I’m ashamed to admit it, but I and the entire rest of the (actual) liberal media have been played. It’s an election year and the Republican party is hurting. The economy is improving. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich inspire all the passion of a square of untilled dirt. The GOP Congress has done nothing about jobs. The only weapon left in the RNC’s arsenal is divide and conquer. Their number one delivery system for divide and conquer is, and has been for years, Rush Limbaugh. And with the precision of a laser beam, Limbaugh has delivered.
As of this posting, Limbaugh has lost almost 50 sponsors because of his comments toward third year Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke. The controversy is now over a week old. Why hasn’t Limbaugh been fired? It’s simple. Sure, Limbaugh is a money maker for Clear Channel, but with the backlash he’s receiving, he’s less so. That, however, is not the point. If we weren’t looking at an election in a few months, Limbaugh could be looking at a termination of his contract, but right now, the GOP is salivating at his $1,000 loafers.
For weeks, Republicans, led by the Catholic Church, have been pitting men against women. First, it started with the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s defunding of Planned Parenthood. Then, the discussion went from abortion (an issue that women feel strongly about, but still the majority of women, no matter their views, have never experienced) to birth control. 99% of women have used birth control at least once in their lives. Despite right-wing talking points, no woman wants an abortion. Birth control prevents women from having to make that choice. Hormonal birth control is also incredibly effective at addressing many women’s health issues.
With the exception of Rick Santorum and a few other religious extremists, the Republican party doesn’t give a damn about birth control. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t care about birth control, nor does he really think that Sandra Fluke is a “slut.” The Republican party and Rush Limbaugh care only about turning us, the voters, against each other, and they have succeeded.
For decades, Limbaugh has been a fount of misogyny and racism. The word “feminazi” entered our lexicon when Fluke was in about the fifth grade. Any woman who has dared to stand up for her rights has risked being the subject of ridicule from Rush Limbaugh. He’s gone after not just female politicians, but the wives and daughters of Democratic Presidents. There is nothing new in Limbaugh’s behavior, so why are we treating it like something new? More importantly, why are we continuing to let Limbaugh legitimize bullying and control the topic of conversation?
While Limbaugh’s words are hardly shocking, this story is. President Obama is giving a commencement address to Columbia University’s sister school, Barnard College, a women’s college. It’s understandable that Columbia students would feel slighted. It is after all, Obama’s Alma Mater. But the reaction from the Ivy League students was one that would make Limbaugh wet his pants out of sheer giddyness and from something akin to paternal pride. From the Daily Beast:
At first, some of the sniping was understandable. Obama, a graduate of Columbia College, has repeatedly spurned efforts to get him to speak at graduation. But then commenters started attacking Barnard, Columbia’s all-women’s sister school across the street, and accusing its students of academic inferiority and much, much worse. Using terms like “feminazis”and calling Barnard “Barnyard,” commenters said the school was just a back door to Columbia, and its students deserved neither Obama as a speaker nor affiliation with the university as a whole.
What was perhaps the most troubling to Faherty and others was that many of the nastiest comments came from women themselves. “Try using your Daddy’s hard-earned cash in a respectable way if you want to be an ACTUAL role model for Women,” wrote one female Columbia student. “Unlike Barnyard financial leeches, I have NO intention of pursuing a Mrs. Degree. I came here to make myself successful, not try to plead at the knees of a Columbia boy to marry her.”
By the end of the day, comments like this one, posted under the name “Blue and White Vagina,” started to appear: “While you guys were perfecting your deepthroating techniques and experimenting with scissoring and anal play, we were learning Calculus (usually by sophomore year of High School). Trust me, if you actually deserved to go to Columbia and put in the work it required, you would understand our resentment. Moral of the story is that feeble, ugly Barnyard women need to shut their jizz holes and just be happy that Columbia let Barnyard pretend it was affiliated for this long.”
These comments weren’t from the bowels of Fox News, Fox Nation, nor were they comments to Limbaugh’s site. These comments came from some of the best educated students in this country. While most Columbia grads live the inevitability of the 1%, Columbia, situated in Harlem, is arguably the least insular of the Ivy League campuses. Columbia students are supposed to be better than that, but alas, we now have permission from Papa Rush to make enemies of women, even if we are women.
Am I going to stop reporting on the misogyny of Limbaugh and of the Republican party? It’s doubtful, simply because some in the country are standing up to take notice. Hate, while a Republican value, is being rejected as a value of capitalism (as demonstrated by Limbaugh’s fleeing sponsors) and capitalism is the true leader of the Republican party.
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