Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rush Apologized Over Nothing

I'm not a big fan of Rush Limbaugh. I don't dislike him or anything - I'm just on the apathetic side.

But he shouldn't have apologized over the contraception question. He should have doubled down and said, "She's blowing 1000 a year on contraception in her own words. She wants the government to pay for it. I'd like to know just how many condoms she's running through each year on top of her pill - and since she's demanding the government get involved to pay for it, it's not so clear that her sex life is sacred and private."

His misstep was going for the name-calling. But damn, what an opportunity missed. She's spending 1000/annual on contraception? Ask. Her. Why.

15 comments:

The Deuce said...

His misstep was going for the name-calling.

I don't think so. It was just accurate labeling. I mean, how many words and phrases for what she is don't have negative connotation?

Crude said...

I don't mean that it was a misstep in the sense of Rush being wrong. I mean that it was a communication move - throw out that language and a lot of people are going to get worked up and oppose the reasoning being offered, period. It's an unfortunate case of "what he's saying is accurate, but if he wants to convince anyone, he'll find another way to say it" - at least in my view.

I think he could have said what he said without using the word. She blows 1k/annual on contraception? She thinks the government should get involved to force this coverage? Then superficially we have a right to know what she's doing. Let's hear the annual condom tally. Let's hear what she's doing. Lacking that, let's - with serious expressions on our faces - hypothesize about what acts she's engaging in that would possibly run up this bill.

Ilíon said...

He also should have pointed out that there is no such activity as "have the government pay for it" ... there is only "by credible threat of violence-unto-death, extract the money to pay for my freebie from my fellow citizens"

The Phantom Blogger said...

I don't think his labeling was in fact accurate or at least we don't know if it was accurate. He called her a slut which basically is a derogatory way of saying she has lots of different sexual partners, but as far as we know she could be using the contraception with just one partner, whom she is in a relationship with. So the insult itself seems off base, and the same is true of him calling her a prostitute.

None of this makes any difference in relation to whither the government should be paying for her contraception.

There is so many different intelligent ways he could have taken her premise and points apart, but instead of that he insulted her and may even have made people feel unwarranted sympathy towards her.

Crude said...

There is so many different intelligent ways he could have taken her premise and points apart, but instead of that he insulted her and may even have made people feel unwarranted sympathy towards her.

Agreed.

None of this makes any difference in relation to whither the government should be paying for her contraception.

Actually, I think it does. And I think the moment she decided to say 'the government should get involved with paying for / making others pay for my contraception', it became entirely valid to say, "This is a considerable amount of contraception. How many partners does she have? How often does she use this? Are these numbers legitimate?" under the pretense that she initiated the conversation and made the demand.

But yeah, the big lesson here is to approach these topics with care. Even if Rush had reason to think she was sleeping with lots of men, calling her a slut outright would still have been a bad move - people, and frankly women in particular, stop thinking rationally once those names and labels come out.

The Phantom Blogger said...

"Actually, I think it does. And I think the moment she decided to say 'the government should get involved with paying for / making others pay for my contraception', it became entirely valid to say, "This is a considerable amount of contraception. How many partners does she have? How often does she use this? Are these numbers legitimate?" under the pretense that she initiated the conversation and made the demand."

The problem with this is it makes it seem as if the problem is purely related to her calculations, that if she adjusted her numbers then this would be a legitimate area for government to be involved in. It doesn't really get to the heart of the issue. Which is really about the scope of government.

"and since she's demanding the government get involved to pay for it, it's not so clear that her sex life is sacred and private."

This would be a good way to come at it. Get her to explain why government should "stay out of the citizens bedrooms" but at the same time subsidize there bedroom activities. It would be good to here her answer to this.

Crude said...

The problem with this is it makes it seem as if the problem is purely related to her calculations, that if she adjusted her numbers then this would be a legitimate area for government to be involved in. It doesn't really get to the heart of the issue. Which is really about the scope of government.

That's a good point - I wouldn't want the issue to be framed as 'the problem here is you're using too much contraception - use less and you're okay.'

The "Scope of government", however, is something I do think this touches on. Think of it this way - the Catholic Church is now starting to realize one of the dangers of agitating for an expansive, intrusive government. Well, Fluke should get similar treatment. More below.

This would be a good way to come at it. Get her to explain why government should "stay out of the citizens bedrooms" but at the same time subsidize there bedroom activities. It would be good to here her answer to this.

I think so. Actually, no, I don't think her answer matters anymore - she wanted to be a figurehead and martyr, and now she is. So her actual, personal opinion means little at this point, compared to what she said.

Just as the Catholic Church has learned "if you want government involved in all these areas, they may well end up forcing you to support things you disapprove of", Fluke and company should learn the lesson. Let's argue that if someone is on the public contraception dole, they may well have to justify and enumerate their partners. Oh, and they may also have to have their tax dollars go to fund abstinence-only education in schools as part of a health initiative. Let's make it clear just what the stakes are, what can happen, in the course of building their government utopia.

