A Look At The Other Side Of Limbaugh Controversy

To be clear, I’m no fan of Rush and think his comments were far out of line.

But this commentary makes a good point about double standards of improper comments.

Author: PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

59 Comments

  1. Actually it’s not that good a look for the reasons some of the better comments on the article pointed out.

  2. Actually it’s not that good a look for the reasons some of the better comments on the article pointed out.

    What were those? I didn’t really see anything that I thought was significant, mainly they just minimized or ignored facts. You can say it’s worse because Fluke is a private citizen but she isn’t Joe the Plumber she was and is an activist who fought to get her time in front of the camera. By pretending she was just a women off the street it is diminishing her efforts to fight for what she believes. So, no, I don’t think she is some bystander. The only other point I read was that they didn’t think some of the comments were sexist. I guess it’s a matter of opinion but clearly she thinks when you pretend that a woman who is competing for election at that level is insulted by being called basically empty headed then it’s a play on a stereotype that is clearly false and is given credence to to sexism. Is she right? I don’t know but it clearly is something that many here seem to believe when it is focused on liberal women.

  3. eEllis–
    Anyone that testifies in front of a congressional committee could be labeled an activist– that doesn’t make them a public figure — they aren’t paid lobbyists or elected officials or paid radio hosts.

  4. I am not getting the distinction. Media personalities should not be calling women sluts, twats and the “C-word” whether the women are public figures or not, and whether the personalities are liberal or conservative.

  5. When Olbermann, Schultz, etc. said those stupid asinine things they were suspended or fired. Frankly, they were more widely criticized by those “on their side” than Rush has been by his fellow conservatives. In addition several of the examples cited in the article Patrick linked to were less about the sex of the people criticized than about their lack of gravitas. Yes, some of the comments made about Palin and Bachmann were sexist but others were just critical of their abilities.

  6. Thanks for the links Kathy…

    As to whether the comments are equal or not, I’m not a woman so I don’t know I can really judge with full fairness.

    But it does seem that people jump to defend their side but give no allowances to other.

  7. Anyone that testifies in front of a congressional committee could be labeled an activist– that doesn’t make them a public figure — they aren’t paid lobbyists or elected officials or paid radio hosts.

    Sure but she wasn’t just a collage kid playing basketball either. she put herself in a situation that she new was contentious to speak out about what she believes in. Props to her for that.

    And you can be called to testify unwillingly. She didn’t actually even make it in front of the committee she spoke to a group of Dem congress people having a “meeting”

  8. When Olbermann, Schultz, etc. said those stupid asinine things they were suspended or fired. Frankly, they were more widely criticized by those “on their side” than Rush has been by his fellow conservatives.

    One, who does Rush work for? Sure clear channel airs his show but do they have any editorial power at all? Depending on the contract there may well be no way at all that he could be fired or suspended so there is as large a difference in his situation as an any of the examples you criticize. Two, yes they were more evenly criticized. That is the point. Here Rush has gotten complaints from all direction but it seems some on the left are more concerned when it’s Rush than they ever are with other public figures.

    Yes, some of the comments made about Palin and Bachmann were sexist but others were just critical of their abilities.

    Well if you are not sure of a couple of the examples are sexist then then it totally makes the point moot I guess right? Well then why keep working it? Mention “I’m not sure if all the examples are directly on point, but….” Instead it’s like you want to ignore the bigger conversation to argue about the examples. What’s with that?

  9. dear Patrick, here at moderate voice I defended Sarah Palin and her children, defended Hillary Clinton etc. I’ve not attacked Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, nor any of the fave targets of some. I’ve not attacked Michelle Obama, nor Nancy Pelosi, etc, fave targets of some. This is just to say, many many of us in journalism do not take pleasure in being predictably one-sided. We try to tell the story, including that of Rush LImbaugh who has attacked me personally and by name for many many weeks in a row, years ago. Many of us use restraint in order to tell the story nonetheless. Would I condemn certain behaviors of some? Yes. Would I point out seeming loose cannons who add nothing to content or process effectively? Yes. Would I call out obvious hubris? Yes. This idea that everyone defends one side is not true. What is true, is that some do. The operative word is ‘some.’ Just my .02 from where I stand, and thanks Patrick

  10. The day after Sarah Palin was anointed the Republican VP candidate, a colleague asked me what I thought of her. I said I wouldn’t trust her to drive a school bus, let alone run the US government. He accused me of being sexist.

