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.