What They Should Have Done

The craziest thing to me about this whole Rush flare-up and the lunatic fringe of the right doubling down on the slut issue is how politically incompetent it all is. I remember someone calling this political malpractice, and that is correct. I’m really not used to this kind of political incompetence from Republicans- usually they are horribly wrong on the issues, but win the political battles. This time, not so much.

What they should have done is simple. They should have claimed victory when Obama made the modification to the mandate. When the initial mandate came out from HHS, there was a multi-day freakout, the Bishops and the prudes generated a lot of press, and Team Obama looked at things, calibrated the mandate so that so-called “religious freedom” was preserved, and the entire issue would have been taken off the table if the right had done the smart thing and just claimed victory. They could have celebrated it as a triumph of religious freedom over Obama, and could have claimed that their political might forced Obama to capitulate. He gave them an out and a political victory while maintaining a political victory for himself- he created a win/win situation for them. They could have used it to their advantage- “Obama attempted to assault religious freedom and our collective political power and might was able to make sure that religious organizations no longer have to provide contraception.” They could have made this into a big win for the team.

But instead of seizing upon it, they instead shit the bed and decided to double down, and now we have near 70% of the country looking at the Republicans like they are some kind of freak show, with their leaders introducing the Blunt and Rubio amendments and their spiritual leaders calling all women who use contraceptives sluts and prostitutes and the base doubling down and following their lead. It’s bewildering to watch. If I were Frank Luntz or the other Republican strategists I would be pulling my hair out and trying to get them into a room listening to Kenny Rogers looped for 24 hours.

I’m not sure what is motivating this insanity. Part of it, of course, is the fact that they just hate you. Part of it is they are just opposed to anything liberals support. Part of it is that they are beholden to religious nuts. Part of it is an attempt to simply gut ACA. And I’m sure part of it is that they are so in their own bubble that they honestly don’t believe anything but their own bullshit.

Regardless, it is crazy, and at the same time, I am cheering them on. It’s like watching a movie where the villain is mortally wounded and defeated, yet as they lie there in a pile of their own blood and bile, they still attempt to reach for the gun just out of their reach, giving the good guys one more reason to finish them off for good.

Go for the gun. Make my fucking day.

97 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    I don’t want to reduce it to just this, but let’s face it, Fox News has had enough time to reach older white people who are not interested or curious enough to get news and info elsewhere. They believe what they hear/see and are convinced that this is the truth. None of the emails they get from their friends in their country club or from the VFW contradict this, and since the rest of the media are stuck on the “both sides do it” setting, there is no reason for them to think they aren’t getting the “straight dope.”

    Fox feeds them shit and keeps them in the dark and the fungus is growing. It doesn’t care about anything else.

    I honestly thought Santorum’s “college = snobbery” argument was the lowest of the low points.

  2. 2
    Seebach says:

    The new position has gone to “We don’t want to pay for your contraception” which sounds like they actually want to ban all insurance plans from being able to provide the pill.

    They have no understanding how insurance works, with money being pooled and all that.

    They should run on taking away choices from the private insurance plans people are already stuck with. That should be a winning issue.

    People who already have birth control coverage will lose it. Go for it, GOP.

  3. 3
    sharl says:

    Good follow-on.
    One edit needed, last paragraph: …lie their there…

  4. 4
    Smiling Mortician says:

    It’s like watching a movie where the villain is mortally wounded and defeated, yet as they lie their in a pile of their own blood and bile, they still attempt to reach for the gun just out of their reach, giving the good guys one more reason to finish them off for good.

    It’s just a flesh wound.

  5. 5
    Trentrunner says:

    Carbonite, one of Rush’s advertisers, pulled out. And their President posted a note AFTER Rush’s apology, saying that it’s not enough and they will stay pulled out.

    Then there’s this from a Carbonite employee (from Reddit, so grain-of-salt):

    ***

    Throwaway account, I work for Carbonite.

    As an employee, it’s very hard to bear witness to the material effects of something like this. Our receptionist had to handle over 100 phone calls, and the customer support group was berated and belittled by people – non customers – who called in to complain about the incident. Many others called in in a civil way to voice their disapproval, but it was generally a rough day for the entire company, as I’m sure any outsider could surmise from our Facebook page.

    I’m very glad our CEO did what he did.

    There was understandably a lot of chatter on the inside of the company about this. A lot of people (customers and not) on the social channels were guessing that no women at all worked for Carbonite and that we (the company) are a group of misogynist pigs, which is actually quite the contrary.

    Carbonite is a vastly, vastly female-dominated company. In fact, the engineering and customer support groups are the only male-dominated areas. Legal is all female. Marketing is largely female. The finance department (except the director) is all female. The entire HR department is female.

    Rush Limbaugh was a worthwhile investment for a budding company looking for a cheap way to get advertising time, but those days are long gone. Back when, it made sense for us to advertise with Rush Limbaugh; his largely older clientele were very profitable for us, because (despite paying the same flat fee as all of our other customers) they don’t have a lot of data. The number of complaints we got about advertising with Rush was about equal to the number of complaints we got about advertising with some of the lefties, or on some of the shock jock shows on Sirius XM.

    As for the personal visit to Rush Limbaugh by our CEO, I don’t know if that’s actually happened yet. I do know that, as a public company, this kind of event can make our (largely institutional) investors nervous, which gets things into high gear pretty quickly around the office, and this was certainly beyond the tipping point of attention-getting for us.

    At this point, Rush Limbaugh is going to have a hell of a time looking for advertisers to pay him to regurgitate his offensive spew.

    Carbonite is actually a good product, and a lot of people work hard to make it what it is. I hope our reputation as such isn’t permanently tarnished by this massive shitstorm.

    edit: no, I am not in the PR department.

    ***

  6. 6
    Seebach says:

    To add:

    Why should it just be the EMPLOYER who decides what benefits the insurance plan can offer.

    Shouldn’t every single member of the insurance risk pool be able to veto the specific types of coverage their conscience does not allow them to pay for?

