Fluke isn’t

In a mere two days time Sandra Fluke has become a household name. She is the woman who testified in front of Democrats regarding the cost of birth control. Her comments were construed by everyone from local squawker Vicki McKenna to the mighty Rush Limbaugh. Rush declared:

I said, “Well, what would you call someone who wants us to pay for her to have sex? What would you call that woman? You’d call ‘em a slut, a prostitute or whatever.”

I can’t find McKenna’s words, but according to a girlfriend there was something about calculating that Fluke was having sex 3.9 times a day.

Did anyone bother to read the testimony? The number was $3,000 during the time at law school. The person was a friend. And the drug was used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome.

The drug, I would presume, was the prescription YAZ, now available for a whopping $10 less per month as Gianvi. Think on average $70 a script. Times 12 months. Times three years for law school. I get $2,520. So Fluke may have rounded up.

But here’s the really important point to take away from this experience Republicans: Fluke walked in as a pawn and captured the flag.

You see, there wasn’t even a real reason for a young law student named Sandra Fluke to provide testimony. She testified not in front of a congressional hearing, she was excluded from that, but rather:

She testified instead at a mock hearing organized by Democratic lawmakers…

She “testified” at a mock (fake) hearing organized by Democrats.

Wanna know why? For that answer I have to credit my darling daughter, who all the way from Argentina schooled me on the issue via an article in Rolling Stone magazine she posted to her Facebook page.

They are people like Ayla Schlosser, a 24-year-old native of liberal Mendocino, California,

“I don’t live in a vacuum,” she explains. “I definitely know that politics — partisan politics, at that — deeply affects the issues I work on.” That’s to say, while any given Democratic politician may or may not support her work going door to door raising awareness about environmental justice in their neighborhoods, just about any Republican would label her an anti-American Alinskyite enemy of all that is good and true. “I just don’t feel like I’m doing it from any partisan standpoint.”

Compare these faces from the Rolling Stone article:

to this face from that fake testimony:

Just who does the Democratic party need back under the umbrella?

Exactly. And Republicans walked right into the shitstorm thrown into the path. God bless Rush Limbaugh, but he’s an idiot. While he’s off prostituting himself (folks, he says ridiculous things in exchange for money, what would you call it?), he’s damning the nation to four more years of Obama.

Two days later people on the right are catching on. There’s been a serious withdrawal of the subject from the primary newsmakers on Twitter the last couple of hours. Even Michelle Malkin is attempting to argue it was a hoax to raise money on the Democratic side. About the only intelligent discussion I’ve seen on this matter is from Peter Schweizer of the Daily Beast, who argues the issue is big pharma, not contraception. (Ding, ding, ding! That’s certainly the way I see it.)

You see, knee jerk reactions from Republicans made this a successful “War on Women” campaign instead of what it should be: a war on inflated health care costs. That drug, while helpful in treating symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (yep, personal experience there) costs boatloads more in the United States than in does in say, Latin America. But also from personal experience, it may not always be the better treatment.

Weigh in on this one if you want, but do read the testimony first. Understand it was never about whether or not the cost of birth control is a right. This was a story of one woman’s struggle as conveyed by a friend. It was anecdotal. And even by the numbers presented in that speech, the issue affected very few women defined as those who have polycystic ovarian syndrome who also attend law school who attend a Catholic university who don’t otherwise have prescription coverage.

That’s where the argument should have been, that one can’t take an anecdote and statistically use it as evidence of need.

Unless, of course, Rush Limbaugh decides to help you out a bit.

Republicans, the rhetoric is doing more harm than good. Please. Think before you repeat.

Comments

  1. It’s the Democrats who have been exposed s frauds and look ridiculous on this.

  2. Explain, please.

  3. The problem is that the GOP has no moral compass. Sorry, religious fanaticism doesn’t count. The Santorums and Limbaughs of the world feel like engaging in social engineering, and in that respect they are at one with Barack Obama.

    In this kind of environment, they don’t stand a chance. And frankly, it doesn’t matter. Right wing social engineering isn’t any better than left-wing social engineering. Lacking a consistent moral philosophy, the GOP is bound to turn an issue of conscience and constitutional freedom into an issue about “women’s health.”

    The real issue isn’t that the church is being forced to pay for someone’s birth control. The real issue is that ANYONE’s birth control has become a “public good” (just like a highway or police force) for which our tax dollars are to be used either directly or indirectly.

    The Catholic Church, having fought for decades for socialized medicine, has no moral standing whatsoever to complain about being forced by the government to fund contraception. They asked for government control. What do they expect? Similarly, if a future President Santorum or Gingrich effectively kills abortion by withholding funding, today’s “liberals” have no moral standing to oppose it. Again, they wanted government in charge of health care, so they need to deal with the consequences.

    The real issue, which no one in the public eye is adequately raising, is that “rights” such as the “right” to healthcare or the “right” to contraception are fundamentally incompatible with true rights.

