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March 05, 2012

My Party, Right or Wrong Is Not A Winning Message

Over the past week or so, millions of innocent pixels were frog marched off to war for or against Rush Limbaugh's latest own goal. In the course of the debate here at VC, some interesting arguments have been made:

1. Rush Limbaugh says outrageous things to get attention. Thus, the best response is to ignore him.

Having mostly chosen to ignore Mr. Limbaugh myself, I profoundly sympathize with the desire to overlook the latest gaseous emanations from his stately blowhole. Has criticism of Limbaugh's antics been rewarding to him? Here's the scorecard as of today:

A flower company is the seventh advertiser to pull its ads from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh's radio program in reaction to his derogatory comments about a law student who testified about birth control policy.

ProFlowers said Sunday on its Facebook page that it has suspended advertising on Limbaugh's program because his comments about Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke "went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company."

The six other advertisers that say they have pulled ads from his show are mortgage lender Quicken Loans, mattress retailers Sleep Train and Sleep Number, software maker Citrix Systems Inc., online data backup service provider Carbonite and online legal document services company LegalZoom.

Seven advertisers have pulled the plug on Mr. Limbaugh's show and he has been forced to apologize publicly. Many conservatives have criticized him as well. If this constitutes a reward, I need to find a new dictionary.

2. The Left has treated conservative women badly and "no one" did anything about it. As Don Surber points out, this isn't quite true:

Conservatives need to take a little mental trip back to June 2009 when David Letterman joked about Sarah Palin’s “slutty flight attendant look” and joked about her 14-year-old daughter, Willow, having sex at Yankee Stadium with Derek Jeter in the middle of a game.

Remember?

We called to boycott the advertisers of David Letterman and demanded that CBS fire him.

Remember?

In all fairness, not all conservatives called for Letterman to be fired. I didn't. Nor did I call for his advertisers to boycott him. I didn't even ask him to apologize. In both the Letterman and Limbaugh cases, I did criticize unwarranted crudity and the substitution of personal attacks for reasoned arguments. In the marketplace of ideas, no one should demand immunity from criticism. For free market conservatives to do so is especially troubling.

3. Rush is the best thing that's happened to conservatism since sliced bread. Therefore conservatives should never criticize him.

This one is so bizarre that it's hard to know where to start. Ace does a pretty good job here:

Anyone who moves from liberal to conservative will always describe it as liberating epiphany, of breathing free air.

So please listen to me, if on nothing else at all, when I tell you that this dopey attempt to pound people into accepting the groupthink by appeals to solidarity and appeals to authority (authority which is not universally conceded, even on the right) is a loser.

...If you want to move someone to the conservative side, you must first convince them that conservatives are not, as the media claims, crazy or weird. That is 90% of the battle, actually, as Breitbart knew, and as he made it his life's mission to prove.

If there's a mystery here, it's how the media's favorite narrative (Conservatives are hate filled bigots whose extreme views deserve to be marginalized and silenced) was in any way undermined by Rush's decision to call a young woman who never once talked about her own sex life during her testimony a "slut" and a "prostitute"?

Whatever her issues with math, if you bought into the meme that Fluke hid her affiliation with women's rights groups, you need to read her testimony:

“My name is Sandra Fluke, and I’m a third-year student at Georgetown Law School. I’m also a past-president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice or LSRJ. And I’d like to acknowledge my fellow LSRJ members and allies and all of the student activists with us and thank them so much for being here today.

When I want to hide something, I generally try to get it out there in plain sight. I will freely admit that I didn't read her testimony until this weekend, but when I did, I found I didn't recognize it from the descriptions I'd read on various blogs. If you bought the meme that she testified about her own sex life (the supposed justification for calling her a slut/prostitute), you need to read her testimony because you're flat out wrong. If you believe condoms were mentioned anywhere in her testimony, you need to read it. Nowhere were condoms mentioned, which is hardly surprising since they aren't even covered by ObamaCare.

How do arguments that demonstrate ignorance of the facts enhance our credibility? Answer: they don't. We don't need to distort the facts to make our case.

How was our credibility enhanced by the absurdly ignorant suggestion that the cost of oral contraceptives (what Fluke actually testified about, contra the prevailing meme) has ANYTHING to do with the frequency of sex? The facts should matter. Honesty and integrity should matter.

How was our credibility enhanced by the implication that she should post online sex tapes so Rush (and presumably other taxpayers) could watch?

How was it enhanced by the frankly ludicrous conflation of prostitution (the crime of accepting money in exchange for sex) with the acceptance of Congressionally mandated subsidies for birth control (which is not criminal and does not involve anyone paying for illegal sex acts)? Is this the best conservatives can do? If so, we're in more trouble than I thought.

I've heard quite a bit over the past week about how no one is as smart or as verbally adept as Rush. In fact, he is *so* smart and so skilled that his arguments must be protected from people who agree with him more often than not!

In what world does that make sense? We've all heard this argument before from feminists who claim that women are just as capable, strong, and smart as men but inexplicably can't compete unless the government guarantees preferential treatment. Apparently Rush is the best we have, but like feminists, he must be protected from criticism because his arguments can't stand on their own.

During any debate, both sides try to frame the issue on their own terms. The right wanted to frame this debate around religious liberty and limited government. The left desperately wanted to talk about evil, sex hating conservatives and their dubious War on Women. They wanted to talk about the conspiracy to snatch our birth control and force women to bake cupcakes in pale pink Easy Bake ovens while dressed in stiletto heels and frilly aprons.

And while I don't for one moment buy into that framing, I have to admit that for the very first time in my adult life, this 3 decade conservative-voting woman saw what the left sees when they look at Republicans. I don't buy their framing because I refuse to concede that Rush or some conservative bloggers have the right to speak for all Republicans or all conservatives. They don't, and we shouldn't encourage that notion.

Here's a hint: when your rhetoric alienates and offends loyal voting conservatives, you're doing the persuasion thing wrong.

All too often, the Left has been aided in their quest to frame conservatism as extremist and anti-woman by "real" conservative pundits and bloggers who seem only too happy to play the role they've been assigned. Never mind the economy or the federal deficit (areas where Obama and the Dems are actually vulnerable)! Let's talk about those uppity womenfolk and how they're depressing the wages of men, preventing boys from going to college, and (inexplicably) forcing the lower class to abandon marriage!

Dear God. Hard to think of a message more likely to sweep Republicans into the White House, isn't it?

4. Lighten up - Rush was just kidding. He's an entertainer.

If one accepts this argument, then on what rational basis do conservatives complain about Letterman, Maher, Stewart, or any other lefty comedian who takes a cheap shot at conservative women? Here, Allahpundit nails it:

...[Rick Santorum] says Rush is being absurd because he is, after all, an “entertainer,” but that excuse never spares, say, Jon Stewart from criticism on the right. Stewart, in fact, is famous for his “clown nose off, clown nose on” schtick, operating as a satirical yet fundamentally serious commentator until he’s called out for something he’s said, when suddenly he’s “just a comedian” again and you should really lighten up, dude.

The argument cuts both ways, or at least it should if we believe what we say we do.

5. The Left never takes their own to task.

This is simply not true. In a must read essay, Kirsten Powers does just that:

Liberals—you know, the people who say they “fight for women”—comprise Maher’s audience, and a parade of high-profile liberals make up his guest list. Yet have any of them confronted him? Nope. That was left to Ann Coulter, who actually called Maher a misogynist to his face, an opportunity that feminist icon Gloria Steinem failed to take when she appeared on his show in 2011.

This is not to suggest that liberals—or feminists—never complain about misogyny. Many feminist blogs now document attacks on women on the left and the right, including Jezebel, Shakesville, and the Women’s Media Center (which was cofounded by Steinem). But when it comes to high-profile campaigns to hold these men accountable—such as that waged against Limbaugh—the real fury seems reserved only for conservatives, while the men on the left get a wink and a nod as long as they are carrying water for the liberal cause.

After all, if Limbaugh’s outburst is part of the “war on women,” then what is the routine misogyny of liberal media men?

It’s time for some equal-opportunity accountability. Without it, the fight against media misogyny will continue to be perceived as a proxy war for the Democratic Party, not a fight for fair treatment of women in the public square.

Ms. Powers is hardly the first on the Left to try to hold her side to their own professed standards. Conservatives generally speak in glowing terms of the courage and integrity of Democrats like Tommy Christopher who demand accountability from their own ranks.

Which only makes it more inexplicable to see some conservatives suggesting that the party of accountability and standards should betray everything we claim to stand for. I am proud that so many conservatives stepped forward on this issue.

In fact, I have rarely been prouder of my own party. We are not so fragile that we can't withstand honest and open debate. "My side, right or wrong" is not a winning message. Nor should it be.

Posted by Cassandra at March 5, 2012 07:13 AM

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Comments

I was quite stunned to see Limbaugh issue an apology. This is somewhat akin to the sun rising in the west: you can't blame a man for not expecting it.

Still, I intend to stand by my general policy of not taking official notice of anything he says -- or Bill Maher, or Ann Coulter, or any of that lot. If in this one case attention has been baleful to Limbaugh, in every other case it has brought him nothing but profit -- indeed, all the profit and all the influence he exercises has come in just this way.

If one reasons from the trend rather than the outlier, attention to these outrages-of-the-moment is what gives rise to their power. The reason anyone cares who they are is that they have the reputation these incidents build for them. We would be unwise to take the exception as evidence against the trend if we aren't sure it can be replicated as regularly as the trend has been -- and even then, we ought to consider carefully whether we care to confirm the influence of people like Limbaugh by bothering to respond to things they say.

Posted by: Grim at March 5, 2012 10:38 AM

Cass - for the last few days I've been reading numerous stories on this topic. And I went thru your previous post/comments on the issue. Some very very good comments there - my brain hurts good! LOL

Key points:

A: When I first read the story about this person's testimony all I could do is shake my head in disbelief. The expectation that the government should grant/give/force institutions of any kind to provide 'free' healthcare of any sort - let alone the contraceptive kind continues to baffle me. What's the next 'free' handout issue going to be?

