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Right-wing ‚??war on women‚?? turns into election year wake-up call John Watson Commentary

February 16. 2013 12:27AM

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IS THERE a "War on Women?" You "betcha" there is.

"So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal," said GOP kingmaker Rush Limbaugh. "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

I couldn't believe my ears when Limbaugh said that about Sandra Fluke, also referring to her as a "slut" and as a "prostitute," over three days of mind-boggling blabber about contraception to his creepy flock of angry white guys.

Well, he got this white guy pretty angry.

I have two daughters in their 30s, both of whom, like Fluke, have lived in Washington, D.C., and are of similar liberal sensibility. And I had a strong, elegant mother who would have slapped my face if I talked like that about a woman.

Frustrated men who degrade women in a mean-spirited, sexual way, which is ubiquitous today, aren't men at all. They certainly are not the men that I knew growing up.

And don't give me that right-wing talking point about how Bill Maher called vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin a nasty name. You betcha Maher was wrong to use such a term. Palin, however, who is, remarkably, a Limbaugh defender, is living proof that a self-serving woman can be just as appalling as a misogynist man.

Come on, boys. Tone it down. Talk politics, sports, business, tell me the story of the entire 18 holes, what's wrong with your boat, why Manning would fit best in Denver, but don't talk sexual trash about women. When you do, you are saying that you have never loved a woman, known a real man or had a mother, daughter or a sister.

Sadly, a pervert like Limbaugh is the commander in chief of the war on women. His show, from noon to three each weekday, is aimed at men in the workplace or on the road; and his 20 million listeners form the backbone of the right wing in America.

Last year, for example, in a country brimming with newly elected Tea Partiers, about 430 bills surfaced in legislatures throughout the country concerning women's reproductive rights.

Are we in danger of returning to the days when a woman must get permission from a husband to have her tubes tied? Well, maybe not, but these Republican proposals on women's reproductive issues effectively give that decision to your employer.

Congress even refuses to renew a domestic violence bill because it contains protections for lesbians and illegal immigrants.

In Texas, nearly 200,000 women will be without essential health care because the cattle in that legislature have a beef with Planned Parenthood.

Despite President Obama's passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women still make about 25 percent less than men doing the same work.

The United States ranks 71st among nations in the percentage of women elected to public office.

So, it might have been fortunate that Limbaugh exposed himself earlier this month. Maybe it will wake us up in an important election year.

There was a strange silence from Republicans over Limbaugh's remarks, except for one, significant voice. Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan's speech writer, said that Limbaugh's bombast is further evidence that there is a "horrible, misogynistic war on women" in America today.

I'll leave the last word on this for my fellow Lake Winola fan, Hillary Clinton.

"Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me," said Clinton last week. "But they all seem to. It doesn't matter what country they're in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies."

The United States "needs to set an example for the entire world," she said, and "reject efforts to marginalize any one of us."

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