The Top Ten Conservative
Idiots (No. 147)
March 15, 2004
Crooked, Lying Edition
I guess the GOP don't like it when a Democrat fights back! Crooked, Lying Republicans (1,2) almost wet themselves when John Kerry went on the offensive last week. Meanwhile, Ed Gillespie (4) has been out and about insulting the families of 9/11 victims, George W. Bush (5,6), spent the week wasting everybody's time, and Donald Rumsfeld (7) was discovered to be... well, ghoulish is the only word to describe it really. Finally, Clear Channel (8) set off the hypocrisy alarm, and the Cheneys (10) are opposed to banning gay marriage - no, they're for banning gay marriage - no, they're into lesbian porn. Enjoy, and as usual, don't forget the key!
In an off-the-cuff moment at a union rally last week, John Kerry commented on the negative attacks directed at him by Republican operatives, telling a worker that "these guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I've ever seen." Within minutes, mouths began frothing and heads began exploding all over Washington, DC. House Speaker Dennis Hastert took "great umbrage" at the comments. Bush campaign chairman Mark Racicot called them "unbecoming of a candidate for the presidency of the United States" (presumably if Kerry had called someone a major league asshole, that would have been okay). Rep. Mark Foley called the comments "disgusting and despicable" on the floor of the House. And everywhere the cries from the right were the same: Kerry should apologize. Is there anything more embarrassing than a Republican crapping in his pants over someone making a rude comment about the GOP? I mean, John Kerry wasn't even talking about George W. Bush, and even if he was, the comment would still be entirely accurate. But Kerry didn't apologize and stood by the remark. How'd ya like them apples, Republicans? "If you ask me, he's getting off on the wrong foot in this campaign by name-calling," blustered Dennis Hastert. Which is presumably why Rep. Jack Kingston went on to call Kerry, "Ted Kennedy on a South Beach diet." But if there was one unifying cry from the Republicans, it was this: For shame! This negative campaigning must cease immediately! Yeah, right...
Lying Republicans (again)
Team Bush released their first set of negative ads against John Kerry last week, building on their campaign of fear by accusing Kerry of seeking to raise everyone's taxes by $900 billion (wrong), and suggesting that under Kerry, America will be destroyed by suspicious-looking swarthy men:
I mean, for goodness sake, does anybody really believe that John Kerry is going to weaken the fight against terrorists? He couldn't do any worse than Our Great Leader, who decided to ignore terrorists until they crashed some airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and then ignore them again while invading Iraq under false pretences. The Bush ads also claim that John Kerry "would have sought U.N. approval before defending America." That's funny, I thought the war in Iraq was all about liberating the Iraqi people, not defending America from Iraq's deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. At least, that's what the GOP told me last week. The fact is, Team Bush has so far seriously distorted and lied about Kerry's positions and voting record in the Senate. And now they're the ones complaining about negative campaigning? Looks like the GOP just can't handle the truth.
So John Kerry's plan is to "weaken the fight against terrorists," eh? Then what the hell was the White House doing when it turned down the chance to kill known terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi - a Jordanian militant who has been blamed for 700 deaths in Iraq - and turn down the chance not once but three times? NBC News recently revealed that the White House had the opportunity to strike Zarqawi in June 2002, October 2002, and January 2003, and each time they refused a plan to take him out. Why? According to former NSC member and terrorism expert Roger Cressey, "People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the presidents policy of preemption against terrorists." Interestingly, the White House is beginning a "media blitz" this week to argue that "the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was essential to combating global terrorism and making the United States safer," according to the Washington Post. Hmm, really? According to NBC News, "Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawis operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam." So they let the terrorists go, and now Zarqawi is reputedly responsible for 700 deaths in post-Saddam Iraq. And this is combating global terrorism and making America safer... how?
Meanwhile, the row about Bush's earlier campaign ads - showing the burning World Trade Center Towers and the body of a firefighter being carried from the wreckage - continues. First it was revealed that the firefighters featured in Bush's ad were actually paid actors (don't worry, the dead body was a real firefighter), then RNC chief Ed Gillespie decided to attack the families of 9/11 victims who found the ads distasteful. Those who protested the ads were only a "small segment of those who are very anti-war, not only anti-war in Iraq but were opposed to the military removal of the Taliban from Afghanistan," said Gillespie. According to the New York Daily News, "He cited a press conference by an anti-war group called 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and noted the event involved Moveon.org, which is running ads bashing Bush." I get it, so not only do these families have no feelings at all, they're also part of the vast left-wing conspiracy. Uh, bullshit, according to victims' relatives who are not involved with Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. "I'm not anti-war on terrorism, and I'm pro-Bush and everybody knows it," said Jack Lynch, "I still think that neither party... should be using images of 9/11 for political gain." Sorry Jack, I have a feeling you're going to be sadly disappointed.