  7. 7
    Trentrunner says:

    And folks, we have 8 months until the election.

    And because they sense Obama could win, this is just the beginning of their id-driven freakout.

    I believe we are reaching……Peak Wingnut.

  8. 8
    metalgirl says:

    The Rs are a clown car train wreck this year and I couldn’t be more pleased. We are still going to have to work our butts off to get him re-elected (no telling what lies Fox will tell them to make all the zombie white old people to go vote against evil).

    I’m organizing the Democratic part of my precinct on Tuesday and I’ve been surprised at the number of closet Dems close by. Only 1 out of 16 people I talked to wasn’t interested in being involved in the election this year and several said that they didn’t volunteer much in 2008 but they were looking forward to doing so this year. I’m hopeful :)

  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @BGinCHI: they tried to double down on that one too. Santorum’s spokesbot tried to twist the thing OBama didn’t say into a slam on fine young Americans who choose to serve in the military instead of going to college. But by then Romney pulled it out in MI and no one cares about Santorum anymore.

  10. 10
    Seebach says:

    Also, I understand that the regulation that health insurance cover birth control with copay was introduced in 2000. Obama just decided to make it no-copay.

    Was there any freakout back in 2000 when the first regulation happened?

  11. 11
    GregB says:

    Oh yeah, any New England Patriot’s fans should remember that Bob Kraft had Rush Limbaugh in the owners box for this last Superbowl.

  12. 12
    Brandon says:

    My favorite in all of this is how the right is once again blaming their massive fail on Democrats. Can we please have contraception continue to be in the spotlight of our national debate for t he next 6 months? These nuts just cannot help themselves.

  13. 13
    Yutsano says:

    @Brandon:

    Can we please have contraception continue to be in the spotlight of our national debate for t he next 6 months?

    I’m not sure that is even necessary. Women will have very long memories of this. Plus anyone else notice Willard’s total silence in all of this? He is such a fucking coward.

  14. 14
    JoyceH says:

    He gave them an out and a political victory while maintaining a political victory for himself- he created a win/win situation for them.

    And there’s the problem right there. win/win means both sides win. The only thing the right wants to see is win/lose, with them in the win column.

    This whole thing reminds me of the run-up to the Iraq War, when the Bush Administration kept making demands to Iraq and that crafty Hussein kept conceding them. An administration insider admitted to a reporter, “We’re not going to take yes for an answer.” They didn’t want what they claimed to want, an Iraq that was not a danger to us or its neighbors – they wanted a war.

    The Republicans in Congress have been acting the same way – every time they make a demand of this administration and the administration concedes to the demand, they just up the stakes and increase their demands.

    In all cases, the reasons are the same. The GOP and the right don’t want to gain their points, even every last one of their points, by peaceful means. They want a war.

  15. 15
    TheOtherWA says:

    @metalgirl: Now that makes me smile. So it’s not just us political geeks who are furious about the repubs attempt to evangelize (for lack of a better word) the country? Regular people with busy lives are getting this. Cool.

    Not doing a happy dance yet. Not until the election is over.

  16. 16
    David Koch says:

    If I were Frank Luntz or the other Republican strategists I would be pulling my hair out

    Luntz can’t pull out his hair, he wears a toupee.

  17. 17
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @TheOtherWA:

    Not doing a happy dance yet. Not until the election is over.

    And I shudder to think what kind of douchebaggery McConnell would pull as majority leader

  18. 18
    David Koch says:

    And I’m sure part of it is that they are so in their own bubble that they honestly don’t believe anything but their own bullshit.

    It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Fixxed News

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    I’m not sure what is motivating this insanity. Part of it, of course, is the fact that they just hate you. Part of it is they are just opposed to anything liberals support

    You people need to get up off this liberal narcicissm. It is not about liberals, or what we support. Do you seriously believe that conservatives would support efforts to reverse the effects of climate change if liberals reversed course, and became limited change deniers.

    This is not high school, or a debating society in which orators will switch sides and argue the other point of view.

    Liberals are in the way. Conservatives have an increasingly fear and ignorance based view of the world, and they desperately want to restore order as they understand it. And restoring that order means, by definition, demolishing every humanist, secular, anti glib authoritarian policy and institution that liberals and progressives have established since the New Deal.

    This also means crushing liberals, not simply what they support. If you don’t understand this, if you truly believe that coservstives just want to get your goat, get under your skin, piss you off, then you are halfway to getting your assess thoroughly kicked. And you will deserve it.

  20. 20
    jl says:

    Carbornite makes apps for computer games?

    I thought it was some silicon dioxide company, which I could not figure out why it would advertise on Rush Limbaugh. Maybe there is a new do it yourself home and garden fad that requires lots of carborundum?

    I am so totally totally totally totally out of it, it’s pathetic.

    Edit: even more out of it than I thought. Carbonite is an old mining explosive.

  21. 21
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Maybe this is evidence for ‘no’ in the ongoing ‘Is anyone actually in control in the Republican Party?’ debate. The mask has come off, the inmates are running the asylum, full epistemic closure has been reached-whatever metaphor you like, but it’s a different world out there. Am I wrong in saying the Bushies would have not allowed it to get this crazy?

  22. 22
    MikeJ says:

    He gave them an out and a political victory while maintaining a political victory for himself- he created a win/win situation for them.

    This is what he does every single time (debt ceiling anyone?) Gives them an out, lets them thump their chests, and gets everything he wanted while they run around declaring victory.

    Maybe they figured it out and didn’t want to get rolled again. I think they’ve discovered the alternative is worse.

  23. 23

    “Obama… created a win/win situation…”
    It’s not enough that Bible thumping sock puppets for the richest rich the world has ever known should always win.
    Everyone else must lose.

  24. 24
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Old man Bush was probably the most cynical and demagogic by which I mean enuinely contemptuous of the base he was appealing to Republican Elder this side of Rove, as far as presidential candidates go, I don’t think he has his equal.