  4. jimspice says:

    Rush is not an exception to rule, he’s the definition of it. Go to any comments section for a story covering this and you’ll find dozens of well-she-is-a-whore comments. TM above had an opportunity to call and and he checked. And you Cindy, by denouncing this sad behavior, have just dropped another noodle in your RINO noodle soup in the eyes of your (R) brethren.

  5. Yes, well. Fortunately I’m not running for anything this week, so the label shouldn’t be a problem.

    Maybe someone will simply used the term Fairly Conservative to describe me. :)

  6. the political parties have been silent on the ever present issues of senior citizen needs and crime prevention. where are those guys ?

  7. As I said, Fluke isn’t.

    (And OMG! I don’t know that Shoebox has ever commented on my blog…)

  8. jimspice says:

    I don’t get it. What does that change?

  9. Ok, I think it was an affirmation, not a point to change opinion. But who knows? I don’t read minds. Especially boy minds. :)

  10. Hey quick question that I should probably know the answer to. Is insurance coverage different for Oral Contraceptice Pills (OCPs ) when the doctor prescribes them for something like PCOS vs birth control? It would probably take a call to Humana or UHC to find out, but it would be interesting to know.

  11. That was, I think, the point of this “testimony.” Yes, in my experience it can be different…try to get them filled after you have a tubal ligation on your records. :)

    The point here was that a CATHOLIC institution didn’t care why they were prescribed, they weren’t going to be covered. Of course, my point was it’s a tiny percentage of women with the issue and as such should have never been elevated to two days of national discussion.

  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    Hearing ? Having one admitted activist-past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, LSRJ–testify with no one from the university or insurance company even there.

    Cindy covered the foolhardiness of the whole issue. If you notice the logo at the top of the “transcript” linked, it is LSRJ. I never knew it was permissible to make changes, however small, to a transcript. You can go to to:

    http://vidgrids.com/u/cspan

    to watch and hear for yourself.

    The LSRJ couldn’t resist making small changes to the transcript that should make readers question there objectivity. Their subtle changes/deletions/ attempt to make the issue larger and more of a Georgetown University issue than a LSRJ issue. It’s difficult to point out the changes here but I will try.

    Fluke actually said in a sentence, ” …of this lack of coverage”. Someone inserted “contraceptive” before coverage.

    Fluke actually said, ” 40% of female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggled financially…”.
    The “to us” was deleted.

    Fluke actually said, “Just last week, a married female student told me that she had to stop using contraception because she and her husband just couldn’t fit it into their budget anymore.”
    and her husband” was deleted.

    Fluke actually said, “ Unfortunately, under many religious institutions and insurance plans, it wouldn’t be. There would be no exception for other medical needs. And under Sen. Blunt’s amendment, Sen. Rubio’s bill or Rep. Fortenberry’s bill there’s no requirement that such an exception be made for these medical needs.”

    The LSRJ transcript reads, “Under many religious institutions’ insurance plans,
    it wouldn’t be, and under Senator Blunt’s amendment, Senator Rubio’s bill, or
    Representative Fortenberry’s bill, there’s no requirement that an exception be
    made for such medical needs.”

    Fluke actually said, “in 65% of the cases at our school, our female…”
    The LSRJ transcript reads, “in 65% of cases, our female…”

    While these changes may appear small, and let’s be clear– there should be no changes at all, they are aimed at making subtle changes in Ms. Fluke’s message. This editorializing reduces greatly any credibility the LSRJ and it’s representatives might have had.

    And here’s what I don’t understand. Why was I not invited before the committee to make my pitch that Uncle Sam require (mandate) that my health club dues be covered as that surely makes me healthier and it’s my private body and I know what’s best for it. And because I take blood pressure medicine that could reduce my ability to have sex, it surely should be mandated that my insurance company/employer/college provide me with Viagra as it is my body and only a man knows what’s best for his body. Having sex can be expensive.

  13. Ah hah! I knew the print would differ from the recorded. I meant to do that. Thanks for catching it. It might have been her spoken word differed from the script, though, and not the other way around.

  14. J. Strupp says:

    All Obama has to do is keep the focus of the nation on this crap and he wins. The Dems would be wise to keep social issues out front and center.

  15. Randy in Richmond says:

    This is just an issue de jour. A main entry will be the gasline prices most every voter sees at gas stations everywhere and then donates to weekly. Just this week the President said this,

    “You can either stand up for the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people,” Mr. Obama said. “You can keep subsidizing a fossil fuel that’s been getting taxpayer dollars for a century, or you can place your bets on a clean-energy future.”

    This statement is just funny and ironical in light of what’s happened to several high profile “green” companies. And the elephant in the room Obama doesn’t mention are the taxes on a gallon of gasoline–which average about 50 cents per gallon, far more than the oil company’s profit even before figuring in the company’s income taxes. Since you asked my bet’s on the oil companies, Mr. President.