B: The rhetoric on this particular issue by BOTH sides is just over-the-top. Makes me want to put all involved into a padded room, lock the door, and throw away the key. The rhetoric, the reactions, the unrealistic expectations, and the utter lack of civility/courtesy on all sides is stomach turning to me.

C: You are absolutely correct. The whole I'm always right and you are always wrong accomplishes several things - 1: creates a negative environment, 2: Ensures that the real item up for debate (no matter what it is) gets lost in the shuffle, and 3: solves absolutely nothing.

Do I think that this Hannah person and Pelosi were playing semantics and politics? You bet I do. Do I think that Rush handled things wrong and should've focused directly on the actual issue and fisked her testimony? Absolutely. Do I think the 'ah ha! Gotcha' stuff was wrong from all sides. Yes.

Leaving me to conclude the following: Every single player involved in the story has acted the part of the fool. And the very real issue raised by the Catholic Church was completely lost in the shuffle.

Posted by: Nina at March 5, 2012 10:40 AM

Amen, Nina. I agree with everything in your comment.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 5, 2012 10:55 AM

We must protect Rush from any negative consequences of his actions

Really? Last time I looked Conservatives were all about not having the "Freedom from consequences". When you do stupid stuff, it *ought* to hurt.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 11:16 AM

Bingo.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 5, 2012 11:21 AM

My initial reaction was "If I was that young lady's father I'd punch that *&^% right in his fat mouth."

Upon reflection, however, I realized that "*&^%" is too mild a word.

Posted by: spd rdr - untuned at March 5, 2012 12:24 PM

The only winner out of all of this: Big Pharma. Limited government foiled again.

Posted by: Fefe at March 5, 2012 12:24 PM

Was it so unusual to hear the words "prostitute" and "slut" on major media today? If so, I suggest you turn on tv, radio, movies, music, etc.

Rush was trying to make a rhetorical analogy, along the lines of "what do you call a woman who wants other people's money to have sex? A prostitute, a slut".

Is that so out of bounds today?

BTW - Hussein Obama brought up this whole contraception "issue" via Obamacare and the forcing of religious institutions to go along with The One(termer).

Posted by: rssg at March 5, 2012 12:42 PM

At least I got some bread and a circus out of this whole thing. Meanwhile the basic discussion never happened. Should regular, anticipated expenses be included in insurance? Is it a good idea to do that?

That's the funny part about all this. The basic question is really quite neutral.

Posted by: Allen at March 5, 2012 12:43 PM

Fefe - wrong. The only true winner is....Big Government.

Posted by: betwyan at March 5, 2012 12:44 PM

Was it so unusual to hear the words "prostitute" and "slut" on major media today?

So what? That it is common doesn't imply that it is proper. In fact, much of being a conservative means that quite a lot of what is common today is not proper.

Rush was trying to make a rhetorical analogy, along the lines of "what do you call a woman who wants other people's money to have sex? A prostitute, a slut".

As I said on the prior thread: a prostitute is not in the business for her own sexual desires.

Is that so out of bounds today?

It ought to be. At least if you are a conservative.

BTW - Hussein Obama brought up this whole contraception "issue" via Obamacare and the forcing of religious institutions to go along with The One(termer).

Who has said otherwise? If you want to criticize someone for getting off the topic, blame Rush for making this about sexual mores (and thus playing into the hands of the "The GOP wants to steal your ladyparts" messaging) and not about economics/freedom.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 12:52 PM

The Liberals baited a trap, and Rush ran right into it.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 12:56 PM

"My party right or wrong" seems to work 99% of the time for the libs/Dems.

Only squishy GOPers talk and talk about "being above the fray", "reasonableness", "moderation".

Keep thinking that RINOs and it'll be five more years of Barry the Magic Mooooslim.

Posted by: l5j6 at March 5, 2012 01:03 PM

Should regular, anticipated expenses be included in insurance? Is it a good idea to do that?

That's the funny part about all this. The basic question is really quite neutral.

Whether it's an anticipated expense or not isn't really the fundamental issue.

Do you have the right to be provided a product or service at a price *you* deem to be affordable?

I can't afford nice clothes to go to class in, Georgetown should provide me with discounted clothes. I can't afford a car to get around town in to buy groceries, Georgetown should provide me with discounted cars. I can't afford birth control so that I don't have to drop out if I get pregnant, Georgetown should provide me with discounted birthcontrol.

Wahhhh! There are a ton of things that people can't afford. There are a ton of things that people must forego because they don't like the potential consequences. Those aren't the responsibility of others to provide to them. Do without. The rest of us do.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 01:06 PM

For that matter, YAG, can you afford to go to Georgetown?

