Limbaugh Uses Rape Analogy to Blast Filibuster Rule Change

Image: Limbaugh Uses Rape Analogy to Blast Filibuster Rule Change

Friday, 22 Nov 2013 04:50 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Rush Limbaugh used a rape analogy Friday to criticize the Senate's filibuster rule change that makes it easier for the majority party to confirm presidential nominees.

"The simple fact is, when the majority in any group of people, when the majority can change the rules at any time, then there aren't any rules," the bombastic radio talk-show host said to explain his point about the "nuclear option."

He then went into a long rape analogy.

"Forget the Senate for a minute," Politico said he told listeners.

"Let's say, let's take 10 people in a room, and they're a group. And the room is made up of six men and four women. Right? The group has a rule that the men cannot rape the women. The group also has a rule that says any rule that will be changed must require six votes of the 10 to change the rule."

Then he said, according to a transcript of the audio on Huffington Post:

"Every now and then, some lunatic in the group proposes to change the rule to allow women to be raped. But they never were able to get six votes for it. There were always the four women voting against it and they always found two guys.

"Well, the guy that kept proposing that women be raped finally got tired of it, and he was in the majority, and he was one that [said], 'You know what? We're going to change the rule. Now all we need is five.'

"And well, 'you can't do that.' 'Yes, we are. We're the majority. We're changing the rule.'

"And then they vote. Can the women be raped? Well, all it would take then is half of the room. You can change the rule to say three. You can change the rule to say three people want it, it's going to happen. There's no rule when the majority can change the rules, there aren't any."

Limbaugh said the only reason behind the Senate's invoking the "nuclear option" is that President Barack Obama "can’t get what he wants democratically."

Senate Democrats took the dramatic step Thursday of eliminating filibusters for most nominations by presidents a power play they said was necessary to fix a broken system, but one that Republicans said will only rupture it further.

Politico reported that Limbaugh's analogy triggered a flurry of sharp rebukes on social media.

Ana Marie Cox, a political columnist for The Guardian, wrote on Twitter, "Limbaugh using a rape analogy to explain the filibuster really takes mansplaining to a level I never imagined." founder Hilary Sargent then tweeted "rape-splaining."

Media Matters research fellow Oliver Willis tweeted, "rush limbaugh really games out how you could theoretically vote to rape women. hes just throwing it out there folks," while Media Matters colleague Todd Gregory called it  "dumb, glib" and "such a perfect encapsulation of rape culture, it should be put in a museum."

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky posted this tweet: "my goodness will someone tell him to [shut] up. Seriously?" and "I'm sure Rush's comments were actually made my a 'junior staffer' right folks?"

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