Over the past few days, a number of decent but ill-informed folks (who are probably capable of being convinced that we are right) have been posting Facebook messages with this general theme:
“Rush Limbaugh has gone crazy! Why are we debating birth control when the economy is in the crapper?”
I agree that the economy should be our first concern, but let’s be clear who actually started this birth control fight. It wasn’t Rush Limbaugh (although I will be criticizing him for other reasons in a moment), and it wasn’t any of the Republican presidential candidates. It was Kathleen Sebelius and the administration’s patsies in the mainstream media. Remember that GOP debate back in January in which George Stephanopoulos’ question on contraception was received by Mitt Romney in particular as a bizarre non sequitur?
Did you see the look on Mitt’s face? Clearly, he hadn’t given the matter any conscious thought. And what he says in the above clip regarding modern-day political realities has been echoed by every other candidate still in the running — including Santorum, the most socially conservative among them and the source of the “state legislatures have a right to ban contraception” argument (which is a Constitutional argument that should be debated on Constitutional grounds, not an indication that Santorum has “outlawing birth control” scratched into his personal presidential to-do list).
Now, I think it’s overly extravagant to claim – as some conservative bloggers have – that Stephanopoulos was consciously laying the groundwork for the HHS announcement a few weeks later. It’s more likely that he was parroting his buddies in the mainstream media (and the left-wing blogosphere), who, after Santorum did so well in Iowa, immediately got busy digging up obscure quotes from 2011 (and earlier) that fit into their pre-determined “Santorum is a crazy theocrat who wants to steal your ladyparts!” narrative. But regardless of what Stephanopoulos’ actual motives were, birth control became an election issue because the media made it an election issue — and then the Obama administration helped it along by telling the Catholic Church that She could not be the Catholic Church.
As a Catholic, I was perfectly happy to keep my rosary off everyone’s ovaries. I was perfectly happy to keep my opposition to contraception limited to the personal and conversational realm (except when it comes to the debate over whether federal and state governments should fund Planned Parenthood, of course). But then Sebelius announced that birth control should henceforth be “free” and that we should reach into the Church’s pocket – and my pocket – to make it “free.” At that point, I and many conservatives like me found ourselves catapulted into “oh, HELL NO” territory. What you do in your own bedroom is none of my business, but don’t ask me – or my Church – to pay for it.
Rush Limbaugh is not some lunatic who just started talking about contraception out of the blue. He didn’t strike first. Instead, he was responding – intemperately – to the Sebelius/Fluke argument, which – as I note above – has been out in the ether for weeks now. But that doesn’t mean that Rush is entirely blameless. It’s not okay to personally attack a female opponent using sexually suggestive language. Moreover, by slamming Sandra Fluke in the way that he did, Rush basically invited the left to place a giant “Kick Me” sign on the GOP’s back. Apology or no, his words will now be used to bully us into submission for many months – or perhaps years – to come. And while I recognize the media’s outrageous hypocrisy on this (see also: the left’s despicable treatment of just about any female conservative), I still expect Rush to be a lot smarter than that.
Be that as it may, I have zero – ZERO – sympathy for Fluke. She’s not some poor wittle naif who got accosted by a nasty old man. She’s my age, first of all — don’t buy the story that she’s 23. Secondly, as the Jammie Wearing Fools have uncovered, she’s a long-time activist who elected to go to Georgetown for the express purpose of challenging the Jesuit university’s refusal to cover contraception in its health plan. In other words, she’s a liar. She didn’t go to Georgetown for “the educational experience.” She went there in the hopes of snagging her fifteen minutes of fame — and Nancy Pelosi was only too happy to oblige her.
If Fluke is mercenary enough to enroll at Georgetown under false pretenses, how can we possibly trust anything else she says? Hell, we already know her math is completely bogus. Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen is sold for $9 per month at a nearby Target. I also Googled “free condoms Washington DC” and discovered that, like New York City, DC has its own free condom distribution program: the Rubber Revolution. And your standard well-woman gynecological exams? As far as I could tell, the exams are covered by Georgetown’s health plan — as are any birth control meds that are being used to treat genuine medical conditions. So either Fluke pulled her $3000 figure out of her butt, or her friends are using the contraception equivalent of the Lamborghini. And these are supposed to be some of our country’s best and brightest? Have you ladies considered shopping around? I bet there are clinics in your area that would be happy to help. Planned Parenthood, for example, offers reduced fees for those who can demonstrate economic need.
Sandra Fluke is the poster child for a liberal entitlement mentality that has completely run amok. Instead of giving her what she wants, we should tell her to grow the hell up. When a responsible adult realizes that her budget is getting tight, she gives up a few luxuries to make room for the necessities. She doesn’t beg for perfect strangers to give her a handout.