Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh took a day off from his work denouncing teachers who make $51,000 as “freeloaders” and played golf instead of doing his three-hour job for $50 million a year. Of course, it's Limbaugh who is the freeloader, whether it's moving to Florida to avoid state income taxes, or using the free public airwaves of the stations that broadcast his show to profit himself.
Today, Rush was back at work, and back to his bizarre obsession with race. Limbaugh declared that stories about Michelle Obama's fashion sense were the result of racial affirmative action: “They feel sorry.”
It was Limbaugh's bigoted approach to gender that brought some of Limbaugh's most controversial comments of the day. Limbaugh denounced liberal men in the Obama Administration who were skeptical of attacking Libya as “the new castrati” and yelled, “they're sissies.” Those “liberal men” included Republican Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and considering how Limbaugh used an anal cyst to evade the Vietnam War draft, perhaps he shouldn't go around calling people far more courageous than himself “sissies.”
But the most revealing moment of today's show came when Limbaugh referred to a story about feminist mothers who don't want their 12-year-old daughters to “dress for sex.” He described these feminist mothers as “feminazis.”
For years, Limbaugh has been denying that he ever referred to feminists in general as feminazis. “No, I never did call feminists feminazis,” he told Barbara Walters many years ago. “There are a select few feminists who I call feminazis, and you have to really work hard to earn your way into the feminazi status. You know what feminazi really is is a woman who is so consumed with the advancement of the feminist agenda that she gets mad when a woman who's pregnant, who was going to have an abortion, is talked out of it; and women who think that, for example, all sex is rape, even the sex in marriage.” Limbaugh has never, in his 25-year career on talk radio, offered any evidence of a single person who fits his definition of a “feminazi.”
Limbaugh has repeatedly asserted that he has been misquoted and was only describing a “few” feminists as feminazis. He told Playboy, “I have been misstated, misrepresented, misreported on this. A feminazi is not a feminist.”
But as I note in my new book, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, Limbaugh regularly uses the term and has repeatedly referred to feminists as feminazis, without any of these narrow definitions. On today's radio show, Limbaugh makes clear what he has always felt: that all feminists are feminazis. He's simply been lying whenever he said anything else.
Will the Anti-Defamation League speak out against the description of feminist mothers as Nazis? Will Limbaugh's conservative friends and Republican officials be asked if they agree with his view that feminists who worry about the sexualization of young girls are “Nazis.”
Yes, there are commentators on the left and the right who abuse Nazi analogies. But no one does it more than Limbaugh, and no far left commentator has anything approaching Limbaugh's audience. When feminist mothers concerned about their daughters are “feminazis,” it means that all of us are “feminazis.” And it shows Limbaugh for what he truly is: a lying misogynist.
Crossposted at DailyKos.