Sometimes the culture war turns into a spitball fight that diminishes everyone.
I have said that Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student who testified before a Congressional panel that she’s being oppressed because the semi-Catholic university won’t subsidize her contracepted sex life, is a whiny privileged bourgeois feminist. Her position on this is ridiculous. Watch her testimony below the jump, if you like.
Rush Limbaugh took up the story on his radio program, and made some decent points about it, e.g.:
But I finally asked myself, why go to a Catholic college? You want to have all the sex you want all day long, no consequences, no responsibility for your behavior, why go to a Catholic college? And therein lies the answer to all of this. Washington Post: “Fluke came to Georgetown University interested in contraceptive coverage.” Now, stop and think of that for a moment. Here you have a female student arriving on campus interested in contraceptive coverage. When you are reviewing schools for your kids to attend, do you look around at contraception coverage? Well, Fluke told the Washington Post that she did. The Washington Post reports that Fluke “researched the Jesuit college’s health plans for students before enrolling, and found that birth control was not included.” And she enrolled anyway. Why? Quote, Fluke, “I decided I was absolutely not willing to compromise the quality of my education in exchange for my health care.”
In other words, Georgetown’s a great law school, I’m gonna go there even if they don’t have contraception. I’m gonna go there and I’m gonna make them give me my contraception. So why did she have to go to Georgetown? Why didn’t she go someplace else instead of trying to get them to change their religion?
This portion was the thing that got him into trouble:
What does it say about the college co-ed Susan (sic) Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? Makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps.
OK, that was trashy language. He shouldn’t have put it like that. His point is not a bad one — that Fluke is saying she and women like her can’t afford to have all the sex they’re having, unless the college pays for it — but he ought to have known that this was a bad way to express it. Look, I have very little use for Rush Limbaugh, who often shows himself to be a perfect boob, but this Fluke person really did go before Congress to complain about how unfair it was that women like her are being oppressed because her elite university won’t subsidize the pill that allows them to have consequence-free sex. Even if one sees nothing at all wrong with premarital sex, this is still a shameful thing, to have the nerve to complain to Congress that your university is doing you dirty by not subsidizing your sex life.
But now the President of the United States has taken time out of his busy schedule to call the pathetic Fluke to say how sorry he is that Rush Limbaugh was mean to her:
“He encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women,” Fluke told Mitchell of the call with Obama. “And what was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud. And that meant a lot because Rush Limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me. So, I just appreciated that very much.”
Note well: the President of the United States thinks Miss Fluke’s mother and father should be proud of her going to Congress to complain that her Catholic university will not underwrite her sex life. This has to be a new low.
I think everybody here looks bad.
UPDATE: Let me put it like this — the fact that Rush Limbaugh is a galloping jackass does not ennoble Sandra Fluke, or make her argument, or her character, any more credible or sympathetic. That Barack Obama stooped to involve himself in this controversy diminishes the presidency.