  16. This whole controversy over birth control is just the beginning. Socialized medicine means that every decision about medical care and coverage in this country will be politicized.

  17. J. Strupp says:

    Did you comment on the wrong blog entry again Randy?

  18. Randy in Richmond says:

    Strupp
    I was pointing out how the ‘crap’ comes and goes but gas is an issue every week. :)

  19. J. Strupp says:

    Nice apology.

    Not that he was wrong. Just that calling Fluke a whore was wrong.

    Way to be a man about it, Rush.

  20. That was my point all along. He was ridiculous to use those words.

  21. And it’s about Rush thinking that, on some level, he was too big too fail, that he had so much power that he could say anything without being called to task for it.

    Elia Kazan covered it nicely with Andy Griffith and Vitajex 55 years ago. Once you start to call women that have prescriptions for contraception paid by insurance this name or that you’re bound to hear about it.

  22. Randy in Richmond says:

    Strupp
    How about a link where Rush uses the term “whore” in reference to Fluke–paraphrasing other descriptions excluded.

    Grumps
    Rush is called to task pretty much every day by some pundit, reporter, celebrity, announcer, blogger, or whatever. I would suggest this is another example of the power of the MSM–not Rush.

    Was this much furor raised when Bill Maher called Sarah Palin “a dumb twat”. Or when on another occassion Maher called Palin a “c**t”. Or when Maher called Michele Bachman a “boob”.

    Then there’s Keith Olbermann calling Ann Coulter an “a$$hole”, or Joy Bahar calling Sharon Angle a “bitch”.

    And Ed Schultz of NBC calling Laura Ingraham a “rightwing slut”.

    Or 62 year old David Letterman, a father who had an affair with a much younger NBC employee, claiming Sarah Palin’s 14 year old daughter was “knocked up” by the NY Yankee’s A-Rod while visiting NYC.

    There’s really no new ground here–only the MSM’s reaction to it.

  23. J. Strupp says:

    Rush doesn’t use the word whore. Using the word whore was a much shorter way of describing what he meant to say which is why I used it.

    So how many more years does Team GOP get to claim “media victim” everytime one of their beloved says something stupid? Maher, Letterman, Olbermann and Schultz have said some pretty dumb things in the past and they’ve been called out for it as well. None of this changes the fact that Rush didn’t know what the heck he was talking about in the first place which is the real problem.

    But, as I’ve touched on before, this morality stuff really turns moderate Americans off. The GOP isn’t doing themselves any favors by keeping these social issues front and center. Are we REALLY talking about contraception right now? Are we really talking about the poor, victimized Catholic Church? My goodness are the Democrats are playing the GOP like fiddles.

  24. Randy in Richmond says:

    Pointing out that Rush’s actions are not new is not playing the victim–it simply attempts to level a very slanted playing field. The “calling out” of those mentioned on the left pales in comparison to what the left and the MSM are doing over Rush’s issue. As I stated before he said nothing that hasn’t been said about conservative women. With everyone talking the GOP down I see things a little differently.

    It’s not planned brilliance on their part but by airing their dirty laundry now the GOP is doing pretty much the same as Obama did 4 years ago in his run against Hillary. We found out about Marilyn Katz, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Father Phleger, Reverend Wright, Tony Rezco, Rashid Khalid, Uncle Frank, Auntie Onyango, giving Hillary the bird, and others I forget. Of course none of this mattered because he could presumably walk on water and he wasn’t Bush. But back to the Republicans–when they get to one candidate and unify–as they will–we’ll see what happens to the polls. You can only make a first impression one time and Obama’s used his.

  25. “Fair” or not, 27 advertisers have now cut ties with Limbaugh. He should know that there’s a double standard.

    That said, it was a stupid thing to say, and it has handed the issue to the Democrats and President Obama. Now they look like the “freedom fighters” when in reality the moral high ground ought to be with those who do not think that “free” birth control is an inalienable right.

  26. Here is who has dropped Limbaugh so far.

    AccuQuote Life Insurance, Allstate Insurance, AOL, Bare Escentuals, Bethesda Sedation Dentistry, Bonobos, Carbonite, Cascades Dental, Citrix, Girl Scouts, Goodwill Industries, Hadeed Carpet, JCPenney, Legal Zoom, Matrix Direct, Philadelphia Orchestra, PolyCom, ProFlowers, Quicken Loans, Sears, Sensa, Service Magic, Sleep Train, Sleep Number, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Tax Resolution, Thompson Creek Windows and Vitacost.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/73675.html#ixzz1oP0T0egY

    If this continues, Limbaugh is toast.

  27. J. Strupp says:

    The Girl Scouts advertised during Rush’s program? Good grief.

  28. Randy in Richmond says:

    Rush will be just fine. Let’s see how many listeners he loses or doesn’t lose in the next few weeks. He’s not going anywhere.