you are enrolled at one of the nation's most prestigious law schools, is pretty difficult to mesh with the idea of true independence. Grossly exaggerating the costs of contraception invites jokes—childish to be sure—about how exactly one could run up such a tab.

But Rush shouldn't have resorted to name calling. He has much better ammo than that. He knows this, and he has apologized to Sandra Fluke, and to the public more broadly, and I believe those apologies are sincere.

That same blogger is demanding that the left step up to defend Cupp, although she doesn't think it will.

Another blogger said this:

Although I in general get a kick out of Rush, I didn’t care for his crude remark about Sandra Fluke either. (I have a thing about chivalry.) But the feminist troika is calling for the FCC to suppress Limbaugh. At one point, they describe Limbaugh as “hiding” behind the First Amendment!

Citing the scarcity of radio bandwith, Steinem, Morgan, and Fonda creepily wonder if letting Limbaugh, who brightens the day for millions, speaks is “in the public interest.” When they admonish the FCC that broadcasters should “serve their respective communities,” what they are talking about is getting a public agency to make sure people who don't agree with them aren't able to express their opinions on the radio.

And the Executive Director did publish this in the Hill:

Let’s be clear: There is no war on women. And it’s time to tone down the rhetoric.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans are actually attacking women. Calls for government-run, cradle-to-grave policies — from either the right or the left — are bad for women and their families; but they’re a far cry from an assault on women.

Ted Nugent’s (most recent) inflammatory comments, in which he referred to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi as “varmints,” ought to be condemned — and forcefully. This kind of rhetoric — whether it’s from Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann or Rush Limbaugh — is not only repulsive, but also distracting.

I'm not sure I even know what that means, but whatever. (They had a lot to say about Sandra Fluke being wrong about everything.)

Michelle Malkin did come through, however:

I’ll tell you why Rush was wrong. Young Sandra Fluke of Georgetown Law is not a “slut.” She’s a moocher and a tool of the Nanny State. She’s a poster girl for the rabid Planned Parenthood lobby and its eugenics-inspired foremothers.

So there you have it. The funny thing is that I don't recall anyone specifically demanding that they condemn Limbaugh.(They might have, I just couldn't find it.) But then I suppose everyone knew it was a waste of time.

Calls to disavow and condemn are something we commonly do in our politics. (It's one of my least favorite tactics, frankly.) But I hope nobody thinks it works the same way on both sides. The difference here, in case you haven't figured it out, is that there is no one on the left who would defend Hustler's misogyny on the merits. Limbaugh had no problem finding millions of defenders, even among women who could barely find even a throwaway sentence to condemn him. Liberals will never win in the condemnation roundelay. The two sides play by different rules.