Rush Limbaugh’s vile and perverse attack on Sandra Fluke says much more about the current Republican Party than it does about Limbaugh. Revolting, yes, but it’s no real shock that Limbaugh would quite happily pervert a serious, women’s health issue into a sex-for-money argument.
What is shocking is the abject lack of courage to act on principle by Republican leaders and conservative spokespeople in their unwillingness to condemn Limbaugh at the outset.
On CNN, Ari Fleischer played the false equivalency card, citing a harsh critique of the Catholic Church on the Huffington Post as deserving of an apology. Mary Matalin, instead of defending another woman’s right to speak publicly without vilification, hailed Limbaugh as a great spokesman for the party and downplayed his vitriol as just satire.
Neither Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney nor Rick Santorum, could muster an outright condemnation of Limbaugh’s epithets either.
It seems the party that likes to tout family values, decency and morality lacks the courage of their proclaimed principles. They may well fear stirring the wrath of Rush, but so long as he carries the banner of chief spokesman for the Republican Party, the party would better fear the unified wrath of women across the political spectrum.
But kudos do go to George Will for calling out the party for its cowardice, and to Ron Paul who noted that Limbaugh’s lukewarm apology was less likely based on honest remorse than on his loss of sponsors. Perversion-for-money, anyone?