This is a strange kind of government grab, because it is targeted at people who manifestly are not the people most in need of charity. This isn't about poor women, but about college students at private colleges. The HHS mandate isn't about poor women, but women with jobs -- and not hourly wage slaves or seasonal workers, but those who have good enough jobs to have benefits.

It's been a very strange sort of push, because it isn't genuinely about charity or need at all. The freebie benefit is targeted at relatively rich, educated feminists; the monetary benefit at manufacturers of non-generic, expensive pharmaceuticals; and the cost at insurance companies and the Catholic Church. It's the purest expression of a culture-war doctrine that I can recall having seen.

Posted by: Grim at March 5, 2012 01:10 PM

l5j6,

So let me get this straight. It's Republicans who act like Democrats that are the problem, but those who don't act like Democrats that are the Squishy RINOs?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 01:12 PM

Some of you may not be suited for the world of politics - it can be a rough, full contact sport.

Perhaps you should consider working for the government, perhaps as a schoolteacher. Those are more calm and "reasonable" occupations for the faint of heart.

The left and right battle daily - as it should be. There likely will be a civil war in the country in the near future as to the direction and to the cultural make-up of the nation, i.e., language, relgion, race, ethnicity, big, activist govt versus limited government, English language versus multi-lingualism (really Spanish), native born versus foreign born, etc.

It is coming......

Posted by: l5j6 at March 5, 2012 01:14 PM

I notice, that once again, you simply resort to insults. An apparent vice in Democrats, but a virtue in Republicans. Good job convincing people that Conservatives aren't the hypocrits the left makes us out to be.

And no, there won't be a civil war. No one is prepared to shoot their neighbors and family which is what would happen in a civil war. Not gonna happen, even when we do default and we've run out of other people's money.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 01:22 PM

Some of you may not be suited for the world of politics

...and an ironic statement to make on a political blog.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 01:25 PM

Dana Loesch points out the total BS of this:

"I’ve not heard a single Republican politician stand up to the media narrative on this. Instead of projecting surrogate modesty towards Fluke, they project it towards Limbaugh, who is calling the truth for what it is. Fluke, a 30 year-old (presented as a 23 year-old college coed by the media) women’s activist/professional student, is likely not having monogamous sex with the same man approximately 2.74 times a day, every day, for three straight years (in order to satisfy the calculations about which she felt confident enough to present during a congressional testimony). If she is, kudos! But promiscuity is not the hallmark of a virtuous woman. Is it Limbaugh’s fault for pointing it out or Fluke’s fault for the behavior? It’s a rhetorical question and the answer proved Limbaugh’s entire point."

Posted by: jppc at March 5, 2012 01:37 PM

"Yu-Ain Gonnano" Hmmm, me thinks you're not really a "true American". Better keep your eyes peeled for that civil war. LoL

Posted by: l5j6 at March 5, 2012 01:39 PM

Irony is not just a feature of a Chinese laundry.

I pre-emptively condemn myself for that bit of sarcasm. :)

Charity is an act of VOLUNTARY generous giving to those in need by either an individual or group (me, you , Cass or the Salvation Army) who may have material well-being and giving to those who don't.

This is entitlement, bequeathed by the welfare state to those demanding entitlement. To buy votes and satisfy interest groups. The weekend news in my neck of the woods informed me that 64% of the women polled (ouch!) in Ohio thought that religious institutions should be FORCED to pay for all manner of contraceptive needs, etc.

Your liberty for a handful of condoms and a box of BC pills. Is that a good trade? I guess if they are really good condoms.

As I recall from a book I read as a yout, "everything not forbidden is mandatory".

Could it have ended any other way?

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at March 5, 2012 01:48 PM

If you mean by "true American" one who bows down his own individualism to the needs of the collectivist "Party", then you are right.

But there was a time when conservative didn't mean: Support "The Cause" or we'll shoot you. But if that's your position, then you're at least as much of a statist as the Left is.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 01:56 PM

YaG, when California mandated birth control for health insurance some years ago, premiums went up exactly as some predicted. The upshot is people are paying for it through their premiums instead of directly. Of course it's more expensive doing it that way, but I guess some people think they're getting something for free. So yes to me that's still the basic question, do you want to pay me now or pay me later?

Posted by: Allen at March 5, 2012 01:57 PM

So yes to me that's still the basic question, do you want to pay me now or pay me later?

I'd rather not pay you at all. That is what the "insure an anticipated expense" question misses.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 02:06 PM

Dana Loesch points out the total BS of this:

"I’ve not heard a single Republican politician stand up to the media narrative on this. Instead of projecting surrogate modesty towards Fluke, they project it towards Limbaugh, who is calling the truth for what it is. Fluke, a 30 year-old (presented as a 23 year-old college coed by the media) women’s activist/professional student, is likely not having monogamous sex with the same man approximately 2.74 times a day, every day, for three straight years (in order to satisfy the calculations about which she felt confident enough to present during a congressional testimony). If she is, kudos! But promiscuity is not the hallmark of a virtuous woman. Is it Limbaugh’s fault for pointing it out or Fluke’s fault for the behavior? It’s a rhetorical question and the answer proved Limbaugh’s entire point."

