Hold This Between Your Knees, Rush Limbaugh
That was bad enough. After the GOP congressman shut her down, she told her story to House Democrats as well as journalists. Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute,” and promised to buy Fluke and Georgetown women “as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want. We are paying her for having sex. We are getting screwed. So Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is: We want you to post the videos online, so we can all watch.”
I’m not making this up. I’ve been attacked by Limbaugh before; it’s an honor for liberals. But his remarks about Fluke are unbelievable. Literally. I had to hear it twice to believe it’s what he said. (After I wrote this, President Obama called Fluke to commend her courage and tell her that her parents should be proud of her.)
Limbaugh’s behavior is just the far-right edge on a continuum of conservative misogyny that’s gone beyond trying to outlaw abortion, moved into the once-unimaginable realm of contraception, and mocks women in a way we haven’t heard since my childhood, I think. His “joke” is based on the remark by Rick Santorum’s moneyman Foster Freiss, on the same day as Issa’s “hearing,” recalling the days when gals didn’t need birth control because they put aspirin between their knees. But it’s not just for fun: The entire GOP presidential field has endorsed a “personhood” amendment that could outlaw most non-barrier forms of contraception. On Thursday, Sen. Roy Blunt’s shameful attempt to give employers the right to deny health insurance coverage for any treatment they didn’t approve of - targeting but not limited to contraception - was tabled in the Senate, but not before it got 48 votes, including every Republican except the departing Olympia Snowe, plus three cowardly Democrats, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey.
I’m happy to say, though, that women - and the men who care about them - are fighting back as never before in my memory. We forced Susan G. Komen to rescind its decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Despite the frothing of conservatives, the Obama administration is still requiring insurers to provide cost-free contraception. The president’s courage on the issue is bringing women back into the Democratic fold, according to recent opinion polls - and has them running away from Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
But we have to do more. I’m putting my energy into two causes in the coming months: a grass-roots effort to turn out the women’s vote called #usethe19th