Rep. Joe Salazar Gets Pummeled For Rape Remarks

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, while any Democrat with a sense of self-preservation cringes:

“It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles,” [Rep. Joe] Salazar said on the House floor. “Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, [Pols emphasis] that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.”

On the floor, House Republican woman were quick to respond.

“I’m sorry, a whistle and a call box are not going to help that woman on campus,” said Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton, who also took issue with Salazar’s notion “that women don’t know when we’re going to be raped, that [women] can’t recognize when there’s an inherent danger?”

One of them, Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono, apologized to Salazar after he returned to the well and denying that he’d implied that women don’t know when they’re being raped…

Although the issue appeared to have been resolved on the House floor Friday evening, by yesterday afternoon, the clip of Rep. Joe Salazar saying "you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped" was on the front page of conservative blogs around the country–minus, of course, any of the dialogue that came after or Rep. Salazar's clarification. In a twist of irony, the story on the leading conservative blog RedState was penned by none other than St. Louis-based AM radio host Dana Loesch. Loesch, you might remember, was one of the foremost commentators defending Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin after his infamous "legitimate rape" comments.

To be honest, we're not sure what Loesch's motive here is, except maybe to purge her own conscience.

But with that said, GOP hypocrisy doesn't excuse what Rep. Salazar said on the House floor Friday. We would have thought so many previous examples would have imparted the lesson to everybody, but Joe Salazar is a rookie lawmaker, so we're going to be very nice and point this out one more time…

Never, ever, ever, ever go near the toxic subject of uncertainty and rape. Even if that's not "what you mean." Especially if you're a male, and you're not 100% sure that what you are about to say on this subject is inoffensive to women and wholly defensible, for God's sake, don't say it. Democrats may not want to hear it, but the fact is, what Rep. Salazar said can be interpreted in objectively very upsetting ways–and the blowback from Republicans, however hypocritical, was also fully predictable. It doesn't matter, or at best only matters a little, that Salazar, a civil rights attorney, is actually much more thoughtful and empathetic than these remarks make him appear. Like it or not, he most likely has more apologies in his immediate future.

The debate over gun safety legislation in the Colorado General Assembly has elevated the body's prominence. With that heightened prominence comes heightened responsibility–to do, and say, the right things. The eagerness of the national conservative megaphone to attack Rep. Salazar, regardless of the hypocrisy of doing so or public opinion on the underlying issue, should be a warning to Democrats to think, and think again, before they speak.

Because context won't ever be in the sound bite, and hypocrisy can be concealed by turning up the volume.

27 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. The Angry Trucker says:

    He said a stupid thing, clearly not as stupid as Akin or Murdoch, but stupid nonetheless.  Why couldn't he have suggested say, pepper spray.  I know the whistle may hurt someones ears for a second and draw some attention (if someone is nearby) but if there is a true threat spray the bastard in the face with pepper spray, kick him in the junk, and run.

    That seems like a much smarter "suggestion" a man could make to a women rather than "find a blue help box and blow your whistle" IMO anyway.

    • La Libertad says:

      This gun debate situation is similar to the Aurora theater or the bar in Denver across from ShotGun Willies  — the first being a gun free zone, the other a bar who's gun status I don't know.  Nedless to say a whistle, nor a call box, etc… were effective in stopping the mass murder that occured at both locations.

      As to Joe "potential ass rape victim" Salazar, good Democrats and others in his district should strongly consider a recall.

  2. Aristotle says:

    He stepped in it, to be sure. But this was so unlike any of the pro-rape apologisms from the GOrP that their seizure upon it is simply one more case of Republican desire to get even, try to show that "they do it too," even though they (the Democrats) did nothing of the sort. (How many of last fall rape apologists ever issued any kind of retraction, let alone one as fast as Salazar's?)

    Well, it's a lesson in 21st century politics. I couldn't agree more with Pols' concluding paragraphs.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      it is rather like those who see a "poll tax" in a customer paid background check. I say they are the same so you have to tell me why they are not

    • La Libertad says:

      "He stepped in it"?

      No, more like he squatted down grunted and shit on the sidewalk. Then as he turned away silently to depart the scene he stepped in it.

      • Aristotle says:

        Libby, I know that that's what you do with every single post of yours on Pols, but that doesn't mean everyone else is doing it, too. Don't delude yourself into thinking that your propensity for public shitting is something you have in common with anyone.

