Reliably unreasonable extremist James Taranto makes a needless complaint, quite possibly hurting some of our partners in Democracy’s feelings:
The kerfuffle was no fluke but a left-liberal set piece. It started 2½ weeks ago, when the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings on the ObamaCare contraception mandate and its implications for religious liberty. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York reports that Democrats originally chose Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State over Fluke to testify for the anti-religious-liberty side.
Then they sandbagged the Republicans. They asked, too late, for Fluke to be subbed in for Lynn, then told Lynn not to bother showing up. When the hearing took place, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (this columnist’s congressman, but don’t blame us) demanded: “Where are the women?” Although it was the Dems who chose Lynn over Fluke and the second panel of witnesses included two female members, liberal media dutifully propagated the “Republican sexism” charge. A week later, House Democrats held a mock hearing where Fluke testified.
Thus this dishonest distraction was already well under way by Wednesday, when Rush Limbaugh famously joked: “What does it say about…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.”
On Saturday, Limbuagh acknowledged his mistake: “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.” No doubt it’s satisfying to the left to have brought Limbaugh to heel, something that isn’t easy to do. And it’s true that Limbaugh’s ill-chosen words magnified the Fluke distraction.
Was it really necessary to say all this? It surely won’t help nurture the spirit of bipartisanship so necessary to the functioning of Good Government. Somebody should do something about this hate speech before someone gets hurt.