You know we are really in the midst of silly season when Congress spends an inordinate amount of time talking about contraception. Instead of working on what the majority of Americans seem to identify as the number one concern, namely, the creation of jobs and the continued improvement of the economy, the esteemed ones discuss birth control. Lots of different opinions on the subject, but the whole discussion took a nasty turn this week when Rush Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke, an advocate for the coverage of birth control by health insurance, as a "slut" and a "prostitute."
The swords came out rather quickly and, depending on which side you stand, were pointed in the direction of either Limbaugh or Fluke. I side with Fluke, but that is not the issue here nor the purpose of writing these comments. My purpose is to say that Limbaugh is a coward.
Quite a few jumped to his defense and made statements like, "Oh, that's just Rush, that's what he does," or "he's just being his usual provocative self." And that is what he does and to the tune of several million dollars a year and even strikes fear in the hearts of many conservative politicians. Don't dare cross Rush. But why not? He's a coward.
Why do I say that? Because he hides behind his gold microphone. He only comes before publics audiences that have invited him and strongly support him. He does not enter into public debate with someone who could hold their own in some intense discussion and disagreement. Many other conservative figures who strike a hard, unpleasant line, i.e. Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, etc. are at least willing to go up against an opponent in a public venue and debate their position against someone who is not intimidated by them. But not Limbaugh. Years ago, I saw a televised segment where an audience turned against Limbaugh and he walked out of the televised proceedings while TV cameras caught his sheepish look as he threw a glance over his shoulder as he departed. I've never seen him in that kind of challenging situation since.
It's a bit like a preacher who can be very bold and "prophetic" while he/she stands behind the pulpit. But when that same person gets confronted on the street by someone quite willing to debate the issue, the bravado begins to shrink.
Some might say that Limbaugh is so well-established and powerful, that he is above placing himself in a situation where someone might call his hand. I don't buy it. I think he's just a coward. Most bullies are.