It's Limbaugh's fault (and apparently Dana's) for:

1. Not bothering to read Fluke's testimony, WHICH NEVER ONCE MENTIONS CONDOMS.

2. Not knowing that ObamaCare DOESN'T EVEN COVER CONDOMS (gee - do you think this might explain why they weren't mentioned?).

3. Apparently not understanding that birth control pills (what Ms. Fluke DID talk about) cost exactly the same whether you have sex one time or 20000 times a month.

This really isn't rocket science. Logic matters. Facts matter.

Challenge Fluke on her math or her honesty wrt the $3000 figure. As I said before, this should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

But to dishonestly take testimony that never mentions condoms and use this straw testimony to suggest that you can tell anything about how often anyone is having sex is just plain... well, I'll let you fill in the blank.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 5, 2012 02:22 PM

"...well, I'll let you fill in the blank."

I refuse to fill in any blanks until I get a Bingo card, too.
ppthtthhhhthtthhthtt!

Posted by: Snarkammando at March 5, 2012 02:31 PM

YaG, it's an implicit part of the question. But, to me that has been the funniest part of the whole thing. The woman who spoke said her birth control was causing women a financial crisis. My only question was, if you're having trouble paying for birth control how the heck are you going to be able to afford health care premiums with the cost of birth control built in?

Posted by: Allen at March 5, 2012 02:37 PM

I refuse to use any blanks, period.


Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano whose not as well armed as The Armorer of Argghhh! at March 5, 2012 02:43 PM

I refuse to use any blanks, period.

I KNEW IT! IT'S ALWAYS THE MAN'S FAULT :)

If'n you knuckle draggers would just start firing blanks, I wouldn't have to pay for anyone's birth control!

/running for the barricades

Posted by: Cassandra at March 5, 2012 02:49 PM

There are small countries that aren't as well armed as the Armorer of Argghhh!, YAG.

Posted by: Snarkammando at March 5, 2012 02:52 PM

...if you're having trouble paying for birth control how the heck are you going to be able to afford health care premiums with the cost of birth control built in?

Because those on the pill are not the only ones paying the increased premiums.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 02:55 PM

Through all this I am confident of one thing. Once the government gets done monkeying with insurance everyone will be left with bad feelings about it.

Trust me, we've been doing it for decades here in California and no one has walked away happy with the results.

Posted by: Allen at March 5, 2012 02:58 PM

Allen, once the government starts monkeying with anything, it never stops. Because some people somewhere will never be satisfied with the results.

Customer satisfaction is not one of the priorities of "government run" anything. Their principle is trying to fool most of the people most of the time.

Winning!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at March 5, 2012 03:07 PM

I know Don, I know.

The good news is, here in CA, we should have the first bit of high speed rail between Bakersfield and Fresno in the near future.

What a treat that will be, whizzing at high velocity between Bakersfield and Fresno.

It boggles the mind.

Posted by: Allen at March 5, 2012 03:17 PM

This was/is about political theatre. Fluke was chosen by Botox Pelosi to "testify". She was presented as an innocent, young, doe-eyed co-ed. In reality, she's a 30 yr old and a veteran of left-wing activism.

This is the big league folks. If one can not make a sarcastic analogy (like Limbaugh did), it's really a sad time for free speech in this country.

Posted by: rsg at March 5, 2012 03:24 PM

Hmmm. I'm confused.

Who prevented Rush from speaking his mind?

No one as far as I can see.

Free speech doesn't mean you have the right to be protected from disapproval. It doesn't mean your advertisers can't decide (there's that free speech thingy again) they don't want to be associated (or do business) with you.

Your "innocent, doe eyed co-ed" introduced herself as a past president of a Reproductive Justice group.

That might have been a big clue.
As they say, reading is fundamental :p

Posted by: Cassandra at March 5, 2012 03:40 PM

If one can not make a sarcastic analogy (like Limbaugh did), it's really a sad time for free speech in this country.

I believe than one did make a sarcastic analogy. The "sad" part of the right to free speech is that Limbaugh is not the only one who has it.

Repeat after me: "Congress shall make no law...". Doesn't say anything about the rest of us plebs free speechifying right back.

The Dixie Chicks had to put up with their customers boycotting radio stations, Letterman had to put up with viewers complaining to his bosses. Didn't see many conservatives moaning about the "sad time for free speech" then.

Ain't nobody been shipped off to an airless cell in Gitmo to wear the frilly panties of oppression yet so I'm pretty certain the 1A is doing exactly what it was meant to.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 03:59 PM

YAG, in case you're a little dense, what I meant by "it's really a sad time for free speech in this country" is, why all the fuss? Why the MSM making Fluke the hero of the week? Why the consoling phone call from His Grand Pubah, Barry the Great? Palin, Bachmann are tough, they can take limp-wrists like Letterman, Maher and the like. Again, this is hte big leagues. No crying allowed.

