Rush Limbaugh added to his long history of sexism yesterday with a particularly ugly attack directed at President Obama and his national security team. While discussing a CNN.com piece reporting that Obama heeded the counsel of three female advisors to intervene in Libya, Limbaugh dubbed the president and his male advisors "sissies" and "the new castrati":
LIMBAUGH: This is a piece by David Rodham Gergen. "After conversations with top players in Washington last week, mostly as I accompanied a group of Zuckerman Fellows" -- boy I wish I was part of that group, the Zuckerman Fellows -- "from Harvard on a field trip, here are some brief reflections on the mood there," at Harvard. We got a whole CNN piece on what they're thinking at Harvard. Remember, now, Harvard grooms people to do this, quote- unquote, "the right way." That's the purpose of Harvard, and the purpose of Yale, and Princeton and Brown, to train people to do this the right way, meaning the liberal right way.
"The head-snapping change in policy toward Libya has everybody guessing where the Mideast is heading, whether the U.S. has a good handle on it, and most of all, what Obama is trying to achieve." Get this next, see, get this next: "One irony, as a female friend put it, is that for many years many of us believed that if only more women could gain power, the world would surely become more peaceful. Yet, we now see that the three people who talked Obama into using force are women -- Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Samantha Power. Leading male advisers were opposed. Perhaps we should be less" -- we're talking about male liberals. Of course they were opposed. It's the New Castrati. Of course the males were opposed. They're sissies. And here's the number one, well, the leader of the club. He happens to sit in the Oval Orifice [sic].
Fox News' website the Fox Nation amplified Limbaugh's sexism, linking to a post on Mediaite with the headline, "Limbaugh: 'Sissy' Obama Dragged Into Libya By Women." On a similar note, on National Review Online, Mark Krikorian is complaining that three women "nagged" Obama until he gave in on Libya.
The phrase "new castrati" is a favorite of Limbaugh's. He has repeatedly used it to attack those on the left.
For instance, during the 2008 presidential nomination race, Limbaugh said that Hillary Clinton, "the most cheated-on woman in the world," was "surrounded" by her "white female new castrati male base."
The following year, while attacking Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME), Limbaugh again employed the phrase, saying that the "new castrati" are "those who have lost all manhood, gonads, guts, and courage throughout our culture and our political system."
Limbaugh also mocked "the voice of the new castrati" during a 2009 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and claimed that Jack Carter, son of former President Jimmy Carter, "has been castrated by the feminization of this culture." (This attack was part of a sexist trifecta, in which he also called then-Supreme Court Justice David Souter "a girl" and referred to feminists as "feminazis" -- a term he had previously renounced.)
Limbaugh's latest sexist jab is offensive to both Obama and his male national security advisors and to the president's female advisors. In Limbaugh's eyes, a president who takes military action on the advice of his female advisors is effeminate. You're a "siss[y]" if you oppose military intervention, but only if your female counterparts support it.