    Nothing I’ve seen or heard since has disabused me of the sentiment I expressed on that day.

    I think maybe there should be a fundamental baseline test for politicians and public figures; would you feel comfortable leaving them alone with your kids?

    Bachmann? Palin? – would leave them to fend for themselves in a minefield.

    Any of the Obamas, babysitter-aged included? – no problem.

    Romney? Would sell them into slavery it he thought he could get away with it.

    Santorum et al? Actually I wouldn’t be too uncomfortable with that, as long as they are still pre-pubescent.

    Rush Limbaugh? Who in their right mind would ever leave their children alone with Rush Limbaugh? I would rather spend a year in Gitmo.

    er…
    That’s it.

  11. Da Goat

    I agree that no one should ever be called any of those words–and that suspending or firing the offender is appropriate– but I do think its even worse for a public figure to use his power to destroy a private citizen.

    When you are in a position that requires constant exposure, it is an unfortunate part of that experience– but someone who is not from that world should never be the subject of a defamation campaign.

  12. DG nails it. End of discussion.

  13. Do you really want to know the facts????????

    It has been vetted that Sandra Fluke, the supposed 23 year old “wide-eyed and innocent college coed”, is actually a 30 year-old hardcore extreme women’s rights activist who attended Cornell University from 1999-2003, where she received a B.S. in Policy Analysis & Management and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

    She is the past president of “Law Students for Reproductive Justice” and has a long history of extreme activism including pro-abortion and far left feminism. It is true that she is in her 3rd year of law school at Georgetown, but Fluke specifically knew the university didn’t cover contraception and chose to attend Georgetown, a 223-year-old Jesuit institution, for precisely that reason.

    Magically, at the same time Congress is debating the forced coverage of contraception, she appears – and is even brought to Capitol Hill by Nancy Pelosi to testify as a “co-ed”. The idea that she is an unwitting victim is patently absurd! She is nothing more than a propaganda tool. Don’t drink the media Kool-Aid!

    PS – it is hilarious that two of the advertisers boycotting are mattress companies – guess they don’t want to offend their most frequent customers? ha-ha!

  14. Daisy, while all of that is basically true, it still doesn’t follow that Fluke deserves a personal attack for promiscuity (or any other sort of personal attack, for that matter.)

    I made another post about that but it is stuck in comment limbo. I don’t know if this one will make it or not but what is the catch? Should I be offering up Lenten sacrifices?

  15. “it seems some on the left are more concerned when it’s Rush than they ever are with other public figures”

    For a very simple reason. Rush is integral to the republican party. He has long been their media standard bearer (even though they occasionally act ashamed of it – not often enough) and he has a MUCH wider audience than any of the other people mentioned, an audience that gets daily dosages of Rush’s garbage. And he’s been doing this for over two decades. There is really no equivalent on the left. This is why he is being taken to task. There is NO excuse for misogyny or sexist comments from anyone and they should always be taken to task, but RL’s case deserves to be singled out for reasons which are painfully obvious.

  16. I also agree with DaGoat. Accepting bad behavior by others as an excuse for bad behavior in ourselves is an obvious problem. And that seems to be what we are accepting here.

    Is there really anyone here who believes that an adult like Rush Limbaugh or Keith Obermann has a valid justification for their own bad behavior in such a childish excuse that “he started it?”

    Your mothers would be ashamed of you.

  17. Does comment length determine whether or not a comment has to be prescreened by a moderator? If so, what is the word or character limit?

  18. CStanley the commenting system has been on the fritz. I have a comment from 3 days ago still stuck in perpetual “awaiting moderation”. I wonder if maybe there are keywords that trigger moderation as my post referenced some ED meds.

  19. Thanks, Dagoat’s. I just realized I used a forbidden word. Unfortunately I can’t copy/paste so I’ll try again to rewrite the whole thing later if I have time.

  20. Re: “Comment in Moderation”

    My experience is that “Comment in Moderation” never get Moderated.

