The Fluke paradigm
“Some of you may remember that earlier this year, Republicans shut me out of a hearing on contraception,” Sandra Fluke began her speech at the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday night. “In fact, on that panel, they didn’t hear from a single woman, even though they were debating an issue that affects nearly every woman.”
That’s three blatant, easily verified lies in two sentences – not bad, even by the loose standards for the truth set at the DNC. She was a last-minute substitute speaker at that panel, turned away on simple procedural grounds; it wasn’t a panel on contraception; and there were already two women on it.
But this is the “contraception activist” who later admitted, after it was pointed out that her fanciful numbers on the cost of contraception were a thousand percent too high, that she doesn’t actually know what the stuff costs at all. “Were you aware of the Target store that’s 3 miles from Georgetown Law that sells a month’s supply of birth control pills for $9 a month without insurance coverage?” asked a reporter.
“I’m not familiar with department specific department store policies,” she breezily replied. “I know that some generic forms of contraception are less expensive than others and that that has been widely reported. But what has not been widely reported is that many women cannot use those forms of contraception.” Later in the same interview, she said that her infamous, utterly bonkers $1000-per-year figure was based on something one person told her.
But that’s the Fluke paradigm: actual facts, scholarly research, and reason are not relevant in the pursuit of Higher Truth. You can lie all you want in the service of Higher Truth. It’s OK, as long as you care about the right things, and mean people are compelled to do right things as a result of your lies. $10 a month, $1000 a year, whatever. If shrill hysteria is what it takes to get people’s attention, so be it. If they deserved your respect, they’d already be doing what you want them to.
In a similar vein, the clownish Fluke accused vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan of a desire to “allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms.” The reluctance of other people to fund Flukes contraceptive and abortive needs became “An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it.” Bills that contain the decades-old legal terminology for “forcible rape” – like the one Bill Clinton signed – were portrayed as an appetite to see rape survivors “victimized all over again.”
Fluke is only well-known because of something somebody else said about her. She referenced the incident with her characteristic restraint and maturity, calling for “an America in which our president, when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters – not his delegates or donors – and stands with all women. And strangers come together, reach out and lift her up. And then, instead of trying to silence her, you invite me here – and give me a microphone – to amplify our voice. That’s the difference.”
There wasn’t actually much “lifting up” involved in the Fluke-Limbaugh incident; it was all about tearing people down, including hard-working non-political people who had absolutely nothing to do with it, and whose only “offense” was insufficient fervor for toeing the Party line. Barack Obama is awfully selective about which “verbally attacked” people, young and female or otherwise, he chooses to “stand up” for. And what kind of – pardon the expression – drama queen describes someone telling a nasty joke at her expense as an effort to “silence” her? What power does Rush Limbaugh have to silence anyone?
But that’s what the weird public career of Sandra Fluke has always been about: compulsion that transcends logic, liberty, and even religious conscience. She’s never been talking about the freedom to do certain things – she’s all about forcing other people to obey her agenda. She hasn’t got much interest in persuading anyone to follow it voluntarily, and tedious little facts only mess up the grand sweep of her spin-doctored, professionally managed heroic narrative. Her signature achievement is the contribution of a new term to the Orwellian lexicon of totalitarian leftist politics: “denying access” to something now means expecting people to pay for it themselves.
Fluke wrapped up by saying we must choose “a country where we mean it when we talk about personal freedom, or one where that freedom doesn’t apply to our bodies and our voices.” That’s a ringing endorsement of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, in the ears of anyone who remembers what “freedom” actually means.