Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 17)
Personal Responsibility Edition
While Jenna Bush still does not appear on the Top Ten List,
her wacky antics have once again exposed the hypocrisy of
the personal responsibility blowhards on the right wing. Her
Legal Defense Team (1) serves as a stand-in for all the conservative
idiots whose motto seems to be "do as I say, not as I
do." Meanwhile, Dick Cheney (2) brings disrespect upon
himself, George W. Bush (3) destabilizes the globe, and Donald
Rumsfeld (5) refuses to take responsibility for his actions.
Bush's Legal Defense Team - NEW!
Weeks on chart: 1 - So, it looks like President
Bush's daughter Jenna is in the news yet again,
and as usual the news is substance-abuse related. We
here at DU are still reluctant label a 19-year-old private
citizen a "conservative idiot," particularly for something
as commonplace as underage drinking. In fact, Jenna
Bush is becoming something of a hero to those of us
who take pride in exposing conservative hypocrisy. I,
for one, am sick and tired of hearing self-righteous
pricks in the so-called "Party of Personal Responsibility"
preach to the rest of us about the importance of taking
responsibility for one's actions, while they (and their
children) refuse to take responsibility for their own
mistakes. No doubt the responsible thing for
Jenna to do is to admit she broke the law, pay the fine,
do the community service, and get on with her life.
Of course, when your father is a multimillionaire and
the most powerful man on the face of the earth, you
don't have to do the responsible thing. Instead, daddy
can hire some hotshot lawyer to fight the thing tooth-and-nail,
which appears to be exactly what happened. Despite all
indications that the judge and the prosecutor were going
to let Jenna off the hook with a smile and a slap on
the wrist, her lawyer filed a continuance so he could
have more time to prepare for the case. Um, what, exactly,
is he preparing for? The trial of the century? In a
related story, Johnny Cochran was recently overheard
in an Austin courtroom saying, "if her daddy's a twit,
you must acquit."
Cheney - RETURN!
Weeks on chart: 7 - After a prolonged energy
crisis in California, Dick Cheney finally got around
to outlining the Bush Administration's approach to energy
policy. Here's a surprise: He called for more energy
production, and less reliance on energy conservation.
The centerpiece of the Administration's proposal is
their plan to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic Natural
Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), an environmentally disastrous
idea that wouldn't provide relief to Californians until
years after the state has solved it's own problem. If
I were a cynical person, I might just think that oil-slick
Dick was using the California thing as an excuse to
pay back his old buddies in the oil business. "Hey,
thanks for the $30 million in stock options you gave
me. Here's some pristine wilderness for you to despoil!"
To their critics, Cheney says: "President Bush and I
are westerners … The quickest way to lose respect in
my part of the country is to act harshly or selfishly
toward the natural world and its habitants." Indeed.
W. Bush - LAST
WEEK: 4 Weeks on chart: 14
- Dubya is on a foreign-policy roll, bringing honor,
integrity, and most of all, consistency to our
nation's international affairs. After handing a spy
plane over to the Chicoms, killing a bunch of school
kids in a Japanese fishing boat, pulling out of the
Kyoto agreement, and misspeaking about Taiwan, The Stupid
One decided that now would be a great time to piss off
everyone else on the planet by scrapping the Antiballistic
Missile (ABM) Treaty so he could spend another hundred
billion dollars on the Star Wars program. Never
mind that the engineering geniuses at military-industrial
behemoth Lockheed-Martin-Northrop-Grumman-Boeing couldn't
hit the broad side of a barn with a broomstick (or a
DeLay - RETURN!
Weeks on chart: 7 - The Hammer continued
his jihad against campaign finance reform last week,
arguing before a House committee that the U.S. should
eliminate all restrictions on political fundraising.
To drive home his point, Delay said: "I don't think
there is enough money in the campaign finance system
today." Apparently Tom inhaled a few too many pesticides
when he was an exterminator back in Texas, 'cause if
there's one thing our campaign finance system ain't
lacking, it's cash. But what do you expect from a guy
who has spent most of his life shaking-down people for
bribes - er, campaign contributions? The Hammer won't
rest until every man, woman, and child in the US has
"maxed out" to the NRCC.
Rumsfeld - NEW!