    If you copy your “Comment in Moderation” to a text editor… then delete it (you have 9 minutes) and then paste it piece-at-a-time you can usually get most of it posted.

  21. Ooops now both the non-working edit function and the delete button have disappeared.

  22. Thanks for the info and tips, Steve. Unfortunately I’m using an IPad which isn’t very friendly to text editing even if all of the forum edit functions were operable.

  23. Rush Limbaugh has gone into full meltdown:

    “I don’t expect morality or honesty from the Left, a willingness to say or do anything to advance their agenda… In fighting them I became like them. Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge against everything I know to be right and wrong, I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke…. and I feel very badly about that.”

    “… Nevertheless those two words were inappropriate. They were uncalled for. They distracted from the point I was actually trying to make. And I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her. I don not think she is either of those two words. And I did not think she was either of those two words last week. The apology was sincere. It was for using inappropriate words in a way I never do. I ended up descending to their level. It is important not to be like them ever.”

    “The apology was heartfelt…… pure, simple, heartfelt.

    source: Business Insider: Rush Limbaugh Live

  24. You’re welcome Christine. With everything down now I imagine Tyrone’s working hard to fix the problem so it will be easier for us all.

  25. The gist of my previous post:
    1. Condemnation of the in civility all around is valid but those discussions generally lead to more disagreement because no one can agree on “equivalence” and the ensuing debates come across as excuse making.

    2. Two salient points are getting scarcely any coverage, partly due to the distraction of the constant insult and umbrage cycle. The first is directly related to Fluke’s testimony. She raised the issue of contraception costs at $3000 per year. I can’t speak from personal experience since I don’t use artificial birth control, but that sounds very inflated. BC pills have been around for decades, so unless a large number of women require specific, costly meds or treatments, I can’t believe that $3000 per year is an average cost so if not, then what does this number actually represent?

    This is what led to the mudslinging- which was totally inexcusable so this is not meant to displace the blame for incivility. My point though is that while Fluke did not deserve personal attacks for promiscuity (or any other form of personal insult)’, she does deserve scrutiny for the claims she raised.

    3. The other important point in the larger discussion of the mandate is that none of this would have come about if not for our ridiculous system of employers providing healthcare coverage. The Obama administration and supporters are saying that employers shouldn’t be involved in healthcare decisions; I agree, but the logical way to stop that from happening is to change the tax code which gives preferential treatment to employer based insurance. If the govt is to have a role at all, it would be to facilitate pools of people to help those with higher health risks get insured at a reasonable cost.

  26. Just to clarify- where I said that the $3000 claim sparked the mudslinging- what I am referring to is that some conservative writers looked at that and then showed that this is not what BC pills usually cost even without insurance, and then they calculated how many condoms that amount could purchase and what the implications were for needing that many prophylactics in a year. It was from that that Limbaugh started his obnoxious riff.

  27. CStanley, ah that would probably be because she never said it cost $3000 per year but instead $3000 during law school. As you know law school is a multi year venture. So basically the right wing echo chamber first created a controversy where none existed off of distorting her testimony. Then they “found out” she was an activist which is odd considering that is how she introduced herself, she also included her age(obviously horrible at being sneaky). These two elements were then blended to provide the catalyst and later defense for Rush to say what he would(no reason to do condom math if she is not speaking of a single year). Sadly both are distortions, she introduced herself as a 30yr old law student and activist and she noted the cost of contraception during law school including the story of a woman that could not afford that and then had to have surgery for ovarian cysts which are a medical and not a sexual issue that contraception is used to treat. Her testimony that was distorted is below.

    “Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. 40% of the female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggle financially as a result of this policy.”

  28. The first is directly related to Fluke’s testimony. She raised the issue of contraception costs at $3000 per year.

    Actually she didn’t say that contraception cost $3000 per year what she said was:

    Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.

    If it takes 3 years to complete law school that would be $1000 per year, 4 years – $750 per year.

