#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.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) is adamant this is his last term as chairman — but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to leave House leadership.
Israel told The Hill in an exclusive interview that he will not seek a third term after the 2014 elections but wants to keep a seat at the leadership table. That could lead to some interesting machinations next winter, unless someone in House leadership decides to retire.“I’ve really enjoyed doing this for two terms, but I believe that two terms is the maximum that anybody should chair a committee,” Israel told The Hill. “I will support our leadership’s decision and choice for DCCC chair as long as it is not Steve Israel.”
The congressman, a close confidante of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said he’d like to remain in a top spot with the party, though.
“I’ve always enjoyed being in leadership. I hope to continue to have a voice in leadership. But that’s not my decision, that’s the decision of my colleagues in leadership and in the caucus. But I’ve really enjoyed being in leadership,” Israel said.
It’s unclear how that would occur without a retirement or the creation of a new leadership role, however. All five Democratic leadership slots are occupied by members who have shown no signs of retiring or stepping aside.
Israel has long been expected to step aside as DCCC head after this term, and his trio of deputies are all said to be interested in the slot. He had kind words for all three, praising Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Jim Himes (D-Conn.).
“Donna Edwards has done an extraordinary job of recruiting. Jared Polis is one of our best fundraisers and just has a real sense of what has to happen in our campaigns. Jim Himes has just crushed it as our national finance chair. We have newer members like Lois Frankel, who got 100 percent of our members to pay dues. And there are so many others,” he said. “I’m sure our leader will choose somebody who is both operational and somebody who has a good handle on the issues to succeed me.”
Israel wasn’t as keen on predicting what will happen in 2014, repeatedly refusing to prognosticate about whether Democrats have any chance at retaking the House (which Pelosi has said is possible and most prognosticators think isn’t), win seats (which looks tough) or hold losses to a minimum (which most Democrats quietly admit would be a win).
“Our job is not to predict, it is to prepare,” he said. “The one thing I can tell you about this cycle is, it is so volatile, for us and for them. I will see a poll on a Frontliner [incumbent] or a challenger one week that makes me grin from ear to ear, and then a week later, I will see a poll on the same candidate that makes me frown. Republicans know it, and I know it. It is an extremely volatile environment.”
Israel said the biggest challenge the party faces this fall is midterm voter drop-off, and said they were working to counter that by doubling the DCCC’s historic budget on field operations and have 500 paid field staff, the most in the campaign’s history.
He downplayed concerns that President Obama’s poor approval ratings could hurt Democrats, pointing out that many of the most competitive House races are in Illinois, California and New York, states where Obama’s numbers have held up a bit better.
He also said that two of his party’s two most popular surrogates, Bill and Hillary Clinton, were likely to appear on the campaign trail more and more between now and November.
“I’ve had several conversations with the Clintons,” he said. “She has said that she wants to be engaged. … As soon as they’re ready to work out some of the logistical details, we are ready to go.”
About time Steve Israel quits the DCCC leadership after this election.
h/t: Cameron Joseph at The Hill
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) is expected to remain as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2014 election cycle.
The New York lawmaker, who took over the fundraising operation for House Democrats in 2010, will retain his position alongside House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said Wednesday that she planned to run again for the Democratic House leadership.
According to a House leadership aide, “Leader Pelosi told a packed caucus meeting, including the incoming members of the 113th Congress today that, if Steve Israel is willing to take on the DCCC again, then she will happily place her hat in for leader.”
Israel told CNN earlier Wednesday that he hoped Pelosi decided to stay on as leader, appearing to confirm that he would remain in the fifth-ranking position among House Democrats.
"She just helped elect 49 new Democrats who are problem-solvers," Israel said. "If you take a look at the footage from that press conference yesterday, 49 new Democrats who are diverse, the first Democratic Caucus, the first caucus in history that has a majority of women, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, but more than anything else, she helped elect a class of problem-solvers, people who are business people who create jobs, mayors who balance budgets, veterans who serve the country."
Israel had previously served as the DCCC’s recruitment chairman during the 2010 midterms. Thought to have a close relationship with Pelosi, he replaced Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who moved on to become the ranking member of the House Budget Committee.
h/t: The Hill
My recap of the DNC: Day 2
My recap of the DNC by day. <3 the Dems.
