Rush Limbaugh: Conservatives Don't Suppress The Black Vote, Restrict Women's Choice, Or Lie

Blog ››› ››› BRIAN POWELL

Displaying a remarkable lack of self-awareness, Rush Limbaugh tried to convince a caller that "it's a pretty safe bet" that liberals always lie and conservatives never do -- an assertion he backed up with a series of his own lies on everything from abortion to minority vote suppression and the IRS.

On the June 18 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh addressed a caller who expressed interest in hearing both sides -- liberal and conservative -- of any given debate before coming to his own conclusion on the issue. Limbaugh chastised the caller for informing himself in this manner, telling him, "The liberals lie. I do not form my opinions on what both sides say. I form my opinions on what I know to be right." Limbaugh concluded that it's a "pretty safe bet" that liberals are always lying, while conservatives don't lie. In his attempts to prove his theory, Limbaugh turned to some misinformation of his own on the subject of abortion and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

On the issue of reproductive choice, Limbaugh claimed that "nobody is taking away a women's right to choose .... it's never happened," which is deceptive, if not an outright lie. Limbaugh pointed to the U.S. Constitution as evidence, and he is correct that the Constitution protects a woman's right to obtain an abortion, and thus no Republican is able to restrict this right without meeting a high bar. But Limbaugh conveniently ignored the vast and varied efforts of the Republican pro-life movement to restrict the ability of women and girls to obtain an abortion -- laws which have almost certainly resulted in women being denied access to abortion entirely. The New York Times wrote on June 17 that the GOP push to "limit abortion in the near future is very real":

[B]eyond Washington, advocates on both sides of the issue say the chance to limit abortion in the near future is very real. Republican-dominated state legislatures in South Carolina and Wisconsin are weighing bans similar to the one the House will vote on, which would impose the 22-week limit based on the scientifically disputed theory that fetuses at that stage of development can feel pain.

The measures stand a reasonable chance of passing in both states as well as in Texas, where last week Gov. Rick Perry added abortion restrictions to the Legislature's agenda. Conservatives are pushing for a vote by next week.

Already this year, Arkansas and North Dakota have passed even more restrictive bans in attempts to directly challenge Supreme Court precedent.

Limbaugh continued his defense of conservative integrity by seguing into another common right-wing myth: that no one at the IRS has been fired for applying improper scrutiny of conservative groups. Limbaugh said, "Obama hasn't fired anybody for what they did in any of these scandals."

In fact, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew fired Steven Miller. Lois Lerner was asked to resign and was placed on administrative leave when she refused. Her deputy has also been placed on administrative leave.

And Limbaugh's claim that conservatives never lie didn't end with a distortion of administrative scandals and abortion myths. He continued with the same caller, next opining on the subject of GOP efforts to suppress minority voters, saying, "there's no evidence" that Republicans are attemped to suppress the black vote:

Limbaugh's claim that the GOP has not and is not able to suppress the votes of African-Americans is a lie. The Republican Party has tried -- and succeeded -- at suppressing the vote of minorities as recently as 2012. In Florida, black and Hispanic voters were disproportionately represented amongst the tens of thousands of individuals whose votes were suppressed due to long lines stemming from Republican legislation that reduced the number of early voting days from 14 to eight during the 2012 elections. Commentators from across the political spectrum have written widely on Republican efforts in numerous GOP-controlled state governments to suppress minority voters -- with voter ID laws, administrative changes to election procedure and other similar tactics.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise to Rush's listeners. His propensity for pushing conservative misinformation is well-documented.

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