  29. And below is her testimony about the problem in blocking contraception coverage and how it effects women with medical problems that it would treat…on second thought here is a link to her testimony since I am getting spam filtered. A better link may exist but this is the one I found quickly.

    http://www.whatthefolly.com/20.....alth-care/

  30. Sorry MSF, I should have refreshed before posting, we seem to be saying the same thing.

  31. Ahh SteveK “Great minds think alike” and all that jazz lol.

  32. Wait a sec, you mean to say the rightwing attack machine would deliberately distort or remanufacture information even if it involved the trashing of innocent people? I’m stunned!

  33. The $3000 number is wildly inflated for most women. Generic Tri-Sprintec is $9 per month at Wal-Mart. The one that works best for my wife runs about $25 monthly. The Ortho-Evra patches run about $30 monthly at drugstore.com.

    In fairness there is going to be an occasional woman for whom nothing will work except for a high-priced pill, and that could easily run $3000 over 3 years. Also if a woman wants injectibles or contraceptive implants you are looking at more money.

    I would add that very often there is assistance available for low income women through women’s health centers or Planned Parenthood where they can get the meds for free or at very low cost. And before anybody jumps into a Planned Parenthood argument I’ll say in my opinion they provide a great service and I do not want to see their funding cut.

  34. Sorry then, my bad at mistaking the time frame. Even at $1000 per year though, it’s been shown that there are at least some forms commonly available for a fraction of that amount. If there are specific reasons that the women she was referring to needed a pricier drug, it might make sense but it is a legitimate question that should have been asked of her, considering that the entire point was to show that costs were prohibitive without the insurance mandate.

  35. On a final note calling a female sexually insulting names is unacceptable but once you move from public figures to more private individuals you run into optic problems. Ask Don Imus. When you, like Schultz go after another screamer with her own megaphone that is a bit different though still unacceptable, and this is oddly a double standard since male pols, media personalities and political operatives are commonly called “whores, prostitutes and sluts” for their habit of selling their services to the highest bidder. I think we should make the words off limits to both genders instead of merely defending women which creates a double standard and is in reality unfair and therefore unlikely to be followed.

    I would also like to note that the male equivalent to calling a woman a “whore/slut enter word about being easy here” is to question a males manhood or masculinity. Similar was done to Janet Reno throughout the 90′s by implying she was overly manish but that is rarely used as a political weapon. Calling men “wuss or somehow lacking in masculinity” is a common tactic from the right used most recently by Palin on a constant basis and by most of the females on the right in the screamer category. They try to “emasculate” men on the left to prove that they cant be trusted to protect us, we can only trust the guys beating their chests. All of this needs to end we just only talk about the insults to the female gender because chivalry is not completely dead but maybe common respect is what we should shoot for instead, that or we oddly accept the Lady Macbeth habits from female screamers because we do not see them for what they truly are…the adult version of calling a little boy gay on the playground.

  36. I would also add that the issue of insurers requiring that doctors and patients prove that a specific drug is needed for a specific diagnosis is NOT unique to “women’s healthcare”. I have had to work with doctors on many occasions to either get prior authorization or to appeal the decisions insurers made regarding medications for my family. It stinks but it has nothing to do with gender discrimination.

  37. Everyone is making good points here.

    With contraception being widely available and normally $25 a month or less even at full cost, it seems reasonable to allow Catholic administrators of Catholic insititutions an option to conscientiously object to providing contraception.

    We can all think that their objections are collosally stupid, but with other options readily available to their employees, it’s not a good balance of the competing rights to force Catholics to participate in something they believe is immoral. Obama’s compromise is a good one, and the bishops that continue to grumble about it aren’t getting much traction. That’s good.

    I should note that Catholic teaching does not oppose using the drugs for ovarian cysts, btw.

  38. I also have to agree with CStanley that this goes back to the problem of connecting employers with our healthcare which we should not. We have a tendency of treating large employers now as we once did nobles in the feudal system which runs counter to both liberty and equality. I see no realistic way of resolving this though short of a single payer system.

    The only way I would support reversing the contraception mandate is if insurance companies made plans that made noncontraception plans cost more since pregnancy risk would increase which has huge costs involved. If those with religious problems with contraception do not want to pay for other peoples contraception I also do not want to pay for their births nor their unplanned pregnancies. For me though it is more just simple cost/benefit analysis.