  25. 25
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I also think it’s because many rightwingers live in a bubble (to be fair, so do many liberals. Shit. I just did the ‘both sides do it’ thing) with all of them echoing what they hear on Limbaugh or see on Fox or whatever. Plus, what kind of push-back have they gotten for their bullshit thus far? Nada. It’s emboldened them to overreach.

    Some of them probably think they are in the ‘silent majority’ on issues like this, and many more of them know they are on the losing side. The latter group are dangerous because they are willing to bring down the country with them as they go up in flames.

    This really is their last stance on many of the cultural war issues. Things are going to get much uglier before they get better (if the country’s not destroyed by that point).

  26. 26
    GregB says:

    All of these rubes went to the mat for Limbag and he let them down by apologizing.

    He’s been cowed by the liberal left.

    I can only assume that the wingnuts will now declare that Limbag was threatened by President Obama and he backed down because he didn’t want to end up like Breitbart.

    This may be peak wingnut.

  27. 27
    greylocks says:

    They’re stupid, and they are immensely messed up in the head about sex and sexuality.

    They’re not politically clever at all. They simply have a very powerful propaganda machine, and they are more-or-less disciplined.

    They’ve stepped on their own cranks before – Terry Schiavo, Social Security privatization, Ryan’s budget plan, to name the more memorable. When they “win” it’s more often than not because Democratic politicians caved for no reason at all, not because the conservatives were being politically smart.

  28. 28
    Brachiator says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Am I wrong in saying the Bushies would have not allowed it to get this crazy?

    Dubya and Cheney, even more than St Ronnie, laid the groundwork for this lunacy, with their anti science, anti reason, ignorant crony loving administration. They believed that they could comfortably govern the country through stupidity and will power, wrapped in a thin veneer of religion. And they thought that they could control the rabble with their country club sense of entitlement.

    Conservatives are trying to re-establish their authority by making Romney their standard bearer. He oozes country club insincerity. But instead of being able to restore order, he is having to try to convince the rabble that he is twice as crazy as they are.

  29. 29
    Brachiator says:

    @jl:

    Edit: even more out of it than I thought. Carbonite is an old mining explosive

    Carbonite is the substance that Han Solo was encased in. The idea is that the product will do as strong a job in protecting your data.

    Also, this company and others provided advertising that was used on a range of Clear Channel radio stations, not just the Limbaugh show. Carbonite advertises on the Stephanie Miller show, which is carried by the progressive radio stations that Clear Channel owns.

  30. 30
    freelancer says:

    Didn’t read through the comments (yet), but the short version is, they are all Douthat’s now. Conservative men go limp if you have a vag, but can’t or otherwise refuse to sire their progeny.

    It’s a Confederate Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, only the inverse: Medieval Anglo-Saxon Royalty materializes in Times Square and invokes Prima Nocta and seizes the nearest white woman. But when civilization rebuffs him, he starts to draw his sword and our law enforcement kicks in and says, “No no no, crazy dickhead. Off to the loony-bin with you!”

    And then a fourth of Twitter users, and 27% of poll respondents rally behind him and a movement grows, and then a national candidate is like, “I think this guy in the metal hat wearing chainmail is a true conservative. Let’s take our country back. It’s time to believe in America!”

  31. 31
    Mike E says:

    The GOP facade on its beloved corporate fuck you war machine has been knocked off by its own headlong compulsion to, you know, fuck you and me.

    I picture Pres Obama working this like Ali/Foreman, seemingly taking a beating, then delivering a knockout blow but holding back from smashing his vanquished foe so obviously on his way to the canvass, because it would be gratuitous and artless.

  32. 32
    piratedan says:

    @Mike E: great word there Mike, facade…. especially appropriate here. I guess I’m simply way too cynical to think that the guys at the top of the GOP actually believe the bullshit that they’re peddling, with the possible exception of some nutcases like Santorum or Bachmann. The remainder just want to be in charge and if that means throwing red meat to the base, then they will say and do whatever is necessary to ensure that the base stays engaged. They could give a shit about the people or the country, they just wanna run stuff to ensure that they can be in charge and skim the cream off the top when it comes to money, power and poon. Their belief system boils down to, whoever has the most toys wins.

  33. 33
    kuvasz says:

    Republicans seem to think that compromise is a personal vice, not something that is a categorical imperative in a modern society.

    Severl months ago my lawyer wife attended a meeting with the state wide “youth in government” governing council, the entire group were lawyers, of all political corners, but when the topic turned to the program of mediation and compromise the right wing lawyers on the council stated in no uncertain terms that teaching children how to compromise was a bad thing to do.

    When my wife related the story I went into a cursing spell of Tourette’s Syndrome and started hollaring about the stupidity of such American lawyers in not recognizing that were it not for the Great Compromise there would be no United States.

    Sorry to say it, these lawyers are the educated ones, the college graduates, and they are still as dumb as fucking stump water.

  34. 34
    FactPlus says:

    @Brachiator: So it is a strategic, philosophical kind of hate then? Not some petty hatred from misogynistic losers who are threatened by the fact that the world no longer gives them the bully powers they used to have over women, children and minorities? That’s deep really.

  35. 35
    Joseph Nobles says:

    If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must deny these sluts their birth control.

  36. 36
    Mike S. says:

    regarding your earlier post Re: they hate you.
    Here’s why (there’s a book as a free pdf in the link)
    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/
    brought to you by a professor of psychology at U. Manitoba who spent his career studying authoritarianism.

    It’s about fear of the unknown, parenting, religion and lack of exposure to out-groups during upbringing.
    (of course it’s statistical, these are aggregate phenomena and do not necessarily hold for the life experience of any given individual)

    oh, and you were a winger for years… “haha” and “I’m sorry” and “glad you’re over it”.

  37. 37

    Of course Limbaugh et al. are lying.

    On the other hand, maybe they lie so much about so many things, they can’t see how transparent their lies are on this issue.

