After Limbaugh's death, there's been some folks wondering if he seriously didn't understand how birth control works when he attacked Sandra Fluke by saying she's "having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception," as if it worked like Viagra. I can safely say I believe so.
I worked the repro beat for over a decade, and definitely at the height of the debate over contraception coverage. What quickly became apparent was how many Republican men were unaware of how universal contraception usage is, and likely didn't know their own wives use it.
For instance, every time I would cite common statistics — 99% of sexually active women have used birth control, 95% of Americans have premarital sex — I would get an unbelieveable amount of social media pushback from men who were certain I was lying.
The way these men talked made it clear to me that many of them had *no idea* their own sex partners use contraception. None. They appeared to think conceiving is a lot more rare than it actually is. (About 85% of women will get pregnant in a year without birth control.)
We saw this again when the pandemic started and conservative men, especially of the more white nationalist stripe, got excited by how many white "pandemic babies" would be born. They seemed to believe more sex = more babies.…
Again, this is men telling on themselves, seeming not to understand that most couples already have sex 2-3 times a week, and that the reason there aren't more babies coming from that is because of contraception, something "more sex" isn't going to overcome.
And remember, 40% of Republican men are so ignorant of how menstruation works they answered a poll like this.
Remember, especially with poor sex ed in schools, learning how women's bodies works requires curiosity. And for sexist men, the idea of being curious about women is viewed as emasculating. So they don't read, much less ask questions of their own partners.
Once again, getting folks insisting it's all a ruse, and Limbaugh was only pretending to be ignorant. Possibly, but that requires believing someone who hated women as much as he did took time to learn about women's bodies. And that's a leap!
I don't know why it's so important for so many liberals to believe that GOP leaders and conservative pundits are secretly less terrible than their audience, and are merely performing ignorance or bigotry to pander. Why is it do hard to believe that's just who they are?
Rush Limbaugh was a convincing ignorant misogynist bully not because he was a great actor, but because he was an ignorant misogynist bully speaking to other ignorant misogynist bullies. There's no wizard behind the curtain. He showed us who he was.

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More from @AmandaMarcotte

22 Feb
Part of the problem for Democrats is that they never have quite enough power to make change. But in order to convince people to vote, making change has to happen. Winning office means showing voters it's worth their time to vote, which isn't easy.…
It can seem really unfair and is really unfair that the majority of Democrats who want to win elections are being held hostage by two Democrats (Sinema, Manchin) who, for whatever dumb reason, do not seem to want their party to win elections.
But unfortunately, there is no way to convince voters to vote outside of seeing their votes matter. So Democrats have got to find a way to make that happen. Or people will stop voting. Again. And right now, the path is straight to people-quit-voting-ville.
Read 4 tweets
22 Feb
There's never been a better moment for Democrats to draw a sharp contrast with the failed GOP and prove government can work.

So why do I get the feeling they intend to spend the next two years twiddling their thumbs, guaranteeing a poll massacre in 2022?…
A coronavirus relief bill is not enough. To stop the cycle of GOP destruction followed by not-good-enough Democratic clean-up, Democrats need to pass real bills, not just budget reconciliation. Or Republicans may lock down power permanently. Image
Coronavirus relief isn't enough, just like the 2009 bailout wasn't enough. Saving the country — which is the only way to save Democrats — requires passing real bills. But you can sense all enthusiasm for the idea draining out of Democrats. Image
Read 7 tweets
22 Feb
This op-ed is based on an assumption that is not in evidence: That is a bad thing to have an uptick in migration from people seeking political asylum. That is not a given, especially after the Trump slowdowns.…
The pandemic isn't an all-purpose explanation, either. As the article notes, refugees are crammed in squalid camps in Mexico, which has somehow managed to mishandle the pandemic worse than us. Letting them over to live in better conditions likely reduces transmission.
Bigger picture: I would have wished that the Trump era taught us to stop treating immigrants like they are inherently a problem. Trump was able to exploit decades of misleading rhetoric that assumed that immigration represents failure, instead of opportunity.
Read 4 tweets
20 Feb
Here’s the thing: Joe Rogan claims he’s an idiot, but he and his audience know that’s a joke. He really thinks, like Trump, that he is born smarter and knowing more than everyone else, which is why he doesn’t need to learn.…
That is what a lot of these anti-vaxx and other conspiracy theories are about: People with massive egos telling themselves they know more than experts. Rogan also is using this to brag about how “healthy” he is, as if that’s an immutable quality and not something that can change.
Also, the “I don’t need it, I’m healthy” argument is a way of stating you have no obligations to the rest of us. Social responsibility is for women and other supposedly lesser beings in the toxic masculinity world of Rogan.
Read 5 tweets
20 Feb
It appears that the "cancel culture" complaint is closer to "my supervisor was gently trying to prevent me from making an ass of myself with my Hamilton fantasy".
"Because it was going to be done in rap form and 'because you are white,' as my supervisor told me, that could be viewed as 'cultural appropriation.'"

The moral is don't try to let people down easy. Just yell, "Eminem here thinks she's a rapper!" Then she won't call Bari Weiss.
Accurate headline: "My boss told me not to rap at work, and so I self-cancelled".
Read 8 tweets
19 Feb
Folks are already writing Cruz's political obituaries. I'm not so confident. Republicans have a talent for turning their own leadership failures into propaganda about how government itself cannot work — and how culture war is everything.…
For example, GOP voters didn't hold Trump's pandemic failures against him. They just concluded government can't do anything right, and that your voting decision should be about sticking it to the liberals because your niece canceled you by making a face at Thanksgiving.
Conservatives are already leveraging the Cruz story for a larger — and false — tale about how government is useless and politicians have no power or role in improving the lives of their constituents.
Read 5 tweets

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