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
GRITO: “We are never more American than when we demand that all people are treated with dignity and respect.”—Rep. Luis Gutierrez— Latinos for Obama (@LatinosforObama) September 5, 2012
9 million Latinos who don’t have health insurance will have it in 2014, thanks to Obamacare. #DNC2012— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) September 5, 2012
Congresswoman Judy Chu tells heartwarming immigrant story as 1st Chinese-American woman elected to Congress. #DNC2012— Judy Ki (@JudyKi128) September 5, 2012
Democrats are proud of our past-presidents Clinton & Carter. Unlike Republicans who hid their has beens in an undisclosed location. #GOPFail— Gerard J. Zarella (@GZarella) September 5, 2012
Rep. Pierluisi: “President Obama understands the obligation we have to our most vulnerable citizens.” #DNC2012— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) September 5, 2012
RT @ap: BREAKING: AP Source: Obama personally intervened to change Dem platform language on Jerusalem, God.— Charlotte DNC (@CharlotteDNC) September 5, 2012
Emmanuel Cleaver is finally raising it up a notch.— Karoli (@Karoli) September 5, 2012
Cleaver has one of the best speeches of the DNC. I don’t think it’s going to get much press though.— Bradford Traywick (@MrTraywick) September 5, 2012
If you’re not watching Emanuel Cleaver on CSPAN right now you are missing one hell of an old time sermon. #dnc2012— Rick Segulin (@gratepool) September 5, 2012
"Let us not just say the Pledge of Allegiance, LET’S LIVE IT!"Missouri’s Emanuel Cleaver II just electrified… fb.me/1JSjGDigp— Randolph Co Dems (@RandolphMODems) September 5, 2012
'3 reasons to vote for Obama: Your mother, your sister, and your daughter.' - CT Gov Dannel Malloy #dnc2012— Melissa J Mitchell (@melissajane23) September 5, 2012
Thank a worker. It’ll make you feel good all day. - Trumka #dnc2012— Karoli (@Karoli) September 5, 2012
Pelosi: “The character of our country,” and “the American dream” are all on the ballot this November. #DNC2012— DCCC (@dccc) September 5, 2012
Get to know the 5 key points of the Democratic Party platform in 1 RT-friendly graphic: twitter.com/JoeBiden/statu…— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 5, 2012
Cecile Richard’s name drops Todd Akin and Paul Ryan right off the top… #msnbc2012— Ed Schultz (@edshow) September 6, 2012
now @ppact prexy Cecile Richards daughter of 88 DNC keynoter then Texas Gov Ann Richards (poor George..born with silver foot in his mouth)— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) September 6, 2012
"President Obama understands women. He trusts women. And on every issue that matters to us, he stands with women." #DNC2012— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) September 6, 2012
"The future of this election is up to us." Cecile Richards speaking to the Women’s Caucus.#DNC2012— Patricia Bynes (@Patricialicious) September 4, 2012
Hoyer at #DNC2012: “Mr. Romney said he wished President Obama had succeeded when he took office. If so, he was alone in his party.”— TIMEPolitics (@TIMEPolitics) September 6, 2012
Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards was 1st speaker to mention Todd Akin by name tonight #DNC2012— Michael Falcone (@michaelpfalcone) September 6, 2012
It’s pretty significant to watch the Democratic Party reconcile itself with the Vietnam era. #dnc2012— Joy Reid (@TheReidReport) September 6, 2012
CO Gov. John Hickenlooper (@hickforco) is speaking. Owners of brewpubs, and a former geologist. Elected in 2010. Previous Denver mayor.— Roll Call Politics (@rollcallpols) September 6, 2012
Some folks I know in political world think John Hickenlooper has national potential….#dnc2012— The Fix (@TheFix) September 6, 2012
Sister Simone from Nuns on the Bus: “The Ryan budget failed a basic moral test, because it would harm families living in poverty.” #DNC2012— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) September 6, 2012
If there were more nuns like Sister Simone, there might be fewer Catholics like Paul Ryan #DNC2012— Steven Mirkin (@Smirkin213) September 6, 2012
"President Obama cut small business taxes not once, not twice, but 18 times" #DNC2012— NH Democratic Party (@NHDems) September 6, 2012
Got some great outfits on the women of #DNC2012 tonight. CA AG Kamala Harris shines in white suit.— Lauren McGaughy (@lmcgaughy) September 6, 2012
The DREAMers movement is totally inspiring. Just incredibly courageous and tough and strategic.— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 6, 2012
UAW’s Bob King: Pres. Obama “stood up—not for what was popular and easy but for what was right. He stood with American workers.” #DNC2012— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) September 6, 2012
Locked out of Democratic Convention. Fire Marshall closed building down. Media and delegates trying to enter.— Maria Elena Salinas (@MariaESalinas) September 6, 2012
