The last few weeks, the insanity of what has come out of the mouths of conservatives has had my head in a figurative salad spinner, unable to focus on one thing because there was so much anger and lying around and around and around… Stop the boat!
In that time there has been one thing that has pinged my spine every time I hear it and one of its variations: Democrats are exercising a malicious form of manufactured outrage. There is no real war on women or real anger at pundits; it is a means to an end – an end so evil and malicious, no wonder us Democrats are hiding it under a cloak of political victimization.
This is not one person. This is not one instance. This is the resounding, spreading, and quickly-growing mantra of the conservative messaging, and it goes a little something like this:
The following information has been obtained primarily from the painful, personal listening to of three sources: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and our local Cincinnati nutter, Brian Thomas.
If you need a quick refresher, Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown Law student, after being denied admittance to testify during Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) sausage party birth control panel, did give testimony at a meeting of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Then Rush Limbaugh did this:
[look like Rush made them take the video down ;-p]
Based on the immediate outcry (and Limbaugh’s relentless attacks), Rush’s radio show lost 140+ advertisers to the point where his breaks were elevator muzak and public service announcements. Rush unsurprisingly offered a non-apology apology.
Response Wave 1: Birth Control is NOT Medicine
The right did NOT know what to do, couldn’t back Rush yet, and certainly couldn’t attack Fluke, so they lied about birth control and rubbed its nose in Viagra.
The standard talking point that emerged about a week after Rush’s slutting was:
Viagra is a medicine that fixes a genuine, documented, medical issue: the inability to have an erection. Without that medicine, you cannot have one. Birth control does not fix anything; instead, it prevents a natural biological process. Birth control is NOT medicine.
[Insert assorted placations that sometimes, very rarely, women may need birth control for actual medical issues. Answer with:]
Anyway, all birth control can be purchased at Walmart for $7/9/mo.
[And reverse-confuse the issue with:]
And condoms are way cheaper, if you’re looking for birth control anyway!
Condoms confuse the issue and most female, pharmaceutical birth control methods DO NOT cost just a few bucks a month.
AND the right is NOT attempting to accommodate women in any sense. They are forcing morality based on the archaic, Catholic doctrine (created by men, not by the Bible) that birth control in any form is a sin.
If you’re going to go ahead and make morality the issue here, if you’re going to outlaw birth control because it can be used in a way that goes against Church teachings, then why not make it a solid stance? Don’t cover Viagra, Cialis, et. al.
How many men use ED meds because they need an erection to procreate? Why not limit ED meds to the proof that men are married, seeking a child, within child-bearing age for both the man and woman, able to have children, and corroborated by signature that the wife is also looking for a child?
If you’re legislating morality, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
But I’m sure that’s just silly.
Response Wave 2: The Democrats are Making it Up – and…Conspiracy!
With the primary arguments not sticking and the real issues of the War on Women (awesome Cindy!) coming to acceptance, conservatives had no other choice: blame it on the Dems.
The paraphrase from my sources looks like this:
This is Democratic manufactured outrage. None of them are actually angry about what is being said, but it is 100% about who said it. No one is actually upset about what Rush said, they just want to enact an assault against talk radio; they couldn’t hack it with Air America, so now they hate any outlet that counters their beliefs.
Yeah? No one is truly upset about Rush continually, verbally accosting an innocent woman and calling her a slut, a prostitute? We (both women and men) are making all this frustration up?
Excuse the expletive, but where the fuck are your wives? Where are your daughters? Where is your God-imbued sense of empathy?
Do you really hate – hate – our president to where your every sense of reason has given way to right-wing talking points? You find no semblance of sense?
Specifically citing Hannity, in one breath, the right wing says “Can’t we just address [what Rush said] and move along?” and in the next: “Here’s what bad things liberals have said for the last four years.”
It Gets a Little Worse
When I heard the following, I literally had to stay in my car and practice breathing exercises before going into my client’s place of business:
Mark Stevens, an EIB sponsor, said:
I just want… The reason why I want … What I’d like to say is that what is not known about this is this is not a boycott. That is a polite term for organized terrorist activity that is descending on people, on businesses that are advertising on Rush, and it’s part of the larger war on business in America today.
So, according to conservative talking points, us Democrats are fabricating our outrage (because we don’t really care about women being called whores) and are really focused on the destruction of American business, capitalism, and all things Free.
Meanwhile, real people with hearts and souls reject that idea. Old men and ignorant women are passing legislation across the country to turn us back to 1952. They are legislating morality – not yours, but theirs.
The only pleasure I take in this is that these arguments are now and will continue to tear apart the Republican Party in the eyes of America. And that will make the 2012 election a little easier for calmer minds and another term for Obama.
But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t all so very, very wrong.