As the fallout from Slutgate continues, the foul-smelling rhetoric of political division continues to waft along, stronger than ever. After the hot-button issue of contraception turned Sandra Fluke into a national figure, aided by Rush Limbaugh's sexist comments which recalled the Don Imus "nappy-headed hos" imbroglio, insurance-coverage responsibility became a hot topic in comment boxes across the blogosphere. And Limbaugh's comeuppance was gleefully applauded by those in the mood for smashing pumpkinheads.
Calling Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" for her views ultimately cost Limbaugh sponsors like Legal Zoom and Sleep Train Mattress Centers. This blow to his bottom line, as Ron Paul pointed out on Sunday's Face the Nation, is, of course, what really prompted Limbaugh's apology to Fluke. It's hard to believe he truly regrets his vile remarks when he has an extensive history of hurling racist epithets and engaging in callous pantomimes.
With this in mind, it's not surprising to see Michael Moore, who probably wouldn't accept Limbaugh's helping hand if he was slipping off a ledge, eagerly jump on the bandwagon. On Saturday, Moore tweeted, "Rush — As soon as u started losing the big $$ from your hate speech, you caved & obeyed the men who pay u. Who's the prostitute now, bitch?"
And that wasn't all. On his website, MichaelMoore.com, other choice tweets piling on Limbaugh were proudly collated, such as: "I didn't know there was anyone on earth who had the power to tell Rush what 2 do. But then there's Bain Capital, financiers of Clear Channel" and "I guess Romney knew that Rush, who made the mistake of saying what most Republicans think (women as sluts), had cost him the Nov. election." And more sardonicism: "Don't give up, Rush! It's a WAR ON WOMEN & you're the Supreme Leader. Keep reminding voters how hate & violence drives the Republican agenda."
Even if you sympathize with Moore's point of view, his Twitter gloating is unbecoming. This lack of civility in the public discourse is why Senator Olympia Snowe won't be seeking re-election (unless she was secretly going to retire anyway and decided to get some hero credit). I hadn't realized how personal it was between Moore and Limbaugh until I read the following tweet: "And BTW Rush, your vile & vicious attacks on me over the years — I wear them as a badge of honor. You are sad & sick & I've always pitied u." This kind of beefing is sadly symbolic of the type of attitude that leads to the political gridlock that comes at the expense of U.S. citizens.