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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 98)
February 10, 2003
Bill Of Wrongs Edition

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We skipped a week last week, so there's quite a mishmash of idiocy to be found in this week's Top Ten. First place was an easy choice - Bill O'Reilly's unbelievably hypocritical performance on "The O'Reilly Factor" last week propels him straight to the top. Meanwhile, Tom DeLay (2) has a new take on racial quotas, Clayton Floyd (3) hates peace, Dick Cheney (4) has got his head in the sand, and Mark Sanford (5) is a chickenhawk extraordinaire. Two weeks ago you saw the State of the Union speech, but what's the real state of the union? Well George W. Bush is in sixth place, and if his portrayal of himself as a compassionate warmongering bleeding-heart liberal conservative is accurate, it ain't up to much (special bonus: the graphic for last week's nonexistent Top Ten). Elsewhere, Laura Bush (7) is scared of poetry, Ari Fleischer thinks that Nelson Mandela is a "do-nothing", and Jim Saxton (10) has come up with a great way to stick it to the French. Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1Bill O'Reilly hypocrisy hypocrisy excessive spin flip-flopping massive ego
Last week Bill O'Reilly surely laid claim to the title "Most Hypocritical Man In America." Our story begins with Vietnam-era veteran turned peace activist Mark Stinson (aka Symbolman) and his website TakeBackTheMedia.com. Mark happened to be listening to radio lardbag Rush Limbaugh one afternoon when Limbaugh called all peace activists "Anti-American, Anti-Capitalist Marxists and Communists." Disgusted, Mark decided to organize a boycott of Limbaugh's show. Using his site to give the boycott momentum, he was soon attracting attention from the mainstream media, and it wasn't long before he was invited to appear on FOX's "The O'Reilly Factor." A bold move to be sure, and Mark had to weather a storm as O'Reilly accused him of wanting to take away Rush Limbaugh's freedom of speech (uh, I don't think the Bill of Rights says you have the right to a radio show) and insisted that organizing a boycott was in itself un-American. But it only took a mere 24 hours for O'Reilly to trip over his own laughable rhetoric. The following night "The O'Reilly Factor" hosted Jeremy Glick, a peace activist whose father died in the World Trade Center attacks. Evidently O'Reilly didn't really want to hear Glick's opinions - as Glick tried to explain that one of his reasons for opposing war is that it always seems to be America who trains and arms the bad guys in the first place, O'Reilly first tried to shout over him, and the interview finally ended with the First Amendment champion shouting "Shut up! Shut up! Cut off his mic!" (If you don't believe us, you can hear the audio here.) Man, you've got to love Bill's appreciation for freedom of speech. As for O'Reilly's opinion that boycotts make one un-American, he must have forgotten how he got Ludicris fired by boycotting Pepsi (which is odd because he seemed quite proud of it at the time!) And he didn't seem to mind when the attorney general of Illinois wanted to boycott Abercrombie & Fitch. In fact, when it comes down to it, Bill also didn't have a problem yelling at someone to "Shut up! Shut up!" when they said something he didn't want to hear. Yup, he truly is a great American. If only we could all follow Bill O'Reilly's fabulous example.

2Tom Delay racism hypocrisy hypocrisy pandering
And now for some more hypocrisy on a grand scale. At a recent meeting of Republican leaders, Tom Delay touted his new plan to hire more African Americans as GOP staffers. "One of our problems was, in the hiring of African Americans, we can't find good conservative African Americans to work for us," said Delay, who seemed genuinely unsurprised at this revelation. "But I've got 20 résumés now of young conservatives." According to the Washington Post, "Participants at the meeting said the party needs to recruit more blacks to serve on staffs of House and Senate Republicans, which could translate to more black candidates and voters in the future." So lets get this straight: the Republican Party, which strongly opposes affirmative action, wants to hire staffers based entirely on the color of their skin. The hypocrisy here is to be expected; what's sickening is that rather than doing this to actually help minorities, they're simply trying to cover up their racist tendencies and win votes by parading blacks around. Absolutely disgraceful.

3Clayton Floyd warmongering dumb
Here's something interesting - did you know that some people meet the idea of "peace" with "dismay?" If not, you should check out Missoula, Montana. All it took was Ward 2 Councilman Jim McGrath attaching a photograph of a peace sign to the lid of his city-issued laptop computer, and the next thing you know people's panties had been twisted into uncomfortable bunches all over town. Ward 6 Councilman Clayton Floyd seemed particularly affected by the photo and displayed all the symptoms of a first-class wedgie. "I've heard from a number of folks indicating dismay with what Jim has displayed on his laptop," said he, expressing "concern" about the problem. Good grief. To his credit, Council President Jack Reidy decided that, "We've got more important things to do" than worry about Jim McGrath's laptop. He probably should have added, "Oh for God's sake Clayton, it's a photograph of a peace sign, not ritual Satanic murder. Get your head out of your ass for once in your life, will you?

4Dick Cheney warmongering covering your ass
You can rely on our great leaders in Washington to tell the truth, especially about life and death matters such as war. Can't you? It was revealed last week that then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney fired a Commerce Department demographer named Beth Osborne Daponte in 1992 because she - whoops - attempted to calculate how many Iraqi civilians died during Gulf War I. See, not long after the war, Cheney said that "we have no way of knowing precisely how many casualties occurred," and was then promptly embarrassed by Daponte's estimates: 13,000 civilians killed directly by American and allied forces, about 70,000 civilians killed subsequently from war-related damage to Iraq's infrastructure. Then, according to MSNBC, "After a reporter called Daponte and included her estimates in a story about war casualties, her boss informed Daponte in writing that she was being dismissed for releasing 'false information.'" Nice. Incidentally, Daponte now estimates that the civilian death toll in Iraq was even higher during the Gulf War. But that probably won't bother Dick Cheney. Remember, we have no way of knowing how many casualties occurred.