"Mitt Romney will stick it to working people. Barack Obama is sticking up for working people. It’s as simple as that." #DNC2012— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) September 6, 2012
Sandra Fluke: “I am here because I spoke out. And this November, we each must speak out.” #DNC2012— DemConvention (@DemConvention) September 6, 2012
.@sandrafluke on the choice for women this fall: “One of those futures looks like an outdated relic of our past.”— Obama 2012 (@Obama2012) September 6, 2012
Sandra Fluke: “Rather than silence me, you invite me here & give me a microphone to amplify my voice. That’s the difference.” #dnc2012— Chelsey Willis (@ccw85) September 6, 2012
Elizabeth Warren: “I’m here tonight to talk about hard-working people who get up early, stay up late, cook dinner, help out with homework.”— Obama 2012 (@Obama2012) September 6, 2012
Warren: “Wall Street CEOs—the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs—still strut around Congress, no shame.”— Obama 2012 (@Obama2012) September 6, 2012
Jim Sinegal, Costco cofounder: “I am here tonight supporting President Obama, a president making an economy built to last.”— Obama 2012 (@Obama2012) September 6, 2012
Elizabeth Warren: Republicans believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends.— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) September 6, 2012
Elizabeth Warren just preached a little. Use that scripture girl!!!!— I Am The Mockingjay (@Pgh2VA) September 6, 2012
"I want a president who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama" Bill Clinton #dnc2012— Ani Sangye (@SangyeH) September 6, 2012
The real reason everyone was so excited when Clinton was picked for this speech: We’d get to hear Fleetwood Mac one more time.— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) September 6, 2012
President Clinton: “What’s the jobs score?Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million!” #DNC2012— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) September 6, 2012
"We’re all in this together" > "You’re on your own" — Bill Clinton at #DNC2012— DemConvention (@DemConvention) September 6, 2012
"What works in the real world is cooperation." —Bill Clinton. #DNC2012— MoveOn.org (@MoveOn) September 6, 2012
Bill on Hillary: “I am very proud of her. I am very proud of what she and the national security team have done for America.”— Roll Call Politics (@rollcallpols) September 6, 2012
Clinton: “Heck, he even appointed Hillary!”— POLITICO (@politico) September 6, 2012
#DNC2012 ALL THE RIGHT WINGERS IN THE COUNTRY ARE PISSING THEIR PANTS NOW!!!!— Erik Nelson (@cluelessbutdumb) September 6, 2012
Aaaand Bill Clinton just quoted Reagan. #DNC2012— Charlotte DNC (@CharlotteDNC) September 6, 2012
Both big speeches of the night — Elizabeth Warren and Clinton — are very policy heavy. Wonkery = Good Politics.— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) September 6, 2012
Clinton: “We simply can’t afford to give the reins to someone who will double down on trickle down.”— Bloomberg View (@BloombergView) September 6, 2012
Bill Clinton: ”If you want a you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket.” #DNC2012— Four More Years (@4More) September 6, 2012
BILL AND BARACK twitter.com/thinkprogress/…— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) September 6, 2012
Bill Clinton’s incisive, wise and witty speech tonight laid the Republican canard bare.This is was a successful convention looks like!— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 6, 2012
Bill Clinton’s record does not lie. He knows economic policy and he knows how to relate what he knows to the people like no other. #DNC— CatHussein Ballou (@Catballou) September 6, 2012
I don’t care if President Clinton went “off speech” or “talked to long”. That speech will be talked about for years to come!#DNC— Catherine O’Bama (@deja1422) September 6, 2012
I think Bill Clinton made a better case for Obama than GWBush did for Romney. #TFY— allanbrauer (@allanbrauer) September 6, 2012
Barack Obama officially renominated as Democratic candidate for president #DNC2012— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) September 6, 2012
Jim Sinegal, Costco cofounder: “I am here tonight supporting President Obama, a president making an economy built to last.”— Obama 2012 (@Obama2012) September 6, 2012
Top 5 speeches:
1. Bill Clinton
2. Emanuel Cleaver
3. Elizabeth Warren
4. Sandra Fluke
5. Cecile Richards
Close Calls: Cristina Saralegui, Benita Veliz, Richard Trumka, Nancy Pelosi
DCCC Chairman Steve Israel: "Paul Ryan's Selection May Have Become Democrats' 'Majority Maker' In House"
The man charged with electing Democrats to the House of Representatives boasted on Saturday that the party had higher hopes for taking back the majority now that Mitt Romney had tapped Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his vice presidential candidate.
