Santorum Can’t Run Away from Limbaugh, who is just taking Santorum’s ideas to their logical conclusion

Rick Santorum is trying to distance himself from Rush Limbaugh’s slander of Sandra Fluke. He maintains that Limbaugh is just an “entertainer” and that he was “being absurd.”

Limbaugh is not just an entertainer. He is a major force in Republican politics and in shaping political discourse in the United States. None of the Republican candidates wants to admit that they are joined at the hip with Limbaugh.

More important, Limbaugh’s defamation of Sandra Fluke is simply a logical extension of what Rick Santorum has said. He wasn’t being “absurd.” He was engaged in a reductio ad absurdum, taking an argument to its ultimate conclusion.

Santorum said that contraception is not all right because it allows people to do things sexually that they aren’t supposed to do. (His discomfort with the very subject and awkward phrasing are in themselves very suspicious).

In other words, Santorum believes that freely-available contraception encourages people to engage in casual sex, which he believes the government should forestall by abrogating any right to privacy. While there isn’t a typical pejorative for a man who sleeps around, there are lots of words for a woman who does. One of them is “slut.”

So when Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke that, he was simply making explicit something that Santorum had already said.

Limbaugh isn’t “entertaining” when he lashes out at a private citizen like that. He is putting into practice the principles Santorum had enunciated. Limbaugh is just Lenin to Santorum’s Marx. Indeed, we ought to speak of Limbaugh-Santorumism.

Santorum says he is in a very different business than Limbaugh. He isn’t. Both of them are in the business of Inquisition.

24 Responses

  1. Thanks for the service you do posting these Juan (if I may)! But you could go further and tie Limbaugh to his logical conclusion, which is the post below about ocean acidification. That is to say, the logical conclusion of having debates in which we have to respond to Limbaugh-Santorumism in policy terms is nothing short of catastrophic.

    So we start ‘debating’ on measures about which there should be no negotiating because they are basic human rights. This includes health care and education accessible to all, living wages, fair taxation policy, and on and on and on.

    Or worse, we debate about horrific policies such as torture in even ‘liberal’ media outlets such as NPR (which proudly will interview Cheney but refuse to interview Michael Moore). Just what is the ‘centrist’ position on torture? We’ll only water board a little? Good grief. I can think of numerous matters in which there simply is no half-way, there is only respect for the dignity and rights of the individual.

    And, as your post below indicates (on the dying oceans), you can just forget the environment – even though a most dire and urgent issue, it consistently appears at the bottom of most people’s list.

    This is the logical conclusion of so many things – well-funded hard right ‘think-tanks’ (really propaganda offices), deep odium for the civil rights advances in the past forty or fifty years for women and minorities, a vendetta for Nixon’s fall, increased privatization of the airwaves allowing for ignoramuses to control the discourse, futile attempts to vindicate Vietnam through further military adventures, exploitative manipulation of our collectively reptilian brain post 9/11, and the Awterfication of the national electoral process (remember 1988?). And I know I’m leaving plenty out! All of this has been fuel thrown onto the fire of a party that is no longer that of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt but of John Birch plain and simple.

    And what have we gotten as a result? A president who (along with his party) in some respects governs to the right of (the despicable) Ronald Reagan and gets labeled as a socialist by the opposition.

    The end game? My guess (and it is only a guess) is that at some point within the next few decades environmental degradation will become so severe that it will result in resource scarcity in some part of the world that will lead to a major world conflagration. Vague I know, but nonetheless I am afeared likely – that is if we don’t find one on our hands sooner in Persia. On our present course, I am afraid that the worst is yet to come and we are powerless to prevent it.

  2. I find your silence on Syria disturbing to say the least. Can you please let us know why there has not been a single posting on the destruction of Homs?

    • Observer:

      Unless you live on the moon with Newt Gingrich, I hope you realize that the mainstream networks and internet has been saturated with Syria news. Juan has already denounced Assad regime and he is a butcher.

      However, the solution to this problem is to remove the blanket of hypocracy where America’s friends in the middle east are allowed to murder innocent people in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine. The only reason that America is focused on Syria is because it is a partner of Iran. Do you have any doubt that the Saudis would do the same to their shiite saudis of eastern saudi arabia should they take up arms against the saudi monarchy?

      I pity the innocent people of Homs. They are merely pawns caught in the middle of a chess game between regional tyrants. We can only help Homs if come to this realization and adopt policies that recognize these dynamics.

      • - Syria is not S.A. The first Prime Minister of Syria was a Christian.

        -The shiite sect is a minority in S.A and the Qatif Demonstrations were a sectarian warning from Iran to S.A only. Like the Bombing in Turkey was a warning from Bashar al Assad to the Turks. The Qatif demonstrations had nothing to do with Bread, Dignity and Freedom.

        “Do you have any doubt that the Saudis would do the same to their shiite saudis of eastern saudi arabia should they take up arms against the saudi monarchy?”

        Iran is doing the same btw with regard to the sunni Baluchis in Iran itself.

