The Ronald Reagan Top
Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 159)
June 14, 2004
Multiple Reagasm Edition
In honor of the Gipper's passing we have decided to rename this week's Top Ten Conservative Idiots, "The Ronald Reagan Top Ten Conservative Idiots." And now on with the show. In the number one slot we have George W. Reagan (1) - I mean, George W. Bush - who is trying to attach himself to the legacy of Ronald Reagan in much the same way a horny cocker spaniel tries to attach itself to your pantleg. He's got some competition though in the form of The Ronathon (2), a loose-knit group of individuals with a common goal: brown-nosing the Gipper. But it's not all Reagan this week - the Bush Administration (3) is in trouble over torture, the State Department (4) is in trouble over terrorism, and the Pentagon (7) is in trouble over Iraq. Closing out the list, George W. Bush (9) went to the G8 summit (picture gallery!), and Jonathan Cunningham (10) sells his wife's underpants. Enjoy, and as usual, don't forget the key!
And so at long last, George W. Bush has found a flag-draped coffin he doesn't mind standing next to. In fact, Our Great Leader was practically clambering into Reagan's casket last week in a vain effort to get some of that Gipper Goodness to rub off on him. Team Bush replaced their campaign website's home page with a tribute to the ex-president, and when I say "tribute," I of course mean a desperate attempt to confuse people into believing that Little George is the second coming of Saint Ronnie. Fat chance. Somehow I don't think we're going to be seeing Bush referred to in the history books as "The Great Communicator." (Note: the Bush campaign has taken down their tribute, but you can see it here.) Meanwhile, the Misadministration were out in force spreading the word. Colin Powell said "I think there's a similarity," between Bush and Reagan, Martin Anderson (chief domestic adviser in the Reagan White House) said "everything Bush talks about was something Ronald Reagan had tried to do," (what, Reagan wanted to invade Iraq? I thought he was selling Saddam weapons) and don't be surprised if all we hear from now till November is exhortations to "win one for the Gipper" by voting for Bush. Not that the Republicans would ever consider playing politics with Reagan's death, of course. But for all these wonderful comparisons, perhaps we should heed the words of someone who knew Ronald Reagan better than most - his son, Ron Jr. What's Ron's opinion? "My father crapped bigger ones than George Bush." Case closed.
So what's it to be? How are we going to immortalize Ronnie, and what's the most inappropriate way of doing it? Yes, the Ronathon was in full effect last week as right-wingers competed to demonstrate how far they could get their noses up Dutch's backside. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky wants to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif) wants Reagan on the $20, and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) prefers to replace John F. Kennedy on the 50-cent piece. Meanwhile Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has suggested renaming the Pentagon to "the Ronald Reagan National Defense Building." (Seriously.) Some in Congress are even trying to get the 25-year waiting period removed so they can place a memorial on the National Mall. But why stop at the National Mall? Grover Norquist and the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project want to put a monument to the Gipper in every county in the United States (there's more than 3000 of them). I hope they're paying for it. And let's not forget putting Ronnie's head on Mount Rushmore, of course, which is a very popular suggestion. Tell you what, why don't we rename the Statue of Liberty after him - or better still, replace Lady Liberty's head with Ronald's, complete with cowboy hat? Or we could carefully set massive forest fires in the west which when viewed from space form a majestic flaming image of his smiling face. We could call it the Ronald Reagan Tree Is A Tree Clean Air Monument. Because you know, I bet that's what Ronald Reagan would have wanted.
John Ashcroft was in hot water last week when he potentially placed himself in contempt of Congress by refusing to release a January 2002 memo which says that George W. Bush is above the law and can torture whomever he damn well pleases. "I believe it is essential to the operation of the executive branch that the president have the opportunity to get information from the attorney general that is confidential," said Ashcroft. But he didn't invoke executive privilege, so he was basically saying, "oh, and by the way, I'm above the law too." The memo itself was 56 pages long, and according to Reuters said that George W. Bush had "'complete authority over the conduct of war,' overriding international treaties such as a global treaty banning torture, the Geneva Conventions and a U.S. federal law against torture." That's right folks - Our Great Leader doesn't need to abide by such petty out-dated concepts as "the law" because he's defending our freedoms. Never mind the fact that authorizing torture places George W. Bush in the same league as Augusto Pinochet. Because don't forget - even though we're doing the same things the evil-doers are doing, we know that it's wrong, and that makes us better than them. Um, or something. And anyway, I bet it's what Ronald Reagan would have wanted.
