Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 30)
August 7 , 2001
Missing In Action Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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It's been quite a week for newcomers to the list, but the old guard are certainly maintaining a presence. Meet the newbies: Karan Kumar (1), idiot extrordinaire, who got himself into a spot of trouble with the NYPD last week, Robert Hanssen (2), right-wing super-spy and traitorous money-grubber, and Charlie Norwood (4), whose fifteen minute rendevous with Dubya really got his juices flowing. Further down the list we find the names that refuse to go away. George W. Bush (7) is trying to break the world record for presidential indolence, and Katherine Harris (8) follows closely in the footsteps of Trent Lott, achieving the coveted Idiot Hat-trick. Peering up from the bottom of the barrel are Walter Isaacson (9), who is attempting to make CNN stand for "Conservatism, Not News," and Scott McInnis (10) winner of this week's "Biggest Waste of Time" award. Enjoy - and as always, don't forget the key.


1Karan Kumar
dumb dumb dumb arrested
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Q. What's the difference between the Lindbergh baby and Karan Kumar? A. One was famously kidnapped, the other's a conservative idiot. The New York Times reported last week that Kumar, a prominent Republican from Nassau County, NY, had come up with a rather unorthodox solution to a problem which had been troubling him - namely, articles appearing in local magazines accusing him of being involved in criminal activity. So what did Mr. Kumar do? Arrange to meet with the authors to discuss the problem face to face? Call in the libel lawyers? Um, not quite. Kumar decided that the best and most sensible course of action to take would be to, obviously, fake his own kidnapping in the hope that his enemies would be investigated. This plan was clearly a work of art, but it sadly backfired after Kumar was "released" and discovered by police in a local park. You see, there were one or two minor flaws in the plan. For example, Kumar couldn't describe any of his kidnappers. Nor could he explain why they let him go. It was not immediately obvious why he was wearing different clothes to the ones he was kidnapped in. And then of course there was the cab driver who told police that he'd given Mr. Kumar a ride from Queens to the park in which he was found. Karan Kumar was questioned by the police and admitted to the deception, revealing that he'd been staying in a motel in Queens watching TV coverage of his disappearance for two days. He now faces up to two years in jail on two misdemeanor charges of making a "punishable false written statement." Daryl Strawberry was not available for comment.

2Robert Hanssenpartisanship greed
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1
- Conservatives will no doubt be proud to learn that Robert "my turn-ons are porn and high treason" Hanssen is on their side. It has been recently revealed that not only was Hanssen a member of the notoriously conservative Catholic group Opus Dei, he was also a key player during Ronald Reagan's administration - gathering information on left-leaning groups for any signs of possible Communist infiltration. According to the New York Observer, "As later Congressional investigations would show, what this often meant in practice was the harassment and sometimes the smearing of Americans engaged in lawful political activity. Among the many groups under surveillance by the F.B.I. in those days were the Gray Panthers, nuclear-freeze advocates associated with SANE - and the left-leaning Catholic adversaries of Opus Dei who opposed the American-backed repression in Central America." Hanssen also provided information to Robert Novak which Novak used to attack Janet Reno (and what a trustworthy source, eh Bob?) How ironic that a man passing secrets to the Communists should also be a full on right-wingnut whack-job. Conservatives should be able to forgive Robert Hanssen though - after all, he wasn't driven by any kind of left-wing ideology. On the contrary, he was just doing what comes naturally to conservatives - shafting America to fill his own pockets.

3Republicans on the Senate Rules Committeepartisanship election stealing
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Considering the cloud of illegitimacy and outright fraud hanging over their President, one would think that Republicans - more than anyone - would want to clean up our election system to minimize the possibility that we have another disputed election. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That's a good one! Phew! [Pausing for a moment to catch breath.] Okay, as I was saying. Last week all nine Republicans on the Senate Rules Committee boycotted the committee meeting where they considered a bill to upgrade our nation's election system. Apparently, the major sticking point was an outrageous provision requiring that states meet minimum standards to ensure that voters would have their ballots counted. Never mind that committee rules allowed the Republicans to offer their own version of the bill to, ahem, fix the offending provision. But they didn't feel like playing by the rules. Apparently they decided that boycotting the committee vote was their only option, once they realized they couldn't steal this vote, too.

4Charlie Norwoodcowardice cowardice partisanship
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - For years, Rep. Charles Norwood has been one of the few conservatives in Congress willing to stand up and fight for a real Patients' Bill of Rights. Until last week, his gutsy stand had stymied efforts by Bush and other GOP leaders to pass their sham HMO reform package. Sadly, this conservative tough guy turned out to be just another unprincipled coward with a spine of pure jelly. The hopes and dreams of Americans terrorized by their HMOs were dashed under the pressure of a blistering Bush charm offensive that lasted a whopping 15 minutes. I guess chunky redneck dentist congressmen from Georgia have a particular weakness for backslapping and nicknaming. Said a star-struck Norwood: "I don't make any secret about it - I love the man." Pathetic.

