Limbaugh calls GOP "oppressed minority"

The radio host says the Republican Party has become "compliant," that it goes "to the back of the bus"

Published May 27, 2009 8:30PM (EDT)

Forget blacks, women, gays, Catholics or any other minority you can think of. According to Rush Limbaugh, "if ever a civil rights movement was needed in America, it is for the Republican Party."

Yes, that's what the radio host said on his show Wednesday. He added, "If ever we needed to start marching for freedom and constitutional rights, it's for the Republican Party. The Republican Party is today's oppressed minority."

This isn't quite as crazy and downright offensive as it sounds off the bat. Limbaugh doesn't really mean the GOP is being oppressed -- he just says the party's acting like it. But that argument's pretty strange, too.

The Republican Party "knows how to behave" as an oppressed minority, Limbaugh said. "It shuts up. It doesn't cross bridges, it doesn't run into the Bull Connors of the Democrat Party, it is afraid of the fire hoses and the dogs, it's compliant. The Republican Party today has become totally complacent; they are an oppressed minority, they know their position, they know their place. They go to the back of the bus."

This definition of "oppressed minority" is obviously better than one in which Limbaugh's comparing the GOP's experience in the political wilderness to, say, lynching and Jim Crow laws. But it's certainly odd in its own way. Limbaugh essentially defines an oppressed minority as one that submits to its oppression without opposition; that definition would of course exclude African Americans, not to mention blacks in apartheid-era South Africa, Indians under British rule, Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe and many others.

Audio, via Media Matters, is below.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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