If you missed her widely linked Daily Beast item this weekend, read it now. Then read Treacher’s long look back at Our Moral Superiors’ most morally superior moments. The most interesting bit here is when Megyn Kelly asks whether she thinks liberals are genuinely offended by Rush but debilitated by a blind spot about their own side or whether they’re affecting outrageous outrage to put points on the partisan scoreboard. KP thinks it’s the former; I think the truth is in between. They are genuinely offended — not by the rhetoric, though, but by conservative opposition to abortion and support for prioritizing religious conscience above contraception coverage. That’s what makes Rush “anti-woman”; the “slut” name-calling is, supposedly, a window onto that deeper animus. Because Maher and Olbermann and Taibbi are, ahem, “pro-woman” on policy, they can be as personally nasty as they want and it’s not a window onto anything. The quintessential example of this is of course Ted Kennedy, whose career stands for the proposition that you can allegedly assault women and even leave a woman to die and be reelected for eternity so long as you vote the right way.
That is to say, for all of the left’s bleeding-heart smugness about “good intentions,” they’re remarkably bottom-line on this: So long as you support abortion and the rest of their packet on social issues, your actual intent when calling a woman a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick” is irrelevant. It’s an irrebuttable presumption of feminism, a de facto “get out of misogyny free” card. As a thought experiment, imagine, say, Maher suddenly declaring himself pro-life (that’s a mighty tough experiment, I know) and then calling a woman a “c*nt.” Think there’d be a response from the left then? I wonder, in fact, to what extent KP’s sensitivity to this is shaped by the fact that she’s pro-life herself. Must get tiresome for her to be accused of being a “self-hating woman” or whatever while left-wing heroes go around accusing their female critics of looking like pre-op transsexuals.
Apropos of nothing, my favorite comment on the endless Rush/Fluke saga comes from the Political Math guy, who points to this petition at the White House website calling on Panetta to drop Rush from Armed Forces Radio and quips, “Liberals have ‘moral objection’ to Rush, don’t want tax money paying him #SelfAwarenessFail”. Exit question via Guy Benson: Since we’re now all about organizations distancing themselves from media types who use “slut” rhetoric, when does Obama’s Super PAC plan on forfeiting Bill Maher’s $1 million donation?