Maybe I’ve missed
it something, but it seems to me that GOP Senator Roy Blunt’s been keeping his head down for the past few days. Everybody seems to have weighed in on Rush Limbaugh’s latest foul spewings and GOP Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley’s desire to reward him by placing his bust in the capital despite – or because of – it them. But ol’ Roy, whose anti-contraception grandstanding helped give Limbaugh just the right occasion for his most recent over-the-top, misogynistic rant has been ostentatiously silent.
Blunt’s Democratic opposite number in the Senate, Claire McCaskill, didn’t have any difficulty calling a spade a bloody shovel. She was emphatic during an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball that “he shouldn’t be in this hall of fame next to Harry Truman and Mark Twain.” Why do you think that Roy’s going to ground when it comes to doing the right thing and condemning Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke, not to mention addressing the appropriateness of bestowing high state honors on a man who routinely attacks women, racial and ethnic minorities, and even innocent, garden-variety liberals in the most disgusting terms possible?
It’s distinctly possible that Blunt may have decided that he’s bitten off more than he can chew. He was actually booed by a heckler when introduced last night at a Kennedy Center event where an audience member seemed to think he’s the “devil.”
Such developments have to be frustrating for Blunt, who has been trying really hard to pretend that women’s reproductive health has no standing in the discussion of the contraceptive issue which, according to some on the right, is elevated to a higher level because a cadre of conservative Catholic Bishops want it to be their way or the high way for all of us, Catholic or not. This position, of course, ignores the issues that arise when questions of the public good, such as contraception, intersect with the rights of institutionalized religion to dictate public policy – a far more complicated discussion than Blunt and the right-wing base he hoped to energize can actually accommodate.
Nevertheless, now that the the “religious freedom” charade has blown up in Blunt’s face via Limbaugh’s poorly timed verbal grenades, Blunt ought to step up and tell us whether or not Limbaughs “choice of words” reflects his own views about women and birth control – and whether he thinks it’s appropriate to lavish honors on the nation’s foremost practitioner of hate speech. Of course, if he finds that he cannot manage to speak ill of the petulant voice of right-wing America, he’s not alone – the ever-waffling Mitt Romney, Blunt’s guy in the GOP primary, seems to be equally busy trying to find the just the right weasel hole when the topic of Limbaugh is raised.
UPDATE: Blunt may be keeping his head down in regard to Limbaugh, but he seems to be finally throwing in the towel when it comes to the great religious freedom crusade he was fantasizing about. I guess he read the tea leaves and decided that trying to foment holy war wasn’t working and might even hinder his push towards more exalted heights of Senate leadership.