Why the fuss? What Limbaugh said is not worth all this attention. Who made it into a major issue?

The MSM, the Left and Prez Cool Jazz, that's who made it a major issue.

Posted by: rsg at March 5, 2012 04:08 PM

From Dan Riehl - Riehl World View......

Stand With Rush, Or Lie Down And Die Alone

What is now clear is that there are no nuanced choices in the Rush vs. Fluke fiasco the Left has created. What is now playing out has nothing to do with civil discourse and everything to do with politics and the left's 30 or more years long war to destroy conservatives and thereby conservatism in America.

It's also critical to understand that what we are seeing is the left's use of social media to make objections to all things Republican and especially Conservative appear to be far more substantial than they actually are. We can not afford to let them play that game, while we sit idly and watch. You'll find what you need beginning on page 3 of this AmSpec item: Rally for Rush. Do not kid yourself that this is about Rush Limbaugh. The people, ideology and political party that is targeting him today will eventually do much worse to you if they ever succeed in breaking down and through our various and various kinds of leaders.

Posted by: betwyan at March 5, 2012 04:14 PM

Don't you love it when so-called conservative bloggers pile on. The whole goal of Obama and company is to get Republicans to turn on each other, and guess what this author is happy to oblige.

Posted by: Pete at March 5, 2012 04:21 PM

Who's the Einstein comparing this to the Dixie Chicks? Geez. First Einstein, the Dixie Chicks suffered commercially because....

a) COuntry music fans are predominately conservative leaning, very pro USA.

b) The Dixie Chicks are like most pop musicians, bubble-headed boobies.

c) Most people have little time for entertainers opining on serious topics.

d) THere was little concerted effort to buycout the Dixie Chicks, unlike this Obama/Pelosi/NOW/ effort.

d) The Dixie Chicks are, ah, not attractive. LOL

Posted by: bruce-t at March 5, 2012 04:30 PM

Dan's an old friend, betwyan/bruce-t/rsg/rssg/l5j6/jppc :)

I don't happen to agree with him in this case, but he's entitled to his opinion and I think he should fight for what he believes.

10 comments from the same person under 5 different monikers, though? Please pick a moniker and stay with it (unless of course it's amusing, in which case feel free to go for it).

Posted by: Cassandra at March 5, 2012 04:37 PM

I noticed Ms. Fluke is not accepting Rush's apology. Gee, what a surprise--she's milking her 15 minutes for all they're worth, huh? Fluke can't seem to come to grips with the fact that Rush apologized not because she is a lady...but because he's a gentleman.

That's okay. My money says that on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 Rush will be celebrating...and Ms. Fluke will be back in the obscurity she so richly deserves.

Posted by: MarkJ at March 5, 2012 04:40 PM

Rush was wrong, and stupid. Everyone seems to agree, including Rush. The over-the-top fervor is unbecoming considering the crickets from the Left when one of their guys steps in it.

Posted by: alwaysfiredup at March 5, 2012 04:46 PM

I noticed Ms. Fluke is not accepting Rush's apology. Gee, what a surprise--she's milking her 15 minutes for all they're worth, huh?

FWIW, I think more of Limbaugh for doing the right thing. And I think less (though admittedly that is a stretch) of Ms. Fluke for being a jackwagon.

Her lack of class won't be lost on most people.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 5, 2012 04:48 PM

The whole goal of Obama and company is to get Republicans to turn on each other, and guess what this author is happy to oblige.

The whole goal of Obama and company was to frame the debate over religious freedom as one about woman hating conservatives.

The whole goal of conservatives was to frame the debate as being about religious freedom and limited government.

Guess what narrative Rush's words played right into?

Posted by: Cassandra at March 5, 2012 04:52 PM

"...she's milking her 15 minutes..."

Can you say that? I mean, shirley it *must* be a code word for....something.
Where, oh where, are the speech police when you need them? When pixels count, they're only page views away.

Posted by: Sir Thomas of Doubtinghamframington at March 5, 2012 04:58 PM

Why the fuss?

Because the Left wants to paint conservatives with the Woman-Hating "They want to steal your ladyparts" brush.

And Rush handed them the paint. Defending him hands them even more paint.

Congrats, when we wanted to talk about religious freedom and limited gov't, you want to turn insulting women's sexuality into a hill you want to die on. Good Job!

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 05:04 PM

Geez. *Insult*, the Dixie Chicks suffered commercially because....

The because doesn't matter. If it is OK to attempt to cause commercial harm because the Dixie Chicks said something people don't like, then it is OK to attemp to cause commercial harm to Rush when he said something people don't like.

Like you said, this is the big time. If Rush can't handle the heat, then he can get out of the kitchen.

I'm not going to lie and say that what Rush did was right "for the good of the Party". The Left can play that collectivist bullshit, but not me.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 05:10 PM

YAG, before I smack the smirk off your face, hear me CLEARLY.

