Hour 1: Broken Record: Limbaugh Again Calls Sotomayor "A Bigot" And "A Racist"

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This hour of the Limbaugh Wire brought to you by the "extinct" Republican Party
By Simon Maloy

Now that we've had an entire day to ruminate on Rush's response to the Sotomayor nomination, we find ourselves quite bemused. Or amused. Or both. Whatever. Anyway, it was Rush's advice to the GOP on how to respond to Sotomayor that we found particularly nonsensical. In Rush's view, it would be the height of foolishness to support Sotomayor with an eye on currying Hispanic voters. Rush said it doesn't work that way, just look at the last election -- the party nominated John McCain, the "architect" of "amnesty," and Obama still took 67 percent of the Latino vote. Now, that might make sense but for the fact that McCain, during the Republican primaries, reversed himself on comprehensive immigration reform and disavowed his own immigration bill. Of course, we don't pretend to know the right course for Republicans and conservatives on Sotomayor -- and they don't seem to know either. Rush is firmly planted in the "reverse racist" camp; Michael Steele is urging for calm; James Inhofe is ... well, James Inhofe; National Review doesn't like that her name is all Latin-y; and the denizens of Fox Nation think she's Mexican.

Rush got today's show started with a rapid-fire reading of several news stories. Rush first noted that the Pentagon is prepared to leave fighting forces in Iraq for 10 years, despite agreements to bring all troops home by 2012. Rush said there is no administration policy on Iraq - he demonstrated yesterday that all of Obama's supporters expect him to lie and they love it when he does. Then it was on to GM and the government's reported 70 percent share in a restructured version of the company. From there, he took a sharp turn to The Washington Post and some policymakers' renewed interest in a value-added tax. Rush was upset at this, saying that consumers end up paying for such a tax, or at least as much as retailers can pass on to them.

And then there was another sharp turn to USA Today, which reported that tax revenues in April dropped precipitously from last year. That statistic, Rush said, illustrates how cutting taxes works. He left it to all of us to figure out what, exactly, that connection is, and shifted gears again right back to GM, noting that members of Congress have been calling Obama's auto task force to complain about dealership closings in their state. On this point, Rush managed to stay focused just long enough to concoct a conspiracy theory that even he acknowledged was light on evidence: "Nobody can figure out exactly why certain dealerships are being targeted to be closed. There's some people looking into it, but the evidence is sketchy. All we know is that a whole lot of really successful dealerships are being shut down. Some of them happen to be owned by people who contributed lots of money to Republicans."

Then Rush claimed that it's the bondholders who are getting the shaft in the GM deal, just like they did with Chrysler. What we need, Rush said, is a Supreme Court justice who can "empathize" with the bondholders: "We need somebody on the Supreme Court that can understand how people in the private sector are getting raped by this administration."

After reading the entirety of a Wall Street Journal editorial on Maryland's budget woes, Rush moved on to a Hill article that recalled Rush's 1997 prediction that Sotomayor was on a "rocket ship" for the Supreme Court. Rush then wanted to ask a question: did the Democrats worry about angering African Americans or Hispanics when they opposed Clarence Thomas, Miguel Estrada, and Alberto Gonzales? They didn't, Rush said, which led to another question: Who invented this "idiotic" theory that opposing a judge based on her "incompetence" is going to hurt the Republicans? Rush had an answer for this one too: the media, the Democrats, and the "wimp" moderate Republicans. Rush then read an e-mail he received from a listener counseling that conservatives pick their battles and be careful in opposing Sotomayor because it will inevitably bite them in the butt. Rush responded: "So what this listener is saying, Obama chose this woman to shut us up, and we better shut the hell up. 'Cause if we don't shut the hell up, then we're gonna get bit in the butt. We are bit in the butt with the nomination. The nation has been bit in the butt with the nomination."

After the break, Rush noted that Republican strategist Mark McKinnon authored a piece for The Daily Beast counseling the GOP "to wave a white flag on Sotomayor, give Colin Powell a big bear hug and sincere thanks for sticking it out, and move on." Rush said that by this logic, conservatives should just throw in the towel on everything and give the left the country.

Another break and Rush was back, explaining that he has no doubt that Sotomayor will be confirmed because there is no desire to object to her, even though she's not a good judge. "She's overruled 60 percent of the time at the U.S. .Supreme Court. Jonathan Turley is out there yesterday at MSNBC -- she doesn't have any intellectual depth. She's got a -- she's an angry woman, she's got a -- she's a bigot. She's a racist. In her own words, she's the antithesis of a judge." But many GOPers, Rush said, have bought into the notion that attacking her on legal merits is racist. Meanwhile, the meanest, nastiest party in our nation's history, "the Democrat Party," never worries about whether they're seen as racist. Rush wondered when the GOP will figure out that playing the game by the Democrats' and the media's rules will destroy the party.

Then Rush returned to McKinnon, who, Rush said, is saying that if Republicans oppose the nomination of this "unqualified" and "incompetent" woman, it means our extinction. Rush rejoined: "I would suggest to you that the Republican Party is already extinct if it's listening to Mark McKinnon. The Republican Party is extinct if it's listening to Tom Ridge. The Republican Party is extinct if it's listening to Colin Powell." Sotomayor is not qualified, said Rush, she's incompetent. Then Rush read for us the oath Supreme Court justices take upon assuming office, adding: "By virtue of her own statements, she is going to break the oath. She's going to lie when she takes the oath. By virtue of her own previous statements, she is lying when she takes the oath."

After the break, Rush conjured a ghost of campaign past, smearing Obama for comments he made on the Constitution during a 2001 radio interview in Chicago -- specifically Obama's statement that "the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society." Rush didn't have enough time to get to distort the other sound bytes, but promised that he'd get to them in the next hour.

Highlights from Hour 1

Outrageous comments

LIMBAUGH: Nobody can figure out exactly why certain dealerships are being targeted to be closed. There's some people looking into it, but the evidence is sketchy. All we know is that a whole lot of really successful dealerships are being shut down. Some of them happen to be owned by people who contributed lots of money to Republicans.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: So what this listener is saying, Obama chose this woman to shut us up, and we better shut the hell up. 'Cause if we don't shut the hell up, then we're gonna get bit in the butt. We are bit in the butt with the nomination. The nation has been bit in the butt with the nomination.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: She's overruled 60 percent of the time at the U.S. .Supreme Court. Jonathan Turley is out there yesterday at MSNBC -- she doesn't have any intellectual depth. She's got a -- she's an angry woman, she's got a -- she's a bigot. She's a racist. In her own words, she's the antithesis of a judge. She is the antithesis of justice. In her own words, she does not deserve to be on the U.S. Supreme Court.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: I would suggest to you that the Republican Party is already extinct if it's listening to Mark McKinnon. The Republican Party is extinct if it's listening to Tom Ridge. The Republican Party is extinct if it's listening to Colin Powell.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Can I read the oath the Supreme Court Justice takes? Here's the oath: "I, name, do solemnly swear or affirm that I will administer justice without respect to persons and to equal right to the poor and the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as Supreme Court Justice under the Constitution and laws of the United States, so help me God."

By virtue of her own statements, she is going to break the oath. She's going to lie when she takes the oath. By virtue of her own previous statements, she is lying when she takes the oath.

Clips from this hour

Limbaugh says his opposition to Sotomayor not because of race or gender, but calls her "an angry woman," "bigot," "racist"

Limbaugh says "people in the private sector are getting raped by this administration"

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