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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 132)
October 27, 2003
Take A Memo Edition

I wouldn't say the shit has hit the fan for Donald Rumsfeld (1) quite yet, but let's just say that the fan is blowing and the shit is being carefully weighted and aimed. Rumsfeld managed to make an ass out of George W. Bush (2,3) last week, not that Bush needed much help. Meanwhile Fox News (4) just can't seem to emphasize enough how stupid their viewers are, Arnold Schwarzenegger (5) has come crashing down to earth, and The Pentagon (7) are up to their usual tricks of not supporting the troops. Elsewhere, Dennis Miller (8) might be making a run for Senate, and Rush Limbaugh (10) is getting all touchy-feely. Enjoy, and as usual, don't forget the key!

1Donald Rumsfeld dumb flip-flopping covering your ass
It's been a rough couple of weeks for the Rumster. First George W. Bush went behind his back and put Condoleezza Rice in charge of rebuilding Iraq (poor Don didn't see THAT one coming!), and then last week a morose Rumsfeld memo ended up in the hands of the press, causing the administration to look rather foolish. And when your boss is sneaking around divvying up your work to your colleagues, the last thing you want to do is make him look foolish. Well... more foolish. In the memo, Rumsfeld questioned whether the US is winning the war on terrorism, writing, "Is our current situation such that 'the harder we work, the behinder we get?'" (yes, he used the word 'behinder') and suggested that winning the war would be a "long, hard slog." Fortunately for Don, it's not like Our Great Leader is, oh, I dunno, in the middle of a PR campaign to convince Americans how great everything is going in Iraq or something. And it's not like Bush would have had the nuts to stand up in front of the troops and say stuff like, "We're rolling back the terrorist threat, not on the fringes of its influence but at the heart of its power," if his defense secretary had completely the opposite opinion, surely? But anyway, back to the memo. Rumsfeld appeared at a news briefing soon after the leak, armed with a dictionary definition of the word "slog" which he told reporters meant, "to hit or strike hard, to drive with blows, to assail violently." Right... so just to clear that up, he didn't mean, "To walk or progress with a slow heavy pace; plod." It just, um, came across that way.

2George W. Bush dumb dumb hypocrisy
What's worse than a bumbling idiot? Why, a bumbling idiot who surrounds himself with bumbling idiot advisors, of course. Our Great Leader must have been privately seething after Rumsfeld's memo was leaked, but not merely because it completely undermined his "Everything's Just Fine In Iraq" PR campaign. Wasn't it only a few weeks ago that Dubya was coming over all macho about cracking down on leaks? Well yes, it was: "There's leaks in the executive branch, there's leaks in the legislative branch, there's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," said Bush at the end of September. Tough words - and now here's his chance to back them up! See, the Rumsfeld memo was only sent to four people - General Richard Myers, General Peter Pace, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. So in theory, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out where the leak came from. In fact, you might say that the odds are really quite good! Unless of course Our Great Leader has completely forgotten the bold pronouncements he made less than four weeks ago, which, let's face it, would not exactly be unusual.

3George W. Bush (again) chickenhawk covering your ass warmongering
But despite the occasional bump in the road, Bush's "Everything's Just Fine In Iraq" PR campaign is going ahead full steam. And one of the methods the administration is using to convince people that, indeed, everything is just fine in Iraq, is simply covering up the coffins of dead American soldiers. According to the Washington Post, the administration is "banning news coverage and photography of dead soldiers' homecomings on all military bases" - because hey, if you can't see it, it isn't happening, right?! Brilliant. Unfortunately Bush may need to revisit his "head in the sand" policy, because the very, very bad news is that on average, more coalition soldiers are now being killed per day than were being killed per day when George declared "mission accomplished" back on May 1, and attacks on coalition soldiers have increased markedly in recent weeks. But I guess it doesn't matter as long as we keep covering up their coffins when they arrive back in the US. Way to support the troops, George.