  3. BlueCat says:

    Agree with all the comments so far.  I think he was just trying to say that sometimes you may think you're in danger when you're not. People have, after all, accidentally shot family members thinking they were intruders. It wasn't the best way to put it but not in the same universe as Akins comment to the effect that if it's real rape a magic spermicidal intervention will manifest itself, but only if the victim isn't enjoying it, in which case it's not rape and there will be no complimentary pregnancy protection.

  4. ElliotFladen says:

    Never, ever, ever, ever go near the toxic subject of uncertainty and rape. Even if that's not "what you mean." Especially if you're a male, and you're not 100% sure that what you are about to say on this subject is inoffensive to women and wholly defensible, for God's sake, don't say it.

    Very sound advice for a politician. 

  5. JeffcoBlue says:

    It's getting really gross on Twitter. The righties have invented a new hashtag #LiberalTips2AvoidRape. It's trending nationally, but it's becoming so bad it's starting to backfire.

    For the uninitiated, this isn't an example of right-wingers deciding out-of-the-blue to be insensitive to rape victims. They have their reason, and his name is Joe Salazar, a first-term Democratic state representative in Colorado. On Friday, Salazar spoke on the state House floor in support of House Bill 13-1226, which would eliminate "the authority of a concealed handgun permit holder to possess a concealed handgun on the campus of an institution of high education." In other words, Salazar's bill would ban concealed firearms on college campuses in Colorado. Opponents of the proposed legislation maintain that banning concealed carry on campuses would make it harder for students to protect themselves against mass shooters and rapists on school grounds.


    It's pretty clear what Salazar was trying to say: Frightened college kids carrying handguns might result in unintended casualties. You could argue that it was clumsily phrased, but there isn't anything nefarious. The statement was so blah that the Colorado House Republican minority didn't bother to issue a press release about Salazar's statement. At least not until after conservative bloggers, seeking to brand somebody the Democratic Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin, commenced their social-media freak-out during the long President's Day weekend.

    Salazar was labeled the new poster boy for the "real war on women," and painted as someone who denies women the right to protect themselves against sexual assault. He was portrayed as an out-of-touch, gun-stealing lefty who promoted blowing a whistle over actually fighting off an attack. Many also latched onto Salazar's "you don't know if you feel like you're gonna be raped," upgraded the meaning to something around the lines of, "women can't ever tell when they're about to get raped/getting raped," and voilà! New Todd Akin.

    "It's not 'rape-rape' until a male Dem gives his stamp of approval, you dumb broads," an anonymous staff writer wrote at this website founded by conservative pundit Michelle Malkin. Her site has been at the forefront of the Salazar-related uproar. Dana Loesch, Glenn Beck, Herman Cain's CainTV, and many others piled on accordingly.

  6. ArapaGOP says:

    One part acknowledgement, three parts defensive spin. Your acknowledgement buried the perfect number of paragraphs to be defensible. It's so slick I almost don't ask the question, "why weren't you as nice to Todd Akin?"

    You guys are pros though. I admire your handiwork.

    • Aristotle says:

      ROFLMAO…. I see you mentioned Akin, the guy you defended without even once, not even passive aggressively, acknowledging that he was at fault in any way. Now you think you can criticize? You're casting stones while stained with the same sin, ArapaGOrP.

  7. ArapaGOP says:

    As we noted last night, Democratic Rep. Joe Salazar’s “inarftful” comments became the number one story in all of Twitter Nation. That is unheard of. Twitter is to Joe Salazar’s flub what The Denver Post is to civil unions…all day, every day, every where.

    As of 10:30 this morning, Salazar’s comments still are dominating the 140-character based social media site, with #LiberalTips2AvoidRape the number one trending hashtag on Twitter. 

    The hashtag is a reference to Salazar’s suggestion that a rape whistle and call box suffice for self protection and the University of Colorado at Colorado Spring’s new directive that women should urinate on themselves to stop rapists from attacking them.

    House Speaker Mark Ferrandino — Salazar’s boss — is crying out of context, refusing to directly condemn Salazar’s offensive comments. But that’s simply not going to cut it.

    Read more! It's national news.

  8. ArapaGOP says:

    Mark Ferrandino, Democratic Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, claims that sexist remarks made by one of the members of his caucus were taken out of context. The comments, made by State Democratic Representative Joe Salazar, sparked an immediate backlash against the legislator and the Democratic leadership via social media outlets.