Mind you, all this torture must be working because according to a State Department report, terrorist attacks have drastically declined in the last two years. All hail George W. Bush, Inconveniencer of Terrorists! Mind you, in order to actually believe that terrorist attacks have drastically declined, you'd also have to believe that the State Department's report is accurate, and if you believe that then - ha ha! - sucker! Yes, the Associated Press revealed last week that the State Department was "wrong in reporting terrorism declined worldwide last year... Instead, both the number of incidents and the toll in victims increased sharply, the department said." Wow! Incredible... they released a report claiming that terrorism had decreased sharply, and in fact it had increased sharply! Impressive. So Team Bush are running around trying to claim that John Kerry would be "weak on terrorism." Yet the Bush Administration is proven to be weak on terrorism, but doesn't even know it because the State Department's reports are wrong. I'm so glad the grown-ups are in charge. Colin Powell had a good explanation though, saying, "Errors crept in that frankly we did not catch." Oh, well that should make everyone feel much better.
While we're on the subject of lies being told about John Kerry (refer to Idiots 151 for previous Crashcart campaign hypocrisy), check this out - it seems that Dick Cheney wasn't as big an admirer of Ronald Reagan as he pretended to be at last week's state funeral. See, when Cheney was a congressman back in the 1980s, he criticized Reagan for "tolerating a decision-making process in the upper reaches of the Administration that lacked integrity and accountability." Cheney also said that if Reagan "doesn't really cut defense, he becomes the No. 1 special pleader in town," and that "you've got to hit defense." But wait a second - I thought that cutting defense spending is bad - at least, Team Bush is constantly criticizing John Kerry for it. Well that's the funny part - see, actually it turns out that when Cheney was George H. W. Bush's secretary of defense, he did everything he could to cut defense spending - and bragged about it. In fact, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, he "presided over the biggest cutbacks in defense programs in modern history." Yup, Dick actively took part in "downsizing" Reagan's legacy. Who'da thunk it?
It's a shame that Ronnie's demise is keeping news from Iraq off the front page at the moment though, because things are looking up over there. For example, while Americans are paying record prices for gasoline, Iraqis are only paying five cents a gallon! Yes, all thanks to "hundreds of millions of dollars subsidies bankrolled by American taxpayers," according to the Associated Press. That's right, a three-month supply of gas for the Iraqi people costs America half a billion dollars. Gee, I hope nobody said before the invasion that the occupation of Iraq would pay for itself. That would make them look pretty stupid now. Anyway, I guess there is one way George W. Bush is similar to the Gipper - he's firmly on the "deficits to infinity and beyond" bandwagon. I'm sure it's - *sniff* - what Reagan would have wanted.
But like the subsidized oil, the good news keeps flowing. The Associated Press recently revealed that "Misguided U.S. training of Iraqi police contributed to the country's instability and has delayed getting enough qualified Iraqis on the streets to ease the burden on American forces." Wait a minute, that's not good news either. Who said that? Some commie-pinko-America-hater? Uh, not quite. These are the thoughts of Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, the head of armed forces training in Iraq. "We've had the wrong training focus - on individual cops rather than their leaders," he told the AP last week. Well, gee, uh, I guess we hand the country over in two weeks or so... isn't it a bit late to be telling us this? "They basically quit. They told us, 'We're an army for external defense and you want us to go to Fallujah?' That was a personal mistake on my part." Whoa, whoa, hold on. This is terrible. You've been doing this for a year, and the whole thing is a flop? How do you explain this? "We thought we were going to be nice and comfortable in a benign environment and rebuild this country." Oh, right.
How low can the fundie nutjobs go? Family planners Causeway Medical Clinic filed a lawsuit against William Graham of Louisiana last week, because Graham has allegedly been running a fake referral service named Causeway Center for Women. The lawsuit claims that Graham has been tricking women who call him (confusing his "center" with the real one) by telling them he will refer them to a doctor who performs abortions, but then repeatedly rescheduling them until it's too late to get a legal abortion. In some cases women have apparently foregone prenatal care - because they think they're going to get an abortion - and then have been forced to carry the baby to term. What a scumbag.
George W. Bush
George W. Bush attended the G8 summit last week.
And finally, in order to end this edition as far from Ronald Reagan as we possibly can, we're going all the way across the Atlantic to Great Britain, where Conservative Party candidate Jonathan Cunningham was recently "dragged before local party supremos," according to The Register. Why? Because the Tories weren't too happy when they found out that he'd registered a website in order to sell his wife's used underwear. The website - www.pantopia.biz - (here's all that's left in Google's cache) - was created with the full cooperation of his wife, who appeared topless on the site with some of her friends and wrote "I really do get off on my sexual openness. All the girls including my horny, sexy self are real amateurs that get their sexual kicks from getting their tits out." And how did the local Conservative Party find out about Cunningham's enterprise? He unfortunately registered his website using the same address as the one listed in "Tory election literature." Whoops. See you next week!
Addendum: It appears that Rush Limbaugh, popular radio talk show host and avowed defender of conservative family values, ended his third marriage this week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Rush during this difficult time, which comes hot on the heels of his recent problems with drug addiction and troubles with the police. Hopefully this latest blow will not prevent Rush continuing his daily three-hour lectures on personal responsibility, morality, and why his problems are all Bill Clinton's fault.