    I would note that leaning on PP and hoping they will make up the difference is not really a safe bet anymore considering the funding issues in Texas and other states and the full press GOP assault on PP. Just imagine PP goes away, insurance has no coverage because all employers suddenly and conveniently find a religious reason not to and we are well on the road to cutting off access while making nothing illegal(Walmart cant stand against a social con boycott since they are a solid part of their business model). Of course if we hadnt been engaged in a multi-state anti-contraception/anti-abortion war after an election that supposedly had nothing to do with social conservatism I may feel differently. The perception that the GOP as a mass wants to take us back to the sexual morays of the 1950′s was one that was held by only a few but those perceptions have changed for many over the last couple of years and the GOP has done it to themselves. Arguing that women can go to PP is rather rich or irrational considering how hard the GOP has pressed to defund them.

  39. JDave-Problem is the GOP is not pushing for that. They are pushing for any person or group to be allowed to exempt themselves for reasons of “conscience.” Should be a major boon for the church to make massive converts of all companies owned by people that just dont want contraception on their plans(not that these people will go to church or give any money to it but it will create a legal shield to hide behind). This is how the Bishops pushed into the realm of silliness compared to Obama’s compromise and then the GOP saw the silly and doubled its face value.

    It is true this has not one thing to do with women, contraception, religion or even sex. This is actually merely a fight about HCR but the fact that women are being used as a pinata is being noticed. The GOP has fought hard for decades to feed both its social con and its business women wings and it doesnt seem to understand that over especially the last two years they have made a choice in the eyes of many fiscally conservative females(especially those of breeding age which are freaking out all over facebook).

  40. MSF, if providing birth control is cost saving (as you stated above, by preventing the costlier consequence of pregnancy) then why haven’t the insurers jumped at the opportunity to cover it? And more to the point, why would they suddenly claim some sort of conscience objection to doing something which you believe they know will save them money?

  41. MSF,

    Well put, all of it. And wow, it was entertaining to boot.

    I’d support insurers charging employers more for the non-contraception plans. That’s so rational even the bishops couldn’t object.

    Conscientious objector status has never been granted to individuals who suddenly or capriciously claim they were pacifists. I’d support similar safeguards to Obama’s compromise.

    The GOP is trying to make political hay. I can’t believe they really give a damn about contraception. I’d wager that the number of employers who don’t want to pay for contraception is very small – probably limited to Catholic bishops and a very few, very orthodox Catholics. Even those employers who hate HCR aren’t going to do so with a flimsy claim that they’ve suddenly developed a moral objection to BC.

    Every insurance I’ve had thru employer has always covered BC. Have insurers complained about the compromise? I’d be surprised.

  42. The exception would be used not by insurers but instead by employers(that is what Blunts bill is fighting for the ability for employers that are not a church or charity to be able to opt out). Some plans already cover it but many do not, largely because it has only slowly evolved into being considered what in reality it is, preventative medicine to avoid a more costly procedure birth(probably because until the 60′s it could still be made illegal and the fact that we treat sex as the one area of public policy in which we must all follow the Christian belief system).

    I would assume that for large insurance companies forcing everyone to have it could cause for sticky politics since some groups will go all out because they are offended by it which could cost them PR nightmares and customers. A mandate offers a regulatory shield for insurance companies and oddly it also opens the door for them to start to do things like say making people or companies whose employees do not use it pay more for coverage due to increased risk(that is after all why insurance exists, to mitigate financial risk). Much like a car alarm may take down your car insurance or having a car that is not popular among car thieves providing and mandating contraceptive coverage starts us toward health insurance being treated like other forms(many of these things that will give you lower prices are actually rather new to even car insurance, last decade or a little more, but it made cost/benefit sense). Risk groups already get hit but insurance companies have been less involved in pushing preventative medicine and methods(like gym membership with minimum hours of use or minimum physical fitness targets). We speak of nanny gov bringing these things but honestly they are just as likely from insurance companies and much more needed since the pool of insured is much smaller than a pool of all taxpayers.

    In short it hasnt happened more broadly because we are at the tail end of but still involved in the culture wars over access to them.