I don't think it's a problem that sponsors dropped Rush. I said, it's a NOT a big deal. THey are free to do so, it won't hurt him anyway. He must have hundreds of firms that are now offering to take up the slack. What I have a problem with is a CONCERTED, POLITICAL EFFORT made by the President, Pelosi, NOW, MoveOn, etc., putting on a faux outrage over having their tender feelings hurt by the word "slut". It's faux outrage; political theatre, period.

THe Dixie Chicks were hurt commercially mainly by country music fans who were upset with their crude, overt (and junior high) political commentary. Ya pays your moneys, ya take your chances. They lost many fans and would be fans. I'm glad, their music and voices irritated me! LOL

Posted by: jppc at March 5, 2012 05:22 PM

what I meant by "it's really a sad time for free speech in this country" is, why all the fuss?

You have a very different view of free speech. The very point of free speech is being able to make a fuss.

Even leaving aside the legal aspect of it, it would be when we feared criticizing our leaders (elected or self-appointed) that free speech would be having a tough go of it. Not when we do.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 05:23 PM

From Redstate...

Posted by Lori Ziganto (Diary)

Monday, March 5th at 4:00PM EST

I learned something this weekend. Evidently, using the word slut is far more egregious than peeing on the Constitution and on personal and religious liberty. And being equated to a slut due to demanding that others pay for your personal sexual choices is more egregious than actually being a thirty year old perpetual student leech, spouting outright lies. Because, entitled. I had another teachable moment as well: the GOP has yet to realize what a travesty it is to cravenly cave to lefty false narratives, unbelievably giving them credence. I realized that I am very concerned about the lack of testicles (is there a mandate to cover a pill for that?) in the GOP. But, hey, us dames will handle it with our huge sets of brass ovaries. I’ll start, as I’m a giver.

Posted by: jppc at March 5, 2012 05:24 PM

CONCERTED, POLITICAL EFFORT made by the President, Pelosi, NOW, MoveOn,

I *like* concerted, political efforts. I can't fault Pelosi, NOW, MoveOn, for doing things I support when the NRA, Breitbart, and others do it.

That is, unless you take the "But it's OK when I do it" tack.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 05:31 PM

the GOP has yet to realize what a travesty it is to cravenly cave to lefty false narratives, unbelievably giving them credence.

Which is pretty much Rush's sin. He caved to the lefties' false narrative of the woman hating conservative and gave it credence.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 05:33 PM

I, personally, would not try to smack Yu-ain Gonnano in the face. He is a pretty big guy, and a former semi-professional athlete. And he is a pretty sharp dresser most of the time.

If he was not such an intelligent and thoughful guy, he would be a real Menace.

Speak sweetly, because sometimes you have to eat your words. Something we should all remember from time to time. I think that was something my mother taught me, or someone like that. Or maybe spd rdr? :^ )

Rush Limbaugh has been around the block a few times. He can defend himself. He makes fun of prominent people all the time. His mistake was being too harsh with some obscure civilian, regardless of her apparent political motives. he should have killed her with kindness and courtesy, layered with sarcasm. IMHO.

He was punching down, which is a big mistake. Always punch up in the world of political bluster and blather.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at March 5, 2012 05:35 PM

Don,

Smacking me in the face would be ill advised. It'll only hurt his hand and computer monitor. And it didn't do anything to him (the monitor I mean, not his hand, it probably deserved it).

And I can still be a Menace when I want, but yes the Catcher's Mask got put away some years ago.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 06:05 PM

the GOP has yet to realize what a travesty it is to cravenly cave to lefty false narratives, unbelievably giving them credence

Yes, it is outrageous for conservatives to be apologizing for Rush's words. Don't they know how apologies cravenly give credence to the Lefty false narratives? Mr. Limbaugh's apology stands out above all others. Doesn't he know the harm he is doing? He should be condemned in the strongest language possible for giving aid and comfort to the left.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 5, 2012 08:48 PM

Rush should have apologized. He fell for the trap the Left sprung and I think he knows it. Since when do Conservatives use personal attacks? They purposely set it up so someone of the Right would do it and he did. Now we're dealing with a distraction and the narrative Obama set out to impose on us instead of the economy and foreign affairs. The Left brilliantly played that round and won it. Let's not defend it, let's not keep the narrative going, let's move on and recoup.

Posted by: Dave B at March 6, 2012 05:16 AM

Really, Casssandra, you think this isn't coordinated,like the campaign that drove Beck off the air, like the proven lies behind 'Game Change' the AGW scam run out of East Hadley or the Haditha witchhunt of the 3/2, are you really being that naive.

Posted by: narciso at March 6, 2012 09:49 AM

Did I say it wasn't coordinated?

Of course it's coordinated. What does that have to do with the facts on the ground?

Posted by: Cassandra at March 6, 2012 09:59 AM

The opposite of whatever the press thinks is important, or right,

Posted by: narciso at March 6, 2012 10:04 AM

Since when do Conservatives use personal attacks? They purposely set it up so someone of the Right would do it and he did.

Hmmm.... let's think that one through.

