Rush to Judgment

What is becoming increasingly clear in the fallout of the misogynist remarks made by conservative wonk Rush Limbaugh is that the Republican Party is about to place in nomination for the most important, most treacherous job in the world, a man who doesn't have the courage to stand up to a talk radio host.

So how can we expect the GOP nominee, as president, to stand up to the bullies, dictators and other ne'er-do-wells that exist on this planet?

Answer: we can't.

They say silence is deafening, and in the case of Limbaugh and his attack on Georgetown student Sandra Fluke, the silence has managed to be louder than Limbaugh himself---and that's not easy to do.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have each offered tepid, milquetoast responses to Limbaugh, who called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute," while also calling for the young woman to produce sex tapes. All because Fluke had the temerity to want to testify on Capitol Hill about the University providing contraception as part of its health care.

Romney said that Rush's words weren't the ones he'd use. Santorum tried to dismiss Limbaugh as an "absurd" entertainer. Gingrich tried to turn the tables and called President Obama "opportunistic" because he showed grace and compassion in phoning Fluke the day after Limbaugh's savage attack.

Each of the candidates have had second, and sometimes even third chances to clarify their positions, i.e. a "do-over" to show that their first responses were inappropriate and feeble.

Yet still, a week after Limbaugh went after Fluke, not only have the candidates, but most of the Republican Party have stayed mum about this red hot button issue.

No one wants to take on Rush Limbaugh among the GOP ranks. I don't know whether that's pitiful, insane or abhorrent.

Let's go for all three.

Santorum, in fact, had the gall to respond "courage" when asked in the last GOP debate to describe himself with one word.

Romney doesn't want to touch Limbaugh with a 10-foot pole. Gingrich sometimes actually sounds like Rush's press secretary.

The candidates' cowardice is only matched by their stupidity.

Blame their camps, too. For no one apparently has the brains to deduce that if their man came out against Limbaugh's comments---really came out against them---then he'd look a whole lot better than the others, and that such a response might actually help him in November.

You think the women voters, who are already cranky about birth control being reanimated as a political issue some 50 years after they thought it was put to bed, are in the mood to put up with attacks on their gender such as the one Limbaugh levied on Ms. Fluke?

Yet if one of the GOP presidential candidates had shown some courage---Santorum's word---I'd bet some of those female voters might be a little soothed.

The bottom line: a presidential candidate who is afraid of a talk show host who represents a sliver of a party that needs to grow instead of shrink, isn't fit to be president.

If the eventual GOP nominee needs a reminder of that, you can believe the women voters of this country will gladly provide it.


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