Missouri Legislature nixes ‘Rush Limbaugh Day’ after Dems decry radio host’s 'racist and homophobic comments'

Missouri Legislature nixes ‘Rush Limbaugh Day’ after Dems decry radio host’s 'racist and homophobic comments'

In Missouri, right-wing admirers of the late talk radio host Rush Limbaugh were hoping that January 12, his birthday, would be named Rush Limbaugh Day in the midwestern state. But the proposal to honor Limbaugh, according to St. Louis Today reporter Jack Suntrup, ended up being dropped from a bill when Democrats in the Missouri State Legislature vehemently objected.

Suntrup reports, "The push to create 'Rush Limbaugh Day' in Missouri died quietly on the last day of the recent legislative session when lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that leaves out mention of the late conservative radio host…. Democrats, frequently targets of Limbaugh's commentary, strongly opposed honoring the Cape Girardeau native, citing what they said was his long record of racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments."

Limbaugh, a former cigarette smoker who continued to smoke cigars, was 70 when he died of lung cancer on February 17. For many years, Limbaugh — who bragged that he had "formerly nicotine-stained fingers" — downplayed the dangers of cigarette smoking, vigorously defended the tobacco industry and railed against smoking bans in public places.

A divisive and controversial but highly influential figure in the right-wing media, Limbaugh was a departure from the more cerebral conservative punditry of George Will and the late National Review founder William F. Buckley and helped pave the way for everyone from Fox News to Newsmax to Breitbart. While Will and Buckley often disagreed with liberals and progressives vehemently, they wanted to have a dialogue with them; Limbaugh simply declared that they were evil and hated America.

Limbaugh was a native of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where he was born on January 12, 1951. And earlier this month, Republicans in the Missouri State Legislature approved "Rush Limbaugh Day" after rejecting a proposal for "Walter Cronkite Day." The famous CBS newsman Cronkite, who died in 2009 at the age of 92, was also a Missouri native.

Describing the bill that the Missouri House and Missouri Senate finally agreed on — Missouri Senate Bill 92 — Suntrup notes, "The legislation, approved Friday, designates the Gateway Arch in St. Louis the official state monument of Missouri. 'Hazel Erby Day,' in honor of former St. Louis County Councilwoman Hazel Erby, is poised to take place September 22. The legislation also designates March 26 'Pioneering Black Women's Day' to honor former state Sen. Gwen Giles, the first Black woman state senator in Missouri." Having been approved by both GOP-controlled houses of the Missouri State Legislature, SB 92 will go to the desk of Republican Gov. Mike Parson — who has the option of either signing it into law or vetoing it.


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