Jacob Sullum
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Sandra Fluke's claim to fame, aside from provoking Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic ire, is that she chose to attend Georgetown Law School, knowing full well that the Catholic university's student health plan did not cover birth control, and then demanded that the policy be changed, under force of law, as a matter of "reproductive justice."

Although Fluke could have picked a different school, she told The Washington Post last February, "I decided I was absolutely not willing to compromise the quality of my education in exchange for my health care."

Fluke's sense of entitlement and her casual resort to the use of force made her an ideal speaker for last week's Democratic National Convention, where she was joined by many others who believe justice requires that they receive whatever they want (including automaker bailouts and cheap student loans), even if other people have to pay for it. This mentality is so pervasive among Democrats that they seem unable to distinguish between defending rights and soliciting subsidies.

The 2012 Democratic platform includes 1,400 words on "Protecting Rights and Freedoms." Among the alleged rights that the Democrats promise to defend: freedom from "discrimination in the workplace and other settings," "paycheck fairness" for women, "job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons," "evidence-based and age-appropriate sex education," government subsidies for Planned Parenthood and taxpayer-supported health care, including "free access" to "prenatal screenings, mammograms, cervical cancer screening, breast-feeding supports and contraception." These items all amount to promises of other people's money or demands that they be compelled to enter into contracts they would otherwise eschew.

Even "putting Americans back to work" -- a rather vague mandate that presumably means whatever President Obama says it does -- appears in the section on "rights and freedoms," specifically as a women's issue.

Why? Because "the challenges of supporting and raising a family are often primarily a woman's responsibility." All right then.

The platform does mention a few real rights, including "the individual right to bear arms." I also give the Democrats credit for "freedom to marry," since they argue (persuasively, in my view) that equality under the law means the government should not discriminate between couples based on sexual orientation.

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Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine and a contributing columnist on Townhall.com.
 
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