One can’t help but be impressed by the rhetorical jiu-jitsu with which Democrats have turned a debate over religious freedom — should the Catholic church be forced to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients — into a debate over whether Rush Limbaugh was wrong to call a woman who claims to spend $1000 per year on contraception a “slut”.

The answer to the latter question is yes, of course. No one, Limbaugh included, denies this. But the left’s show of sanctimonious indignation is awfully hard to take, given that far worse misogynistic language is routinely tolerated on the left, provided it is directed at appropriate targets. Appropriate targets evidently include Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Carrie Prejean, Michele Bachmann, etc., and even the underage daughters of prominent Republicans. Women on the right need to expect this kind of abuse, and, when it happens, today’s self-righteous enforcers of civility will just laugh it off.

Should the Catholic church be forced to conform itself to President Obama’s policy on contraceptives and abortifacients? Of course not. If you pose the question straight, almost no one will say yes. But the Democrats gambled that if they put the issue on the table, they could divert the debate into a winning cultural offensive. I wouldn’t have thought that you could get from “we will force Catholics to violate their consciences” all the way to “Republicans are attacking women”, but they seem to have pulled it off. Impressive.

(Cartoon via Powerline.)

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