The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
December 13, 2004
Members Only Edition
'Tis the season for conservative idiocy. Donald Rumsfeld was in
the Middle East last week, and he was taking the tough questions
(1), except that he didn't really mean it, and god forbid he actually
have to take a question from a journalist (2). Meanwhile, George
W. Bush was commemorating Pearl Harbor day, and calling on All Americans
to sacrifice in this time of war (4). Oh, wait, did I say "All
Americans"? I meant to say, All Americans who aren't millionaires.
And from the "White Christmas" file: we've got "Christian"
schools in North Carolina trying to show that slavery really wasn't
so bad (5), and a conservative columnist upset about the breakdown
of "sexual barriers between the races" (6).
At a town
hall meeting with American troops in Kuwait last week, Don Rumsfeld
committed a cardinal sin for any Bush administration official -
he gave people permission to ask him anything.
"Now the General said you can ask tough questions," Don
told the assembled troops, "and you can." Big mistake.
After fielding two softballs, Don got a fastball in the face from
Spc. Thomas Wilson.
"My question is more logistical," said Wilson. "We've
had troops in Iraq for coming up on three years and we've always
staged here out of Kuwait. Now why do we soldiers have to dig through
local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromise ballistic
glass to up-armor our vehicles and why don't we have those resources
readily available to us?"
"I missed the first part of your question, responded Rumsfeld,
shakily. "And could you repeat it for me?"
Sure he could! "Yes, Mr. Secretary. Our soldiers have been
fighting in Iraq for coming up on three years. A lot of us are getting
ready to move north relatively soon. Our vehicles are not armored.
We're digging pieces of rusted scrap metal and compromised ballistic
glass that's already been shot up, dropped, busted, picking the
best out of this scrap to put on our vehicles to take into combat.
We do not have proper armament vehicles to carry with us north."
The troops are having to dig through landfills so they can make
armor out of rusted scrap metal? That's outrageous! And that's
the response Don Rumsfeld should have given, except, realizing
the trouble he was now in, he decided to do what he's best at, which
is dodge all responsibility.
"I'm told that they are being – the Army is – I think it's
something like 400 a month are being done," replied Rumsfeld.
"And it's essentially a matter of physics. It isn't a matter
of money. It isn't a matter on the part of the Army of desire. It's
a matter of production and capability of doing it."
Oh really? Funny that. See, after Don's comments, the only company
which supplies the Army with armor for Humvees in Iraq said that
they wouldn't have a problem boosting production by up to 22% without
further investment. It's just that the Pentagon hasn't
asked them to.
But that wasn't Don's only duck-and-weave. He went on:
"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're
not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time ...
And if you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world
on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored
humvee and it can be blown up."
So, to translate, "Yeah, I've been defense secretary for four
years and had more money thrown at me to improve the military than
any defense secretary in recent memory, but this is all Bill Clinton's
fault. And you guys suck, I wish we had a better Army. And at the
end of the day, it doesn't matter whether you've got any damn armor
or not, you're still screwed."
Way to support the troops, Don.
But hang on, hang on, don't panic! So what if Donald Rumsfeld
practically set himself on fire with his thoughtless comments in
Kuwait? The Media is here put out the flames!
See, it turns out that the soldier who asked the question, Spc.
Thomas Wilson, isn't actually a soldier after all, but a
devious liberal media plant - an automaton, if you will, a puppet,
re-educated by the liberal elite and set loose amongst the troops
to sow dissent and discord. Yes folks, this was just all part of
the liberal media's plan to "gotcha" Don Rumsfeld.
At least, that's the impression you'd get if you listened to Rush
Limbaugh last week, or read the Drudge Report, or watched... um...
It turns out that Edward Lee Pitts, a Chattanooga Times Free
Press reporter embedded with Wilson's unit, had committed the
crime of working with Wilson and other soldiers to help them
"ask Rumsfeld about the appalling lack of armor their vehicles
going into combat have."
to the San Francisco Chronicle, "has raised questions
about journalistic objectivity." Rush Limbaugh said of Pitts,
"he created news in order to cover it ... We found out the whole
thing today is a setup."
A setup? Never mind the fact that Wilson's unit doesn't
have any armor on their humvees, or that they are having
to scavenge through scrap heaps for a workaround solution. No, the
big news here is that a reporter dared to work with a soldier in
order to ask a question. This obviously disgusted
the Freepers, who - always ready to support the troops - decided
that Spc. Thomas Wilson was an "idiot."
Don't worry though, the Chattanooga Times Free Press was
appropriately embarrassed that one of its reporters tried to do
his job and get a story, telling
readers last week that, "In hindsight, information on how
the question was framed should have been included in Thursday's
story in the Times Free Press. It was not." FOR SHAME!!!
To be fair, the Times Free Press did go on to say, "Mr.