  38. 38
    Wes G says:

    as much as you dislike him, the quote about “political malpractice” came from Andrew Sullivan:
    And then to hand the Democrats an opportunity for a walk-out that would only make the issue – especially in TV soundbites – more about contraception than religious liberty? It’s political and p.r. malpractice.
    http://andrewsullivan.thedaily.....d-men.html

  39. 39
    Citizen_X says:

    I’m not sure what is motivating this insanity.

    The American right talks a lot about liberty, but what do they mean? When they talk a out “liberty,” they always, always, always mean the liberty of the powerful. In the Civil War, they fought for the right to own slaves. In the labor wars, they fought (and are today succeeding) for the right to have workers who are disallowed to organize. In this fight, they fought for the right of the RCC to deny its employees birth control. Now, they have expanded that to the right of all employers to whittle away at employee health plans. The overriding principle is the powerful should be able to do what they want. The little guy? Fuck him. He’s got to earn his rights.

  40. 40
    MaryRC says:

    I see Patricia Heaton has apologised for her nasty tweets about Ms. Fluke as well.

    Don’t agree w/her views, but I was not showing Christ’s love.

    I love how she manages to apologise and lecture us all on how a good Christian woman should behave at the same time.

  41. 41
    RossInDetroit says:

    I think the GOP has just lost sight of their goal. The goal of winning elections by looking like the sober grown up party with the nation’s interests at heart. They used to be able to calibrate very accurately how to influence public opinion. They said the right things to make it look like they were in the right, to people who weren’t paying much attention. All of a sudden they’re raving like loons because no one in the GOP hierarchy who sees how damaging this is has any power to impose message discipline. I don’t know how or why this broke down but they’ve lost their most important political tool.
    Maybe it’s because people like Rush and Breitbart gained so much influence. If your business to drive traffic and build an audience you have to have a new outrage every day. In the absence of an overall party agenda and strategy the extremism takes center stage.

  42. 42

    Their behavior has become reflexive. Like a purged frig, they don’t think; only react.

    I had not known how deeply the religious conservatives had sunk into religious reactionaries. My hat is off to the author of The Reactionary Mind, Corey Robin, who postulated that they do not want to freeze time, as it were. They have created a false past and long to go back there.

  43. 43
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @WereBear (itouch): Isn’t that a standard feature of fascism?

  44. 44
    Alex S. says:

    This has been going on since 9/11. Imagine if they had just attacked the Taliban and killed Bin Laden. Imagine if George W. Bush had stayed this president who stays above the fray (from his ranch in Texas), with a focus on education and immigration reform. They could have had their permament majority with a sufficient slice of the college vote and hispanics. But no, they doubled and tripled down with the Iraq War, the attempted Social Security privatization and social issues (gay bashing, Terri Schiavo). This generation of republican operatives is incompetent and far too ideological.

  45. 45
    AxelFoley says:

    Kenny Rogers looped for 24 hours.

    Greatest. Country Song. Ever.

    You know it’s great when even black folks who don’t usually listen to country music love it.

  46. 46
    AxelFoley says:

    @Trentrunner:

    I believe we are reaching……Peak Wingnut.

    I was told Peak Wingnut was a lie.

  47. 47
    AxelFoley says:

    @Yutsano:

    Women will have very long memories, of this period.

    Fix’d. ;)

  48. 48
    Frank says:

    @Brachiator:

    Do you seriously believe that conservatives would support efforts to reverse the effects of climate change if liberals reversed course, and became limited change deniers.

    I have no doubt that the GOP would support efforts to reverse the effects of climate change if Obama became a climate change denier. No doubt.

    Hell, these are the people who in Congress first voted to have a Congressional led commission to resolve the budget deficit. As soon as they found out Obama also was in favor that, they REVERSED course and opposed a Congressional led commission to resolve the budget deficit.

    Hell, these are the people that CHEERED when the Olympic committee surprisingly chose not to award the Olympic games to Chicago (and thus the United States) after Obama had made such an effort to get them.

    If they are willing to become so anti-American (and instead root for foreign countries) just to get Obama, you can bet that they would support efforts to reverse the effects of climate change.

  49. 49
    Frank says:

    @Yutsano:

    Women will have very long memories of this.

    Time will tell. They are voters just like men are. They are susceptible to negative ads just like men are. Romney and the GOP with the Super PACS will have plenty of money to fund the negative ads. Time will tell.

  50. 50
    El Cid says:

    __

    like they are some kind of freak show

    “Like” in that this is the actual fact, and has been for a loooooooong time.

    But this is just like how the ‘sensible’ conservatives like David Brooks et al suddenly become horrified at some outbreak of ‘extreme’ or ‘fringe’ conservatism when it causes them to be unpopular and/or lose.

    If it leads to victory, like 2010, then it’s all about a just and normal reaction to librul over-reach.

  51. 51
    wormtown says:

    I wish I could figure out the catholic bishops’ political strategy. I don’t think this just happened. Someone devised this strategy, they are digging their heels in, and they love this issue. I think there is something underneath this; not just their everyday misogyny, hypocrisy and obtuseness. And, I say this as someone who is a Catholic. I’m sure the local bishop would tell me I’m not,and I should leave. But I don’t think my priest would like me to leave. I support the church financially (poor inner city parish) and run (as a volunteer) a youth program that serves 150 kids. Not looking for praise; just my experience is that a lot of us “bad Catholics” are the ones in the trenches doing the work that the bishops love to take credit for when they need to show the service to the poor that the church provides.

  52. 52
    RedKitten says:

    Republicans appear to live by the adage of throwing good after bad, be it time OR money. If something isn’t working out, by cracky, there’s no fucking way that they will stop, think for a moment, and then say “You know guys, we’re really on the wrong track, here.” Nuh-uh. That’s for cowards and pussy liberals. If your strategy isn’t working, just turn it up to eleventy-thousand, ’cause THAT’LL work!

  53. 53
    RedKitten says:

    Stuck in moderation hell — for why?