4Fox News dumb dumb
For some reason Fox News seems to be on a constant crusade to prove how stupid its viewers are. First they tried to sue Al Franken because they claimed that the front cover of his book could be confused for a Fox News product (hey, considering the word "lies" appears on it in big letters, maybe they had a point). But apparently this isn't the first time that Fox News honchos have demonstrated their complete inability to understand satire by threatening a frivolous lawsuit - they once hilariously threatened to sue another Rupert Murdoch-owned enterprise, "The Simpsons." "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening revealed this tidbit on NPR's "Fresh Air" program last week, telling interviewer Terry Gross that Fox News threatened to sue if an episode spoofing the news channel was aired. The episode featured, among other digs at Fox News, a ticker scrolling across the bottom of the screen displaying vehemently anti-Democratic party slogans. Groening called their bluff and went ahead with the show because he assumed that Rupert Murdoch wouldn't be stupid enough to sue himself, but apparently there is now a rule at Fox which says that "The Simpsons" isn't allowed to spoof Fox News anymore. Why? Because they don't want Fox News viewers to get confused. Now, we've known for a long time that Fox News viewers can't tell the difference between real life and a cartoon, but to hear Fox News themselves admit it is really quite fascinating.

5Arnold Schwarzenegger cyborg massive ego flip-flopping
So the heady days of California's bizarre recall election are over, and now it's time to get down to business. Unfortunately it looks like Governor Groping Austrian Beefcake is about to take a shot in the gut from the phased plasma rifle of reality. According to the L.A. Times, Schwarzenegger got "a grim briefing on California's budget Thursday, and emerged appearing sobered." That's right - suddenly Arnold has realized that now he's the governor, he actually has to run the state. Bummer. "The problem was created over the last five years," said Arnie, "and so you can't expect that - even though I've played very, very heroic characters in the movies, but you can't expect me to walk into his office and all of a sudden come out with the answers." What? But surely during the campaign, Arnold kept going on and on about how he was going to swoop in and fix California's problems in the blink of an eye. I mean, I know he didn't explain how he was going to do it, but I got the impression that the fact he played "very, very heroic characters in the movies" was going to be an integral part of his governing technique. Does this mean that we can no longer expect him to pump up Sacramento? What a letdown. I was looking forward to that.

6Talking Presidents dumb
If you can't get enough of Ann Coulter - and I know you can't - then have I got a product for you! Talking Presidents, manufacturers of such presidential action figures as George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and, um, George H.W. Bush, is breaking new ground with its Ann Coulter action figure. The figure comes complete with a series of pithy catchphrases apparently recorded by Coulter herself, such as, "Liberals can't just come out and say they want to take more of our money, kill babies, and discriminate on the basis of race," and, "Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam, post 9/11. Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like Liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now." Hilarious stuff, huh? The figure itself looks remarkably like Coulter, right down to the plastic skin and bleached flyaway mane. And if you're a collector of tasteless pieces of crap, you'll also want to check out Talking Presidents' George W. Bush fine art print, a remarkable value at $11.99 plus S&H. Hang it on your front porch this Halloween and give the neighborhood children a real fright.

7The Pentagon screwing the poor just plain evil
The Top Ten wouldn't be the Top Ten these days without a report on how the Department of Defense is screwing the troops. Here's the latest. The recent bombing of an American diplomatic convoy in the Gaza Strip left three security specialists dead, but the way the Pentagon has treated at least one of the relatives of the deceased is quite remarkable. Courtney Linde, whose husband John was killed in the attack, was diagnosed with bone cancer while going through Air Force Tech School, but the Air Force refused to give her any medical benefits to help pay for surgery and chemotherapy because they claimed it was a pre-existing condition. Funny that, because when Courtney signed up she passed her medical with flying colors. So what does this have to do with John Linde? Well, the reason he took the dangerous assignment in the Gaza Strip in the first place was because he and his wife were so desperate to cover the cost of their medical bills, they needed the extra money. Hats off to the Pentagon for yet another great example of how to support the troops.

