Slut-Shaming To Become Official GOP Talking Point?

When I mocked a droolingly ignorant column by CNS’ Craig Bannister suggesting women supporting a contraception coverage mandate were having too much sex, I felt a little cheap. Clearly, Bannister was some marginal antediluvian crank who only existed as link-bait for hard-pressed progressive bloggers who needed a easy post now and then.

Little did I know Rush Limbaugh would pick up the same bizarre line of attack and repeat it–nay, raise it to even higher levels of toxic absurdity–for (at least) two days. Given Rush’s status as He Who Must Be Obeyed on the right (remember then-Chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele, having to apologize to Limbaugh for daring diss him back in 2009?), we’re getting dangerously close to a moment when the “subsidizing sluts” argument for opposing the contraception mandate will become mandatory for the GOP presidential field.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman summed up the current state of the controversy:

If Limbaugh hasn’t gone too far this time, then “too far” no longer exists. Those Republican politicians who have genuflected to Limbaugh in the past — do any of them have daughters? Wives? Sisters? Mothers?

Will any of them dare to raise their voice in protest or disgust? Because again, if this is not going too far, what is?

What bothers me most is that Rush’s regular listeners must love this stuff, or he wouldn’t keep it up. And don’t tell me it’s all a shuck: anyone who finds this sort of crap hilarious probably enjoys tormenting small children and stray animals.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.