"Mitt Romney this morning may have just become the most recent DCCC majority maker," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel in an interview with The Huffington Post. "It’s no question, we have been slogging uphill to get the majority. We needed a national breeze at our backs, and Mitt Romney may have given us that breeze this morning."
Israel isn’t the only Democrat waxing optimistic about the benefits the party stands to gain from Romney’s choice of Ryan. The Wisconsin Republican is best known for his budget proposal, which includes steep cuts to federal spending and aggressive entitlement reforms, such as turning Medicaid into a block grant program and Medicare into a voucher-like system. Polling has shown that these prescriptions aren’tall that popular.
Unlike other Democrats, however, Israel has first-hand experience in seeing how the Ryan budget can play in an election. He helped engineer victories for Rep. Kathy Hochul in upstate New York and for Rep. Ron Barber in Arizona, both of which hinged largely on using the Medicare proposal to the Democrats’ advantage. “We know it works,” he said, “and it works well.”
"The choice of the plan’s author as a running mate makes that task seemingly much easier," Israel said. He said he believes Democrats chances of taking back the house are much improved. "It is still an uphill battle, but we now have a wind at our backs. And I will say this, if we win the majority and the pundits look back at where it turned, I think they are going to look at August 11, with this announcement."
After a wave election gave Republicans the majority in the House of Representatives in 2010, no one thought that Democrats, a year later, would be in a position to take it back.
But, that’s exactly where Democrats claim to be. At a press briefing Wednesday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel (D-NY) said that Republicans have had such a “catastrophic” year that he now believes Democrats can take back the House. The chairman was cautious not to sound too optimistic, but he had a long list of statistics in Democrats’ favor; an advantage that comes almost entirely from Republicans’ blunders over the past year.
The DCCC rolled out its first wave of Red to Blue Races, a list of 18 races where Democrats are confident they can oust a Republican incumbent. The DCCC also has three races they feel are in the bag and 18 more districts where the Democratic candidate is showing increasing strength. Overall, that’s more than the 25 seats needed to reach a majority. As a sign of their understated optimism, Israel points out this is two months earlier than they normally roll out these races.
A key reason Democrats are feeling good about November is the particular crop of Republicans they are looking to replace: the freshmen tea partiers elected in 2010. “[Democrat] candidates are going to be aggressively holding Republicans accountable for consistently choosing Millionaires over Medicare, oil companies subsides over middle class tax cuts and ideology over solutions,” Israel said. The Dem spin is that much of the work that needs to be done to take back the House, Republicans have done for them over the past year.
The trickiest aspect of honing their message in House races is to clarify the distinction between general disapproval of Congress, and specifically Republican policies and tactics that have caused gridlock in Washington. The President, for example, is running for re-election against Congress, a campaign that will center partly on arguing that it is Congress that has failed to work with him, not the other way around. Democrats will have to argue that not only did the Republican majority hew to the far right on policy, but also that the gridlock is their fault.
“The more Obama campaigns against bad votes in Congress, the better,” Israel said. And in a way, it makes sense that the President’s message will mirror those of Democrats running for the House. If Obama faces Mitt Romney, he will certainly campaign on Romney’s support of Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare while Democrats will do the same to oust Republican incumbents. But when it comes to taking the blame, Israel did say he has spoken to President Obama, who “has been more assertive in using the word Republican” when referring to Congress.
“I’m not saying that we’ve got the 25 seats that we need in the bank, I’m not saying that the majority is a guarantee,” Israel began the meeting, but it’s clear he’s optimistic. “Last cycle was just, it was a perfect storm…gale force winds against us. This cycle it looks like it may be generating a perfect storm against the Republicans. At the very least, I think it’s fair to say, a wind at our backs.”
Let’s get the Majority back!
h/t: Pema Levy at TPM