“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
When Don Imus called some Rutgers University black female basketball players, “nappy-headed ho’s,” the wrath of the world fell down upon his Radio Jerk Boy shoulders and he was bounced off the air. Slam dunk! Imus’ ugly comment was blurted out once and once only. No matter. Boom! Gone.
When Rush Limbaugh, the de-facto Big Daddy spokesperson for the Republican Party went on air and not once, but day after day repeatedly called out by name a Georgetown University white law student, Sandra Fluke, and declared her to be a “slut” and a “prostitute,” and suggest she make a video of herself having sex and put in on the internet so he could watch, the wrath of women and Democrats fell down upon his drug-addicted, Viagra-addle, Creepy Boy voyeuristic head. President Obama even called Ms. Fluke to offer her his support in withstanding Big Daddy’s un-called for, ugly, slanderous attacks. But his time, there was no slam dunk. This time, with this Radio Jerk Boy, there was no getting booted off the air. Clear Channel’s CEO obviously didn’t have a problem with Rush’s slandering Ms. Fluke. Perhaps she wasn’t black enough. Or wasn’t a terrific athlete.
And no wrath was forthcoming from the Family Value’s crowd either. Speaker of the House John Boehner’s response, given days after the event, was so tepid and feeble I was afraid that even that minimal effort to respond to Big Daddy would cause Boehner to have the vapors and sink down in a faint on the floor of the House. The Republican candidates, tub-thumping around the country on platforms of purity and Christian virtue, were equally febrile in their non-denunciation of their philosophical Soul Master, The I Want To Watch Jerk Boy.
Interestingly, while the Family Values Crowd remained strangely quiet, six of Rush’s sponsors walked. Apparently Sleep Number, Quicken Loans, Sleep Train and Carbonite, among others, suspended their ads because they felt Limbaugh’s statements “do not align with our values.” Which begged the question: Really? You’ve been advertising with the guy for years, you know who and what he is, and you just now figured that out? Well, who knew?
But this is America and I have no doubt a dozen other corporations will have “values” that will allow them to fill those missing advertising slots. After all, pandering to ugly, abusive, misogynistic Jerk Boy Radio fanboys is a sure-fire money maker. And, as we know, in America, money trumps all.
Meanwhile, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had a gleeful time explicating one of Rush’s rants at Ms. Fluke, pointing out in great detail, complete with a lady-parts medical diagram, that Rush had obviously confused Viagra with birth control pills. He had excoriated slutty Ms. Fluke for “having so much sex she can’t pay for it,” making the false assumption that birth control pills work like Viagra -- one snog per pill and so, if you can’t afford all those pills, don’t have so much sex.
And, need I point out that Rush’s rant completely ignored the fact that, so far as I know, Viagra is routinely covered in health insurance policies without question? So, if paying for people to have sex is Rush’s problem, why wasn’t he crusading to get those expensive Viagra prescriptions out of our insurance policies as well?
Unless this wasn’t about people having sex, it was about women having sex.
And there is the true dark heart of the matter. In the center of the culture wars now raging, control over women’s bodies, women’s reproductive rights, once again takes center stage. And any woman speaking up for herself or her rights is fair game.
After milking his attack for as long as he could (improves his ratings, hence his income), Rush was finally dragged, kicking and screaming, to a feeble apology. But it was the apology of an abuser – “Awww, honey. I was only joking. It won’t happen again.”
But it will. Rush is the acknowledged, unchallenged and unchallengeable Philosopher King of the conservative movement and what he says matters. His is the true face of what the Republican Party has become. So all of you millions of birth-control-using American Sluts, you need to pay attention. Rush and the Republican Party is talking to you.
And when someone shows you who and what they are – believe them.