The Phantom Blogger said...

Yeah when I said "It would be good to hear her answer to this." what I mean't was it would be good seeing her squirm trying to answer this and then realize she is incapable of doing so.

The Deuce said...

...women in particular, stop thinking rationally once those names and labels come out.

Well, sluts do anyhow :-)

Also, unfortunately, I think that any political cause that's premised on getting women to think rationally most of the time is doomed from the get-go. I suspect they'd react just as negatively to Fluke being questioned in any detail as well. That demanding that the public subsidize your sex life gives the public the right to scrutinize what they're being asked to subsidize is the logically principled position, of course, but good luck getting liberal chicks especially to accept that they don't still "deserve" free stuff from everyone else with no accountability because the patriarchy doesn't want them to be "equal."

But, nevertheless, I've come around to the view that Rush stepped in it linguistically. It's a tough balancing act, but he took the route least likely to win anyone over.

The Deuce said...

Btw, while it's nice to talk about cross-examining her, the way these parades of losers that Democrats trot before Congress work, you'll never get the chance. These things operate like a hit-and-run.

They always bring crybabies with implausible sob stories to testify in front of the cameras without warning, and then get them out of there before anyone has a chance to formulate pointed questions for them. If some commentator insults one of the whiners, the Dems will make a big deal of that to get sympathy points, and will allow the whiner to go on TV to discuss how horrible and uncaring the commentator is, but under no circumstances will they ever bring the whiner back for further testimony, or allow the whiner to make any press appearances where they might be questioned on the substance of their testimony.

In other words, I guarantee that Ms Fluke is never going to make another appearance where she could be questioned, and she wouldn't have even if Rush hadn't insulted her. In order to ask her the questions you guys have come up with, a Congressman would have had to have thought of them within the 6 minutes or so of her speech, while she was giving it, before she slithered away.

Crude said...

That demanding that the public subsidize your sex life gives the public the right to scrutinize what they're being asked to subsidize is the logically principled position, of course, but good luck getting liberal chicks especially to accept that they don't still "deserve" free stuff from everyone else with no accountability because the patriarchy doesn't want them to be "equal."

Well, I think women usually have their own special brand of irrationality, but men certainly have their own rationality issues. (Cue someone saying that men have been feminized, ha ha.)

I think the key here is to remember 'the goal is not to get these people to agree with you, it's to tell them your view and let them fight it out in their own heads'. There's a strand of logic and rationality to "If the government pays, or if the government coerces someone to pay, your sex life is now the government's business". There's a history to it as well (eugenics policies, etc.)


I absolutely am not saying 'Confront this girl, and in the course of the conversation...' because to me the idea that you have a conversation with a patsy like this is absurd. Do what the liberals do - deliver an angry one-sided monologue to an empty chair. Fill in their responses for them. Communicate, and be aware that you're being listened to.

But, nevertheless, I've come around to the view that Rush stepped in it linguistically. It's a tough balancing act, but he took the route least likely to win anyone over.

Pretty much. It's not that I think it's a big deal, it's just about getting people to listen and understand.

They always bring crybabies with implausible sob stories to testify in front of the cameras without warning, and then get them out of there before anyone has a chance to formulate pointed questions for them.

Indeed. And, this shouldn't be ignored: they're also going to throw barbs into everything they can. From sitcoms to late night shows to video games to movies. That's the conservative blind spot. We need a greater presence in these things, we need to pay attention to the culture.

Regardless, Rush at least delivered a lesson here, even unintentionally.

BenYachov said...

Bill Maher is defending Rush.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/03/06/Bill%20Maher%20Defends%20Rush%20Limbaugh

Now I've seen everything.

Maher has contributed a cool million to King Obummer's Superpac. He has also called Sarah Palin the "C-word".

Well I guess he has to at least try to look consistent.

Ilíon said...

No, we DO know -- by her own testimony -- that she's a slut.

What we don't know is whether she's also a whore.

And, by the by, a whore at least has the self-respect to demand payment for putting out. Sluts don't even value themselves that much.

Ilíon said...

If you are not willing to "offend" "liberals" -- including deliberately doing so -- then you are not serious about defeating leftism and freeing mankind from its lethal grasp.

If you are not willing to "offend" "liberals", then damn you to Hell, for you're just one of them who hasn't the honesty to admit it.

Ilíon said...

"Well, sluts do anyhow :-)"

Exactly. The *only* women who are offended and become irrational (*) at the use of the term 'slut' are those who *are* sluts, whether in physical/behavioral fact or mentally/spiritually. MOREOVER, they only get offended when it is clear that 'slut' isn't being used as a term of praise: as witness last year's "SlutWalks".



(*) and if it were otherwise, what rational man cares, anyway?