The National Organization for Women (NOW) is using a new weapon in the fight against a bust of Rush Limbaugh slated for display in the Missouri capitol: toilet paper.
According to the Associated Press, the Missouri chapter of the women's group sent hundreds of rolls of toilet paper on Monday to Steven Tilley, the Republican state House Speaker, encouraging him to "flush Rush." On March 5, Tilley made the decision to induct Limbaugh in the Hall of Famous Missourians, which features busts of prominent Missourians in the statehouse.
"He doesn't respect women, and we need to make sure that half of Missouri's population is respected by someone in the Hall of Famous Missourians," Jamie Tomek, the president of NOW's Missouri chapter, told the AP.
News of the bust broke as Limbaugh was embroiled in controversy over his derogatory remarks about Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke. After the radio host called Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" for her support of the Obama administration's rules on contraception access, many Missouri Democrats argued that he was unsuited for recognition in the Hall. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Gov. Jay Nixon (D) opposed Limbaugh's bust, while 48 others signed a letter urging Tilley to reconsider Limbaugh's inclusion.
Tilley, however, has held firm. He argued that the Hall is "not called the Hall of Universally Loved Missourians. We've inducted people like John Ashcroft, Warren Hearnes and Harry Truman. They certainly had their detractors."
Since the story broke, Missouri Democrats have already attempted to change the rules for commissioning busts so that they require bipartisan approval. The current rules allow inclusion in the Hall at the discretion of the Speaker, and Limbaugh's bust is expected to be inducted in May.
But NOW hopes that the toilet paper campaign will convince Tilley to change his mind. In addition to Monday's mass delivery, the group is urging supporters to send toilet paper squares to the House speaker through the remainder of March.
The bust's sculptor, E. Spencer Schubert, has remained neutral in the fight. In a statement earlier this month, he said he was "honored" to be chosen to create the bust and that, "as a sculptor I decided long ago that the criteria for accepting commissions would be whether or not they are artistically interesting. I knew this would be an interesting project due to the fact that there are strong opinions on either side about Rush."