Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 145)
Third Annual Oscar Special!
we, uh, forgot to do an Oscar Special last year. Sorry about
that. But DU's annual(ish) Top Ten Oscar Special is back!
The envelope please... George W. Bush (1, 4) came out in favor
of a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage last week.
But it's not just gays who are threatening the very fabric
of American society - Rod Paige (2) is seeing terrorists everywhere.
Meanwhile, The White House (3) has got a lot of splendid 9/11
entertainment lined up for the GOP convention this fall. I
can't wait. Elsewhere, AOL (6) are showing the Chimp some
love, The Pentagon (7) are giving your money to morons, Bill
O'Reilly (9) is the most ridiculous item of the day, and Laura
Bush (10) is making a fuss about nothing. Enjoy, and as usual,
don't forget the key!
Best Actor in the Role of the President: Republicans
strangers to waging culture wars when their election campaigns
are stalling. When George H.W. Bush was trailing Michael Dukakis
in 1988, up popped the infamous Willie Horton ad. When Bush
Jr. was trailing John McCain in 2000, he took a trip to Bob
Jones University to fire up the base. And now Dubya's at it
last week that he is backing a Constitutional amendment which
will officially declare gays and lesbians second-class citizens.
Bush has pussyfooted around the issue recently, declaring
the subject of gay marriage "troubling," but it
wasn't until polls showed him losing by double digits to both
John Kerry and John Edwards that he decided the time was right
to go all guns blazing at the most important issue America
faces today - homosexuality. Yup, never mind the enormous
budget deficit. Forget the millions of Americans who don't
have health care. Jobs? The 9/11 Commission? Iraq? Afghanistan?
All minor issues when compared to the shadowy, terrifying
threat that is, uh, allowing two people of the same sex to
officially declare their love for one another and have their
lifelong monogamous relationship legally recognized. So I
guess it's time to add the first amendment to the Constitution
since Prohibition that will actually restrict personal
freedom. And everyone knows what a smashing success Prohibition
Best Use of War On Terror Hyperbole: But it's not just
gays and lesbians who are considered by the GOP to be a major
threat to the security of America - teachers had better start
watching their backs, too. Teachers? Yes, teachers. During
a private meeting with governors last week, Education Secretary
Rod Paige called the National Education Association - America's
largest teachers union - a "terrorist
organization." Can't you just picture the scene? A group
of underpaid sixth-grade math teachers huddled around a candle
in a dark basement somewhere in Brooklyn, discussing curriculum
changes, assessment standards, and the downfall of The Great
Satan? Better start rounding them up and putting them in camps
for, uh, reeducation.
Best Post-9/11 Hypocrisy: Have you noticed that Republicans
have spent the last three years pissing in their pants whenever
a Democrat brings up September 11? "Stop politicizing
a national tragedy!" they wail. Consequently, the GOP
has done everything in its power to stop people talking about
9/11, from flat-out trying to prevent
an inquiry from taking place, to objecting and stalling
and finally relenting, to appointing members to the 9/11 commission
who had clear conflicts
of interest (also see Idiots
95) to refusing
to extend the unfinished investigation's deadline. And what's
the reason for all this obstructionism? "Waaah! Stop
politicizing a national tragedy!" they cry. How ironic,
then, that the White House is planning an "NYC extravaganza"
for their convention in September, according to TheHill.com.
"According to sources privy to convention planners' discussions,
the 2004 GOP conclave at New York's Madison Square Garden
will be unlike any previous quadrennial gathering of either
party. In fact, not all of the main events will be held at
the Garden, sources involved in planning the Aug. 31-Sept.
2 convention said. 'The entire format and actual physical
setup could be radically different,' one GOP insider commented.
'They might not even have a podium, or maybe a rotating podium
or even a stage that comes up from underground. It would be
like a theater in the round, with off-site events that are
part of the convention... Or, and this is a real possibility,
we could see President Bush giving
his acceptance speech at Ground Zero... It's clearly a
venue they're considering.'" Oh, I'm sorry, did I say
"ironic?" I meant "fucking disgraceful."
