The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
October 18, 2004
Top Ten Debate Moments, Round Three Edition
to the third and final Top Ten Debate Moments! By the end of the
last week's debate it must have been overwhelmingly obvious to anyone
with a brain that if John Kerry and George W. Bush had a debate
a day for the next ten years, Kerry would still be forceful, steady
and convincing and Bush would still be a bumbling maroon. The third
debate definitely focused more on substance over style, although
George struggled to keep his composure and the constant smirking
was somewhat off-putting. But even on substance Dubya demonstrated
that he was light years behind John Kerry, and another clear win
put Kerry three-for-three in the series. Let's go to the tape! (Same
drill as the last couple of weeks - no key, and you can find the
debate transcript and video on the C-SPAN
While John Kerry remained totally consistent throughout the three
debates, it seemed pretty obvious last week that Karl Rove has had
some trouble balancing Dubya's meds.
Grrrr. I'm Scowling George.
My opponent knows all the answers and I sound like a complete
dummy. That makes me sad. Stupid John Kerry. Think I'm gonna
lean on my podium.
Man, why did I have to do these debates? I hope this one's
Raaah! I'm Angry George!
Karl Rove got mad at me last time for not looking presidentified
enough, so this time I'm feeling furious! Look at me! I'm
the most powerful man in the world!
Need some wood?
Wheee! I'm Zany George!
Stupid Karl told me that I scared everyone last time and
this time I have to impress the ladies. So I'm not allowed
to stop smiling. Anyway, it ain't that hard. Domestic issues
are funny! Maybe I'll throw in a snicker.
Wanna hear a joke about the liberal media? Oh... guess not.
There's no question that Bush seemed somewhat calmer during the
third debate than he did during his two previous encounters with
Senator Kerry. There is, however, a question which needs
answering: what the hell was so funny?
Dubya spent the entire debate with a shit-eating grin on his face
that frankly seemed quite out of place considering the seriousness
of the subjects brought up for discussion. While Kerry spoke, George
stared across at him with a strange, twisted smirk on his face -
and if the smirk was a plot intended to reassure voters by reminding
them that their president wasn't a) the stumbling buffon they'd
seen during the first debate, or b) the PCP-enhanced turbo-prez
they'd seen during the second, the plot failed.
When it was George's turn to speak, he answered every question
with the same bizarre grin. Bin Laden? Chortle. Abortion?
Beam. Unemployment? Simper. And as the New York
"Yet even his smile was askew for about half the debate, marred
by a glistening light dot at the right corner of his mouth. Viewers
could be forgiven for losing track of his answers and imagining
Laura Bush in the front row in frantic semaphore, wiping furiously
at the corner of her own mouth."
If the voters tuned in to this debate hoping for some inspiration
from George W. Bush, it must have been something of a disappointment
to witness the spectacle of a drooling president whose response
to the devastating failures of his domestic policies was "don't
worry, be happy."
why CBS's scientific poll of undecided voters showed Kerry the
winner by 39% to 25%, CNN's showed Kerry the winner by 52% to 29%,
and ABC's showed Kerry the winner by 42% to 41% (which isn't quite
so impressive until you find out that ABC's polling group was 38%
Republican, 30% Democratic).
Mary, Quite Contrary
After three crushing defeats for George W. Bush, desperate Republicans
needed something to distract the media - and they found the perfect
foil in Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary. Toward the end of last week's
debate moderator Bob Schieffer tossed out a question about gay marriage,
specifically asking both candidates, "Do you believe homosexuality
is a choice?"
Bush's answer was predictably fuzzy. "You know, Bob, I don't
know. I just don't know. I do know that we have a choice to make
in America and that is to treat people with tolerance and respect
and dignity. It's important that we do that. And I also know in
a free society people, consenting adults can live the way they want
to live." You could almost hear the fundies gnashing their
teeth. It's okay though, because while George believes that "consenting
adults can live the way they want to live," and we should "treat
people with tolerance and respect and dignity," he also believes
we should write homophobia into law by amending the Constitution.
Kerry's answer to the question "Do you believe homosexuality
is a choice?" was much more straightforward. "We're all
God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's
daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being
who she was, she's being who she was born as. I think if you talk
to anybody, it's not choice."
And here's where it gets interesting.
Mary Cheney's sexuality is no secret - according
to the Gay & Lesbian Times, she has "worked
on gay issues and on her fathers 2000 vice presidential campaign,"
worked as "as a gay community liaison for Coors Brewing Company,"
and has "served on the advisory board of the Republican Unity
Coalition, a gay-straight alliance formed within the Republican
party to help increase tolerance within the party for gays and lesbians,
Dick Cheney himself brought
up Mary's sexuality when speaking on the issue of gay marriage
back in August: "Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an
issue that our family is very familiar with... With respect to the
question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means
freedom for everyone."
John Edwards mentioned
Mary during the vice-presidential debate two weeks ago, saying,
"I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter.
I think they love her very much. And you can't have anything but
respect for the fact that they're willing to talk about the fact
that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It's
a wonderful thing." Dick Cheney's response? "Let me simply
thank the senator for the kind words he said about my family and
our daughter. I appreciate that very much."
But after last week's debate the Cheneys suddenly weren't so appreciative.
Lynne Cheney said
of John Kerry, "This is not a good man. Of course, I am speaking
as a mom, and a pretty indignant mom. This is not a good man. What
a cheap and tawdry political trick." Because obviously when
you mention your homosexual daughter as an example of why
gays should be treated with respect it's okay, but when your opponent
mentions your homosexual daughter as an example of why gays should
be treated with respect, it's a "tawdry political trick."
Speaking of tawdry political tricks, the Bush campaign spent the
rest of the week tossing "outrage" and "indignation"
and various other impassioned synonyms at anyone who would listen,
coincidentally obscuring the fact that Dubya got his ass handed
to him during the debate.
And yet... back in April Republican senator Rick Santorum compared
homosexuality to incest, bigamy and adultery. In an August newsletter
to supporters, Jerry Falwell called
Mary Cheney "errant" (although he graciously admitted
that "it should not affect Mr. Cheney's ability to serve as
Vice President"). And in September, Republican senate candidate
Alan Keyes specifically
targeted Mary Cheney as "a selfish hedonist."
Funny, I don't remember seeing Lynne Cheney all over the TV expressing
her "outrage" after any of those incidents. Maybe she
was too busy trying to find a way to keep
Mary off the stage during the Republican National Convention.
If there were an award for Biggest Clanger of the Debates, George
W. Bush would have won it last Wednesday. Forget "Need some
wood?" Forget "I hear there's rumors on the Internets."
Forget "Mexed missages." Forget "I know that!"
During an early response, John Kerry body-slammed George W. Bush
with this statement: "Six months after he said Osama bin Laden
must be caught dead or alive, this president was asked, 'Where is
Osama bin Laden?' He said, 'I don't know. I don't really think about
him very much. I'm not that concerned.'"
George - smirk slightly rattled but still firmly affixed - simpered,
"Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about
Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those... exaggerations."
(Apparently George didn't get the memo that the "exaggerations"
line is, like, so four years ago.)
Want to know exactly what George W. Bush said about Osama bin Laden?
Here it is:
"Ah, y'know, again, I don't know where he is. I, uh, heh heh,
ah, I... I... I repeat what I said, I truly am not that concerned
- George W. Bush, March 13, 2002. (Windows
Media | RealVideo)
That was just six months after September 11th, ladies and gentlemen.
I hate to say it, but George's attitude sounds a bit September
10th to me.
Bad. No, Canada Good!
Think the president should be able to remember things he said all
the way back in 2002? I've got news for you - Bush had trouble remembering
what he'd said at the second debate five days previously.
On the subject of flu vaccines the president was perilously cavalier.
The question was: "We are talking about protecting ourselves
from the unexpected, but the flu season is suddenly upon us. Flu
kills thousands of people every year. Suddenly we find ourselves
with a severe shortage of flu vaccine. How did that happen?"
