As it seems to go with everything in the political realm these days, the debate over the contraception mandate has taken a turn into distraction.
The issue: Sandra Fluke, activist-turned-student, became the topic of the contraception debate. She had testified before Congress, laying out her sob story. In response, Rush Limbaugh referred to her as a "slut" and a "prostitute," and was quickly excoriated by both the Left and the Right for his language.
Perhaps Rush was over the line...but how else are we to characterize someone who goes before Congress to tell the nation she has so much sex that she needs the American taxpayer to subsidize her contraceptives?
But the truth is, Sandra Fluke is not the "college coed" that the media has made her out to be. In reality, she is an activist. She purposefully chose to take classes at Georgetown because she disagreed with their contraceptive coverage, and it just so happened that the debate over the Obama administration's mandate gave her an opening to bring her agenda to a national stage. The Democrats snuck her into the Senate hearings at the last minute, and the rest is history.
All of the attention paid to Fluke and Limbaugh is just a distraction from the real issue: Does the federal government have the power to mandate contraception coverage in violation of the First Amendment? Limbaugh's commentary can't be that big of a deal; the Left didn't seem to care when Bill Maher called Sarah Palin the "c" word, and the president didn't call Laura Ingraham when Ed Schulz called her a "right wing slut."
Rush issued an apology to Sandra Fluke on his radio show on Friday, which will hopefully put to rest the distraction his name-calling has become.
The question must be asked: Why is this even being treated as a legitimate issue? After all, the only real reason that this contraception debate even exists is because President Obama wanted to use it as an election-year issue so he could smear Republicans as "anti-woman." The press has played right into his hand on this, and Sandra Fluke has allowed herself to be used by the Obama campaign. The endgame has nothing to do with contraceptives, and everything to do with using an unconstitutional federal mandate to smear his political opponents. Not only is the contraception mandate unconstitutional, it is also unethical, and should constitute a violation of election laws. Sandra's rise to the national stage was a fluke: Her cause of choice just happened to align with President Obama's election strategy, and that is the only reason she has become the face of this debate.
There has been no serious or compelling case made as to why contraceptives are so incredibly vital that they need to be provided to women at no charge. Sure, there are some cases when the pill is prescribed for medical reasons, but no one is offering up any evidence that those cases are numerous enough to justify an all-out coverage mandate...and there is no constitutional justification for why all of America should be required to cover the costs for the sexual decisions of some women.
It used to be that a right was something that was protected from government interference--such as the rights to free speech, peaceable assembly, and exercise of religion. These days, the Left has twisted our "rights" to mean all of the things that they believe the government should provide for us because, in their estimation, life just isn't fair unless America's taxpayers are buying stuff for everyone else.