Best Director of Hunts for Terrorists with an Eye for Convenient
Timing: Speaking of 9/11... according
to the New York Times, "President Bush has
approved a plan to intensify the effort to capture or kill
Osama bin Laden, senior administration and military officials
say." Okay - while capturing or killing Osama bin Laden
would obviously be a very good thing, I have to ask at this
point... what the hell have you been doing since September
11, 2001, George?!?! Let me get this straight -
after vowing to track down the mastermind behind 9/11 two
and a half years ago, you've barely mentioned his name, instead
focusing all your attention on Iraq, which a) had nothing
to do with September 11, and b) apparently wasn't a clear
and present danger to the United States. And now you're
approving a plan to "intensify the effort" to catch
bin Laden? Well, I guess you figured it could wait until an
election year. A nice little October Surprise would come in
kinda handy for you and the boys, wouldn't it?
Best Supporting Supreme Court Justice: Antonin Scalia's
shameful lapse of ethics in a court case involving Dick Cheney
has been noted several times in this column recently (see
Idiots passim) - Scalia accepted an invitation to go
duck hunting with Cheney (on the taxpayers dime, naturally),
despite having to hear a case which could prove politically
embarrassing to the vice president. But it appears that Antonin
Scalia is no stranger to these kinds of conflicts of interest.
It was revealed last week that, according
to the Los Angeles Times, "Supreme Court Justice
Antonin Scalia was the guest of a Kansas law school two years
ago and went pheasant hunting on a trip arranged by the school's
dean, all within weeks of hearing two cases in which the dean
was a lead attorney." And you'll never believe this,
but Scalia ended up siding with the dean when he ruled on
the case! Isn't that just remarkable? In a written
statement, Scalia said: "I do not think that spending time
at a law school in which the counsel in pending cases was
the dean could reasonably cause my impartiality to be questioned."
Why does that sound familiar? Oh yeah - because it's almost
exactly the same
thing he said about the Cheney case: "I do not think my
impartiality could reasonably be questioned." Right, right,
of course. Accusing you of lacking impartiality? What on earth
are we thinking, Antonin?
Best Brown Nose: This Google Bombing story is a couple
of weeks old, but it's worth noting. For those of you who
are unfamiliar with "Google Bombing," it has been defined
as "Setting up a large number of Web pages with links that
point to a specific Web site so that the site will appear
near the top of a Google search when users enter the link
text." This means that if a lot of people publish the words,
say, "miserable failure" on their websites, and link those
words to, say, the biography of George W. Bush on the White
House website, when you type the words "miserable failure"
into the Google search engine, George W. Bush's biography
will appear at the top of the list. Funny, huh? And this is
exactly what's been going on over the last couple of months.
Intrepid liberal bloggers, website owners, and discussion
board members have planted enough "miserable failure" links
across the web to get George W. Bush to the top of the list.
But in retaliation, right-wingers have been linking the words
"miserable failure" to the websites of Hillary Clinton, Jimmy
Carter, and Michael Moore, and the four sites have been battling
it out for Google's top spot for a while now. So what does
AOL have to do with this? Well, AOL uses Google technology
for their search function, and apparently
they don't like Our Great Leader being called a miserable
failure. So - you guessed it - they've removed the listing.
But surprise, surprise, the listings for Clinton, Carter,
and Moore are - you guessed it again - still there. Which
basically proves that AOL are - yes, you guessed it a third
time! - a bunch of Republican-pandering, Bush-bootlicking
Best Use of Taxpayers Money: Just when you think the
Bush administration can't come up with any more ways to spend
your cash, here comes the Pentagon with yet another brilliant
way to burn money. According
to Knight Ridder, "The Department of Defense is continuing
to pay millions of dollars for information from the former
Iraqi opposition group that produced some of the exaggerated
and fabricated intelligence President Bush used to argue his
case for war." Yes that's right folks, you heard right
- the Pentagon has apparently set aside 3 to 4 million dollars
for the Information Collection Program of the Iraqi National
Congress which is led by longtime Bush buddy Ahmed Chalabi.