  43. I still don’t get why you think employers would want to opt out or claim a conscience objection. If an employer doesn’t really have a legitimate moral objection, what would their motivation be?

  44. If many people believe it’s a “Republican war on women” and all that stuff, well, then maybe what Obama did with the Church (and the First Amendment) and later just the insurers really was a campaign move.

    Maybe he and Pelosi planned the putting someone like Fluke into the news ahead of time, even. That’s taking advantage of a lot of ignorance and all too common ill will toward the Republicans by the ignorant.

    That’s the real issue, not hating Limbaugh.

  45. Political and a few just because they dont like “loose women” that live in a very different era than the rest of the nation yet are still not religious. Unless the coverage for noncontraceptive plans cost more, at that point I would assume that if they are paying more they actually drank the koolaide.

    I have met few employers so solely driven by politics that they would do such a thing. Sadly five of them are in Indianapolis and rather large employers and one of them is named Sodrel(yup connected to the pol of the same name). From my previous experience with them they would have no qualms costing their female employees more out of pocket money for a political point(their lounges are filled with anti-abortion/anticontraception and right wing pamphlets as it is) and they are merely a trucking company(could have changed in ten years but I have major doubts). I would also note that some would do it to keep it from “loose women” but they are more a minority and tied to very specific age groups that are mostly retired now.

    This discussion for me is much like the ones on affirmative action though. I thought it was time to take a look at ending or changing it UNTIL the racial language and insults dial was moved up to 11. At that point I went back to solidly supporting it. In that same vein I can think of many things that would make me prefer other options for contraception but the full court press on social con issues has made me a full supporter of it being on medical insurance and mandated.

    Personally I would prefer it all, including PlanB, to be moved to over the counter but I no longer trust that social cons can keep their hands off of it which tells me a regulation that mandates it is a nice firewall against this odd social con push.

  46. Widget-That is basically what I have been saying from the beginning, meaning the moment the mandate was first announced. This is merely a giant rope a dope that the GOP yet again fell for because they are highly predictable and emotional in their current state.

    Of course this is what pols do and it is the exact same way that abortion was turned into a wedge issue in the first place by Nixon since prior to that abortion was a right wing cause of personal liberty. Those on the right though tend to assume that Obama is a bumbling idiot without any ability to do to the GOP what it has done to the left for a few decades, meaning define them in the publics mind by their most extreme elements. They do wonder how lucky he is to so often end up on the winning side of arguments(well they usually blame the reason merely on the liberal media).

    As for me, I think he is a very very smart and talented pol that is allowing the GOP to kill itself and spend a long time in the wilderness…basically like Nixon did to the left by agreeing with them too often while shifting the nation ever so slowly right and creating controversies on which they will lose but must fight due to them misreading the public(mostly because every pol thinks they are at the beginning and never the end of their parties dominance). 20 years ago the GOP would have won this argument across the board but times have changed though they like 70′s dems failed to notice.

  47. I think BC should be OTC.

  48. MSF, I can’t argue with your personal experience but I’m also unconvinced that there would be a rush to claim exemptions if the mandate were repealed.

    Meanwhile, I think it should be pointed out that at best, insurance companies are finding that covering BC is revenue neutral:
    http://thehill.com/blogs/healt.....ol-mandate

    For all of the hype about prevention saving money, those savings rarely materialize. In the case of BC, this seems to be because women will tend to use it whether it’s covered or not, at least in high enough numbers that any additional pregnancies don’t end up outweighing the cost of providing the contraceptives to people who would otherwise self pay.

    Another factor I haven’t seen discussed is the huge rise in STDs since the introduction of the pill. It would seem to me that from a public health and cost effectiveness standpoint (from the insurers’ perspective) the facts favor use of condoms over hormonal forms of birth control.

  49. Daisy Girl, thanks for that information.
    Could be she is doing a rope a dope on Rush and he deserves it. Sometimes the lambs eat the lions.

  50. “I think BC should be OTC.”

    JDave, may I ask on what experience or knowledge you base that? I ask because there are some very real reasons that hormonal birth control is not OTC.

