Rep. Joe Walsh, the ornery Republican Congressman from Illinois, is known for trying to diminish his opponents’ their accomplishments. Earlier this year he said of Tammy Duckworth, the woman running against him for his Congressional seat, “Female, wounded veteran … ehhh.”
Walsh is now attacking women’s health advocate Sandra Fluke, joining a long list of Republicans in denigrating Fluke after her speech at the Democratic National Convention.. Over the weekend, Walsh complained that Fluke should “get a job” and stop talking about affordable contraception because “we’ve got parents in this country who are struggling”:
Think about this, a 30, 31, 32 year old law student who has been a student for life, who gets up there in front of a national audience and tells the American people, ‘I want America to pay for my contraceptives. You’re kidding me. Go get a job. Go get a job Sandra Fluke. This is what — I was offended.We’ve got Americans who are struggling, we’ve got parents in this country who are struggling to buy sneakers that their kids can wear to school that just started. We’ve got parents up and down my district who are barely keeping their house.
It seems lost on Walsh that parents who cannot afford contraception will then have unintentional pregnancies resulting in more children they also cannot afford. As does the fact that Fluke’s testimony before Congress told the story of a friend who couldn’t pay for contraceptives; it was not about Fluke’s own need for birth control.
Additionally, Fluke has, in fact, held a job: According to her own bio, “she worked at Sanctuary for Families in New York City, combating domestic violence and human trafficking.”
Fluke earned national attention some months back when House Republicans barred her from testifying about women’s need for contraceptive access. Adding insult to injury, conservatives publicly trashed Fluke. Most famously, radio host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” who has “so much sex” that she cannot afford contraception.