COMMENTARY | Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh attempted to justify his "slut" and "prostitute" remarks of last week with a few words of explanation on his show Monday. Apologizing for having made the comments to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, he said that in taking the fight to the Left, he became "like them."
"This is the mistake I made: In fighting them on this issue last week, I became like them," he said. "Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything that I know to be right and wrong, I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke. That was my error. I became like them."
But did he really? Limbaugh is forever lambasting anything and everything that he disagrees with, especially in the arena of politics, but did he actually "descend" to this subjectively contrived Limbaugh-determined level whereat he places the political Left? Or, regardless of whether that particular odious area is inhabited by peoples of Left, Right, Independent, and/or Apolitical persuasions, was it a place with which Limbaugh was already familiar?
It would appear that the latter discernment would be correct, for making misogynistic or derogatory remarks toward females is not new territory for Limbaugh, and his attacks on Fluke and her stance on women's health care and contraception were not exceptions that caused a momentary descent from some more lofty arrogation in which Limbaugh sees himself. On the contrary and not "against [his] own instincts," the conservative talk show host has been quite comfortable making such comments over the years.
During the dust-up over the Transportation Security Administration's pat-down procedures at the nation's airports in 2010, Limbaugh suggested that Obama "take his daughter to the airport and have a TSA grope her."
It should be noted that Limbaugh chose the president's daughter and did not suggest that the president, a male, undergo the pat-down procedure himself.
He also went after President Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, in 1993. Holding up a picture of the then 13-year-old, he quipped, "Here is a Limbaugh joke: Everyone knows the Clintons have a cat. Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is a White House dog?"
In 2004, he made the sociological argument (among the many he's made over the years, as documented by Media Matters): "Some of these babes, I'm telling you, like the sexual harassment crowd. They're out there protesting what they actually wish would happen to them sometimes."
It would appear that in Limbaugh's world, women actually prefer to be sexually harassed. Or perhaps that is a projection on his part...
While talking about the 2008 election, Limbaugh spoke with noted feminist, Marianne Williamson, about her vote. Williamson said she wouldn't "vote with [her] vagina," to which Limbaugh went on to conclude: "... you could assume, yes, that women who are voting for Hillary are voting with their vaginas..."
And why assume such a thing, simply on the word of a feminist that had decided to vote for Obama in 2008? Apparently the assumption could not be made -- as was being implied in Obama's case -- that a thinking woman would vote for Clinton.
Then there was the moment years ago as a shock jock host (as if he is not one at present) in Pittsburgh where he told an African-American female listener, as documented by Snopes.com, that he had trouble understanding to "take that bone out of your nose and call me back."
It would appear that Limbaugh is more than familiar with the level of chauvinistic ad hominem dialogue that he used to characterize Sandra Fluke's words at last week's Washington hearing. His disagreement with her stance on contraception and women's health issues notwithstanding, his attacks were geared toward the personal, assumptive, dismissive, and worse than the "inappropriate" label given his remarks by many of his fellow conservatives. Still, this is not to say that conservatives or liberals are above the type of language employed by Limbaugh, for they are not, and demonstrably so. But Limbaugh attempts to hide behind some rationalized idea that he fell from a higher place and that he ended up in a place dominated by the political Left (thereby promoting the political Right, of which he is a member, to unjustified higher moral and ethical ground).
He did not, and demonstrably so...
Limbaugh did not descend at all. Descent requires that one hold a more elevated place before a declination, a position that Rush Limbaugh apparently has never held -- save perhaps in the self-aggrandized realm of his own mind.