As usual, Bush made excuses and blamed someone else - this time,
our erstwhile allies the English. Stupid English.
"Bob, we relied upon a company out of England to provide about
half of the flu vaccines for the United States citizen, and it turned
out that the vaccine they were producing was contaminated. And so
we took the right action and didn't allow contaminated medicine
into our country."
Good for us. Except the flu vaccine was actually under the control
of an American company which outsourced
its medical research to a private plant in England. And it was the
British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency who
the vaccine-maker's license and stopped further shipments. (Stupid
government regulators, sticking their noses into everything. Now
they've even taken away our right to shoot ourselves up with contaminated
Bush went on: "We're working with Canada to hopefully - that
they'll produce a - help us realize the vaccine necessary to make
sure our citizens have got flu vaccinations during this upcoming
Okay, hold the phone. During the second debate, Dubya told us some
stories about Canadian drugs: "And what my worry is is
that, you know, it looks like it's from Canada, and it might be
from a third world."
It's alright though, because if you can't get contaminated flu
vaccines from England or third world flu vaccines from Canada, Our
Great Leader has some good advice for you:
"Don't get a flu shot."
To The Caucus
Time for another body-slam. While discussing race issues, John Kerry
reminded America that "This president is the first president
ever, I think, not to meet with the NAACP. This is a president who
hasn't met with the Black Congressional Caucus. This is a president
who has not met with the civil rights leadership of our country."
Grinning, Dubya responded, "Well, first of all, it is just
not true that I haven't met with the Black Congressional Caucus.
I met with the Black Congressional Caucus at the White House."
Now, to be uncharacteristically fair and balanced, I should point
out that while John Kerry is right about George W. Bush not meeting
with the NAACP, he was not entirely correct - George W. Bush
has met with the Congressional Black Caucus. But the story
of that meeting is actually quite
Last February, after their repeated requests to meet with the president
to discuss Haiti were denied, members of the Congressional Black
Caucus decided to show up at the White House anyway. About 20 members
of the caucus were subsequently greeted by Colin Powell and Condoleezza
Rice (pandering, much?) who told the lawmakers that - sorry - the
president was not at home.
So the CBC simply refused to leave. And guess what? Fifteen minutes
later, after presumably realizing that he couldn't hide out in the
Lincoln Bedroom's ensuite bathroom all day, George showed up. And
that was that.
Oh yes - one more thing. After pretending he wasn't at home and
then grudgingly meeting with the CBC, the White House issued a statement
saying Bush "welcomed the opportunity" to visit with them.
What a bunch of crap.
One of Bush's worst answers of the night was to the question, "The
gap between rich and poor is growing wider. More people are dropping
into poverty. Yet the minimum wage has been stuck at, what, $5.15
an hour now for about seven years. Is it time to raise it?"
John Kerry answered that he would raise the minimum wage to $7
an hour. But Bush's response was just bizarre.
"Actually, Mitch McConnell had a minimum-wage plan that I
supported that would have increased the minimum wage," he said
(we'll come to that in a minute). "But let me talk about what's
really important for the worker you're referring to. And that's
to make sure the education system works. It's to make sure we raise
standards. Listen, the No Child Left Behind Act is really a jobs
act when you think about it."
And just like that, he was off to the races. While TV screens across
the nation displayed the question "Is it time to raise the
minimum wage?" Bush spent the next minute and a half babbling
"You cannot solve a problem unless you diagnose the problem.
And we weren't diagnosing problems. And therefore just kids were
being shuffled through the school."
"Many inner-city kids just move through. We've stopped that
practice now by measuring early."
"I remember a lady in Houston, Texas, told me, 'Reading is
the new civil right,' and she's right."
So, uh, should we raise the minimum wage or what?
Not that improving the education system isn't a laudable goal -
it is, and if Bush had actually funded No Child Left Behind instead
of just waving its name around like it means something, maybe that
goal could be achieved. But how does it solve anything if kids come
out of school with a better education and then either can't find
a job or can only find a job that pays a pittance?