5Roy Mooreunconstitutional
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Here we go again. Last week, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, unveiled a new 5,800-pound granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the state Supreme Court. No doubt this was unrelated to a possible upcoming gubernatorial run. He claimed to be fulfilling a campaign pledge to "restore the moral foundation of law." Moral foundation of law, eh? Apparently Justice Moore missed this insignificant little moral foundation of law that his Constitutional Law professor may have touched on back in law school: "Thou shalt not use the power of the state to foist your religion on people who do not share your beliefs."

6Jeff Sessionsexcessive spin partisanship
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Roy Moore wasn't the only Alabama politician to cynically employ The Almighty for political gain last week. Jeff Sessions, the state's Junior U.S. Senator, engaged in two of the all-time favorite conservative pastimes - trying to paint Democrats as anti-religious bigots, and making up an issue where none exists. Apparently Sessions is angry with Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy for leaving out the words "so help me God" when swearing in people who testify before the committee. As if on cue, the Traditional Values Coalition released a statement praising Sessions for exposing "an undercurrent of anti-God bigotry" in the Senate. For his part, a mystified Senator Leahy responded that he was just reading from a card. Not so fast, there, you godless heathen. Presumably this means the individual testifying is not bound by the Old-Testament prohibition against bearing false witness, and is therefore free to spew bald-face lies to the committee.

7George W. Bushlazy excessive spin
Last week: 4 Weeks on chart: 22 -
"Holiday, it would be so nice, if we took a holiday…" Or so sang Madonna back in 1983. But it seems that George W. Bush may be following Madonna's advice a little too literally. Last week marked the start of Dubya's latest much-needed vacation break in a lo-o-o-o-ong line of much-needed vacation breaks. If you include this trip to Crawford, George W. Bush has spent almost two months vacationing since inauguration day - and that's not even adding in the time he's spent at Camp David (14 weekends and counting so far). Bush's advisers have nauseatingly attempted to spin this as a "Home to the Heartland Tour" on which, apparently, he will be "working." Hmmm. Perhaps President Lazy-Ass would like to explain to real working Americans why they only get an average of 13 vacation days a year, but it's okay for him to hang around his "ranch" for months, communing with cows and playing Nintendo instead of doing his job. Oh yeah, and dressing like a member of the Village People.

8Katherine Harrismassive ego election stealing
Last week: 5 Weeks on chart: 8 - In the fickle world of the GOP, one minute you're hot - the next you're not. Poor old Katherine Harris is about to discover what happens to faithful right-wing lackeys who've served their purpose (does the name "Linda Tripp" ring any bells, Katherine?) Yes, Republican legislators in Florida are now actively investigating the former GOP belle of the ball for spending inordinate sums of taxpayers' money on herself. According to the St. Petersburg Times, "During her first 22 months in office, Harris amassed more than $106,000 in travel bills, more than any Cabinet officer and the governor. She visited eight countries on 10 foreign trips, staying at luxury hotels at taxpayer expense." Believe it or not, Florida's budget for "international relations" (read: free vacations) has risen from $783,000 in 1999 to $3.4 million in 2001. Is it possible that Katherine Harris is taking these overseas trips to learn all about how democracy works in other countries? Could be. And trips to North Korea, Cuba, and Afghanistan don't come cheap you know.

9Walter Isaacsonpandering partisanship partisanship
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Recently installed as the new head of CNN, Walter Isaacson is dealing head-on with the important issue of media bias. How? By meeting with congressional Republicans of course! Somehow Isaacson found time to meet with just about every GOP leader - Hastert, Lott, Watts, Portman, Hagel - but he didn't bother to meet a single Dem. When questioned about the partisan nature of the visit, Isaacson insisted "I definitely did not say, 'How do we attract the conservative viewer?'" Oh really? A top GOP aide told Roll Call that Isaacson said "Give us some guidance on how to attract conservatives," adding that he "wanted to change the culture" at CNN. In a completely unrelated story, CNN has unveiled a new 24-hour Condit Cam™ that beams the congressman's every move directly into your living room in real time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

10Scott McInnissex dumb
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - And finally, Rep. McInnis obviously has way too much time on his hands. Taking a shamelessly attention-seeking leap aboard the Gary Condit bandwagon last week, he announced that the most important item on his forthcoming agenda is seeking a new ethics rule barring congressmen from boinking interns. What a sensible and productive use of his time. I expect a new ethics rule will really put a stop to all the furtive shagging taking place on Capitol Hill. But there are some lingering questions… for example, does this rule apply to all interns? Or just interns who work for you? How about if a congressman is secretly dating an intern who works at, say, the National Zoo? Does that count? Maybe it's okay to have an affair if the lady in question is a paid member of staff? Would that be better? Or worse? I'm really confused. Instead of focusing his rule on interns, perhaps McInnis should just have it say, "Members of Congress caught gallivanting around with women who aren't their wives will be given a strict talking-to, mark my words." That should put a stop to all the clandestine congressional groping! (Editor's note: Democratic Underground would like to predict that, based upon the tried and tested law of "what goes around comes around," McInnis will be caught with his pants down within the year.) See you next week!

 
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