5Mark Sanford chickenhawk chickenhawk
Early last year Republican Mark Sanford joined up with the Air Force Reserve because (he says) he wanted to set a good example for his four sons, and because he came to admire military service during his three terms as a member of the U.S. House. That was certainly an admirable thing to do, particularly considering that the War on Terror was just getting underway, and we salute Mark Sanford for his courage, selflessness, and patriotism. Oh, did we mention that he was also running for governor of South Carolina? Of course, we would never suggest that someone might join the military for cynical campaign-year resume-padding. But, you gotta love this... with a real shooting war almost certain, now-Governor Sanford wants out. He swears on a stack of Bibles that he's gotta quit, like now, because he's just too busy governing the state, but not because they were about to ship his ass off to war or anything like that.

6George W. Bush chickenhawk warmongering
Two weeks ago the nation waited with bated breath for George W. Bush to describe the state of the union, and hey - guess what? According to Dubya, the state of the union is strong! Light those firecrackers. Of course, if Bush were either a) an honest man, or b) not merely a robotic chimp reading his lines as programmed, he would have admitted that the state of the union is nothing short of bizarre. We're going to blow up Iraq because they looked at us funny, and then if Iran and North Korea look at us funny then by God we'll blow them up too. (And you, Canada - just watch it, okay?) Then we're going to cure AIDS in Africa, presumably by buying lots and lots of vastly overpriced drugs from Dubya's buds in the pharmaceutical industry - don't worry, I expect we'll pay them off with the money we get from selling the oil we steal from Iraq. Meanwhile we won't need any more oil back here in America because we're all going to drive around in hydrogen-powered cars - yes, despite wanting to dig up America's national parks Bush is just a great big environmentalist wacko at heart. Who'd have guessed it? By the way, I think we must have solved the problem of whatsisname, you know - that guy with the long beard and the AK47. George didn't mention him at all, so we've probably caught him or blown him up or something. Maybe he never even really existed. It's getting hard to remember. What else? Well, after busting the budget on an invasion of a country that didn't commit the 9/11 attacks - but just imagine if they had! - we're going to fund Medicare, Social Security, education, and every other government program that is vital to our society, by magically pulling money out of our asses. And finally, since it's obviously been working great till now, we're going to fix the economy by doing exactly the same thing we've been doing for the last two years, only more so. Yes folks, the state of the union is... idiotic.

7Laura Bush dumb warmongering
First Lady Laura Bush had invited poets from across the country to a poetry symposium on February 12 to discuss Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman, but abruptly postponed it when she learned that some of the participants would be sharing poetry with anti-war themes. One of the poets even planned to wear a scarf with (gasp!) peace signs on it. Mrs. Bush's spokeswoman Noelia Rodriguez explained that "While Mrs. Bush respects the right of all Americans to express their opinions, she, too, has opinions and believes it would be inappropriate to turn a literary event into a political forum." As a former librarian, the first lady has a unique appreciation for the importance of keeping a strict wall of separation between literature and politics. We wouldn't want any thinking with our reading, now would we? Apparently the symposium will be rescheduled for March with a new discussion topic: "pretty flowers and fluffy bunnies."

8Win Smith Jr. dumb
Brown nose alert! State Senator Win Smith of Connecticut wants to rename Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport in honor of his idol, and our great leader, George W. Bush. It's kinda fitting in a way - Poppy gets George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Reagan gets Ronald Reagan National Airport just outside of DC, and Dubya gets George W. Bush Regional Airport in Tweed, Connecticut. Sort of illustrates the Chimp's achievements compared to his predecessors (although I probably shouldn't use the word "achievements"). But anyway, the mayor of New Haven has decided that this is a terrible idea, since a) they've already named a bunch of roads after Dubya, and b) despite the fact that he was born in New Haven, Bush won't even have it acknowledged in his biography. Course not - cowboys don't come from Connecticut, silly!

9 Ari Fleischer warmongering dumb
Let's face it - there's not a lot of worldwide support for Bush's Oil War. Nelson Mandela has recently been very critical of Bush's Iraq policy, and while the White House recently received a letter of support from eight European nations, that means the other 40 or so nations in Europe decided to take a pass. But Ari Fleischer recently tried to blow off any criticism by thanking the eight European leaders who support Bush. At a recent press briefing he said, "The president expresses his gratitude to the many leaders of Europe who obviously feel differently" than people like Nelson Mandela. "He understands there are going to be people who are more comfortable doing nothing about a growing menace that could turn into a holocaust." Yeah, I guess Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela is a bit of a "do-nothing" isn't he Ari? I mean, he didn't do much while he was locked up in that cell for 30 years, did he?

10Jim Saxton warmongering warmongering dumb dumb
And finally, it seems that some members of Congress are a bit confused about the concept of making international friends and building global coalitions. Rep. Jim Saxton of New Jersey, chairman of a new House Armed Services subcommittee on terrorism, unconventional threats and capabilities is calling for the United States to boycott this year's Paris Air Show if France doesn't fall into line and start shipping troops to Iraq. Well that should tell them, Jim! Perhaps since Jim Saxton is in charge of "unconventional threats," he's used to coming up with unconventional solutions. But when you're talking about building a coalition for war, a foreign policy of "it's my ball and I'm taking it home," seems a tad... immature. And we thought the adults were supposed to be in charge. See you next week!

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