Monday, March 05, 2012

Ruth Ann Dailey weighs in, and we are the poorer for it ...

I have to note that I was entirely silent (last week) on the passing of Andrew Breitbart. I will not conceal that he was very far from my favorite person, but I would not wish a premature death like his on anyone, especially a family man. I would have been perfectly happy if, on the advice of his doctor to avoid unnecessary stress, Breitbart had turned to reporting on Hollywood.

Ruth Ann Dailey gave us her opinion on the Sharon Fluke/Rush Limbaugh debacle today. Dayvoe at 2 Political Junkies addresses a subtle shot Ms Dailey makes against the Obama administration. That shot is in this paragraph (my emphasis):

"As Mr. Limbaugh himself had pointed out, that's exactly what the White House wanted. It can't defend its economic record -- the recession and jobless numbers now belong solely to Mr. Obama -- so it needed to shift the campaign focus to social values."

Dayvoe does a good job of showing, once again since Republicans have been bringing this up since June of '09, that Obama inherited the bad economy, that the National Bureau of Economic Research stated that recession ended in June of '09, and that the numbers have mostly been getting better since then (with some back sliding here and there). I will make one point that Ruth Ann Dailey or any Republican could (but never would) make: the economy would be doing better if the stimulus had been bigger. Now, the blame that needs to be shared, including by Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter and Susan Collins, the three Republicans who broke ranks but demanded cuts in the stimulus in exchange for their votes. Still, to be sure the Obama administration could have (and should have) proposed a bigger stimulus.

But what I really wanted to address is Ruth Ann's attack on Sharon Fluke. She starts her column with this:

"As necessary and welcome as Rush Limbaugh's apology to Sandra Fluke is, there's a bigger victim of his ill-chosen remarks still waiting for the situation to be set right -- if it can be."

So while she goes on to complain that the so-called attack on religious liberty that Republicans/conservatives entirely created (not exactly her words), Ms Dailey seems to imply that Mr Limbaugh needed to apologize for what he said about Ms Fluke.

But wait, Ms Dailey clarifies her position later:

"The unremarkable episode quickly passed from the political scene but was revived when Mr. Limbaugh called her a "slut" and challenged her to tape the sex that taxpayers would now be subsidizing. That's how he cast himself in the role of scary, woman-hating monster -- without any help from the Left.

Why take that route when tongue-in-cheek barbs could have been launched from many angles? He could have conducted a fundraising drive for Ms. Fluke -- to prove that liberty-loving conservatives can always be counted on to meet human need through private charity! "Coins for Condoms," "Pennies for Pills," "Freebies for Fluke" -- silly slogans sure to paint the Left's insistence that free birth control is a fundamental right, trumping the free exercise of religion, as the ridiculous assertion it is."

What is clear from the second paragraph is that it's not the attack Ms Dailey disapproves of, only Limbaugh's chosen method. Ms Dailey doesn't want to call Ms Fluke a slut or prostitute, but "tongue-in-cheek barbs could have been launched from many angles". Notice Ms Dailey only specifies one example of what she has in mind - a fund raising drive for Ms Fluke. No mention of what other "barbs" would be acceptable or otherwise to her (calling Ms Fluke an idiot? saying that if a woman has health issues that are addressed by the pill, well, God meant for that woman to have those health issues (unless she is rich, in which case she is favored by God and can get the pill if she wants)).

Actually, notice how Ms Dailey's suggestion, raising money from "liberty-loving conservatives" carries a faint echo of Mitt Romney's "bet you ten thousand dollars" elitism. Plus the idea of only raising money for Sharon Fluke shows an entire ignorance of the real issue. I mean, yes, a scholarship student at Georgetown might well be poor enough that paying for the pill would be a hardship. But that student could possibly find a way to get a loan since after all, they will soon graduate from Georgetown law. They will very likely be part of the top 5% of the population money wise, possibly the top 1%. Meanwhile, there are food service workers and housekeepers at Georgetown, or Duquesne University or at Catholic hospitals who do not have that luxury, whose lives will be made genuinely worse if Republicans get their way. Where's the fundraising campaign for them, Ms Dailey?

And while Ms Dailey is answering questions, perhaps she could tell us which liberties, whether economic or religious, are under threat of being lost if President Obama wins re-election. Tell us what "Obamacare"'s (the ACA for those of you with a shred of respect) real threat to liberty is. Don't just complain that the real issues aren't being talked about, actually talk about them. But be fair, include in your discussion a comparison of European, Canadian, Japanese and Australian/New Zealand healthcare to ours before and after the ACA passed (and is implemented). Talk about the cost to the GNP of uninsured workers, the bankruptcies and preventable premature death. Give us an answer to this question, if "Obamacare" is repealed, will companies that do not offer health insurance to their workers compensate the rest of us who have to pay in higher hospital bills and health insurance premiums for their workers who go to the hospital and can't pay, declare bankruptcy is they do survive or die prematurely subsequently. Why should we have to pay because Republicans/conservatives want so badly to win an election that they create a false issue to pull religious extremists to their side and sabotage healthcare for all?

No comments: