#FlushRush: Top Democrat Urges Radio Stations To Drop Rush Limbaugh After He Suggested ‘No Means Yes’
A top Democrat is calling on radio stations to stop broadcasting The Rush Limbaugh Show after the conservative radio host made headlines for mocking Ohio State University’s new sexual assault policies, which require students to actively and explicitly agree to sexual activity. On his show on Monday, Limbaugh claimed that requiring affirmative consent is an unreasonable standard because guys know that “no means yes if you know how to spot it.”
In the segment, which was first flagged by Media Matters, Limbaugh claimed that “seduction used to be an art” and college campuses are now making it into something that is considered to be “brutish” and “predatory.” He suggested it’s unrealistic to require students to ask for permission every step of the way during a sexual encounter. “Are these not lawsuits waiting to happen?” the radio host said.
Limbaugh’s critics wasted no time calling for his removal, pointing out that his approach to sexual assault has no place in a society that’s currently grappling with the best way to respond to intimate partner violence and campus rape cases.
“There’s simply no excusing comments of this offensive nature, especially at a time where our country is having a long-overdue conversation about violence against women,” Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) said in a statement released on Tuesday morning. “Plain and simple — Rush Limbaugh is advocating for the tolerance of sexual assault and should be taken off the air immediately.”
Limbaugh is no stranger to criticism along those lines, especially when it comes to issues of misogyny. In 2012, he infamously called law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she advocated for Obamacare’s contraception mandate. He also once said that single mothers are “semen receptacles” and that feminism was created to give ugly women a place in society. Over the past several years, petitions and boycott groups have urged Clear Channel to drop him, to no avail. Limbaugh has also been the subject of an ongoing campaign attempting to convince advertisers to stop supporting his show.
Limbaugh’s critiques of Ohio State’s affirmative consent policy aren’t entirely unusual. After California approved legislation that requires all college campuses to adopt a “yes means yes” standard of consent, critics rushed to argue that it was an over-reaching standard that would essentially “kill the mood” and turn everyone into rapists in the eyes of the law. In reality, affirmative consent simply encourages sexual partners to engage in open and honest communication to ensure they’re both interested in having sex with each other.
Conservative host Rush Limbaugh on Monday suggested that sexual conduct policies stifled romance because sometimes “no means yes if you know how to spot it.”
Last week, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights ended its Title IX investigation of Ohio State University when the school agreed to its strengthen sexual assault policies, The Washington Post reported. OSU said it would expand prevention training, and increase awareness of anti-discrimination laws.
For Limbaugh, however, “agreeing” to consent “takes all the romance out of everything,” he said on his Monday show.
"Seduction used to be an art," he opined. "Now, of course, it’s prudish, and it’s predatory, it’s bad."
The conservative talker noted that the new OSU rules described consent as “the act of knowingly, actively and voluntarily agreeing explicitly to engage in sexual activity.”
"Consent must be freely given and can be withdrawn at any time. You have to be sober, not coerced," he continued, reading from the guidelines. "The absence of ‘no’ does not mean ‘yes.’ It must be asked every step of the way. It cannot be implied or assumed even in the context of a relationship."
Right-Wing Media Blames Ray Rice's Victim [TW: Victim Shaming, Victim Blaming, Sexism, Misogyny, Trivialization of Abuse]
Following the release of a new video showing NFL player Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious, many in the right-wing media responded by blaming the victim, focusing on the fact that the two wed after the incident.
Video Emerges Of Baltimore Ravens Player Ray Rice Knocking Then-Fiancee Unconscious
Ray Rice Cut From Ravens After Violent Video Emerges. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was released from the team after a video was released by TMZ showing him knocking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious in an elevator:
Running back Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Monday, the same day a shocking video surfaced showing the NFL star knocking out his future wife with a punch in February.
The new video shows Rice punching Janay Palmer, who was his fiancee at the time, inside an elevator at a hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, seven months ago.
TMZ Sports posted the video Monday showing Rice and Palmer entering an elevator. Inside the elevator, Rice punches Palmer. Palmer lunges after Rice, and then Rice hits her again and she falls to the floor. [CNN, 9/8/14]
Right-Wing Media Immediately Blames The Victim
Fox Contributor Ben Carson: Rice And Wife Both Need Help Because “She Subsequently Married Him.”On NewsMax TV, Ben Carson, a Fox News contributor, implied Rice’s wife was partly to blame for her abuse, saying she also “need[s] some help” for marrying Rice after the attack:
"I’m hopeful they will get some help for him," Carson said, after being asked whether he agreed with the moves today by the team and the league. "I mean, obviously anyone who would do something like that needs some help."
"And let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy," Carson continued. "He obviously has some real problems, and his wife obviously knows that, because she subsequently married him. So they both need some help. So rather than just jumping on a punitive bandwagon, let’s just see if we can get some help for these people." [Mediaite, 9/8/14]
Fox & Friends: Rice’s Wife Marrying Him Is Like Rihanna Staying With Chris Brown, “Terrible Message.”On the September 8 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, hosts Steve Doocy, Anna Kooiman, and Brian Kilmeade condemned Rice but pointed out that Palmer married the athlete after the incident and compared it to Chris Brown’s beating of Rihanna, saying that was a “terrible message”:
DOOCY: We should also point out after that video — and now you know what happened in there — she still married him. They’re currently married.
KILMEADE: I mean, look at Rihanna went back to —
KOOIMAN: Chris Brown.
KILMEADE: — Yeah, Chris Brown right after and a lot of people thought that was a terrible message. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/8/14]
Rush Limbaugh: Janay Palmer “Did Follow Through, And She Did Marry The Guy Who Knocked Her Out.” On his September 8 radio show, Limbaugh continuously brought up the fact that Janay Palmer married Ray Rice after the incident.
LIMBAUGH: Now the obvious question behind the question. Why did she marry the guy, right? If she got decked like that.
So you ask why did she marry him? You know she went out, they had this joint appearance. She apologized too at his apology presser. What did she apologize for? For getting beat up? Nobody can figure that out. So chomp on that. She did follow through and she did marry the guy who knocked her out in the elevator at Atlantic City. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/8/14]
CNN Contributor Ana Navarro: Women Like Rice’s Wife “Need To Love And Respect” Themselves. Ana Navarro, a conservativepolitical contributor to CNN and ABC, expressed shock that Rice’s wife married him after he beat her, saying that while Rice is “disgusting,” women need to “love & respect” themselves:
Woman in video married Ray Rice AFTER he punched & dragged her? RICE IS DISGUSTING. But as women, we need to love & respect ourselves 1st.— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) September 8, 2014
A new book from five commandos who were guarding the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on the night of Sep. 11, 2012 claims that a U.S. official gave a stand down order that prevented forces from rescuing U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, who along with three other Americans, died in the attack.
But rather than buttressing long-standing Republican claims that the Obama administration bungled the operation (and later sought to cover it up for political purposes), the revelation highlights how far GOP efforts to tie the president and his closest advisers to the terrorist attack in Benghazi have fallen.
In the book, titled “13 Hours,” five commandos who were guarding the CIA Annex in Benghazi, claim that “they protested repeatedly as the station chief ordered them to wait in their vehicles, fully armed, for 20 minutes while the attack on the diplomatic mission was unfolding less than a mile away,” the New York Times, which received an advance copy of the book, reports. The commandos say “they left the base in defiance of the chief’s continuing order to ‘stand down.’”
The story undermines the conclusions of various government reports — from both the administration and Congress, which found that no such stand down order was given — and even if true, lacks the explosive punch Republicans have promised. The contractors say that the CIA station chief on his own authority and was not operating under orders from anyone in Washington D.C. “He hoped to enlist local Libyan militiamen, and the commandos speculate that he hoped the Libyans could carry out the rescue alone to avoid exposing the C.I.A. base,” the paper claims.
In the days and years following the 2012 attack, however, Republicans and conservative commentators had promised more. They claimed to have uncovered evidence attributing the “stand down” order to President Obama or a rotating cast of advisers:
BILL KRISTOL: “It would have been a presidential decision.” [10/26/2012]
REP. DARREL ISSA: “I have my suspicions, which is Secretary Clinton told Leon [Panetta] to stand down.” [2/17/2014]
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ: “[M]ilitary personnel were ready willing and able, and within proximity, but the Pentagon told them they had no authority and to stand down.” [5/7/2013]
RUSH LIMBAUGH: “Doug Ross maintains here that Valerie Jarrett gave the orders to stand down in Benghazi. Valerie Jarrett, who constitutionally is not in the chain of command and cannot do that. And that’s why this, if true, is a bombshell.” [8/6/2013]
Earlier this year, the House Armed Services Committee concluded that U.S. military would have been unable to respond in time to the attacks and a declassified version of the House Intelligence Committee analysis found “no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration.” Both committees are currently Republican-led.
As Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey explained to the Senate in February of 2013, “This is the middle of the night now, these are not aircraft on strip alert.” Then-secretary of Defense Leon Panetta testified that “unfortunately, there was no specific intelligence or indications of an imminent attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi. And frankly, without an adequate warning, there was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military assets to respond.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a member of both the House Intelligence Committee and the Benghazi panel, dismissed the new allegations. Members of both the House and Senate “found that our personnel acted heroically and appropriately in trying to secure local assistance and avoid ambush,” Schiff said in a statement. “Nor did we find any evidence that a different course of action would have saved – rather than jeopardized – more lives. To second guess these decisions made in the fog of battle is both unfair to the brave personnel involved and highly irresponsible.”
But that’s not stopping Fox News and other conservative outlets from using the latest revelations to prop up the “stand down” conspiracy. The network is describing the stories in the new book “as a dramatic new turn to what the Obama administration and its allies would like to dismiss as an ‘old story.’” It will host a special featuring interviews with the security contractors interviewed for the book and promises to deliver a “first-hand account of what really happened in Benghazi.” But that truth keeps changing in ways that have Republicans second-guessing the strategy that many thought would lead them to a political victory over the White House.
The lament has spread all across the media spectrum this week, as the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri unfolds and people search for answers to the police killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
"Obama Should Go To Ferguson, Pronto," urged a Businessweek headline, beseeching the president to fill a leadership vacuum on the ground in Missouri. “Obama, can’t you see black anger in Ferguson?” asked Marc Lamont Hill in a CNN essay. Writing at Daily Beast, Stuart Stevens lamented that Obama had “lost faith in his voice in Ferguson”; that he was “increasingly uncomfortable with the role of healer-in-chief,” while the Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach urged Obama to give another “national address” on race because that’s what the crisis demands.
Maureen Dowd’s New York Times column today’s mocks Obama as a “the most ordinary of men” with a “bored-bird-in-a-gilded-cage attitude” who is unwilling to engage with the issue of racial strife.
Most of the of the do-something commentary has adopted the same premise: Obama could help the Ferguson crisis by giving a speech about race or addressing the situation more forcefully, but he won’t. He won’t use his powers. (See: The Green Lantern theory that Obama could convince a recalcitrant GOP Congress to pass legislation if he only tried.)
That premise though, and most of the commentary, completely ignores the corrosive role of the right-wing media in America, how it has spent years trying to silence and intimidate Obama on the topic of race, and how it’s used some of the most offensive, guttural rhetoric and personal attacks to do so.
Through Obama’s two terms, most of the Beltway press has remained strangely silent about the astonishingly ugly race baiting that now passes for mainstream conservative media commentary. That same press corps is now turning a blind eye to the tangible damage that kind of rhetoric has done to public debate, or the chance of public debate, and how the right-wing media has tried to implement a heckler’s veto on Obama; to effectively shout him down.
It’s fine for pundits to yearn for open dialogue and rhetorical leadership from the White House. It’s less helpful for them to ignore the unpleasant realities of nasty partisan politics in the age of Obama. It does no good to pretend race baiting hasn’t become a badge of honor and a professional path to success for lots of right-wing pundits.
For Obama to aggressively insert himself into the Ferguson story now is to invite a right-wing media hurricane that would likely rage for weeks. How do we know? Because again and again we’ve seen President Obama’s attempts to engage on similar issues act as a lightning rod for these angry voices, quickly making it impossible to focus on the pressing issue at hand.
In case people forget, since becoming president Obama has talked about race relations during national flashpoints. He addressed the topic just six months into his first term after prominent Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested at his own home by a Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer who was investigating a report of a break-in.
Denouncing Obama’s response, Glenn Beck condemend the president on Fox as a “racist” with “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” (Sean Hannity backed up Beck’s “racist” claim. So did Rupert Murdoch.) That same week, Beck pointed to health care bill provision as evidence Obama supports reform as a form of “reparations”; to ”settle old racial scores.”
Obama returned to the issue in 2012 after unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watchman. (“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”)
Conservative media again responded to Obama’s comments with naked race-baiting:
Shortly after President Obama delivered brief, heartfelt remarks on the slaying of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, conservative website The Daily Caller writer Matthew Boyle published a front-page story implying that the President’s remarks were spurred, in part, by “Black Panthers.”
On Fox and in the conservative blogosphere, Obama was “using racial code,” “pouring gas on the fire” because “he’s got it in for this country.”
Obama spoke out again in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing Martin. (“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”) After his remarks, Sean Hannity wondered if Obama compared himself to Trayvon Martin because “he did a little blow,” while his colleagues denounced the president as ”Race Baiter In Chief,” and said he was “stoking racial tension.” One far-right blogger announced, “Good Lord - He’s stoking a race war.”
And all along, the most-listened-to radio host in America has bombarded the president with racial invective:
A national conversations about race, by definition, includes all corners of society. But the conservative flank of American politics has made it clear that not only doesn’t it want to have a discussion about race or racism (racism has been eradicated, in case you hadn’t heard), but they will apologetically attack the president if he tries to heal that wound. They’ll say he’s un-American, that he’s loyalties aren’t with the stars and stripes, and that he wants to destroy what makes America great.
Even the "carefully balanced statements" Obama has made so far on the situation in Ferguson have drawn fire.
On August 14, Sean Hannity condemned the president [emphasis added]:
And, predictably, president Obama took precious time away from his luxurious Martha’s vineyard vacation to address the [Feguson] situation. Now, his comments mark yet another instance of the president injecting himself into local law enforcement matters.
Over at The Daily Caller, they claimed Obama’s condolences extended to Michael Brown’s family in Ferguson represented a political ploy, timed to increase African-American turnout in the midterm elections.
But wait, Fox News can stop the president from speaking his mind? The sounds preposterous and defeatist, right? But when you add up six years worth of unhinged racial fear mongering from the conservative press and portions of the Republican Party, when you acknowledge that reality, you begin to understand the hesitation.
I’m not suggesting right-wing media hate and the fevered, irrational Obama loathing it tries to generate should stop the president from advancing his agenda. But to pretend the dark force doesn’t exist today in American politics is to miss one of the hallmarks of the Obama presidency.
Rush Limbaugh makes an ass out of himself as usual.
From the 08.12.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:
July 30, 2014
RUSH: I, El Rushbo, Have Not Called for Obama’s Impeachment
June 24, 2014
RUSH: I mean, this guy needs to be impeached.
July 30, 2014
RUSH: I have never come out for impeachment
June 24, 2014
RUSH: I mean, this guy needs to be impeached. We impeached Nixon for less than this kind of stuff! Nixon only dreamed about doing what this guy’s done!
July 30, 2014
RUSH: I have never made a call for impeachment.
June 24, 2014
RUSH: I mean, this guy needs to be impeached. We impeached Nixon for less than this kind of stuff! Nixon only dreamed about doing what this guy’s done!
Nixon only dreamed about doing what Lois Lerner has done. Nixon only dreamed of using the IRS to damage his political opponents. He never did it, but they wanted to convict him of a thought crime nevertheless.
Rush Limbaugh accused President Obama of refusing to rebuke the practice of female genital mutilation while speaking to a group of young African leaders, cherry-picking from his remarks to mischaracterize Obama’s very clear condemnation of the practice as a “barbaric” tradition that “needs to be eliminated.”
President Obama spoke on Monday at a town-hall-style meeting honoring the Washington Fellowship For Young African Leaders, urging guests to abandon oppressive traditions, such as female genital mutilation and polygamy, in favor of progress.
Cherry-picking from Obama’s remarks, Rush Limbaugh accused the president of refusing to condemn the practice of female genital mutilation on the July 28 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show. Limbaugh claimed Obama only halfheartedly stated, “‘Female genital mutilation is not a tradition worth hanging onto,’” and implied Obama’s statement didn’t go far enough, claiming "he didn’t condemn female genital mutilation. That would have been telling Africans what to do, and he would never impose his views on them because we’re from the U.S. and who are we":
Limbaugh further suggested that rather than condemn the practice, Obama would advise Africans to simply contract out mutilation to the terror group Boko Haram.
In reality, President Obama actually called female genital mutilation a “barbaric” tradition that “needs to be eliminated”:
OBAMA: Now, I have to say there are some traditions that just have to be gotten rid of. And there’s no excuse for them. You know, female genital mutilation, I’m sorry, I don’t consider that a tradition worth hanging onto. I think that’s a tradition that is barbaric and should be eliminated. Violence towards women, I don’t care for that tradition. I’m not interested in it. It needs to be eliminated.
From the 07.21.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:
Conservative media are pushing the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration deliberately created the humanitarian immigration crisis on the Southern border for political reasons. The rhetoric echoes claims from Republican politicians, most notably Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who said he didn’t want “to be conspiratorial,” but the administration may be “in on this somehow.”
Child migrants have surged across the border in recent months to flee violence in Central America. President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to respond to the crisis, as the mass migration has overwhelmed existing detention facilities and border resources.
The president has publicly discouraged the migration, stating in an ABC News interview on June 27: “That is our direct message to the families in Central America: Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.” PolitiFact called the claim that Obama planned the border crisis “pants on fire” false, writing: “Many of the factors behind the surge of children lie outside the control of the administration. No expert we reached gave any credence to the idea that the administration planned this crisis on the border.”
Gov. Perry has responded to the humanitarian crisis by suggesting the Obama administration is secretly coordinating the effort. In a June 17 Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, Perry said: “We’re doing our part to make sure we can keep our citizens as safe as we can. But the federal government is just absolutely failing. We either have an incredibly inept administration or they’re in on this somehow or another. I hate to be conspiratorial, but how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?”
The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate subsequently appeared on ABC on July 6 and said Obama may have an “ulterior motive” on the crisis.
Other Republican politicians have also suggested President Obama is deliberately creating the border crisis. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told conspiracy website WND, “If you don’t see them bring reinforcements down there to seal the border, that means that, yes, it’s a Cloward-Piven maneuver to flood the country until we get to the point where we are an open-borders country that welcomes everybody, legal and illegal” (“Cloward-Piven” is a reference to a right-wing conspiracy theory that believes progressives are attempting to overwhelm capitalism, leading to its collapse). Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) similarly claimed it’s “an open secret Obama is trying to flood Texas with illegals to make it into a blue state.” Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) told Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs on June 10 (via Nexis), “Everything that Barack Obama’s doing is intentional, deliberate … This is deliberate, Lou, and all Barack Obama’s asking for is more money to do more of the same.”
Despite evidence to the contrary, many members of the right-wing media have followed their Republican partners in accusing Obama of having “planned” and “orchestrated” the crisis for political gain. Here are ten examples:
Rush Limbaugh Speculates “This Whole Thing Was Planned In Advance By Somebody.” Speaking on the June 24 edition of his radio program, Limbaugh said: “Somebody needs to go to the Oval Office. I don’t know who. I wouldn’t want to be the guy, but somebody better make tracks to the Oval Office right now and tell Obama that this whole thing was planned in advance by somebody. Don’t wait for the newspapers on this — and they’re not gonna trust me when they hear about it.” Limbaugh’s website headlined his remarks, “Obama Regime Planned the Influx of Illegal Alien Children at the Border.”
Newt Gingrich: There’s A “Deliberate Policy Of Maximizing The Number Of Illegal Immigrants.” The CNN host wrote on his website on June 27 that the crisis “is a direct result of deliberate Obama administration policy that encourages illegal immigration” and “appears to be a deliberate policy of maximizing the number of illegal immigrants allowed to stay in the United States.” Gingrich added: “If you have any doubt consider that the Obama administration is deliberately encouraging this surge in illegal immigration, consider that instead of focusing on controlling the border and stopping people from entering illegally, we now have our government using our tax money to hire ‘escort services for unaccompanied alien children.’”
Sarah Palin: “Opening Our Borders To A Flood Of Illegal Immigrants Is Deliberate.” The Fox News contributor called for Obama’s impeachment in a July 8 Breitbart.com post, citing Obama’s allegedly “purposeful” actions with regard to the immigration influx:
Without borders, there is no nation. Obama knows this. Opening our borders to a flood of illegal immigrants is deliberate. This is his fundamental transformation of America. It’s the only promise he has kept. Discrediting the price paid for America’s exceptionalism over our history, he’s given false hope and taxpayer’s change to millions of foreign nationals who want to sneak into our country illegally. Because of Obama’s purposeful dereliction of duty an untold number of illegal immigrants will kick off their shoes and come on in, competing against Americans for our jobs and limited public services. There is no end in sight as our president prioritizes parties over doing the job he was hired by voters to do. Securing our borders is obviously fundamental here; it goes without saying that it is his job.
Lou Dobbs: “All Of This Is Orchestrated By This Administration.” Dobbs stated on the June 26 edition of Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight: “All of this is orchestrated by this administration. Anybody who doesn’t understand that hasn’t got the common sense that, you know, God gave a goat … The fact is that this administration is working in concert with the Central American governments.”
Monica Crowley: "He Created This Crisis, He Orchestrated It, And He’s Perpetuating It." The Fox News contributor added on the July 10 edition of Fox Business’ Varney & Co. that Obama “wanted the chaos” to pressure Republicans on immigration reform and to turn red states blue.
Jeanine Pirro: “One Conclusion: Barack Obama Is Intentionally Using The Immigration Crisis As An Excuse To Change The Demographics And Ultimately The Electorate.” Pirro added on the July 12 edition of her Fox News program Justice with Judge Jeanine that Obama is using a “Trojan horse” of children to advance his political party, his agenda and his legacy.”
Peggy Noonan Suggests Obama “Let The Crisis On The Border Build To Put Heat On Republicans.”Noonan accused the president of trickery for political gain in her July 11 Wall Street Journal column.
Allen West: “A Planned Event By The Obama Administration.” The Fox News contributor and former Florida congressman wrote on his website on July 3, “it seem [sic] harder to believe it was not a planned event by the Obama administration. That’s not that conspiracy theory - it’s trend analysis.” West wrote on July 14: “I believe the whole immigrant surge is purposeful” and asked if it’s to turn red states blue.
Dinesh D’Souza: Obama Wanted Border Chaos To Put “Republicans On The Defensive.” The conservative filmmaker and campaign finance felon claimed on Fox News on July 15 that Obama wants the crisis to “put the Republicans on the defensive and say, listen, either you give me amnesty or I’m just going to let these people start coming across the border and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Bryan Fischer: “This Is All Deliberate On The Part Of President Obama.” American Family Association’s Fischer added on the July 14 edition of his program that it was part of his “anti-American agenda” to transform the country.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday suggested that women who needed birth control but couldn’t not get it because it was banned by their religious employers could solve their problems if they stopped having sex.
On his radio show, the conservative talker continued his response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that the federal government could not force Hobby Lobby to cover contraception for its female employees by asking why birth control was so important “to the human condition” in the first place.
“Eye exams, dental exams, dental work are not mandated by Obamacare,” he opined. “But contraception is! Birth control pills are!”
“Which is worse? To go blind from lack of regular eye exams or to get pregnant?” Limbaugh continued. “And again, pregnancy is something that you have to do — to cause. It doesn’t just happen to you while you are walking down the street, except in the case of sexual abuse. But in the normal, everyday flow of events, pregnancy requires action that has consequences.”
He argued that the federal government was treating pregnancy like an “imposition that women need to be protected from.”
“And yet, they wouldn’t have the problem if they didn’t do a certain thing,” Limbaugh quipped.
In fact, millions of women use birth control for medical reasons other than preventing pregnancy.
A Guttmacher Institute study found in 2011 that only 42 percent of women used the pill only for birth control, and 1.5 million women relied on it “exclusively for noncontraceptive purposes.”
Listen to the audio below from The Rush Limbaugh Show, broadcast July 2, 2014.
(h/t: Media Matters)
Vaulted onto the national stage after Rush Limbaugh labeled her a ‘slut,’ the activist and attorney is running for California state Senate—and the right-wing side-eye just keeps coming.
Two years after Sandra Fluke rose to national prominence when Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut,” she is again at the center of right-wing attacks—and this time it seems as if her Democratic opponent for state Senate is playing along.
On Tuesday, Fluke, 33, a women’s rights activist and self-described social justice attorney, came in second place in the open primary for a state Senate seat in California’s 26th District behind Democrat Ben Allen. As the top two vote-getters, Fluke and Allen will advance to the November 4 general election.
In testimony before Washington Democrats in 2012, Fluke criticized the health insurance policies of Georgetown University, a Jesuit school. “I’m an American woman who uses contraceptives,” she said.
The only logical question in response to Fluke’s hearing, Rush Limbaugh apparently reasoned, was “It makes her a slut, right?”
The radio giant, evidently confused about how contraceptives work, dug in deeper: “It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
Limbaugh eventually apologized after an outcry from the left and the right, including from President Obama. As a result of the incident, Fluke became a national women’s rights icon, speaking at the Democratic National Convention and campaigning for the president.
Fluke told The Daily Beast that she had “absolutely not” wanted to run for office before but that she changed her mind “because I felt like this was the next step that gave me the most effective path to continue to improve our society and our community.” She added that “folks all over Los Angeles and many around the country were asking me to step forward and to run, and to be a different kind of voice in our government.”
From the moment the word was out that Fluke was considering a run for office, she was the subject of right-wing side-eye.“I just hope voters look to that and [think], ‘She’s in the public spotlight, she’s under attack, what does her leadership look like in response? Does she stoop to that kind of level?’”
In January, a Breitbart report on her possible run to replace Rep. Henry Waxman called her “the birth-control activist who helped Democrats launch their ‘Republican war on women’ theme in the 2012 elections,” as if she had asked to be attacked by Limbaugh.
“Sandra Fluke Aborts Congressional Bid,” read another headline on Breitbart after Fluke opted to run instead for the state Senate. “Her decision to abort her congressional campaign at a very early stage may have avoided much of the national political controversy that a later decision to terminate the effort would have likely triggered,” the subtle piece read.
Allen, Fluke’s Democratic opponent, granted an interview to Breitbart, despite the tone of its coverage of Fluke.
Asked about Allen’s interview, Fluke told The Daily Beast, “I was a little disappointed in that.”
Overall, Fluke said the negative stories “occasionally” bother her, but they haven’t surprised her. “Throughout the last two years, it’s been a fairly steady stream of personal and unfair attacks from some particular media outlets [and] commenters online, as well,” she said.
The attacks, Fluke said, are a sign “that I’m accomplishing something—I’m pushing back on something—when I’m getting that kind of response back…I certainly expect [the attacks] to continue, and I’m sure they will.”
Asked whether being on the receiving end of such criticism could benefit her, Fluke said: “I think that what the attacks from the right demonstrate is what kind of response I have to them, and voters have seen this again and again…I just hope voters look to that and [think], ‘She’s in the public spotlight, she’s under attack, what does her leadership look like in response? Does she stoop to that kind of level? Does she engage in unethical attacks in response? Or does she conduct herself in a way that would make us proud to have her represent us?’”
Although Fluke has name recognition and has been endorsed by public figures such as Gloria Steinem, the bearded and bespectacled Allen, who is an attorney, an education and law policy professor at UCLA, and a member of the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education, has a fundraising advantage.
Sandra Fluke, the women’s rights activist who gave Rush Limbaugh heartburn, is one step closer to becoming an elected official in California.
Fluke finished second behind Ben Allen, a fellow Democrat, in Tuesday’s primary race for a state Senate seat in Southern California. They both advance to the Nov. 4 general election because of California’s unique primary rules in which the top two vote-getters move on regardless of party.
Fluke gained national fame in 2012 when Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his radio show for her support of President Obama’s health care law.
Then a Georgetown University law student, Fluke had been blocked by Republicans from testifying at a congressional hearing in support of contraceptive coverage by insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act. Limbaugh apologized for his choice of words after a huge outcry from Democrats and Republicans. Fluke went on to become a featured speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and campaigned for Obama.
Allen and Fluke are seeking the state Senate seat of Ted Lieu, who is running for Congress in the district long held by liberal icon Henry Waxman. Lieu was clinging to second place in the 33rd Congressional District primary behind Elan Carr, a gang prosecutor and Republican.
You can thank Rush Limbaugh and Dana Loesch’s hateful mouths for allowing Sandra Fluke to rise to stardom, which is a good thing for America. So happy that Fluke’s advancing in November.
With the outsized vitriol Barack Obama’s presidency has inspired among conservatives, it’s seemed inevitable that the right would try to find some reason to impeach him. For more than five years, fringe activists, conservative media, and various Republican politicians have invoked the specter of impeachment over any number of manufactured scandals and supposed outrages. In a new book out today, National Review writer and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy tries to kickstart the movement in earnest, laying out the “political case” for impeaching the president.
Writing in the New Republic in 2010, liberal journalist Jonathan Chait predicted that if Republicans took control of the House of Representatives and Obama won a second term, “the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.” He continued, “Wait, you say. What will they impeach him over? You can always find something.” Indeed, for much of Obama’s presidency, the prospect of impeachment has been a hammer in search of a nail.
While fringe activists have been agitating for impeachment for years, more mainstream conservatives have been considerably more reluctant.
In Faithless Execution: Building The Political Case For Obama’s Impeachment, McCarthy tries to bridge the gap and build support for impeachment as a serious idea. The crux of McCarthy’s argument is that despite what he sees as the rock-solid legal justification for impeaching Obama, Republicans cannot move forward with the effort without first convincing the public that removing the president from office is the right course of action. To do so without public backing would “look like partisan hackery. It would be worse than futile.”
Slate’s David Weigel explained in a piece last month about Republicans’ recent push to impeach Obama “without looking crazy” that many of the supposed impeachable offenses highlighted in McCarthy’s book have already “faded under the klieg lights of big media.” (Though Weigel points out that McCarthy “puts some of the blame for that on Republicans” and their timidity over the issue of impeachment.)
While he’s ostensibly trying to jumpstart popular support for removing Obama from office, McCarthy’s book seems unlikely to win any new converts — it’s just more preaching to people already in the conservative media bubble (the first reference to frequent right-wing boogeyman Saul Alinsky comes in the third paragraph and the first invocation of “ACORN” follows shortly thereafter).
Half of Faithless Execution is comprised of McCarthy’s draft Articles of Impeachment. The supposed outrages in the book are a mix of ongoing focuses of conservative ire — “The Benghazi Fraud,” and “The Obamacare Fraud,” for example — and long-forgotten Scandals of the Month like the “racially discriminatory” Justice Department’s treatment of the New Black Panther Party. If all of these pseudo-scandals that conservatives flogged relentlessly weren’t enough to keep Obama from winning a second term, it’s hard to envision the public deciding they constitute justification for impeachment thanks to a reinvigorated push from Republicans.
Faithless Execution is already getting a boost from Fox News. This morning, after Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pushed the idea of impeaching Obama over the release of Bowe Bergdhal, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy plugged McCarthy’s book. Napolitano added, “it’s a very, very valid argument that people are going to start talking about.”
Nonetheless, McCarthy concedes in the book, “As things currently stand, the public does not support impeachment — no surprise, given that no substantial argument for impeachment has been attempted.”
Whether or not McCarthy sees any of the other arguments as “substantial,” the prospect of impeaching Obama has been a regular source of discussion for conservatives since shortly after the president took office. McCarthy’s isn’t even the first book to try to lay out the argument in serious fashion — last year WND writer Aaron Klein and co-author Brenda Elliott released Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office.
Media Matters looks back at some — but far from all — of conservatives’ incessant calls for impeachment below.
Wasting No Time: Conservatives Were Calling For Impeachment Months Into Obama’s First Term
Less than fifty days after Obama took office, conservative radio host Michael Savage told his audience that the American public was “sitting like a bunch of schmucks, watching a dictatorship emerge in front of their eyes.” According to Savage, Obama was already “out of control” and concluded, “I think it is time to start talking about impeachment.” Conservative media figures have continued talking about impeachment for the intervening five years.
In the fall of 2009, conspiracy website WND — which had already begun hawking “IMPEACH OBAMA!” bumper stickers — asked in a headline whether it was “Time To Whisper The Word ‘Impeachment’?” Conservative activist Floyd Brown and his wife Mary Beth posited in the column that impeachment was a “political act,” and should be considered due to the fact that “Barack Hussein Obama [is] a very dangerous man, and a threat to your personal liberty.” According to the Browns, the ramp up in discussion of impeachment was perhaps “best” explained by radio host and Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce, who eloquently argued, ”Ultimately, it comes down to … the fact that he seems to have, it seems to me, some malevolence toward this country, which is unabated.”
Concurrent with the column, Floyd Brown — who produced the infamous Willie Horton ad in 1988 and takes credit for jumpstarting the Clinton impeachment movement — launched an online petition at “ImpeachObamaCampaign.com.” The site remains active today and is populated with articles bearing headlines like “Obama’s Forged Birth Certificate Brings Call For Revolution.”
The impeachment talk quickly made the jump from fringe activists and websites to mainstream conservative outlets like Fox News and prominent Republican politicians. In 2010, the Obama administration reportedly offered former Democratic Representative Joe Sestak a spot on a presidential panel as incentive to stay out of that year’s U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania. Though legal experts asserted that no laws had been broken and historians noted that similar offers were commonplace, conservative media figures loudly and repeatedly started banging the impeachment drum.
Leading the charge was then-Fox News contributor Dick Morris, who suggested that the Sestak situation amounted to “grounds for impeachment.” Soon, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh all also pointed to the Sestak offer as a potential impeachable offense.
While Morris built a career out of saying improbable, outrageous and inaccurate things that should be viewed skeptically, his impeachment talk was nonetheless adopted by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who cited Morris’ claims during appearances on Fox News. (Five months later, the Republicans would win the House and Issa would take over as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.)
Though the Sestak non-scandal fizzled, the impeachment talk didn’t go away. In 2011, Fox Business devoted ten minutes of airtime to hashing out former Rep. Tom Tancredo’s (R-CO) twelve reasons to impeach Obama — including immigration reform, the failed Fast and Furious gunrunning operation, and the administration’s support of failed solar company Solyndra, all of which are included in McCarthy’s book.
Obama’s Re-Election Just Means There’s More Time To Impeach Him
After Republican scandal-mongering was unsuccessful in making Obama a one-term president, impeachment talk continued unabated after his re-election. Fox News contributor Todd Starnes wasted no time in getting the ball rolling, telling his Twitter followers the night of the election, “the first order of business should be a full investigation of Benghazi — followed by impeachment proceedings.” He would soon have company.
Roughly a month after Obama’s second term inauguration, Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano wascalling for impeachment over the implementation of the sequester spending cuts.
Following the Boston Marathon bombings a few months later, Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner penned a column arguing that Obama was “unwilling” to keep Americans safe by refusing “to acknowledge that we are in a war with radical Islam.” Kuhner added, “It’s time he is held responsible for his gross negligence. It’s time that he be impeached. Justice demands no less.” (Kuhner had previously written columns calling for Obama to be impeached over military invention in Libya and raised the idea of impeachment during the fight over health care reform.)
Kuhner wasn’t the only media figure that used the Boston bombings as a springboard for impeachment talk. Glenn Beck told viewers to “demand impeachment” over his bizarre and offensive conspiracy theory trying to link an innocent Saudi man to the bombings.
WND columnist and right-wing activist Larry Klayman started calling for Obama’s impeachment and conviction well before the 2012 election, but has spent the last year trying to get Obama ousted from office while starting a ”second American Revolution.” Bypassing impeachment, Klayman in October infamously called on the president to “get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”
Fellow WND columnist Alan Keyes, who holds the historical footnote of being the Republican candidate Obama trounced in his 2004 Illinois Senate run, has spent much of 2014 trying to throw fuel on the impeachment fire. Keyes has devoted numerous columns to directing readers to sign a petition at “pledgetoimpeach.com" to "stop Obama’s dictatorship.” The “Pledge to Impeach” site includes its own draft Articles of Impeachment, featuring claims like, “Mr. Obama has attained the office of president in a verifiably fraudulent and criminal manner, and upon a false identity and false pretenses.”
Obama Should Be Impeached, But He’s Black So He’s Unfairly Safe
While several activists are pushing for impeachment, some prominent conservative media figures say that while Obama may deserve to be impeached, he’s protected from being removed from office due to the fact that he’s the first black president.
McCarthy touches on concerns that pro-impeachment conservatives will be labeled racists in Faithless Execution:
Right now, conviction in the Senate is a pipedream, and therefore one cannot reasonably expect the House to file articles of impeachment. The process of impeachment will always be an ordeal, regardless of how necessary it is. Americans may be convincible regarding the need to oust a lawless president, but they will never be happy about it. Nor should they be. Even the president’s most zealous detractors should prefer that he mend his outlaw ways and finish his term than that the country be put through an impeachment process that would be painful in the best of times. And these are not the best of times: today, the pain would be exacerbated by the vulgar propensity of the left and the media to demagogue concern for the nation’s well-being as racism. Consequently, impeachment entails substantial political risk for the protagonists, even if they are clearly right to seek it. [Faithless Execution, pg 46, emphasis added]
During an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show in April of this year, TruthRevolt.org founder and conservative activist David Horowitz said that “because Obama is black and because he’s a leftist he’s completely protected by the press.” He added that the president is “a menace to American security, and the sooner — and of course you can’t impeach him because you can’t impeach the first black president.”
Conservative bomb-thrower Ann Coulter has also pointed to Obama’s race as protecting him from impeachment. Discussing health care reform during an appearance on Hannity’s Fox News program in February, Coulter remarked, “there is now a caveat to the constitution — you can’t impeach a president if he is our first black president.”
Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly cited Obama’s race as a reason he is safe from impeachment. Speaking on his radio show in May 2013, Limbaugh told listeners, “the people of this country — if it came to this — are simply not going to tolerate the first black president being removed from office.” A week later, Limbaugh returned to the subject, saying the “racial component” would save Obama from impeachment.
Earlier this year, Limbaugh concluded that even if there was a “slam dunk legal case for it, you’re never going to succeed impeaching a president unless there’s the political will for it.” Limbaugh cited the need for Obama’s approval ratings to drop precipitously in order for impeachment to be on the table, adding, “even then I’m not so sure that the people of this country would ever support removing the first black president.”
He concluded, “It’s just — it’s never going to happen.”
h/t: Ben Dimiero at MMFA
Rush Limbaugh’s transphobia gets a big pushback as a caller to his radio show condemns Limbaugh’s usage of such terms.
From the 05.29.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Network’s The Rush Limbaugh Show: