Two weeks ago, the House Oversight Committee, led by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), held a one-sided hearing on contraception access, featuring an opening panel of five conservative men -- and no one else. Democrats on the committee had invited a witness, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, but Issa refused to allow her to participate.
The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee gave her a platform last week, and though the House GOP tried to limit the reach for Fluke's remarks, the student nevertheless had a chance to tell her story: a classmate of her lost an ovary due to an ailment that could have been treated with birth control.
Rush Limbaugh apparently wasn't impressed.
"What does it say about the college coed Susan [sic] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex."She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps."The johns, that's right. We would be the johns -- no! We're not the johns. Well -- yeah, that's right. Pimp's not the right word."OK, so, she's not a slut. She's round-heeled. I take it back."
Behold, the most influential voice in Republican politics.
I'm curious whether GOP officials, including Darrell Issa, are comfortable with the language Limbaugh used today. If recent history is any guide, Republican officeholders are loath to disagree with the radio host publicly, and it'll be interesting to see if GOP lawmakers or candidates make any kind of exception here.
Given that they started this War on Women, it seems unlikely, but here's hoping I'm wrong.