Weeks on chart: 1 - Further confusing US-China
relations, the Rumsfeld-Bush (AKA "Rum and Coke") Defense
policy juggernaut released and then retracted a memo
suspending all military ties with Beijing. It turns
out that Defense Secretary and Nixonian Cold-War Relic
Donald Rumsfeld instead meant to weigh future contacts
on a case-by-case basis. In what is becoming an honored
tradition in the Bush Administration, the Rumster placed
the blame on some faceless underling who "misinterpreted
the secretary's intentions." So, looks like we've got
a pattern developing: 1) Cabinet member (Rumsfeld, Whitman,
Veneman) announces extreme policy decision which he/she
is led to believe the president approves of; 2) announcement
is poorly received; 3) at behest of White House hack
(probably Karl Rove or Karen Hughes), President stops
napping and/or backslapping for a moment to reverse
cabinet member's decision; and 4) cowardly cabinet member
blames staffer. It's personal responsibility, Republican-style.
Weeks on chart: 1 - According to US News
and World Report, the executives over at CNN, worried
that their network "looks too liberal," are "making
overtures to congressional conservatives … practically
begging them to come on." Hmm, that's funny. As far
as I can tell, the only thing liberal about CNN is how
liberally they heaped praise on Dubya during his first
100 days in office.
Ryan - NEW!
Weeks on chart: 1 - The Governor of Illinois
has come under fire for his alleged role in a campaign-cash-for-favors
scheme when he was Illinois Secretary of State. An official
in Ryan's office has admitted that he was given permission
to trade low-digit license plates in exchange for contributions
to Ryan's campaign. And according to the Chicago Sun-Times,
one individual told a grand jury that he gave Ryan $25,000
cash -- money "that went into Ryan's pocket, not his
campaign fund." Federal officials "have obtained a list
of people who hold license plates between 1 and 999,
a list that includes politicians, their relatives and
people who often donate money to politicians. The plates
are considered the ultimate sign of clout." I guess
Ryan wasn't satisfied to just sell license plates.
He just might end up making them one day.
least 81% of US Ambassadors - NEW!
Weeks on chart: 1 - It is not unusual for
an incoming Administration to reward their friends and
big donors with ambassadorships to vitally-important
posts in places like the Bahamas, Andorra, or Micronesia.
But President Bush is handing out plum ambassadorships
like lollipops at a birthday party. According to USA
Today, so far Shrub has given 22 out of 27 ambassadorships
(81%) to "people with political or personal connections
and no diplomatic experience" (AKA "conservative
idiots"). He even nominated a former college fraternity
brother to be ambassador to China. This is a bad sign
for already-strained Sino-U.S. relations, considering
that the jocks back in DKE house used to think pummeling
"pencil-necked Oriental geeks" and stealing their homework
was, like, effin' hilarious. On the up side,
imagine the bitchin' keggers they'll have in the Forbidden
McConnell and Elaine Chao - NEW!
Weeks on chart: 1 - The Kentucky Senator
and the Secretary of Labor are the first husband-and-wife
team to appear together on the Top 10 List. At issue
is a story from the New Republic - later picked up by
a hometown paper in Kentucky - outlining connections
between the couple and high-ranking Chinese officials,
including Chinese leader Jiang Zemin. Chao's father
was a schoolmate of Jiang, and it appears that Chinese
officials used the Chao family to gain influence with
McConnell. When Chao became Secretary of Labor, she
failed to disclose on a required form that she was director
of a firm involved in a joint venture with the Chinese
government. McConnell's non-response: The "most rudimentary
research by a cub reporter would have revealed that
Cross' source, John Judis, is a professional polemicist
in journalist's clothing." (In other words, I don't
deny any of the facts in the case.) Meanwhile, the silence
of the GOP scandalmongers - who slammed Clinton for
"kowtowing" to the Chinese communists - is deafening.
Olson - NEW!
Weeks on chart: 1 - And
finally, appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee,
Ted Olson, Bush's nominee for solicitor general, was
asked whether he was involved at any time with the so-called
"Arkansas Project," a $2 million investigation
into the lives of Bill and Hillary Clinton, bankrolled
by notorious conservative billionaire Richard Mellon
Scaife. Salon reports that Olson responded that "I
was not involved in the project, in its origin or its
management." However an audit of the Arkansas Project's
books showed that the nonprofit funding the project
paid more than $14,000 to Olson's law firm in 1994,
and Olson admitted that he was a co-author of an anti-Clinton
piece called "Criminal Laws implicated by the Clinton
Scandals." When asked by committee Democrats for
copies of his law firm's billing records, Olson claimed
they were shielded by attorney-client privilege. As
the evidence against Olson continued to mount, and his
subsequent responses became ever more tortured, Olson
finally exclaimed, "Oh, you mean that Arkansas
Project!" See you next week!
a Conservative for Next Week's List