Conservatives don't resort to personal attacks, so those crafty Libs set up a trap that could only work if Conservatives did something we all know they don't do?


Posted by: Cassandra at March 6, 2012 10:14 AM

The opposite of whatever the press thinks is important, or right,

Again, what does that have to do with the facts? Opinions (what the press thinks) are not facts.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 6, 2012 10:16 AM

You may not like Rush, or his style, but you have to admit he has been a stalwart conservative voice long before most "bloggers" were politically aware. Heck, for some years he was the only sane voice we on the right could hear.
So cut him some slack, and understand what he was trying to say...pointing out the absurd by being absurd. Our enemies are Obama, the leftist press, and the kooky leftists who spew nonsense day and night.....uncontested before Rush.

Posted by: MarcoinMI at March 6, 2012 10:31 AM

Marco,

Many of us that have been criticizing him actually like him. And on balance, he is generally fairly good conservative voice. But when he steps in it, as he does occasionally, we shouldn't be afraid of saying so.

He stepped in it.

Licking his boots and proclaiming we like the taste of the poop we find there out of some sense of duty to the collective just isn't going to fly with a bunch of individualists.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 6, 2012 10:50 AM

Marco:

I don't think Rush is the enemy. I do think that he sometimes makes it way too easy for the Left to tar all conservatives with the same brush.

I really wish he would use his undoubted verbal skills more wisely, but he is an adult and makes his own decisions.

In this case (if we can believe retlaw - I will admit up front that I have not verified his comment for myself) it appears that he commented on Fluke's testimony without having read it.

If you get a story wrong and your commentary turns out to be based on the wrong facts, you end up looking stupid. That's what happened here.

There is zero doubt in my mind that Mr. Limbaugh could have made mincemeat of her testimony and arguments with "half his brain tied behind his back".

I wish he had taken the time to read her testimony before commenting on it... for three or four days. That's kind of his job.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 6, 2012 10:50 AM

U mad bro?

This is weak, whose side are you on?

Posted by: quiznilo at March 6, 2012 02:09 PM

The side that doesn't have to invent facts to make an argument?

The side that actually does the research before commenting?

The side that believes people should take responsibility and be accountable for their actions?

Yep. That side.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 6, 2012 02:22 PM

I like the Dark side.
We have cookies.
And beer.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at March 6, 2012 04:44 PM

"I like the Dark side.
We have cookies.
And beer.
0>;~}"

*hears the voice of Lurch moaning in delight*


Save me a seat will ya?

I'll bring my own hooded cloak and instruments of torment, a cat-o-nine, thumb-screws, bamboo shoots, my copy of Every Pols and Pundits Guide to Shooting Oneself In The Foot While Both Feet Are Firmly Planted Betwixt Palate And Tongue by Joe Biden, etc.

Posted by: Buckshot Metatarsal Campaign Manager of the Stars at March 6, 2012 08:39 PM

Conservatives aren't very good at bar fights and that's what we've been in. We're just so unhappy and fickle these days! I will admit that I'm a complete ditto head and proud of it but Rush's moment of jackassery, which he quickly apologized for, cost the message of individual liberty and intrusion of government to lose momentum. He's not going anywhere in spite of the hopes, dreams, and vigorous efforts of leftists everywhere. Sandra Fluke isn't Satan but she IS a very competent and wily leftist activist on reproductive rights who wants to push her agenda to whoever will give her opportunity. Her timing was perfection frankly.

** Hi Cass!!!!

Posted by: kate at March 7, 2012 03:52 PM

Hi Kate :)

Conservatives aren't very good at bar fights and that's what we've been in. We're just so unhappy and fickle these days!

I think we're very much afraid that we're losing the battle, and that fear is behind the calls to abandon our principles.

It's hard to know what to say to the argument that we have to beat the Left because they have no principles, but we can only beat them if we abandon our own.

I have more faith in conservatism than that.

re: timing. I tend to see this as an ordinary moment of Dem grandstanding (the transparently asshatted "Where are the Womyns??? War on Womenfolk and their Ladyparts!!!!11!" nonsense) that under ordinary circumstances would have been quickly forgotten.

Instead, it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Like I said, "own goal".

*sigh*

Posted by: Cassandra at March 8, 2012 05:26 AM

"I have more faith in conservatism than that."


I bitterly cling to that notion too.

My hope is that many of the visible people on the Right side of the aisle will return to the tactic of thinking a good deal more about a matter before they engage their jawbone.


*sigh* Long ago, I was told, by pappy... IIRC, that the average politician will, when confronted with constituents/cameras, start talking and continue to do so until the Pol can think of something to say. This seems to be the rule for all POLs and Pundits and the main reason I prefer transcripts to TV.

Posted by: bthun at March 8, 2012 12:11 PM

Amen, bthun.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 8, 2012 01:03 PM

"...the main reason I prefer transcripts to TV."

Oh, aye my friend. Sometimes, though, I will watch a vid online after having read the transcript so I can hear how the words were delivered. But I always prefer to read their words.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at March 8, 2012 08:13 PM

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