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Monday, March 05, 2012

Limbaugh's 'Slut' Comments Bring Out the Most Self-Destructive Tendencies of the GOP Base

Airline crash test
Right now, the GOP is in a bit of a tailspin. The base seems to be at the stick and they're determined to point the nose straight at the ground. They'll show that stupid planet -- they'll crash this thing right into it and then we'll see who's boss!

A quick spin through the rightwing blogosphere shows a widespread political tone-deafness beyond any I think I've ever seen before. Rush Limbaugh's "slut" comments and subsequent non-apology have thrown them into a complete frenzy of boneheadedness and mindless rage. It's really something to see. They're riding this political loser all the way to the pavement.

I don't want to get too psychoanalytical -- mostly because I'm not qualified -- but you really have to wonder if the recent death of Andrew Breitbart figures into all this. Breitbart was popular on the right, they have no one to blame for his death, and all that emotion has to go somewhere. So it's pointed at innocent bystanders; Sandra Fluke and the people who agree with her. Breitbart's dead, Limbaugh's "under attack"... It's not hard to see the fear and rage that's always there finally boiling over as a result. If you read the comment threads to some of the wingnut blog entries, you'd think it was 9/11 all over again.

↓ CONTINUED AFTER THE JUMP ↓


Of course, an out-of-control base has been the GOP's problem for a while now. Polling shows that a drawn-out primary season hurting the party. And it's hurting the party because of all the pandering to the base. The debate has been driven far, far to the right of the average voter, making the candidates' stated "Republican values" almost alien to most people. And then this past week. Wow, this past week.

Republicans had already stumbled twice with women voters -- first by backing the Komen Foundation over Planned Parenthood, then by opposing the contraceptive coverage rule. Combine this with the backwards-looking -- but high-profile -- puritanism of Rick Santorum and you've got a party that's really starting to look very anti-woman.

And then Limbaugh doubles down and makes it not only explicitly anti-woman, but anti-contraception. Conservative blogs wondered aloud if contraception was such a good idea and took Limbaugh's position that women who enjoy sex while avoiding pregnancy are automatically sluts. It was the reactionary tendency of the right gone haywire; liberals have sex and use contraception (just like everyone else), so liberals were wrong. Lost was "religious liberty" argument, which was hardly any better. The banner of "contraception=sluts!" was proudly being carried forward -- and still is.

Village Voice:

"Rush Calls Some Slut a Slut and Everyone Gets Sand in Their Collective V@g!n@," said The Alternative Conservative, who apparently found "vagina" offensive but "slut" OK.

"Please don't call Sandra Fluke a slut," said Ace of Spades. "Respect her for what she is, a shiftless rent-a-cooch from East Whoreville."

"Let's face it, I'm sure most people, including Liberals/progressives, thought 'my goodness, how much sex does she have a day? Does she ever study?'" fantasized William Teach.

Things were a little different at the classier rightblogs. At National Review, for example, Daniel Foster called Limbaugh's comments "ungentlemanly' before explaining why Limbaugh was perfectly within his rights to call the slut a slut. Class will tell!

These are the people at least one GOP candidate will have to pander to -- Mitt Romney. Ron Paul will never get the nomination and when Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum speak these people's language, they aren't actually pandering. They're right at home.

Which means these awful, repellent, vile individuals are piloting this thing -- as I said -- straight to the dirt. And they're throwing the parachutes out the window as they go. They're bound and determined to drive this thing not only into the ground, but under it.

Because they've somehow become convinced that a big fireball will prove those damned liberals wrong.

-Wisco


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