An Open Letter to Republicans

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on March 3, 2012


You have yourselves in something of a pretty pickle. While President Obama certainly harmed himself with Catholic voters thanks to his administration’s initial stance regarding contraception coverage, and while his modified stance was little better, there seems to be a feeling on the part of some on the Right that this election is all about issues pertaining to contraception coverage. As a consequence, there also seems to be a feeling on the part of various segments of the country–whose votes could be crucial in what might yet be a close election contest–that the Republican party is out of touch when it comes to the issues facing the country.

This feeling is magnified thanks to Rush Limbaugh’s decision to wage rhetorical war against Sandra Fluke. I don’t know Sandra Fluke from a bookcase, but it seems to me–and mind you, I’m just one little blogger, so take this for what it is worth–that when an ideologically polarizing radio megastar decides to take on a lone female law student, the latter will end up looking more sympathetic to the general public. President Obama certainly thinks so; his phone call to Sandra Fluke was less for the purpose of bucking her up, and more for the purpose of garnering political advantage by appearing to be on the side of the underdog. Rush Limbaugh certainly does not speak for the Republican party. He only speaks for himself. Alas, there are a great many people who are either unwilling or unable to make that kind of distinction, and so, his comments regarding Sandra Fluke–which, let’s face it, are not exactly the model of tact and diplomacy–are seen as representative of the attitude of the Republican party as a whole.

This would be a problem, given that (a) Americans identify with the underdog; and (b) for most Americans, contraception is not the most pressing of issues right now. I certainly agree that social issues are very important, and need to be debated, but with unemployment over 8% (and potentially going higher, if the Federal Reserve’s recent warnings are to be believed), with Europe going into a recession, and with the possibility that said recession may negatively affect the United States, it just might be best if the GOP did everything within its power to get off of the contraception train.

The best way to do that is to talk about the economy. After talking about the economy, it would be advisable to talk some more about the economy. Next, I suggest talking about the economy. In the course of this latter discussion concerning the economy, be sure to inject statements regarding the economy. And before completing this discussion about the economy, please see to it that you touch on issues concerning the economy.

Then, lather, rinse, and repeat.

Maybe, just maybe, this will convince Americans that the Republican party cares about the economy. And maybe, just maybe, this will convince Americans that the Republican party has a better plan to deal with the economy than do Democrats, which maybe, just maybe, will cause American voters to vote Republican in November.

Just a thought. Hope it helps.


PS: Be sure to talk about the economy.

  • Anonymous

    I think the best analyses were delivered here:

    Name-calling has certain rules. Names are not nice – they’re not supposed to be – but they should not be used just for the sake of being nasty. They serve properly as a form of satire, ridiculing a relevant negative characteristic of a group or individual. Two of my own examples: Pleistocene Liberation Organization; Vast Right Wing Complacency. In both cases the meaning of the snark is fairly plain. People unfamiliar with geologic dating know can tell that affixing the “Pleistocene” label to certain environmentalists stabs at that faction’s Luddite tendencies. VRWC speaks for itself.

    Another key rule: the name must also not distract from the issue which is being ridiculed.

    Rush’s name-calling breaks both rules.

    There is no evidence she is a slut (i.e. sexually indiscriminate), and that’s not relevant to the issue anyway. “Whore” is inaccurate because there’s a difference between paying for sex that you’re getting and paying for contraception for someone who is never going to sleep with you.

    Point 4 from the linked post from Ann Althouse – who likes Rush – is worth repeating: “Quite aside from the lack of a factual basis for his humor, it’s just
    mean to aim words like “slut” and “prostitute” at a woman, especially a
    young woman, even if the metaphor is apt. Even when you get the joke and
    agree with the criticism of the policy she’s advocating, it feels ugly. The humor backfires.”

    I like Rush too. That doesn’t keep me from recognizing that Rush made a huge blunder. He called Fluke names that have nothing to do with the true cause of her notoriety. The problem with her is not her sexual activity but that she is, as  Michelle Malkin states, a moocher. She wants the government to force someone else (insurers) to pay for her contraceptives.

    (Isn’t it great that feminists want to unload the burden of contraception from us guys?)

    Abstaining from such language doesn’t mean treating Fluke with kid gloves. Rush should have painted her as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory‘s Veruca Salt. (Less than a month ago commenter Bart at Rand Simberg’s blog cast the Dems as the Veruca Salt Party. How apt.)

    Satire works when it guides the public conversation in the satirist’s intended direction. It didn’t work in this case.

    Rush fans need to accept that Rush’s satire isn’t always within proper bounds, that his craft can be improved here and there. Rush foes need enough objectivity (and sanity) to recognize his genuine beliefs – that he really does believe that leftist policies ultimately hurt the people they’re intended to help, and inflict collateral damage leftists don’t anticipate.

    Now that Rush has apologized, has anyone apologized for the celebrations over Andrew Breitbart’s death? Anyone? Bueller?

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