Pitts used the tools available to him as a journalist to report
on a story that has been and remains important to members of the
278th [National Guard unit] and those back at home."
However, Kelly McBride, a member of the ethics faculty at the Poynter
Institute for Media Studies, said, "I suspect some people would
see it as manipulative. I suspect Rumsfeld felt manipulated."
Oh, poor Donald. How dare a so-called journalist and an "idiot"
soldier manipulate our noble secretary of defense in such an underhanded
manner? How could the media sink so low?
Just to reiterate: this all started when Rumsfeld said, "Now
the General said you can ask tough questions, and you can."
What's really strange about this sudden uproar is that regardless
of who was responsible, it's a plain fact that after Wilson took
a stand and asked the question, the room erupted in applause and
Clearly the lack of suitable armor for their vehicles was a concern
on the minds of many soldiers attending the meeting.
Unless... unless... all the soldiers in the room were liberal
media plants! Quick! Someone call Matt Drudge!
Track In Iraq
So, how are things going elsewhere in Iraq? Despite the fact
that it's clearly uncool these days for people to ask "tough
questions," even when they're asked to, some news is still
leaking out. For example, according
to the London Times, the US Army is "plagued by
desertion and plunging morale" - apparently more than 5,000
soldiers have deserted since the war began, and "For the first
time in a decade, the Army National Guard missed its recruitment
target this year."
The Times article goes on, "Experts are divided over
how stretched America’s military really is. But they agree that
another conflict would put the military in overdrive. Another war
would require a shift to a 'no-kidding wartime posture in which
everybody who could shoot was given a rifle and sent to the front,'
according to John Pike, of GlobalSecurity.org."
So we've all got that to look forward to.
Elsewhere, since the Pentagon can't be bothered to armor our troops,
military moms are having to sort it out themselves. According
to FloridaToday.com, Joanne Homer, whose son is fighting in
Iraq, is "trying to keep him from harm by helping gather nearly
500 bulletproof vests for the troops in his unit to use to protect
the Humvees they'll ride through the war zone in Iraq." Props
to her. Even more boos to the Pentagon
Finally, it looks like Ahmed Chalabi - remember him? - is BACK!
to MSNBC, "The much-anticipated Shiite list of candidates
for the forthcoming elections in Iraq was presented [last week]
- in partial anonymity and peculiar secrecy." Missing from
the list of names is the current ruler of Iraq, Prime Minister Iyad
Allawi and his Iraqi National Accord party, which apparently "makes
it almost impossible for Allawi to be re-elected prime minister,
and could even mean he would not win a seat in the National Assembly."
Included on the list, however, is Ahmed Chalabi, the former Iraqi
dissident who was best pals with the Bush administration and even
had a seat behind Laura Bush at the 2004 State of the Union address.
That was all before it turned out that he was an Iranian spy, of
course (see Idiots 158).
Now, instead of sleeping in the Lincoln Bedroom, Chalabi is rubbing
shoulders with the notorious anti-American cleric Moqtada al Sadr.
So to answer the original question, things in Iraq are going pretty
much the same way everything else has gone since Bush came to power
- straight down the toilet.
Time for Sacrifice (and Bad Jackets)
Last week George W. Bush called
on all Americans to support the troops. Hey George, we do
support the troops. Now how about you support the troops
and give them some armor? Or better still, bring them home? Or even
better still, try not to get them into any more illegal wars involving
non-existent weapons of mass destruction?
Anyway, Bush was speaking at a ceremony to commemorate the 63rd
anniversary of Pearl Harbor. "The time of war is a time of
sacrifice, especially for our military families," he said. According
to the Associated Press, Bush "recalled President Roosevelt's
World War II-era requests for Americans to pitch in for the war
effort." Presumably Our Great Leader's request for sacrifice
doesn't include his millionaire friends who all got massive tax
But the real question of the day was... what on earth was he wearing?
Was he going for the Kim Jong Il look?
Or the General Veers look?
We may never know.
Sunshine, Smiles, and Slavery
Here's a headline you don't see every day of the week: "School
defends slavery booklet." Apparently students at one of North
Carolina's largest Christian schools are being forced to read a
booklet which literally "whitewashes" slavery, suggesting
that slaves led "a life of plenty, of simple pleasures."
Oh, for sure. You can bet that all those Africans loved being kidnapped
from their homes and transported across the ocean to work without
pay for their white masters. The backbreaking work; the dehumanization;
the occasional flogging. Ah, the "simple pleasures" in
Incidentally, one of the authors of the booklet is a member of
the board of directors of the League of the South, which is classified
as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And according
to the News Observer, "Leaders at Cary Christian
School say they are not condoning slavery by using 'Southern Slavery,
As It Was,'" which apparently "attempts to provide a biblical
justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated
as badly as people think." No, they're not condoning
it. Just, you know, pretending it didn't happen.
