Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" after she testified before Congress about the cost of birth control, and said that she should film her sexual activity and "post the videos online so we can all watch."
People are shocked. I am not. This is Rush Limbaugh. You know what you're getting, and what you're getting a misogynist jackass. Anyone who is surprised by this is someone who wants to pretend that Rush Limbaugh is something that he's not.
But there is something else that Rush Limbaugh is: an important player in the conservative movement. A "giant", as Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) put it. The Republican Party is effectively unable to criticize him -- they're in thrall to him.
And so we see just how muted the GOP can be when one of its leading lights calls his political opponents "sluts": they say virtually nothing. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) demurs when asked if Limbaugh should apologize, instead offering a bland "it was inappropriate" (just as inappropriate, in Boehner's view, as Democrats raising money off the remark. Why, exactly, that is "inappropriate" behavior on the part of the Democratic Party at all -- much less to the same degree as calling a woman a "prostitute" just because she uses birth control -- is left unsaid).
Other conservative organizations are demonstrating the same cowardice. Rae Chornenky, president of the National Federation of Republican Women, "doesn't want to discuss [it]", calling it "a sideshow." Alci Maldonado of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly tried to change the subject to the (spurious) freedom of religion argument, and Frances Rice, chairwoman of the National Black Republican Association, refused to comment on Limbaugh's statement at all. Failed GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina managed to call the language "insulting" and "incendiary", for which she was called to the carpet by Red State editor Erick Erickson, who said Fiorina "just [does] not get it" -- "it" being that Limbaugh was being sarcastic (women -- no sense of humor, amiright?).
For the most part, it seems that the modern GOP can be divided into two categories. People who agree with Limbaugh that the vast, vast majority of women are sluts and prostitutes whose sexual activity should be a matter of public record. And people who don't agree, but are too afraid to challenge the emerging orthodoxy within their party's base.