I mean, I know Bush's corporate paymasters wouldn't complain about
a better-educated workforce who'll take employment for next-to-nothing,
I think I just figured it out.
Remember that Mitch McConnell minimum wage plan Bush was bragging
about? Check this
out. Sure Bush said he would support it - that is, an increase of
$1 an hour - but only if states could opt out of the increase.
The Associated Press described this as "a condition that could
render a proposed increase meaningless."
So when he says he supported raising the minimum wage, he
actually meant he supported raising the minimum wage provided
that conditions were put in place so that nobody would actually
raise the minimum wage.
To be fair, there's a fine line between supporting something and
pretending to support it but working behind the scenes to make sure
that it'll never happen. So let there be no doubt: George W. Bush
supports raising the minimum wage (not).
Bipartisanship of Fools
Lest we forget, bipartisanship was a big theme in 2000 with both
George W. Bush and Al Gore bending over backwards to demonstrate
who could be first into bed with their opponents. Obviously it didn't
quite pan out that way after the election.
Towards the end of the night, moderator Bob Schieffer asked Senator
Kerry, "After 9/11 ... it seemed to me that the country came
together as I've never seen it come together since World War II.
But some of that seems to have melted away. I think it's fair to
say we've become pretty polarized, perhaps because of the political
season. But if you were elected president, or whoever is elected
president, will you set a priority in trying to bring the nation
back together? Or what would be your attitude on that?"
"Very much so," responded Kerry. "Let me pay a compliment
to the president, if I may. I think in those days after 9/11, I
thought the president did a terrific job. And I really was moved,
as well as impressed, by the speech that he gave to the Congress.
And I think the hug Tom Daschle gave him at that moment was about
as genuine a sense of there being no Democrats, no Republicans,
we were all just Americans. That's where we were."
Ready for the smackdown?
"That's not where we are today. I regret to say that the president
who called himself a uniter, not a divider, is now presiding over
the most divided America in the recent memory of our country. I've
never seen such ideological squabbles in the Congress of the United
States. I've never seen members of a party locked out of meetings
the way they're locked out today. We have to change that. And as
president, I am committed to changing that."
Once again, Dubya had nothing but excuses.
"My biggest disappointment in Washington is how partisan the
town is," he whined. "I had a record of working with Republicans
and Democrats as the governor of Texas, and I was hopeful I'd be
able to do the same thing. And we made good progress early on. The
No Child Left Behind Act, incredibly enough, was good work between
me and my administration and people like Senator Ted Kennedy."
Bravo! See how Bush brought up Sen. Kennedy to prove that he's
been working to foster bipartisanship? I guess it makes a nice change
from using Kennedy's name as a laugh-line during campaign stops:
THE PRESIDENT: The nonpartisan National Journal analyzed
his record and named John Kerry the most liberal member of the
United States Senate.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, that's saying when the competition
is people like Ted Kennedy. (Laughter.)
- Wisconsin, October
THE VICE PRESIDENT: That was so far out even Ted Kennedy
wouldn't support it. (Laughter.)
- Iowa, October
THE VICE PRESIDENT: He did manage to offer up an amendment
to cut several billion dollars out of our intelligence budget,
a move that was so radical even Ted Kennedy wouldn't support it.
- Pennsylvania, October
PRESIDENT BUSH: I'll tell you what pay-go means when you're
a senator from Massachusetts, when you're a colleague of Ted Kennedy
- pay-go means you pay and he goes ahead and spends.
- Arizona, October
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Ted Kennedy -
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Ted Kennedy is the most conservative
senator from Massachusetts. (Laughter.) If you can believe that.
- Pennsylvania, October
THE PRESIDENT: Another group known as the Americans for
Democratic Action has given Senator Kerry a higher lifetime liberal
rating than that given to Ted Kennedy. And that's an accomplishment.
- Oregon, October
You know, I'm trying to figure out why Bush has been a divider
not a uniter, and I can't quite put my finger on it.