This is the same Ahmed Chalabi who said
two weeks ago that when it came to the bullshit intelligence
they'd passed along to the Pentagon, "We are heroes in
error... As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful.
That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad.
What was said before is not important. The Bush administration
is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords
if he wants." So let's just get this straight - we know
that Chalabi's Information Collection Program fed false info
to the Pentagon, they even admit that they fed false
information to the Pentagon, and instead of kicking them in
the ass the Pentagon is giving them millions of dollars? It's
bizzaro world in Bush's America!
Best Biblical Ass-Pummeling: Did you know that since
Canada decided to ban corporal punishment in schools last
month, the USA and a single state in Australia are the only
areas in the industrialized world which still allow the beating
of schoolchildren? And some schools take this "privilege"
way more seriously than others. Take Carver Middle School
in Mississippi for example, whose assistant principal Ralph
McClaney resigned last week after protesting the school's
position on paddling. Most of Carver Middle School's students
come from housing projects, and McClaney was expected to beat
as many as 10 to 15 children a day, but "The idea of a big
white guy hitting an 80-pound black girl because she talked
back to the teacher did not sit well with me," he said. According
to McClaney's written notes, the school's principal Earnest
Ward told him, "These kids are different, all they understand
is the paddle," and "walk the halls and, if the kids are out
of line, burn their butts." Not only that, but according
to the Washington Post, Carver special education
teacher Cherry Moore believes that "Old Testament references
to 'spoiling the child by sparing the rod' should outweigh
the allegedly negative effects of corporal punishment cited
by child-development experts." Oh boy.
Best Spin in a No-Spin Zone: It's the most ridiculous
item of the day! On Fox News recently, Bill O'Reilly spent
a little time pontificating
on America's culture wars. Specifically, on the subject of
- yup - gay marriage. And guess what? Freedom-loving Bill
disagrees with it. I'm shocked. But Bill's ramblings took
a bizarre turn when he discussed the California judges who
have not prevented homosexuals from marrying in San Francisco:
"Marriage licenses continue to be issued in San Francisco
in defiance of California state law, and one of the judges
who refused to stop the madness is James Warren," said
Bill. "James Warren is himself a homosexual, according
to 'San Francisco' magazine, begging the question as to why
he did not recuse himself. That would not have been ridiculous.
That would have been fair." Excuse me? Well then I guess
straight judges shouldn't rule on the case either, since they'll
obviously be biased against homosexuals. Perhaps a panel of
nine hermaphrodites should be assembled to rule on the case.
I wonder - does Bill also think that black judges should recuse
themselves from racial discrimination cases? Or that female
judges should recuse themselves from sexual discrimination
cases? Most ridiculous item of the day, indeed.
Overstatement of the Year Award: And finally: Awwww....
last week poor Laura Bush was heard complaining that criticism
of her husband's dubious National Guard service during the
Vietnam War amounted to a "witch hunt." "I think it's a political,
you know, witch-hunt, actually, on the part of the Democrats,"
she said. A witch hunt, Laura? Let me tell you what a real
witch hunt looks like. Take a president - let's say, for example,
the last legally elected president. Begin by looking into
a pisspot land deal (which turns out later to be a fuss about
nothing) and then use it as excuse to spend eight years and
almost $80 million of public money probing around in the president's
pants. Divert important FBI resources to investigate his private
life, then release a pornographic report revealing the intimate
details of a private affair between the president and a consenting
adult. Next, impeach him on trumped up perjury charges, then
acquit him. Oh, and don't forget to release a report (a couple
of years too late) clearing him of any wrongdoing. Now that,
Laura, is a witch hunt. And in fact, if it hadn't been for
that witch hunt, your ass wouldn't be sitting in the White
House right now. So I've got five words for you, dear: Get
The Hell Over It. See you next week!
a Conservative for Next Week's List