8Dennis Miller dumb cheese pandering
How times have changed. It seems like only yesterday that conservatives were deriding liberal celebrities for criticizing the war on Iraq, and telling them to shut up about politics. But the critics seem to have gone strangely silent on the issue of Arnold Schwarzenegger, a man who, by his own admission, "played very, very heroic characters in the movies," and is now governor of California. And now, suddenly, it seems that being a celebrity is in fact absolutely fine with conservatives - as long as they know which side their bread is buttered on, if you know what I mean. Take Dennis Miller for example, whose fabulous locks once awed the nation every Saturday night from the Weekend Update desk. But the career of the post-mulletectomy Miller has taken a turn for the worse - first being booted from Monday Night Football for being, well, crap, then appearing every other week on The Tonight Show to stick his tongue up George W. Bush's arse, and finally coming to rest as a decidedly non-hilarious political commentator on the Fox News network. So what's next for Miller? Well, the word on the street is that he may be considering a run for Senate in California, and some conservatives are - surprise - absolutely thrilled. Radio host Hugh Hewitt gushed, "A Miller candidacy guarantees the ability to get a message past gatekeepers like the Los Angeles Times. That's a huge plus." And National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Dan Allen was enthusiastic, citing the Schwarzenegger campaign which "energized" Republicans in California. To be fair, there are Republicans who think that Miller wouldn't be such a great candidate, but not because he's a celebrity - because they think he doesn't stand a chance in hell of winning. And anyway, it would be a "great loss to comedy," according to David Horowitz, who apparently hasn't noticed that the last time Miller said something funny was in 1987.

9 Eric Cantor partisanship partisanship unconstitutional
Of all the conservatives who've gotten their panties in a bunch over CBS's forthcoming Ronald Reagan movie, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is surely sitting the most uncomfortably. During an appearance on Buchanan & Press last week, Cantor made not-so-veiled suggestions that CBS should have its license revoked if it went ahead with the movie. "I'm just saying I think as a representative of the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia and as a member of Congress we have a duty to make sure that licenses at the federal level are not abused...and abuse means using those licenses to advance a political agenda." said Cantor. Riiiiight. So CBS should have their license revoked for airing one movie, but "Fair and Balanced" Fox News should, don't tell me, be applauded for their evenhanded and unbiased approach to news reporting. Interesting that Saint Ronnie of Reagan is considered so untouchable that members of Congress will threaten to shut down TV stations for besmirching him. In fact, why not just go the whole hog? Perhaps Eric Cantor could simply a introduce a Constitutional amendment which says that any station caught broadcasting material unfavorable to the GOP will have their licenses revoked, their offices burned down, and their CEO's hung in the public square. That should put a stop to the evil liberal media once and for all.

10Rush Limbaugh drugs hypocrisy hypocrisy hypocrisy hypocrisy
And finally, an update on Rush Limbaugh's pill-popping problem. It appears that the Ditto King's treatment is going spectacularly well, and the word on the street is that he will be back on the air as promised, fresh as a daisy and clean as a whistle. Remarkable how effective treatment can be for rehabilitating drug addicts back into society, isn't it? Such a shame that Republicans think drug treatment is an evil waste of taxpayer money. Of course, that doesn't apply to Rush - he can afford the very best. Real treatment. The kind of treatment which can only be afforded by drug addicts who have pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. But Rush's listeners may be in for a shock - it turns out that his rehab clinic may be the epitome of everything Rush has railed against throughout his career. Limbaugh is rumored to be receiving treatment at Sierra Tucson, which apparently "utilizes many different types of therapeutic modalities to access underlying issues." Picture Rush partaking in "psychodynamic role-playing and yoga" and "adventure therapy," not to mention hauling his bulk up the Sierra Tuscon climbing wall (which apparently serves as an "important therapeutic metaphor.") Or will he be more comfortable with "the desert experience" and "equine-assisted therapy?" Personally I can picture Rush bonding with a horse. So will we see a kinder, gentler Limbaugh emerge from rehab? Only time will tell! See you next week...

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots is now on the radio! The ieAmerica Radio Network is currently broadcasting "Cuckoo Conservatives" - excerpts from the Top Ten read by 30+ year radio veteran Dean Randall. Dean has worked in broadcast markets from the Midwest to the west coast including an overseas hitch in Wellington, New Zealand, and most of his radio experience was spent as a morning show personality. He is currently employed by a local ABC TV affiliate and is active in politics on a local, state and national basis. Dean says, "My liberal roots went down and deep early when my father hosted a Minnesota state DFL rally in 1961. Ever since I have had a keen interest in politics and the Democratic philosophy and history." You can drop him a line at DeanRandall1@aol.com - and don't forget to tune into the ieAmerica Radio Network to hear "Cuckoo Conservatives!"

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