Rush Limbaugh uses rape analogy to criticize "nuclear option"

Rush Limbaugh
Getty Images, Stephen Lovekin

Rush Limbaugh on Friday is fanning the flames of a new firestorm, using a rape analogy to illustrate his opposition to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's use of the "nuclear option" to change the filibuster rules in the Senate.

“Forget the Senate for a minute," the conservative talk show host said on his radio program Friday. "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,” Limbaugh said.

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

“Well, the guy that kept proposing that women be raped finally got tired of it,” Limbaugh said. “He was in the majority and he said, you know what, we’re going to change the rule. Now all we need is five. And the women said, ‘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?”

Limbaugh added that at that point, all it would take is a yes vote from “half the room. You can change the rule to say three. You can change the rule to say three people want it, it’s gonna happen.”

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz criticized Limbaugh, writing on Twitter that "once again proving he's a disgrace."

Last year, Limbaugh ignited another controversy after he called women's contraception activist Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" after she took part in a Democratic congressional hearing where she discussed the importance of birth control coverage for Georgetown Law School students.

Limbaugh ultimately apologized for his "insulting word choices." 

And in 2003, he resigned from his job as an ESPN football analyst after he suggested that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is African-American, "got a lot of credit ... he didn't deserve" for the team's success because the "media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well."