  54. 54

    as much as they hate liberals, they hate women much more specifically:

    http://pandagon.net/index.php/.....hate-women

    oh, and #boycottrush

  55. 55
    Groucho48 says:

    Democrats should make it clear that Rush and all the Republicans who don’t disavow what he said are saying that EVERY woman in the country who believes that contraception should be covered by health care is a slut and that they need to send Rush a sex tape of themselves as his due.

    If any of you work at a place where contraception is covered, you should point out to the women you work with that Republicans think they are sluts and that those Republicans are claiming that each of your female coworkers owes Rush a sex tape or two.

    This isn’t some abstract ideological issue. This is very real and it is very personal. Present it as such. If folks keep focused on this, Obama could get 60% of a large female turnout. That will probably give us the House and maybe continue to have a majority in the Senate.

    Hey, Rush! Guess what? Nancy Smash is back in charge and you deserve a lot of the credit for it!

  56. 56
    Barney says:

    @Brachiator:

    There is some evidence that it is partly about opposing anything a Democrat says – look at their opinions on the ACA provisions, many of which started off as Republican in the 1990s.

    I think the “me too, I want to call all women ‘sluts'” reaction of RW bloggers, after Limbaugh led the charge, is largely a question of “say what pisses off the liberals”. They had the opportunity to do so before, but never took it until they saw how people reacted to Limbaugh; then they piled on. But they haven’t considered the size of the majority they are alienating; they’ve just thought “calling women who use contraception ‘sluts’ pisses off liberals, therefore it’s a good thing to do”, without remembering that literally 99% of women under 45 have at some time used contraception if they have had sex; and most men will have been glad that they did.

    Limbaugh himself may have tried it because he thought it was a way to make liberal views unpopular. But he is, at base, a businessman, and I think he did it because he thought it would excite his listeners.

  57. 57
    Ron says:

    Man, it just keep getting funnier. Bryan Fischer tweeted that Rush basically gave in to the left.

  58. 58
    Yevgraf says:

    I’m thinking that they need to go at contraceptive coverage for women in the army. They also need to go at any contraceptive coverage for dependent spouses and kids participating in TRICARE.

    Catholics are paying for that through taxation. Very, very awful, indeed…

  59. 59
    Yevgraf says:

    I’m thinking that they need to go at contraceptive coverage for women in the army. They also need to go at any contraceptive coverage for dependent spouses and kids participating in TRICARE.

    Catholics are paying for that through taxation. Very, very awful, indeed…

  60. 60
    Lavocat says:

    Excellent post! The blogger equivalent of a kick in the junk. “GO FOR THE GUN!” That, my friend, should be one of your new rotating headings near the top of the blog.

    Just go for the gun and give Obama one more reason to finish you all off in November.

    Spot fucking on, John Cole!

  61. 61
    samara morgan says:

    It is very curious.
    Consider Breitbart. He was the rage-infused voice of the conservative heart but he alienated blacks, college graduates, media, hollywood and youth deliberately. His stated mission was to “take back culture” but he only further disenfranchised conservatives.
    Now his surrogates say they will release the Obama college tapes within 10 days on Hannity. That is just stupid.
    If there is any value in those tapes, they should release them a week or two before the election.
    Releasing them now means they will have lost whatever power they had to change minds by November.
    The stupid, it burns.

  62. 62
    samara morgan says:

    @Mike S.: the reason Cole and I could get over it, was that while we were raised conservative, we didnt have have the biological basis for conservatism.
    Under the repeated assault of reality, our anterior cingulate cortexes overruled our amygdalas.

  63. 63
    THE says:

    I think the problem with Rush is that he basically thinks of contraceptives as sporting goods.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    I’m not sure what is motivating this insanity.

    It won’t be ending anytime soon. Cardinal Dolan will be sermonizing that Catholics need to keep up the pressure.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03.....f=nyregion

  65. 65
    samara morgan says:

    @THE: i think the problem is that conservatives can only think tactically, because of the amygdala.
    Obama is a strategist.
    And you know games theory 101, strategy beats tactics in the long game.

  66. 66
    THE says:

    Oh hi Samara. Did you see the links i left you on your web -journal?

  67. 67
    lottirose says:

    “And I’m sure part of it is that they are so in their own bubble that they honestly don’t believe anything but their own bullshit.”

    In a nutshell – at least from the perspective of a lonely little petunia living in a patch of these relics from the human dark age – you know the one that we just started to crawl out of back in the sixties.

  68. 68
    Dan says:

    Their game plan just got screwed by positive economic news and Romney turning out to be an even weaker candidate than anyone could’ve predicted. The Bishops and other god botherers figured that Obama’s defeat was inevitable because of the economy, so they decided iit would be good to double down on the contraception stuff when the President seemed weak (it’s also a handy distraction from the child rape coverage). The economic
    cons need a distraction from the improving economy. It’s a shitty plan, but really, what else do they got?

  69. 69
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @samara morgan: Here’s my take: Wingnuts can’t think rationally because the world view they’re fed is designed to keep them in fear. Once that happens and you’re in “fight or flight” mode, the lizard brain takes over and any hope of rational thought is gone.

  70. 70
    Ken says:

    @MaryRC: I love how she manages to apologise and lecture us all on how a good Christian woman should behave at the same time.

    Leading by counter-example, as it were.

  71. 71
    samara morgan says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: oh yess, but having more grey matter in the amygdala helps the lizard brain takeover.
    the amygdala is the seat of emotion.
    More and more research findings are going to accumulate.
    No conservative pundit has dared to touch Mooney’s post in a week.
    pants wetting terrified is my guess.

  72. 72
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    I’m not sure what is motivating this insanity.

    I’d like to believe it’s actually the natural course of things that we should not attempt in any way to detour.

    We are watching Karma in action, people. All we need to do is sit back, enjoy, and let these people manifest fully in all their disgusting glory. Only then will the dumbasses who vote them in truly see what they are voting for.

  73. 73

    […] 9) What They Should Have Done | John Cole – What they should have done is simple. They should have claimed victory when Obama made the modification to the mandate. When the initial mandate came out from HHS, there was a multi-day freakout, the Bishops and the prudes generated a lot of press, and Team Obama looked at things, calibrated the mandate so that so-called “religious freedom” was preserved, and the entire issue would have been taken off the table if the right had done the smart thing and just claimed victory. […] But instead of seizing upon it, they instead shit the bed and decided to double down, and now we have near 70% of the country looking at the Republicans like they are some kind of freak show, with their leaders introducing the Blunt and Rubio amendments and their spiritual leaders calling all women who use contraceptives sluts and prostitutes and the base doubling down and following their lead. It’s bewildering to watch. […] I’m not sure what is motivating this insanity. Part of it, of course, is the fact that they just hate you. Part of it is they are just opposed to anything liberals support. Part of it is that they are beholden to religious nuts. Part of it is an attempt to simply gut ACA. And I’m sure part of it is that they are so in their own bubble that they honestly don’t believe anything but their own bullshit. Regardless, it is crazy, and at the same time, I am cheering them on. It’s like watching a movie where the villain is mortally wounded and defeated, yet as they lie there in a pile of their own blood and bile, they still attempt to reach for the gun just out of their reach, giving the good guys one more reason to finish them off for good. Go for the gun. Make my fucking day. Rate this: Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in news, politics and tagged advertisers abandoning rush limbaugh, Afghanistan, Bill O'Reilly, birth control, buring korans, Callista Gingrich, carbonite, ceo of carbonite, choice, contraception, david friend, faith, Fox News, franklin graham, GOP, health insurance, healthcare reform, LOL, Newt Gingrich, obamacare, President Obama, president's apology, Republicans, rick santorum, Ron Paul, Rush Limbaugh, sandra fluke, slut, special needs child, women's rights by UTMB. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  74. 74
    Palli says:

    @Smiling Mortician:
    Yes, I, too, wish it could be that easy.

  75. 75
    kay says:

    I LOVE “slut issue” in this post, because I’m finding out “slut” is a powerful word.
    Every woman I listen to is using it. It’s a sort of one-word shortcut for the larger offense. I was using it that way myself, almost immediately, w/out even thinking about it.
    Rush handed his opponents a very
    powerful rhetorical weapon.

  76. 76
    Palli says:

    I hear on the NPR financial talk yesterday there was an entire segment on ‘How to plan for having children’. They went on blithely describing all the ways you had to plan before deciding. Not a mention of the perpetual chancy math it would take to plan if those hypocritical republicans get their way!

    This is not the stupidity of the loudmouths or the wiley candidates: It is the republican party screaming this crap. Brand them with it- in the searing sense of the word.

  77. 77

    […] John Cole is right, er, correct: The craziest thing to me about this whole Rush flare-up and the lunatic fringe of the right doubling down on the slut issue is how politically incompetent it all is. I remember someone calling this political malpractice, and that is correct. I’m really not used to this kind of political incompetence from Republicans- usually they are horribly wrong on the issues, but win the political battles. This time, not so much. […]

  78. 78
    Drive-By Nomad says:

    @David Koch:

    Luntz can’t pull out his hair, he wears a toupee.

    WIN.

  79. 79
    r€nato says:

    @Yutsano: It definitely occurred to me over the last few days that, if ever there were an opportunity for Mitt Romney to prove he’s not a spineless opportunist willing to say whatever he thinks people want to hear – even if it conflicts in every way with what he said 3 years ago or yesterday or five minutes ago – it was *this*.

    All Mitt had to do was, instead of running past the cameras, stand before them and courageously denounce Rush in clear, unequivocal terms. It didn’t even have to be a particularly strong condemnation. Something along the lines of the following would have sufficed:

    I just want everyone to know that I found Rush’s language towards Ms. Fluke offensive, beyond the pale, and he really should apologize for it. I wouldn’t want anybody saying those things about my daughter.

    There was almost no downside to making such a statement. Any wingnut backlash would have been minor. As we have seen, even Rush’s supporters in the right-wing commentariat have criticized Rush’s rhetoric, and frankly it was entirely predictable Rush would have to issue an apology once he started hemorrhaging advertisers. Once Rush issues an apology, he can’t demand that Mitt back down from criticizing him and there’s no space for Rush’s defenders in the media / blogosphere to do so either. They can grumble but that’s about all.

    On the other hand, the upside would have been capitalizing on the media furor to get coverage for taking a courageous and principled stand, and possibly gaining some traction – looking forward to the general election – in convincing uncommitted voters that Romney actually does have some principles and a pair of descended testicles. Look at Bill Clinton and his Sistah Souljah moment. Mitt could have had Brooks and other faux middle-ground pundits madly humping his leg and championing his candidacy.

    But Mitt is so accustomed to being an unprincipled opportunist and so plainly desperate to court the wingnut vote and convince them that he’s one of them (at least until the exact moment he gets 1144 delegates), that he won’t do anything that might alienate even a single one of them.

    I hope he never figures it out.

  80. 80
    Barry says:

    @wormtown: “I wish I could figure out the catholic bishops’ political strategy. I don’t think this just happened. Someone devised this strategy, they are digging their heels in, and they love this issue. I think there is something underneath this; not just their everyday misogyny, hypocrisy and obtuseness. ”

    1) Have a witch hunt to distract people from their crimes.
    2) The RCC is buying up a lot of hospitals and merging them with existing Catholic systems. The bishops want to make sure that they can do as they please while collecting government dollars (just as corporations love to have it both ways).

  81. 81
    kay says:

    Renato, I agree, but Romney has missed every single chance to lead.

    He could have defended the gay soldier, he could have objected to the rhetoric on Latinos, or food stamps, or uninsured people, but every single time he wimped out.

    He could have defended his own record, but it was easier and safer to lie.

    Romney takes no risk, ever, and that is just so perfect because the whole premise of his candidacy is capitalist
    savvy and competition.

    Romney chokes. Every single time. He chickens out in a calculated, following a plan way, but it’s the same thing as
    running away.

    It’s going to be Obama’s biggest advantage.

