Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Would you use an app that tells you the partisan affiliation of products you're considering buying?

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share

Join a Discussion

Weekly schedule, past shows

ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 03/02/2012

Pelosi rips Limbaugh over `slut’ comment, calls on House GOP to repudiate it

Congressional Democrats who have vowed to make the birth control controversy central to this year’s elections have been handed a gift in the form of one of the leading voices in the GOP: Rush Limbaugh.

In an interview with me, Nancy Pelosi considerably upped the stakes in this fight, ripping Limbaugh’s recent comments about women who use contraception as “obnoxious,” and calling on House GOP and other Republican leaders to publicly repudiate them.

Limbaugh recently derided Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown student who testified at a House contaception hearing, as a “slut,” adding that “all the women at Georgetown University” should put “as much aspirin...between their knees as possible.”

Pelosi said she was surprised that Republican leaders had yet to condemn the comment, but said GOPers would not be able to escape it. “They won’t disassociate themselves from it. They’re tattooed with that,” she said. “I wouldn’t want those words repeated in my office.”

In another sign of how Dems will press this case this year, Pelosi also escalated her attack on GOP priorities, arguing that Republicans favor government intrusion on individual liberty only when it comes to matters of sex.

“They don’t believe in a government role except when it comes to women exercising her conscience on an issue like that,” Pelosi said. “People who choose to marry and find comfort with each other — they decide that government should step in there. But clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public education, public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — they want to end the government role.”

Pelosi’s broadside shows that Dems are eager to make this fight central in the elections by framing it around women’s health issues, and health care in general — a way to relitigate health reform on turf favorable to them. Republicans want it to be about religious liberty — meaning they want it fought on culture war turf.

Almost no Republicans have condemned Rush’s comments. NRSC chair Carly Fiorina just came out and said they were “insulting,”while a spokesman for John Boehner has now called them “inappropriate.” But Dems will almost certainly demand more.

This morning, Luke Russert noted that the relative silence of GOP leaders about Rush’s comments shows the power of the “conservative media machine.” But if Dems keep up the pressure, and more Republicans do condemn Rush, it may soon become clear that he’s finally gone so far that even that power can’t hold back GOP criticism any longer.

By  |  11:11 AM ET, 03/02/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company