        The sunnis are the majority in Syria. So you can`t compare it to S.A. You can compare it to Bahrain. But the best comparison would be Iraq where the anti-imperialist secularist sunni elite where crushed by the shiite majority with full support from Iran. So Iran. And now Iraq`s Maliki backs the secular shia Minority in Syria while at the same time hails the uprising in Bahrain. What a hypocrite. Iran helped NATO in Afghanistan too but refuse NATO Intervention in Syria since it did not serve Iran`s Interest.

        -The syrian uprising was not a sectarian uprising until Bashar made it one. He warned the christians for example with the iraqi scenario for them even though he is backed in Iraq by the very same people like Moqtder a Sadr`s Mahdi Army that killed the Christians. I´s just comical.

  3. Limbaugh and other talk show talkers lie him
    (oops – Freudian slip) indulge themselves and abuse their listeners with deliberate logical fallacies.

    • I want this story to continue and be amplified to the 4 corners of the earth until Limbaugh ends in Limbohell. Juan is perfectly right to talk about it and leave Syria alone for a minute.

  4. I find your criticism of Prof. Cole’s choice of subject dictatorial, ‘to say the least’. Perhaps the best remedy for your complaint is to start your own blog.
    Many of us, having discovered Informed Comment some years ago, are still very pleased with, and better educated for it. cheers, rmdw

  5. “So we start ‘debating’ on measures about which there should be no negotiating because they are basic human rights…”

    Excellent point Steve. Run out the clock that is ticking away the minutes that the US has left in an oil facilitated society. Unlike football, the game isn’t over when the clock stops, it is over before the clock stops, when the time, energy, focus, and dollars remaining are insufficient to complete a viable alternate national energy system.

    The fundamental moral issue–whether we survive as a nation without blood on our hands–outweighs short term profit motives and any trumped up moral indignation emanating from those who wish to exert power over others. So what do we have at the pinnacle of national political dialog today? A push to roll back contraception to the dark ages. And arguments that profits of the rich must be maintained, no matter the rest.

    Ensuring the availability of contraception in no way endangers the future survival of the nation. Ignoring the pressing need to escape from oil dependency absolutely affects the future survival of the nation.

  6. A program called “Tool Time” discussing sexual matters? Under a Santorum administration, this kind of thing would be investigated!

    Rick and his ilk are ready to rage against Islam, yet the most fanatic Islamists (and a good number of orthodox Jews in Israel) spout the same kind of anti-sex nonsense as Rick.

    If Santorum gets nominated, Obama’s re-election is a certainty.

  7. PS. All this talk about the word “slut” is just a smokescreen, designed to distract from the issues. (A few weeks ago, the same media were celebrating Slutwalk.)

  8. Good post. To add insult to injury, Clear Channel Communications pay Limbaugh $50 million a year to spread this blight… and everyone knows who owns Clear Channel Communications, right? Bain Capital. Ring a bell?

  9. Rick, too, is an entertainer, and being absurd. But he demands to be president because only absurd fascistic entertainers can save America! Only they understand God! God is the ultimate absurd entertainer! We must have an absurdly entertaining theocracy!

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail is literal truth! We must study it in every public school! And practice the stoning scene during recess!

    Guido Sarducci for Cardinal of New York! All Broadway theaters must run Nunsense and Book of Mormon!

    All Tom Lehrer songs about religion – played on all PA systems around the clock! No laughing allowed!

    Speaking in tongues? New national language!

  10. Limbaugh Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

    You just have to laugh. For the last couple of weeks, the reactionary right has seized upon the “no-copay” contraceptive requirement for medical insurance policies to spin it as an assault upon the “religious freedom” of employers. Anyone trying to bring up the health of women, or reasons why contraception is critical was shouted down as irreligious. But we all knew that the whole thing was just a coverup for depriving women of an essential medical preventive product, and restricting THEIR freedom.

    So old gasbag Limbaugh gets on his show to weigh in – and gives away the whole show. Not one word about “religion” – no, it’s sluts and pay for sex and let’s see the videos, girlie (smirk, snort). Not to mention inferring that any woman who goes to college is by definition a slut. (This one-ups even Santorum, who only asserts that college graduates are “snobs.”)

    But the whole “religious freedom” argument has been blown. It’s over. The ugly, misogynistic face of the 21st century right wing is on public display. No sex for YOU, girlie! or for you, wifey. Moreover, none of the Republican office holders or other elite dare to come down on Limbaugh with both feet, as they should. They’ll all go down with him.

    It’s bizarre to say it, but THANK YOU, RUSH!

  11. I haven’t listened to Limbaugh in almost 20 years, but my impression was that he never (personally at least) was much interested in these kind of issues, except as far as they could be useful in getting attention for his show.

    The one issue I have no doubt he cares passionately about is reducing taxes on high income earners, and therefore he will do his beat to lead his flock into the Mitt Romney camp.

  12. I used to live in Pittsburgh where Santorum is from. He was a sell-out warmonger then too. I mean the stuff Santorum says is so bad its a caricature of inanity. If you thought it couldn’t get any worse than Bush…it did!

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