Melinda Henneberger’s March 10 She the People column, “Whose war, and on which women,” exposed the egregious double standards applied to political behavior.
Ms. Henneberger focused on the duplicity of conservatives who won’t criticize radio personality Rush Limbaugh for his assault on women and liberals who won’t criticize TV personality Bill Maher for his. This hypocrisy strikes at the heart of a political system in which partisans can’t legitimately explain their actions, so they make lame excuses for them and march on in righteous indignation. It’s the politics of polarization. No one ever has to admit wrong. No one has to listen to opposing viewpoints. No one has to consider that there may be two or three legitimate sides to an argument.
Ms. Henneberger cited Obama loyalist Bill Burton, who claimed that Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Maher should be judged differently because Mr. Limbaugh is a Republican “leader” and Mr. Maher is a comedian. How absurd. Mr. Limbaugh is a profit-incentivized infotainer just as are Mr. Maher, Glenn Beck, Chris Matthews, Sean Hannity and countless others. Theirs is a business, and, frankly, they all should regularly have their mouths washed out with soap.
Mike Johnson, Washington
Regarding Bonnie J. Morris’s March 11 Local Opinions commentary, “Standing with Sandra Fluke”:
Ms. Morris stated that she “is affected personally, in every nerve of my body, by Rush Limbaugh’s name calling” and that “any attack on a young woman’s reputation feels like a personal attack on all women.”
Can we please stop making women seem like a bunch of fraidy cats, unable to handle themselves individually but needing to hang on the sleeves of each other because a 30-year-old Georgetown graduate student is called bad names by a jerk?
Carol Shaw Greger, Bowie
Although I can understand how many people have reacted to Rush Limbaugh’s harsh language regarding Sandra Fluke, I am surprised at how few people seem to be upset about his not having the facts straight. Ms. Fluke was testifying as a consumer of a health-care plan offered to students by Georgetown University, and she told why she believed that health-care coverage should include contraceptive care. Mr. Limbaugh, in his rant, spoke as if she wanted taxpayers to cover the cost of her contraceptive care. This was not the case at all.
Virginia Merrill, Vienna
Melinda Hennenberger does not distinguish the fact that, other than Ms. Fluke, all the other women mentioned in her column as victims of insults are public figures, in which case different legalities apply. No woman should be insulted with terms used by any of these men. However, there is a big difference between a one-time remark about a public figure and a three-day insulting rant against a private citizen, especially when the rant is a continuation of a career’s worth of hateful invective.
Barbara Hyde, Alexandria