First he opposed the 9/11 commission, then he supported it. Next he said he was only going to give the commission an hour of his time, then last week he relented. "Nobody's watching the clock," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan. And while an hour is "a reasonable period of time to set aside for a sitting president of the United States," McClellan also said that, "Certainly a sitting President has many great responsibilities to tend to; none more important for this President than acting to prevent attacks like September 11th from ever happening again on American soil." None, that is, except for the lure of cow milking and pig racing - Dubya did manage to find time in his really-hectic-but-I-guess-I-can-fit-in-five-minutes-for-the-9/11-commission schedule to visit the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last week. But never mind that. Scott McClellan also told the press last week that "I certainly hope that people don't politicize [the 9/11 commission report]. This is too important to become politicized." Hmph, a bit late for that now, isn't it?
And so it was onward and upward for Bush and his "too important to become politicized" 9/11 antics. Last week Our Great Leader visited Eisenhower Park on Long Island to attend a ground-breaking ceremony for a 9/11 memorial - and then held a $1.6 million fundraiser in the very same park that very same evening. According to the Washington Post, "Big money-raisers munched on filet mignon as they waited for a handshake with the president." How tasteful. Interestingly, workers at the park spent a good portion of the day making sure that Dubya's feet wouldn't get muddy - apparently the Secret Service gave orders that "The president's feet are not to touch the dirt" when he appeared at the ground-breaking ceremony. And so "large crews drawn from all county parks" were assigned to lay down asphalt and wood chips. What can I say? I guess George W. Bush may have blood on his hands, but at least he doesn't have shit on his shoes.
Last week we noted a quote by Tommy Fee of Rescue Squad 270 in Queens, who said of Bush's 9/11 campaign ads, "It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place." Well this week we can reveal the name of at least one of the people who "stole things out of the place" - step forward Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. According to USA Today, Rumsfeld apparently has "a shard of metal from the jetliner that struck the Pentagon on a table in his office and shows it to people as a reminder of the tragedy." You know, just in case people forget what happened. "Hey Mr. Rumsfeld, what's that?" "It's a shard of metal from the jetliner that hit the Pentagon on 9/11." "What? A jetliner hit the Pentagon on 9/11? I don't remember that." "It sure did." "And you have a piece of it?" "I sure do." "Jesus, Mr. Rumsfeld, you sick bastard."
Hypocrisy alert! Clear Channel Communications, who recently pulled Howard Stern off several stations nationwide, seems to be picking and choosing its battles in the face of the FCC's recent indecency crackdown. It turns out that Britney Spears' latest tour - that's Vegas-marrying, Madonna-frenching Britney Spears - is actually being sponsored by Clear Channel. The stage show apparently features male dancers' heads "being pulled into Spears' crotch" and "writhing couples in beds held center stage while silhouettes of rutting performers [play] on screens above." But then, Britney Spears hasn't said anything bad about George W. Bush, has she?
The Bush Administration
Just one more quick example of the lying, crooked behavior of the Bush adminstration this week - it was revealed last week that "The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan," according to Kinght-Ridder. Now that's what I call open government! The White House told Congress that their Medicare plan would cost $395 billion, heading off a revolt among conservative representatives who said they would vote against the plan if it cost more than $400 billion. But apparently "the administration's own analysts in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had concluded repeatedly that the drug benefit could cost upward of $100 billion more than that." So they told the guy in charge of that estimate, Richard S. Foster, that if he revealed it, he would be fired. Now what was that about returning honor and integrity to the White House? I seem to have a vague and distant memory of somebody saying that once...
And finally, there are more cracks appearing in the coalition of conservative Christians and moderate Republicans which got Bush close enough to steal the election in 2000. Last week the Log Cabin Republicans began an anti-federal marriage amendment campaign, focusing on TV ads which show Dick Cheney talking about his position on gay marriage during the 2000 vice-presidential debate with Joe Lieberman. Says Cheney in the ad, "That matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that's appropriate. I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area." That's odd, I could have sworn Dick was supporting a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage last week. Must be one of those "flip-flop" things I've been hearing so much about lately. In related news, Lynne Cheney's 1981 "lesbian romance novel" Sisters just got a much-needed facelift, debuting as a play at the New York Theatre Workshop last week. The play was of course not entirely serious, and with dialog such as "Let us go away together, away from the anger and the imperatives of men. We shall find ourselves a secluded bower where they dare not venture. There will be only the two of us, and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement..." to work with, it's easy to understand why. So there you have it - the Cheneys, one a staunch supporter of keeping gay marriage a matter for the states, uh, I mean, strongly in favor of a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, the other an acclaimed author of soft-core lesbian porn. Do I need a punchline for this one?