  82. 82
    Jay C says:

    I share John’s amazement that this year’s model of the Republican Party has run SO far off-the-rails at this point: even given the challenges of trying to oust a reasonably-popular incumbent – with a less-than-stellar lineup of candidates – the GOP has, up til now, always been the more-disciplined, more organized and on-message Party. But somehow, in 2012, they seem to have let events overtake them: and are losing the spin on virtually every political point they have brought up.

    a) The coverage – even by a compliant media – of the Presidential campaign has made them look foolish and disorganized (Donald Fvcking Trump as a “serious” candidate? Puh-leeze!).

    b) Their foreign-policy campaign issues have devolved into “Bomb Iran” and spouting (blatant and obvious) lies about the Obama Administration’s policies. AND trying to recycle the last Admin’s neocon hacks as their FP “braintrust”.

    c) Their domestic economic “policy” has become mere hair-on-fire gibbering about “government”, with only the stale old “tax cuts” prescription as a “fix”. Oh, and gas-pump prices which has become obvious they can;t really DO anything about.

    d) And finally, as the latest “birth control” flap shows, the GOP is also losing the spin, dreadfully, on social issues: what Darrel Issa and his pals thought would be a handy club to bash Obama with – “religious freedom” and “conscience” – has become, instead, a vulgar freakshow of moralistic misogyny on display.

    And what is even more astonishing, all this has been accomplished in the virtual absence of any serious “campaigning” from the Obama White House or the Dems. Own goals, all around.

    Liberals/progressives/sane people ought not to get TOO complacent, though: there is a lot of time til the election (and unthinkably vast amounts of money to be spent on it); but things are finally looking up. Thanks, Mitt.

  83. 83
    Suzan says:

    Maddow once said her ratings went up when she reported a story in a “hair on fire” way. Need a job? Become part of the right wing conspiracy and the more “hair on fire” you act, the better your chances of landing a lucrative gig on Fox or radio. That explains Beck and Rush and Breitbart and etc crossing the line because the Kock brothers (and Scaife before them) will pay to “get” Clinton or Obama hence (it’s self interest for the rich more than racism IMHO)

    What I’m not sure I understand is how tone deaf the GOP party is right now. My best guess is they can’t control the Tea Party in the sense of creating a Frankenstein. The TP threatens to primary them and they cave which means they refuse to compromise. When the backlash from everyone else (think Wall Street Journal) happened over continuing the lowered FICA rates for only 2 months, (and still the TP was pissed) they knew they had to hew a little more to the center and extend it a full year. That’s the only time I’ve seen them stand up to the TP.

    The other alternative is the GOP is not tone deaf, we are. Maybe this is playing better in the more-than-27% crowd.

  84. 84
    sloan says:

    This is why they do it:

    usually they are horribly wrong on the issues, but win the political battles

    They do it because they can be wrong and win anyway, that’s why. They do it because they’ve been wrong for so long and gotten away with it that they honestly don’t know when they’re losing.

    They made up pure bullshit about ACORN and got their funding taken away. They make up bullshit about climate change and get their way even when they know they’re wrong. They say “death panels!” and win a stupid argument over something that obviously doesn’t even fucking exist.

    I’ve had so-called “Christian” co-workers look me in the eye and knowingly lie to my face repeating bullshit they heard on the Rush Limbaugh show. And they do it with a shit eating grin even though we both know they’re lying because they know that even though I can call them on their bullshit they’ll still get their way. I’m right, they’re wrong, but they win.

    They’ve enjoyed the extraordinary advantage of not having to tell the truth for so long that they’re dumbfounded when the truth wins. The facts are not on their side, so they double down and pile on with more bullshit like they are right now because it’s all they know.

  85. 85
    priscianusjr says:

    and now we have near 70% of the country looking at the Republicans like they are some kind of freak show …

    They are some kind of freak show.

  86. 86
    priscianusjr says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Maybe this is evidence for ‘no’ in the ongoing ‘Is anyone actually in control in the Republican Party?’ debate. The mask has come off, the inmates are running the asylum, full epistemic closure has been reached-whatever metaphor you like, but it’s a different world out there. Am I wrong in saying the Bushies would have not allowed it to get this crazy?

    The biggest clue is that the guys who have always run the Republican Party are the guys who are backing Romney. And you can see right away that they are not exactly “running” the Republican Party any more. Meanwhile the rest are fighting among themselves, aided by Citizens United. Ergo, nobody is actually running the Republican Party.
    In saying that the Bushies would not have allowed it to get this crazy, you are both right and wrong. Right in that the Bushies, when they were in power, were in power. Wrong in that, since the Bushies waaaay overplayed their hand and fucked up massively, the result is exactly what you see today. Karl Rove and his ilk ARE the Bushies, and all they have is Romney.

  87. 87
    priscianusjr says:

    @sloan:

    They’ve enjoyed the extraordinary advantage of not having to tell the truth for so long that they’re dumbfounded when the truth wins. The facts are not on their side, so they double down and pile on with more bullshit like they are right now because it’s all they know.

    Totally correct, but why is bullshit not winning any more? That is the interesting question. The old shtick just isn’t going over.

  88. 88
    JR in WVa says:

    I don’t understand it either, but I too also hope that they don’t figure out that they’re in a hole and stop digging.

    It may be too late, already. Obama’s team will have priceless tape of idiocy they can use as a contrast with President Obama’s cool, calm, collected attitude, which allows him to get things done.

    No one can get things done when having a panic attack!

  89. 89
    mohagan says:

    @Barney: “But they haven’t considered the size of the majority they are alienating; they’ve just thought “calling women who use contraception ‘sluts’ pisses off liberals, therefore it’s a good thing to do”, without remembering that literally 99% of women under 45 have at some time used contraception if they have had sex; and most men will have been glad that they did.”

    I turned 60 last year and I think talking only about women 45 and younger and their experience with birth control ignores the history of the 60s and early 70s. I assure you that I and pretty much every other baby-boomer female who lived during what has been called “the sexual revolution” has also used contraception and most probably “the pill”. When I was in college condoms and diaphrams were old-fashioned and messy – anyone modern took the pill. So I would guess practically any woman 65 or younger who has used birth control has had experience with birth control pills.

