Dave Griffey at his blog Daffy Thoughts wrote this about the recent comments by Rush Limbaugh regarding sexual morality:
What Rush Limbaugh said is here. What Rush Limbaugh didn’t appear to say in the least was that rape is defensible. I’m no fan of Rush, and you’ll notice I seldom reference him. Not that he isn’t right sometimes. Sure he is. My favorite reference is the time he observed that the Baby Boomers are the first generation in history that didn’t have to grow up. Good observation there.
Nonetheless, he’s problematic enough for me to look to other sources for opinion. Still, with that said, he doesn’t deserve to be falsely accused of something as horrific as defending rape unless it can be demonstrated that he unequivocally said rape is defensible. What he appears to be saying is what many have said over the years, and what we are witnessing today.
Assume, just for a minute, that Donald Trump is innocent of the accusations being made against him. And assume, just for a minute, as opposed to what Major Garrett on CBS said yesterday morning, that he doesn’t have to provide evidence to show he is innocent, but that the accusers have to show evidence that he is guilty. Assuming this basic ‘innocent until proven guilty’ standard that was so crucial in the late 90s, we can say that what Trump has said about and to women is vulgar, despicable, deplorable, wrong, bad, horrific, and anything else to drive home the point. If, that is, we say there is such as thing as objective morality.
The problem Rush has is that those who are saying this are some of the same who stood idly by 4 years ago when similar things were said about Michelle Bachmann, 8 years ago when worse was said about Sarah Palin, her daughter, her children, and almost 20 years ago when more than one accuser of Bill Clinton was called a liar, a whore for the Republicans, and trailer park trash. All while we were told that when it comes to sex, nobody cares, there are no real objective morals, it’s up in the air, it isn’t important, and it doesn’t even matter if we lie or commit perjury. As long as you have consent – and even that seemed to depend on who was saying there wasn’t consent involved – everything was fair game.
It’s a fair statement and a fair observation. Perhaps he didn’t do the best job conveying that view. But nothing in the complete statement suggests he was defending rape or in any way suggesting rape is not wrong or that there is a problem with being upset about rape.
Mark Shea showed up in the combox and, as usual, was the quiet voice of reason:
What he did was sneer that critics of non-consensual sex are “rape police”. Normal people just call them “police”. Because non-consensual sex is rape. And you defend it. Because you guys are twisting yourselves into pretzels defending the sex predator you have made your Dear Leader. Good job.
To which Griffey responded:
No Mark. What he did was echo your complaint that you have rightly made for years. That when you boil sexual morality down to ‘consent and everything else is off the table’ you’re going to have a major problem on your hands. I absolutely agree, and it’s one of your best observations. It was his, too. And Trump is not my dear leader. I have said time and again that I won’t vote for him any more than I will vote for Hillary. Again, don’t buttress your arguments with false accusations. The point of this post. BTW, you’re always welcome to comment, but it would be nice if the same was extended to me.
I then added my two and a half cents:
To be fair to Mark he really wasn’t responding to what Limbaugh wrote, but rather what the straw man Limbaugh he has constructed in his mind wrote. The proof of this of course is that Mark didn’t link to the whole post that the actual Limbaugh wrote.
Dealing with the actual arguments that real people make tends to be harder and more time consuming than tackling straw men of our creation, but it does have the virtue of honesty and actually attempting to advance a debate.