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Crooks & Liars made me aware of Peggy Noonan's dismissive opinion piece about the Democratic National Convention. She apparently found it very tedious and boring, even though the audience response tended to silence many pundits' calls for an "enthusiasm gap."
However, it is her vitriol toward Sandra Fluke that I find most infuriating. Noonan apparently thinks she's being magnanimous by saying that Rush Limbaugh should not have called Sandra Fluke a "slut." No, she has her own choice words to throw at the law student and activist; here is the quote from Crooks & Liars:
"'What a fabulously confident and ingenuous-seeming political narcissist Ms. Fluke is. She really does think--and her party apparently thinks--that in a spending crisis with trillions in debt and many in need, in a nation in existential doubt as to its standing and purpose, in a time when parents struggle to buy the good sneakers for the kids so they're not embarrassed at school . . . that in that nation the great issue of the day, and the appropriate focus of our concern, is making other people pay for her birth-control pills. That's not a stand, it's a non sequitur. She is not, as Rush Limbaugh oafishly, bullyingly said, slut. She is a ninny, a narcissist and a fool.'"
Thus, Noonan has embarrassed herself by making it clear that she never listened to Fluke's actual testimony, only to Rush Limbaugh's willfully and maliciously distorted version of it. The Crooks and Liars post points out Noonan's (and Limbaugh's) obvious factual mistake:
"And for the millionth time, regulating insurance plans that people pay for out of their own pockets isn't the same thing as "making other people pay" for their birth-control pills."
I remember a time when the Wall Street Journal was a reputable-enough publication that this kind of amateurish mistake would not be tolerated. But I have a few other questions for Ms. Noonan, hoping she will take the time to read Fluke's actual testimony at some point:
1) Are you aware of the fact that Ms. Fluke's testimony said absolutely nothing about her own health care, sex life, medications or requests? She, in fact, spoke about friends of hers who had such conditions as polycystic ovary disease, which required hormonal treatment. Technically, this means that she wasn't actually talking about birth control, but about medical treatment for a serious condition.
2) Are you aware that, in relaying her friend's experience, she told of the price of treatment leading to hospitalization, and the threat of losing an ovary? Do you consider those concerns frivolous?
3) If you're so concerned about insurance coverage of medications that touch every-so-tangentially on the subject of sex, where is your protest about the coverage for treatments for Erectile Dysfunction?
4) If you're so concerned about the judicious use of government money (aside from the fact that Fluke was not asking for taxpayer funds), where was your outrage over the Iraq War and the Bush tax cuts?
5) If, as so many conservatives claim, you are interested in small government, why do you think it is the business of government to allow women to be interrogated - as Fluke described - about the reasons they are "really" needing a prescribed medication?
For saying that the only problem with Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke was that he called her the wrong names, Peggy Noonan is the one who should be ashamed, not Fluke.
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