  51. While thinking of a response I think I found the difference here. First a few qualifiers:

    1) Bill Maher is a douche. Olbermann is also douchy. Both are paid to try and be left wig versions of the yakking heads from the right. Neither has anywhere near the audience of Limbaugh or Hannity or O’Reilly, simply because there is less of a market for their BS. Its there though.

    2) The left certainly does have its share of pundits making their daily bread throwing bombs, I am aware of this, and don’t excuse some of the crap that gets pulled. Maher and Olbermann don’t like conservative figures like Palin and Bachmann, so they say some awful things about them. But at least they know something about them and can allude to some reason for those slurs, even its just good old fashioned political enmity.

    But here is what struck me about Rush’s screed on Fluke. This could not have been a personal attack on her. He doesn’t know her well enough, and he certainly wasn’t paying attention to the details of her testimony. He doesn’t think this of her. This is what he thinks of women in general. Give him a few scant details and his brain automatically kicks into gear to fill in the details according to his worldview. And invariably those details are the most derisive and base possible motives for their actions and words.

    He does it all the time. He hears that there are US troops fighting the “Lords Resistance Army” in Uganda and the next thing out of his mouth is that Obama is sending US troops to kill christians for no particular reason. Any remotely reasonably individual would have stopped short of an absurd accusation like that without solid evidence, but not him. There is no filter whatsoever between this man’s addled brain and his mouth.

    And the real reason that I’m worried by him is that he is the biggest thing on radio. Tens of millions of people listen to him and buy his books. There are a LOT of people out there who apparently don’t have a problem with his thinking and apparently share his views.

  52. CStanley-But if people tended to fix broken bones by using a treatment that may or may not be as effective but paid for it themselves it is still a healthcare expense. A health care expense that it is in the interests of the insurance company to ensure that the consumer is using a product that actually heals that bone enough to not need later and costly treatment.

    Meaning some birth control is more effective than others and some is only for people that have problems with the side effects of the most commonly used. It is in an insurance companies best interests to get to choose what is used if it is paying for it and it is the best method to mitigate the chances what it desires to avoid, ie higher costs of birth.

    Condoms are not as effective as BC in controlling impregnation though it is true it is the most effective method to avoid std’s with the obvious exception of being a gamer geek which can also be defined as abstinence. I would note though that condoms are not as effective at preventing pregnancy. I would also note that it would be highly difficult to link the rise in std’s to the pill, in many ways this is a case of correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

    That time period also coincides with the sexual revolution in general. I also think it would be interesting to investigate the std rate during a few key time periods like WWII to see if rates were not similar due to decentralizing the core normal std groups. Meaning in normal American society since the late 1800′s especially in the west some men stayed faithful to wives and others joined single men frequenting prostitutes. Those groups and the women they were at the time or later married to. That concentrated the std’s but since the sexual revolution with its different sexual habits and during times of war and a low supply of females prostitution becomes socialized for many and std’s proliferate but. One need only look at the stunning amount of great minds of history that died of syphilis alone. I would agree that it is high for peacetime meaning it has become the norm to not wait until marriage to lose ones virginity. We also have more access to an entire globes worth of std’s which is rather new(meaning few hundred years).

    One could argue that BC made humanity more conscious of preventative measures as opposed to urban legends which results in more frequent use of other preventative measures like condoms for things like std’s. That has been my personal experience in the dating world anyway it is rare anymore to hear of people that do not see tests prior to moving out of the condom stage.

    I do think we will see the day though when insurance companies charge you more if you are not on BC on an individual basis unless the companies fall in on themselves before that. Of course it would be marketed as a “savings” for customers that stay on their preferred BC. The needs of the state and the needs of capitalism sometimes diverge, if so it would be offset with a tax credit or something. I will say I am not against co-pays but I am convinced it is a health related preventative measure and many other types of insurance already cover such things if it has a long term benefit for them. In my view they should be more proactive and give people discounts for not smoking and being in good shape and the like on an individual basis. That does not sound pleasant to me as a smoker that hates the outdoors but I do understand their interests on the topic and how they could spin it to do so.

  53. Roro: you beat me to it. There are a lot of reasons that hormonal BC should be taken only under a doctor’s consultation. Perhaps JDave is unaware of the risks involved for certain women.