    Salazar’s comments, which trotted out the highly offensive idea that women are incapable of determining a threat to themselves due to their emotions, have yet to be denounced by any member of the Democratic leadership in Colorado. Instead, Salazar offered a non-apology apology which included an attempt to smear those who challenged his comments as racists.

    Ferrandino, in a statement made to the Denver Post, claimed the statements by Salazar have been taken out of context. “Whatever his words may have been and however much those words are being taken out of context,” Ferrandino said. Unfortunately, the full video of Salazar’s remarks make clear that the context of his statements do not change the offensiveness of the comments.

    Read more!

  9. ArapaGOP says:

    Former GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain tweeted a link to a post at Cain TV that bashed Salazar.

    “CO Dem Rep: women don’t know when they’re about to be raped. They may just be paranoid, so they better not have guns,” Cain tweeted bitingly.

    The post, by Robert Laurie, continued in that tone.

    “So Salazar now claims to be deeply sensitive to women’s civil rights except, obviously, the 2nd Amendment rights that he’s still so eager to restrict,” he wrote. “With rape a rampant problem on American college campuses, isn’t it nice to know that a guy like this is doing everything in his power to ensure that women are as defenseless as possible? Congratulations, Representative Salazar, you’re our War on Women power player of the week!”

    GOP hand Richard Grenell offered, “the @DenverPost says Republicans are outraged by Salazar’s whistle/rape comments. really? it’s a partisan issue?”

    Politico: read more!

  10. DavidThi808 says:

    What he said was wrong. Not just poorly phrased but wrong. Part of what he said was valid – don't start firing a gun if you are uneasy. But the way he put it is at a minimum very insensitive. And I can see how others, not just partisian Republicans, can take it as worse.

  11. BlueCat says:

    Wow, ArapG is so-o-o–o excited. Can't wait for replies before posting again and again. Hope he doesn't sprain something. And I just don't want to be there when the realization sets in that, no, this isn't going to ever assume the dimensions of the Akin remarks. And not because of librul bias.  Just because it isn't in the same league and everybody knows it.  Probably even poor ArapG, our very own failed troll. We should make him the ColPols mascot or something. Being a goofy little troll ought to be good for something.

  12. The Angry Trucker says:

    As a formerly affiliated Republican I have to say that ArapGOP's posting of absolute nonsense is what is wrong with the party now.  If "controlling the message" is more than half the battle, ArapGOP is losing the battle for them.  (Ok, I know there are a million more problems with the GOP other than message control but when you have people giving themselves carpel-tunnel-by-cut-and-paste.. you get the point).  

    Was it Jeff Foxworthy or one of those Blue Collar Comedy guys with the "you cant fix stupid" routine?!

    • Duke Cox says:

      Ok, I know there are a million more problems with the GOP other than message control

      true enough, but you have indeed, I believe, touched upon a very important point.They really do believe it all boils down to that…message control.

      Let's hope they are wrong, though, Mr. Huxley, I believe, foresaw a world in which they win…we cannot let that happen.

      • Duke Cox says:

        so…I guess I should follow up on that by has long been a political practice to craft messages and distribute them. Control of the message is indeed critical, but when you believe the message doesn't have to be based on rational, imperical, or logical assumptions, it simply has to sound good…when you believe it doesn't have to mean anything or be true…you will say pretty much anything, no matter how far-fetched (talking to you, Governor) or duplicitous it may be.

        The arrogant part is the part where they think a majority of Americans can be persuaded to EVER give them another chance to run the country into the ground again…simply by their ability to frame a lie as the truth.

    • ClubTwitty says:

      ArapaGOP is really on my payroll as a lefty liberal.  No one is really as ineffective as he, his sole purpose is to make GOP trolls look utterly ridiculous.  Good job, A-Bot, I think I'll bump you up to $.04 a word. 

  13. dwyer says:

    EXCEPT rape on the CU campus has been a problem for decades……I remember long ago when women were told that if they were attacked, that they would be held responsible because the attack was evidence that they were someplace they should not be….I remember far more recently, when there were a series of attacks on campus, women were issued whistles and maps…showing the location of the nearest phone.  CRAP.  The problem is that coeds are not safe on the CU campus because its interior is not well lighted or well patroled.  The answer is, of course, to have more police walking, armed with guns, dogs, pepper spray, phones, big lights, 24/7.

    If I had a daughter or granddaughter going to CU and she wanted to be armed, I don't know what my response would be.  But it pisses  me off that Salazar revealed, however unartfully, his prejudice about coeds and his ignorance of a very real problem.


Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.