Despite Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute, as well as criticizing women wanting their health care covered by their medical insurance, Missouri legislators are set to honor him at the State Capitol with a statue in May. His statements concerning Fluke and women triggered a mass exodus of advertisers.
According to the St. Louis Today website, House Speaker Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) confirmed that Missouri legislators will honor Rush Limbaugh with a bust in the Hall of Famous Missourians in the Capitol rotunda. The statue was paid with private funds raised by Tilley.
While the unveiling of the bust is not due until May, E. Spenser Schubert, the sculpture of the bust, announced it on his site on February 13, 2012.
Missouri Democratic “Fired Up!” website linked to the article about concerning Springfield, Missouri erecting a plaque downtown where three black men were lynch early in the 20th century, which stated, “Perhaps Bust of Rush Fits Well in Missouri Capitol”.
According to the Southeast Missourian, the plaque commemorates the lynching of three black men; falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1906 and within hours of the lynching, a mass exodus began, leaving the population of the city mostly white.
It commemorates the events of Easter weekend 1906, when Horace B. Duncan, Fred Coker and Will Allen were dragged to the town square by a mob of about 7,000 angry over rumors of a white woman's rape. There, in front of women and children, they were lynched and burned.
Officials installed the plaque despite the objections of some of the city's black leaders, who said it was time to move past the event.
Relating to that article, St. Louis Today insinuated that honoring Limbaugh with a bust fits well with Missouri’s history. This time, the minority is women, instead of African Americans.
In the final days of the 2009 session, former Sen. Joan Bray, D-University City, released an angry barrage that represented what so many women in the Capitol have felt, but not said:
"I'm sick of women being treated like they are so stupid that they can't make their own decisions regarding their reproductive rights and their bodies," Ms. Bray said. "I'm sick of the ethic around here that men are pro-life for their wives and pro-choice for their girlfriends."
The words stung, and they hung like an albatross around every man in the building who had had an affair while proclaiming his commitment to family values.
A bust of Rush Limbaugh would symbolize what the Capitol really is on too many days: a place where women, be they voters, staffers or elected officials, still are treated like second-class citizens.
In another report, Missouri Republican lawmakers harassed Brenda Shoss, founder of animal-rights group Kinship Circle, who campaigned against the horse slaughter bill.
"It has come to my attention that you have been harassing my client by forwarding to her and her organization hundreds of inappropriate emails, among other things, in 'retaliation' for Kinship Circle and its members exerting their constitutional rights. … Your behavior is not only egregious, and a clear abuse of power, but it may very well be illegal and in violation of the United States Constitution. … You are hereby put on notice."
According to St. Louis Today, most of Missouri’s Democrats signed a letter protesting Tilley’s decision to honour Limbaugh, but Tilley reaffirmed his plans to honor Limbaugh. Among the signers were House Democratic Leaders Mike Talboy of Kansas City, Tishaura Jones of St. Louis, Mike Colona of St. Louis, Rep. Sara Lampe of Springfield, and 45 other Democrats.
The letter said Limbaugh’s nomination is now “especially inappropriate and offensive” after Limbaugh’s comments.
“Honoring Mr. Limbaugh in the wake of this incident would be seen as a tacit endorsement of his misogynistic attitudes,” the letter said.
“Fame alone has never been considered sufficient to earn someone a place in the Hall of Famous Missourians,” the lawmakers wrote. “If it were, outlaws Frank and Jesse James — two of the most famous Missourians of all time — would have been inducted long ago.”
According to “Fired Up!”, this misogynistic move is hardly unique in Missouri, adding, “Ask almost any woman of any political party who has spent much time in the Missouri Capitol and she will have a story of sexism to pass on.”
Limbaugh, who grew up in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, will have his bust sit beside Walter Cronkite, late news anchorman, Scott Joplin, late Jazz musician, Mark Twain, Harry S. Truman, Walt Disney, and Sacajawea, the Native American guide on the Lewis and Clark expedition.