While we're on the subject of bipartisanship, Bush got a tad defensive
during the debate when John Kerry mentioned that he would "work
with my friend, John McCain, to further campaign finance reform
so we get these incredible amounts of money out of the system and
open it up to average people."
"My opponent keeps mentioning John McCain," responded
Dubya, "and I'm glad he did. John McCain is for me for president
He sure is - and as you can see from this photo, George isn't going
to let McCain out of his sight until the election is over.
Doesn't he look delighted to be there?
In the last week...
"Son of Colin" Powell, chairman of the FCC, announced
that he would not stop the Sinclair Broadcast Group from using the
public airwaves to broadcast a blatantly biased political "documentary"
on John Kerry just days before the election. However, the documentary
does feature interviews with members of the so-called Swift Boat
Veterans for Truth, so if it ends up going ahead perhaps Michael
Powell will fine stations for putting a bunch of tits on the air.
According to the New York Times, "employees of Sproul
& Associates (operating under the name Voters Outreach of
America), a firm hired by the Republican National Committee to register
voters, told a Nevada TV station that their supervisors systematically
tore up Democratic registrations." And guess what? A district
court judge subsequently denied any requests to re-open voter
registration. GOP motto: If you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em.
Perhaps George W. Bush should have taken a tip from Sen.
Jim Bunning, who recently refused to debate his opponent face-to-face,
responded to questions via satellite, and used a TelePrompTer. Although
let's face it, even if Bush had done this, he still would
Treasury Secretary John
Snow said, "I wonder if the 4 million Americans who have
fallen into poverty in the last four years, I wonder if that is
a myth." You've heard of Fantasy Football, now meet Fantasy
More than 250 former and current world leaders made an "unprecedented
statement" reaffirming their commitment to "a ten-year-old
UN plan to ensure the rights of women around the world" last
W. Bush "declined to sign on to the statement."
Team Bush's New England campaign chairman has resigned after being
accused of jamming Democrats' telephone lines on Election Day 2002,
thus preventing a "get out the vote" effoort. James
Tobin said, "The Democrats' allegations against me are
without merit." In case you missed it, two other prominent
Republicans pleaded guilty to conspiracy over this issue last summer.
Bush has "ignored advice to throw out a flawed felon voter
list [see Top Ten 163]
before it went out to county election offices despite warnings from
state officials ... Most were Democrats, and many were black. Hispanics,
who often vote Republican in Florida, were almost entirely absent
from the list due to a technical error." It's deja vu all over
Pentagon continued their weekly Friday-night release of George
W. Bush's military records, even though they've all been released
Security Administration spent nearly $500,000 dollars on an
awards ceremony at a lavish hotel, "including $81,000 for plaques
and $500 for cheese displays." Winner of the award for Biggest
Waste of Taxpayers Money - the Transportation Security Administration.
H.W. Bush argued that his son should be re-elected at a GOP
rally. He also commented on the anti-Bush protestors outside, calling
them "the worst-looking group of people I've ever seen,"
and referring to a female protestor as "A really ugly woman.
She had a sign up that said, 'Stay out of my womb.'" Bush then
made a hand-gesture "as if to deny he would ever go near her."
John Kerry said that there is "a great potential" that
the draft will return if George W. Bush is re-elected. Team
Bush dismissed the comments as "the mother of all cheap
political scare tactics." Speaking of "the mother of all
cheap political scare tactics," whatever happened to Saddam
Hussein's deadly stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction?
And finally, Bill
O'Reilly was slapped with a lawsuit by a former employee who
claims that O'Reilly "subjected her to repeated instances of
sexual harassment and spoke often, and explicitly, to her about
phone sex, vibrators, threesomes, masturbation, the loss of his
virginity, and sexual fantasies." Apparently O'Reilly's fantasies
even include some time in the shower with... falafel?
See you next week!
The Top Ten Conservative Idiots
list is back on the radio! The Air America Radio Network's
of Fire show 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.
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