Maryann Tobin

"Slut" and "prostitute" are powerful words, and they do not generally conjure a positive connotation toward the person at whom they are directed. When said in a private environment, the stinging moral slurs can plunge deeply into the heart of the target. When said publicly by a well-known conservative radio talk show host, it is more than an insult. It suggests that there is someting very wrong with American political spin.

On his radio show of March 2, 2012, Rush Limbaugh said of a Georgetown University law student: “Sandra Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”

In fact, Fluke's congressional testimony made no such demand for paid sex. She just respectfully presented her issues with new health care laws that could deny coverage for contraception.

By calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” Limbaugh did more than show disrespect toward a women, he personified what's wrong with conservative American politics. The voice on the right has been emboldened, perhaps by the new-found power of Super PAC money that is fueling the voice of the few, while attempting to crush the will of the masses.

Contraception is used by more than 99% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44.

2012 has been one of the most unrestrained election years in recent memory when it comes to social issues. Conservative candidates like Rick Santorum have used the campaign trail to promote the moral views of the Catholic Church and a return to Victorian era sexual values.

It's one thing to campaign on an issue regardless of its true relevance to modern day American society. But it's a completely different issue to abuse the power of the media to hurl stinging insults aimed at little more than stirring division and hate in an already divided nation.

What's worse is that Limbaugh's “slut” and “prostitute” comments have stirred others on the right-wing fringe to add their support to the volatile bullets he fired at Sandra Fluke.

“Commenters all over the Web echoed Limbaugh's sentiments with their own charming aperces: Fluke is so ugly she doesn't need birth control; she is a whining brat; she pretends to be an innocent student when she's really a 30-year-old community organizer working as a Democratic operative,” said the LA Times.

How did America ever get to the point where using words like “slut” and “prostitute" are condoned by anyone as acceptable political commentary?

Rush Limbaugh is a symptom of the brash conservative disease that is overtaking the country. But it is also a sign of the blatant hypocrisy of the conservative fringe. They promote virtuosity, but do so with vulgarity and disrespect. The two cannot coexist within the same theme. That makes professed virtuous conservatives either liars or frauds. Neither offers any benefits for America.

Watch the Rush Limbaugh, Susan Fluke video here