Hour 1: Rush says Obama is looking for “a teenage single mother who's gay, is a lesbian, who's dirt poor, African-American, and disabled” to replace Souter

This hour of the Limbaugh Wire brought to you by Obama's use of “profiling” to fill Justice Souter's seat on the bench
By Greg Lewis and Karl Frisch

Welcome to the first Limbaugh Wire of the month of May. As Simon, the chief Limbaughlogist here at Media Matters, mentioned at the close of yesterday's Wire, he's taking a well-deserved day off. It's a shame because he'll miss the inevitable shenanigans that will take place today now that Supreme Court Justice David Souter has announced his retirement from the bench... it's also “Open Line Friday!” which is always, well, interesting. In light of the Souter news, take a look at some relevant misinformation on the Supreme Court Media Matters for America has highlighted in the past.

Rush opened the show announcing his theory du jour: Sen. Specter might have “done us a favor” by switching parties. We'll have to wait a few minutes to hear more on that, as Rush swiftly moved on to an email he received from the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza asking Rush his thoughts on Souter, and if Republicans would make a mistake by opposing Obama's upcoming nomination. After expressing his affection (or bromance as it were) for Cillizza, Rush explained he saw the issue differently: “I mean, you continue to look at the Republicans here, but the Democrats are the ones that have power. And the real fun for me is going to be watching all these wacko, fringe nutcases from the blogs and everything else start pressuring Obama to pick somebody like Ward Churchill.” El Rushbo then quipped that Democrats will have to find a Supreme Court nominee with a tax problem.

Rush elaborated on Obama's potential nominations further. Obviously, he explained, Obama would appoint a liberal. Would he appoint an African-American? A female? An African-American female? An African-American female from Chicago? Latino? Latina? Rush said the “early betting” was on Sonia Sotomayor.

From this point, it was clear Rush was reading from a conservative memo on how to target what it considers the top nominees to fill Souter's spot. Rush practically read one talking point verbatim from the memo: “Judge Sotomayor's personal views may cloud her jurisprudence. As Judge Sotomayor explained in a 2002 speech at Berkeley, she believes it is appropriate for a judge to consider their 'experiences as women and people of color' in their decision making, which she believes should 'affect our decisions.' ” What is it that Rush keeps saying about the president's teleprompter? He took this talking point to mean that Obama wants to appoint someone to the court with “proper feelings” and without any knowledge of the law.

Back from the break, Rush continued to riff on the memo. This time, he cited a speech given by Sotomayor at Berkeley in 2002 which was referenced in the previously mentioned talking points. Rush's comments were almost verbatim from the talking points. And one could hear pages rustling in the background as he mentioned Elena Kagan and Diane Wood -- two other nominees being considered for the bench -- who just so happen to be listed in the memo as well.

He then went back to address his opening on Specter and claimed the Pennsylvania senator's party switch could help Republicans filibuster a Supreme Court nomination. Pointing to a blog post by lawyer Michael Dorf, in which Dorf explained that the defection might give Republicans the ability to filibuster nominees at the Judicial Committee level, which Rush conceded would be a long shot.

Closing out the segment, Rush explained, “There's a steamroller effect here gathering for her nomination, and nobody's talking about her legal qualifications. These -- that got -- that side's not. They're talking about the things that you notice about her when you look at her: she's a woman, and that she's a Hispanic, and, somehow, that's all you need to be qualified.”

Back from the break, Rush took the Supreme Court issue to a new, low level. See, now Democrats are “profiling” : “OK, so, according now to the Obama administration folks, we are now profiling candidates for the Supreme Court. They have to check all the right boxes. That's -- that's what Chucker Todd said at NBC. That Sonia Sotomayor, why, she checks all the right boxes. We're seeking out certain races and sexes. Profiling: bad for law enforcement, but good for judicial selection.” He continued: “Maybe Chucker Todd can tell us when it's appropriate to use race and gender, and when it's not. I guess it's perfectly fine for liberal Democrats to use race and gender to make sure they check all the right boxes -- in other words, profile.”