  90. 90
    mohagan says:

    @Yutsano:Speaking of women’s memories: I don’t know if I am out of the norm, but when Alan Simpson was challenged in the Democratic primary a year or so after switching to the Dems, I was fine with it. Two words: Anita Hill. (And she was characterised by the Repub smear senators as “a little bit slutty and a little bit nutty” to discredit her testimony on Clarence Thomas’s fondness for talking about porn with his female collegues).

  91. 91
    Ruckus says:

    @Seebach:
    Shouldn’t every single member of the insurance risk pool be able to veto the specific types of coverage their conscience does not allow them to pay for?

    There are 2 points here.
    1. If everyone in the pool gets to decide what they pay, you no longer have a pool, you have individual insurance. More expensive and at the mercy of the insurance co to provide whatever they want. You get even less choice, like what we have now. I’m a man and so don’t directly need birth control pills, but they are a very worthwhile product for more than half the population, including me.
    2. Conservatards complained long and hard about death panels, someone else making life/medical decisions for them. And now they are doing the same thing.
    Hypocrisy and projection. The conservative mantra.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @Barney:

    There is some evidence that it is partly about opposing anything a Democrat says – look at their opinions on the ACA provisions, many of which started off as Republican in the 1990s.

    This is nonsense, and further evidence that some liberals clearly are suicidal. Some of you insist on applying some lame psychological model to what the Republicans are doing. And you do this for an interesting, equally psychological reason. You cannot admit, and apparently cannot understand, that the world does not naturally revolve around you.

    To keep insisting that the GOP wants to piss you off implies that they care about what you think, and that you are equal to them. It also implies that the conservatives have no beliefs or values that are anything but a reaction to the natural truth of liberal ideas.

    The worst of the GOP would happily consign you to Gitmo or pass laws making religious patriotism mandatory.

    And here is the bottom line. You say the GOP just wants to piss you off. So, what the fuck are you going to do about it, besides stamp your feet and clutch your pearls?

    The GOP want power. This is old and simple. It doesn’t require sophistication or nuance to understand. And when you have power, and can use it, the last thing you have to care about is the delicate sensibilities of your opponents.

  93. 93
    Brachiator says:

    @kay:

    Romney chokes. Every single time. He chickens out in a calculated, following a plan way, but it’s the same thing as running away.

    You have nailed it.

    Beneath his thin veneer of bullying confidence, Romney is nothing but a natural coward.

    I continue to be amazed that Republican voters keep holding onto the hope that he would be the competent pro business president, and ignore his deep flaws as a potential leader.

  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    @kay:

    Romney chokes. Every single time. He chickens out in a calculated, following a plan way, but it’s the same thing as running away.

    You have nailed it.

    Beneath his thin veneer of bullying confidence, Romney is nothing but a natural coward.

    I continue to be amazed that Republican voters keep holding onto the hope that he would be the competent pro business president, and ignore his deep flaws as a potential leader.

  95. 95
    Mary says:

    @Smiling Mortician: Yes, I was thinking of that too :)

  96. 96
    sloan says:

    @priscianusjr: Maybe they’ve pushed it so far they’ve reached some kind of bullshit threshold. Like right now with a bunch of media wingnuts screaming louder every day about whether or not it’s ok to call Sandra Fluke a slut. Who the hell behaves like that in real life? No one I know, that’s for sure.

    I remember Nate Silver wrote a piece on right-wing talk radio a few years back called Did Talk Radio Kill Conservatism? that goes into all this, and how conservative media is oblivious to the world outside the reality they’ve created for themselves. Epistemic closure and all that.

  97. 97

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] John Cole is right, er, correct: The craziest thing to me about this whole Rush flare-up and the lunatic fringe of the right doubling down on the slut issue is how politically incompetent it all is. I remember someone calling this political malpractice, and that is correct. I’m really not used to this kind of political incompetence from Republicans- usually they are horribly wrong on the issues, but win the political battles. This time, not so much. […]

  2. […] 9) What They Should Have Done | John Cole – What they should have done is simple. They should have claimed victory when Obama made the modification to the mandate. When the initial mandate came out from HHS, there was a multi-day freakout, the Bishops and the prudes generated a lot of press, and Team Obama looked at things, calibrated the mandate so that so-called “religious freedom” was preserved, and the entire issue would have been taken off the table if the right had done the smart thing and just claimed victory. […] But instead of seizing upon it, they instead shit the bed and decided to double down, and now we have near 70% of the country looking at the Republicans like they are some kind of freak show, with their leaders introducing the Blunt and Rubio amendments and their spiritual leaders calling all women who use contraceptives sluts and prostitutes and the base doubling down and following their lead. It’s bewildering to watch. […] I’m not sure what is motivating this insanity. Part of it, of course, is the fact that they just hate you. Part of it is they are just opposed to anything liberals support. Part of it is that they are beholden to religious nuts. Part of it is an attempt to simply gut ACA. And I’m sure part of it is that they are so in their own bubble that they honestly don’t believe anything but their own bullshit. Regardless, it is crazy, and at the same time, I am cheering them on. It’s like watching a movie where the villain is mortally wounded and defeated, yet as they lie there in a pile of their own blood and bile, they still attempt to reach for the gun just out of their reach, giving the good guys one more reason to finish them off for good. Go for the gun. Make my fucking day. Rate this: Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in news, politics and tagged advertisers abandoning rush limbaugh, Afghanistan, Bill O'Reilly, birth control, buring korans, Callista Gingrich, carbonite, ceo of carbonite, choice, contraception, david friend, faith, Fox News, franklin graham, GOP, health insurance, healthcare reform, LOL, Newt Gingrich, obamacare, President Obama, president's apology, Republicans, rick santorum, Ron Paul, Rush Limbaugh, sandra fluke, slut, special needs child, women's rights by UTMB. Bookmark the permalink. […]

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