An Rapid Rabbit Extra from the Rancid Raves Intergalactic Wurlitzer
Opus 290 (March 9, 2012). The nation’s editorial cartoonists were provided, once again, with ample fodder for some guffaw-ridden cartoons when Rush Limbaugh, the world’s loudest hypocrite, ventured into the birth control controversy just last week on his February 29 EIB (Excess In Blather) network radio show. As usual, when the Rushbeau opens his mouth, all sorts of fetid notions spew forth, each one of them worthy of a sharp poke from an editoonist’s pen (or a dig from the manure-removing shovel). It started with the congressional testimony of Sandra Fluke.
Fluke, a student at Georgetown University Law School, was supposed to be the Democrat witness at a Congressional hearing about Obamacare’s requirement that employees of religion-affiliated institutions have access to health insurance that covers birth control, but the Republicon controlled committee denied her a hearing in favor of listening to the testimony of five old men, who, according to GOP doctrine, know more about birth control than women, who, according to the Grandstanding Obstructionist Pachyderm, should be kept pregnant and in the kitchen.
Fluke eventually spoke at another hearing convened (unofficially, we assume, because the House was taking a break at the time) by a few Democrats. She spoke about the need for birth control for both reproductive and broader medical reasons, mentioning in particular a friend of hers who needed contraception to prevent the growth of cysts. She pointed out that Georgetown, a Jesuit institution, does not provide contraception coverage in its student health plan and that contraception can cost more than $3,000 during the years that a law school education transpires. Assuming, of course, that the law student is having sex with enough regularity to make birth control prudent. She did not allude to her own sex life.
Here’s how Limbaugh reacted to her testimony:
“Can you imagine if you were her parents how proud ... you would be? Your daughter ... testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she wants President Obama to provide them, or the Pope. ... What does it say about the college co-ed Susan 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? It 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. And what does that make us? We’re the pimps,” he concluded.
Well, not exactly: those who pay a prostitute to have sex are usually the johns, not the pimps. But in Rush’s world....
Bill Maher later said that Limbaugh added that he was surprised that Fluke was able to walk because she was having sex so much. Cruder than Rushbeau usually gets, but not surprising either. Maher then ridiculed Limbaugh for espousing a notably ignorant idea about how birth control pills work. A woman must take birth control pills as a regular regimen, all the time, according to a schedule, if she wants them to work. She doesn’t take them only when she’s going to have sex.
“You’re thinking of oxycodone,” Maher told Limbaugh in an aside, alluding to Limbaugh’s addiction several years ago to a prescription drug for pain.
Before his addiction became known, Limbaugh had vociferously and frequently condemned illegal drug use on his tv program, staying: "Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. ... And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up.” He managed to avoid being sent up.
But Limbaugh backed off Fluke a bit before abandoning the subject a little later: “Okay, so she’s not a slut,” he said. “She’s round-heeled.” (Women with round heels fall over backwards easily; thus, a round-heeled woman is highly promiscuous.)
Limbaugh finished by suggesting that Fluke have herself videotaped during sex and then distribute the tapes, saying: “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
Well. With that, we get to the heart of the Limbaugh position on matters of sex. He wants to watch. For him, sex is a spectator sport. That may explain why, with four wives to his credit, he still has no children. He’s watchin’ not doin’.
But you can see the logic he’s deployed in his fulmination.
He began by taking the position that she was just promoting casual sex, which she was having enough of to cost her $3,000 in birth control pills over the years of her law school education. In order that she can have as much sex as possible without fear of conceiving a child, Fluke (as Limbaugh projected) wants her institution to provide her contraception coverage as part of its free health plan, funded, presumably, by taxpayer dollars. In effect, then, not only is a Catholic institution being required to promote something its religious beliefs condemn—contraception—but Fluke’s sex life is being subsidized by government funding. All of which leads Rushbeau to a leap by which he can assert that Fluke is being paid to have sex, and we, taxpayers all, are her pimps.
Using the same kind of hop-scotching leap-frogging reasoning that distinguishes Limbaugh logic, we conclude that he is a colossal hypocrite. He’s been married four times and has no children. Why? Clearly, he’s been using contraceptive devices of some sort the whole time. So he may pretend he’s against contraception, but he clearly doesn’t practice what he preaches. Classic hypocrisy.
Fluke’s university, by the way—administration and faculty—supported her. The Jesuits may not endorse her attitudes about contraception, but they supported her right to have her own opinions.
This incident isn’t the first time Limbaugh’s ever-running mouth has got him in trouble. He once claimed that the sports news media gave undeserved credit to an African American quarterback, Donovan McNabb, because the NFL wanted a black quarterback to do well. He accused Michael J. Fox of hamming it up about the affects of his Parkinson’s Disease. He played a song written especially for his show, “Barack the Magic Negro,” set to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon.” He mocked the visiting Chinese president with a phoney Chinese accent—“chin chong, chin chong cha.” He once described his hope for Obama’s presidency in four words: “I hope he fails.”
But this time, the Rushbeau managed to offend the entire female population of the nation. Interestingly, in his tirade against Fluke, he neglected to mention the probable benefits that accrue to the male college population who, thanks to their female partners’ use of birth control pills, can have sex willy nilly with no concern about possible unintended fatherhood. The male promiscuity Limbaugh excuses by not mentioning.
We may hear more from dittoheads and their gape-mouthed leader, but for the moment, there’s been enough to prompt some wonderfully vitriolic editorial cartoons. Here are a few of the most comically venomous.
Going clockwise from the upper left, we start with Carlson’s persuasive metaphor for “the Limbaugh,” a smoking orificial canon. Then we have David Fitzsimmons’ wonderfully satisfying portrait of Limbaugh as the south end of the Grandstanding Obstructionist Pachyderm going north. In this conception of the radio bloviator, he’s not the head of the Republicon Party—he’s the other end, and his remarks are gaseous emissions disguised as cigar smoke. Notice the doctor on the right, who is prescribing painkillers to the GOP for its “irritable Limbowel syndrome.” Limbowel, what a hoot! Fitz is piling on the allusions and the puns, and it’s a joy to behold them.
Tom Toles dramatizes the essential hypocrisy of the Limbaugh position on any topic with an entirely sober, but cunningly accurate, portrait of the Fat Man. But it’s John Darkow who provides the second-best (after Fitz’s) transformation of the Limbaugh maw into something revealing and/or useful—in this case, a suitable metaphor for the Limbaugh monument in “the Hall of Famous Missourians” (Limbaugh grew up in Cape Girardeau). It’s there so we can all piss on him.
And then, we have the super colossal image that is so marvelous that it provoked me to post this effusion as a Bunny Bonus instead of waiting for a regular opus-posting—Taylor Jones’ portrait of radio’s fattest champion of fatuity, whose ever-present cigar (that pervasive phallic symbol of the Rushbeau) seems a stand-in (so to speak) for his otherwise teeny weenie wiener, a picture as hilariously obscene as Limbaugh himself. Too over-the-top, maybe, but a stunning example of how crazily vicious a cartoonist can be.
PostScript. Limbaugh was compelled to apologize after tempers flared across the nation — and advertisers began leaving him in droves. Said he: “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”
Well, we’re just being humorous, too, Rush—and truthful, thanks to Taylor Jones.
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