He went on to criticize PBS' Tavis Smiley's appearance on MSNBC -- he was the perfect guest because he “checks all the boxes.” Tavis had spoken negatively on Clarence Thomas and suggested that different ethnicities should be represented the Supreme Court. To which Rush responded: “Asians don't have anybody on the court, I don't hear them complaining.” Rush then went on an anti-affirmative action tirade repeatedly bemoaning the idea of having to nominate someone to the bench because they check certain boxes. Time and again, Rush dubiously accused the Obama administration of “profiling.”

Rush then turned to comments made by Obama at a July 18, 2007, conference for Planned Parenthood. Obama described his opinion on the Supreme Court -- that there should be Justices who would have empathy with people from all walks of life. This set Rush off the deep end. He then suggested what he considered to be Obama's perfect nomination: “We need a teenage single mother who's gay, is a lesbian, who's dirt poor, African-American, and disabled. Or, if we can't find that person, we need a bigger Supreme Court. So, you're going to find -- I'm sure we can find in any blue city a poor, minority teenage mother who can barely get around -- disabled, lesbian, had the kid with surrogacy or artificial insemination. I'm sure we can find them. You know they're all over the place. We can find one. Whether they're qualified to be on the court doesn't matter, because their qualifications -- Obama just said what they are.” You see, Rush takes his position as leader of the conservative movement deadly serious.

After another break, Rush continued discussing the Supreme Court: “What Obama's really looking for here, folks, what he really means with all these comments: He's looking for a radical, who is a minority, who will use the court to advance Obama's political agenda.” Rush also commented that since Sotomayor is Puerto Rican, her nomination would make Mexicans and Cubans angry. Classy as usual, Rush.

Finally, Rush capped off the hour with some classic Obama falsehoods from the campaign that we, here at the Wire, remember -- ummm -- fondly? He brought up Obama's 2001 radio interview and again misinformed his listeners without missing a beat from October.

Highlights from Hour 1

Outrageous Comments:

LIMBAUGH: I said: The fun for me is going to be watching all the nutcases on the left go wacko trying to convince Obama to pick one of their own. That's -- I mean, the Republicans, I told him -- I said: The Republicans can -- you know, the -- anytime they seriously contrast themselves with Obama, I think it's a win-win for them. But, I said, you're focused on what the Republicans are going to do. I said, where - when did it change that you don't focus on the people who have power?

I mean, you continue to look at the Republicans here, but the Democrats are the ones that have power. And the real fun for me is going to be watching all these wacko, fringe nutcases from the blogs and everything else start pressuring Obama to pick somebody like Ward Churchill.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: There's a steamroller effect here gathering for her nomination, and nobody's talking about her legal qualifications. These -- that got -- that side's not. They're talking about the things that you notice about her when you look at her: she's a woman, and that she's a Hispanic, and, somehow, that's all you need to be qualified.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: OK, so, according now to the Obama administration folks, we are now profiling candidates for the Supreme Court. They have to check all the right boxes. That's -- that's what Chucker Todd said at NBC. That Sonia Sotomayor, why, she checks all the right boxes. We're seeking out certain races and sexes. Profiling: bad for law enforcement, but good for judicial selection.

Maybe Chucker Todd can tell us when it's appropriate to use race and gender, and when it's not. I guess it's perfectly fine for liberal Democrats to use race and gender to make sure they check all the right boxes -- in other words, profile.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: We need a teenage single mother who's gay, is a lesbian, who's dirt poor, African-American, and disabled. Or, if we can't find that person, we need a bigger Supreme Court. So, you're going to find -- I'm sure we can find in any blue city a poor, minority teenage mother who can barely get around -- disabled, lesbian, had the kid with surrogacy or artificial insemination. I'm sure we can find them. You know they're all over the place. We can find one. Whether they're qualified to be on the court doesn't matter, because their qualifications -- Obama just said what they are.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: What Obama's really looking for here, folks, what he really means with all these comments: He's looking for a radical, who is a minority, who will use the court to advance Obama's political agenda.

America's Truth Rejecter:

Rush misinformed on Obama's 2001 radio interview in which he discussed his opinions on the Constitution.

Echo Chamber:

Read from a memo that is reportedly being distributed by conservatives about potential Supreme Court nominees.