Back The Clock
Moral Values Watch: David
Brock's Media Matters for America had to send a letter to the Creators
Syndicate last week after they distributed a column by Sam Francis
about the recent Monday Night Football naughtiness. But wait - it's
not what you think!
The naughtiness was, of course, a comedy skit performed at the
beginning of Monday Night Football on November 26 by Nicolette Sheridan
and Terrell Owens, in which Sheridan attempted to seduce Owens into
ducking the game and shagging her instead. But while most conservatives
have been kicking up a stink over the fact that - gasp - a woman's
bare back was shown on national television after 9pm, Francis had
a decidedly different take.
to him, the purpose of the skit was to "hurl a pie in the face
of morals and good taste but also of white racial and cultural identity."
Wait a second, white racial and cultural identity?
Francis continued, "Breaking down the sexual barriers between
the races is a major weapon of cultural destruction because it means
the dissolution of the cultural boundaries that define breeding
and the family, and ultimately, the transmission and survival of
the culture itself."
Jeez, guys, can you wait until we've sorted out the gay marriage
thing before you start work on re-banning interracial dating?
Last February, FCC Chairman Michael Powell told a Senate
hearing that the number of indecency complaints received by the
FCC had greatly risen in recent years, from fewer than 350 complaints
in 2001 to almost a quarter-million in 2003. According to
Powell, this was proof that there was "a dramatic rise in public
concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes."
Shocking, huh? I guess America really is morally outraged.
Not so fast though - it turns out that what Powell didn't
mention during the Senate hearing was that 99.8
percent of the complaints filed in 2003 came from the Parents
Television Council, a conservative activist group run by right-wing
nutjob Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center.
"Why does it matter how the complaints come?" said PTC
spokeswoman Lara Mahaney. "If the networks haven't done anything
illegal, if they haven't done anything indecent, why do they care
what we say?" Right... and this comes from an organization
people to watch "Sex and the City" and write down
every line that violates their arbitrary standard of purity.
Aren't you glad that folks like the Parents Television Council
are wasting government time and money looking out for you?
Of The Week
Moral Values Watch: Back
on October 6 the Rev. Mike Hintz, a First Assembly of God youth
pastor, appeared at a Bush campaign stop in Iowa to laud the president's
tax policies. "Where we are in this world, with not just the war
on terror, but with the war with our culture that's going on, I
think we need a man that is going to be in the White House like
President Bush, that's going to stand by what he believes."
Hintz said he supports Bush's values.
In a remarkable
coincidence, last week a Rev. Mike Hintz, of Des Moines, Iowa
- who, funnily enough, also used to be a First Assembly of God youth
pastor until he was fired on October 30 - turned himself in to the
police after being charged with the sexual exploitation of a child.
I wonder if they're related?
Our next bit of racist nonsense comes courtesy of the British
National Party. (For those of you who aren't familiar with the BNP,
they're one of these "poor me, the oppressed white man"
groups.) As it turns out, the BNP recently made fools of themselves
while trying to organize their annual Christmas party when it transpired
that the DJ they'd hired for the event was... black.
to the UK's Daily Mirror, "Some members of the far
right group were so outraged by the blunder they walked out of the
hotel where their party was staged." (The BNP's official constitution
says that all members must be of "British or closely kindred native
BNP Official Bob Garner said, "There was a bit of a cock-up. The
chap who booked him didn't realise. The DJ sounded white on the
phone." Seriously, he actually said that.
Jews Hate Jesus, Like Anal Sex
And finally, I'm going to have to start watching cable news
again if this
is the sort of thing I'm missing:
PAT BUCHANAN: Bill Donahue, what do you think
about "The Passion of the Christ"? And as a practical
matter, even if Hollywood hated the film, it seems to me as an artistic
work of art, a smashing triumph, a film of great controversy and
interest, it ought to at least be nominated for best picture. It
pulled in more money than any other picture all year.
WILLIAM DONAHUE, PRESIDENT OF THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE: I spoke to Mel
a couple of weeks ago about this. And I don't think it really matters
a whole lot to him. It certainly doesn't matter to me. We‘ve already
Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out
there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity
in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK?
And I'm not afraid to say it. That's why they hate this movie. It's
about Jesus Christ, and it's about truth. It's about the messiah.
Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without
nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions.
I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism.
We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has
been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost.
You have got secular Jews. You have got embittered ex-Catholics,
including a lot of ex-Catholic priests who hate the Catholic Church,
wacko Protestants in the same group, and these people are in the
margins. Frankly, Michael Moore represents a cult movie. Mel Gibson
represents the mainstream of America.
NOTE: The Top Ten Conservative Idiots is taking a break for
the holidays. It will return on Monday, January 10, 2005. Here's
wishing you all a great holiday, and a Happy New Year!
Nominate a Conservative
for Next Week's List