Sandra Fluke

PFAWF’s Young People For Program Welcomes More Than 115 Student Leaders at Annual Summit

This weekend People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For Program held its 2013 National Summit in Washington, DC.  Attended by 117 young leaders from 64 different universities, this year’s Summit – “Creating Change that Lasts” – was a smashing success. 

Student leaders attended workshops on topics ranging from budgeting to media outreach to succession planning. In addition to the 2013 student leaders, nearly fifty alumni from past years returned to support the weekend’s events.  Presidential Medal of Freedom award recipient Dolores Huerta, women's rights advocate Sandra Fluke, and associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement Ronnie Cho all joined as guest speakers.
 

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Gary Bauer Attacks Sandra Fluke over Shooting of Pakistani Education Activist

Fourteen year-old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban militant yesterday, targeting her because she is an outspoken advocate for the rights of women in education. Religious Right activist Gary Bauer, who has built his career attacking the rights of Muslim-Americans and women, is using the tragic incident to attack Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who was lambasted and denigrated by right-wing talk show hosts for supporting the inclusion of contraception coverage in insurance plans.

Bauer suggested in an email for the Campaign for Working Families that Fluke won’t condemn the attempted murder of the women’s rights activist (which she actually has done) and hoped that the shooting will make Fluke reconsider her women’s rights advocacy in the U.S. Bauer said he wonders “what Fluke thinks about Malala Yousafzai” and “predict[s] Sandra Fluke will not take time out from her crusade for free birth control to condemn radical Islam.” “Women all over the Islamic world face brutal persecution, but the American left hates us and hurls its bile at conservatives,” Bauer maintained.

For over a year, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, radical feminists and their media allies have promoted the idea that there is a conservative "war on women." We have seen poor "victims" like Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke whine about how expensive her birth control pills are and how mean Republicans don't want to pay for them.

I wonder what Fluke thinks about Malala Yousafzai. She is a 14 year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by an Islamic "warrior" who walked onto her school bus yesterday in the city of Mingora. The Taliban quickly claimed "credit" for the shooting.

Malala did not make a movie critical of Mohammed or try to convert to Christianity. She simply said publicly that girls should be able to go to school. For that she clings to life today in a Pakistani hospital.

I predict there will be no Islamic mobs in the streets protesting the distortions of their faith. I predict Sandra Fluke will not take time out from her crusade for free birth control to condemn radical Islam. I predict Planned Parenthood will continue its multi-million-dollar ad campaign accusing conservatives of wanting to take away its right to destroy innocent unborn children.

Women all over the Islamic world face brutal persecution, but the American left hates us and hurls its bile at conservatives.

Who's Sorry Now? The Republican Art of the Non-Apology

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Ralph Reed reached out to Rush Limbaugh via Twitter yesterday and accepted his apology. "Apology accepted. Let's move on," he said -- a magnanimous gesture had Rush Limbaugh actually apologized to Ralph Reed. Too bad that, despite the too quick headlines, Limbaugh not only hadn't apologized to Reed -- he hadn't really apologized to anyone at all.

Instead, Reed and Limbaugh, with the backing of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, started up the ole vast right-wing fake apology machine -- designed to temporarily quell a too hot controversy while at the same time not giving an inch.

Unfortunately for them, after too much use of the fake apology, people are catching on.

Although considered by some in the GOP to be a little too rough around the edges, Rush Limbaugh has always been considered a net asset to Republicans. Like fellow right-wing shock-jocks Glenn Beck and Bryan Fischer, he reaches a wide audience with toxic sludge that is ultimately helpful to the Republican Party, saying all the things that fire up the right-wing base, but that the politicians wouldn't want to be caught saying themselves. But Limbaugh has a peculiar kind of power -- no matter how outrageous his comments, members of the establishment Right tiptoe around him, afraid that his toxic words might one day be directed at them. George Will said it best: "They want to bomb Iran, but they're afraid of Rush Limbaugh."

The latest boot-up of the right-wing apology machine began when Limbaugh called Georgetown University law student and contraception coverage advocate Sandra Fluke a "slut," saying "She wants to be paid to have sex." And, as if contraception was sold by the gallon or the pound, he added, "She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception."

President Obama immediately stepped up, calling Fluke to check in and encourage her after she had been smeared on national radio.

Rick Santorum, in contrast, called Limbaugh's comments "absurd," but then reasoned that "an entertainer can be absurd... He's in a very different business than I am."

Mitt Romney's response was flimsier and even more timid. Asked about it while shaking hands at a rally, he said that it was "not the language I would have used." Apparently, he had no problem with Limbaugh saying that birth control advocates want the government to pay for them to have sex. He would just use different words.

Finally, Limbaugh himself fake-apologized. "I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke," he said -- before blaming the left and going on to repeat his accusation that she was "discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress."

"I wouldn't have use those words" is the new "I apologize if anyone was offended."

Ms. Fluke did not accept Limbaugh's fake-apology. Ralph Reed, however, accepted it on her behalf. Republican leaders can't be responsible for everything that comes out of the mouths of every right-wing blowhard. But if they want to be president they can be expected to provide clear responses when comments like Limbaugh's are this outrageous, instead of hiding their heads in the sand hoping that the public exposure of these outrages will go away. How hard is it to say that women who advocate for insurance coverage for contraceptives should be heard and shouldn't be called prostitutes for stating their position on the topic? Is it really worth compromising basic decency to stay in the good graces of Rush Limbaugh?

The Republican Party is increasingly buoyed by a small base whose values are antithetical to those of most other Americans. If they want to survive politically, they are going to have to stand up and no longer be fake apologists for the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

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