    MSF:
    One problem is that defining pregnancy as a health risk is neither actuarially nor demographically accurate. Actuarially, it’s true that one pregnancy costs more than the pills needed during the same time frame, but it’s also true that delaying or avoiding pregnancy entirely raises the risk of breast cancer. Individually of course it often makes sense for women to delay or avoid pregnancies at different times of their lives, but as a whole, pregnancy isn’t necessarily a net cost for insurers.I’m sure there is some optimum pregnancy rate among the population of insured individuals but I have no idea what that rate is, or what level of contraceptive efficacy it would require to reach it.

    And for society, the demographic implications of our pregnancy avoidance are bringing us closer to fiscal disaster.

    Again, I understand the arguments for individuals, and I’m not suggesting that we should return to the days of bearing 12 kids. Just that the pendulum has swung in the other direction IMO and even if you don’t agree it’s certainly wrong to look at pregnancy as a disease or even necessarily as a condition with net cost as compared to the alternative of promoting as many nonpregnant women as possible.

  54. Slamfu, you comment gets to one of the differences; I think the reason there is no real equivalent to a Rush on the left is because liberals and moderates on the whole just aren’t as comfortable with that sort of daily bombastic haranguing and demonizing. I know there are many conservatives who aren’t either, but the massive fan fodder for a Rush Limbaugh type just isn’t there for the left. Some have tried but the audiences end up being a fraction of the size.

  55. For those who are questioning the $3,000 figure– she says that is for the period of time that she is in law school — NOT per year.

    That part of DC is also very expensive

  56. CStanley-It is a preventible condition that is costly to the insurance industry, for them it is a disease for others it is a “gift” and for the fiscally minded it is a financial risk. To say that raised breast cancer risk offsets the costs of birth is just in no way true, after birth the insurance company gets 18 years more of taking care of another human being with questionable health at best it cuts down some of the cost benefit a bit but not every woman that fails to breed gets breast cancer and not every woman that gets breast cancer has failed to have children. It merely raises your risk where as birth has a very high percentage of resulting in high medical costs.

    We also have plenty of people in the US because we continually import more. The problem comes when we refuse to legalize that importation of labor to offset our lack of desire to go into debt to breed. I am sure for many not breeding is not tied to a financial decision but it is for me. Regardless of how you look at it though that is not the insurance companies problem that is the states problem and if the state wants a different result they will need to in some way pick up the tab. Otherwise they are expecting something for nothing in an environment of diminishing access to resources and that will only result in their favor for so long. Much like in Europe bribes will eventually be needed and that is only if we refuse to admit that it makes more sense to import.

    I agree that we should not go back to the 12 kids per house habit if for no other reason than a vagina is not a clown car and we already have plenty of humans. We as a planet are over populated. We as a nation need more people it is in the worlds best interests to import them as opposed to manufacture them and it is also greatly cheaper. Basic cost/benefit analysis and decision making. I know this sounds cold but in a world with shrinking wages for decades for the class I am in I have zero belief that the trend will reverse and without that happening I do not see how it is in anyone financial best interests to have a child unless they are making near six figures…which of course is a small and oddly often nonbreeding group of the population. Actually I would say it is outright fiscal insanity and irrational.

    This is where the free market and the needs of the state and of its populace differ. I would note though in a world that is overpopulated maybe it is a good thing to promote nonpregnant women because they make room for those that do not follow along. Without their nonbreeding prices would go up more because resources would be stretched ever further and they are finite not infinite.

  57. Yes, that does sound cold, and immensely sad.

  58. Well I cant say it is not sad…it truly is. Of all the people I grew up with only those that had children in high school or directly afterward had more than one and of course they were and remain the least financially capable of supporting it.

    Those that waited mostly have a single child with no plans for another though I would guess those that have chosen to not breed at all are somewhere between 10-20% which I find a rather stunning amount compared to older groups I know. Of course my statistical sample is largely tied to my facebook list since I left home right after school and didnt return so I would take what I said with a block of salt.

    In short those that are making wise financial decisions and planning their lives rationally are not breeding in large amounts precisely because they make wise financial decisions and plan their lives rationally. Which I suppose is good since someone needs to pay for the welfare of those breeding beyond their financial capacity.

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