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The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 204)

July 4, 2005
Independunce Day Edition

The administrators of Democratic Underground would like to wish a Happy Fourth of July to all of the visitors to our website. As we celebrate the birth of our nation at cookouts and fireworks displays with family and friends across the nation, and as we count our many blessings and honor the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, take a moment to reflect on the fact that the closest advisor to the leader of our country is very likely a traitorous piece of excrement who deliberately undermined our national security for partisan political gain and/or plain old vindictiveness. And then he has the gall to call us unpatriotic. Enjoy, and as usual don't forget the key!

1Benedict Karl Rove just plain evil prison helping the terrorists cowardice
Karl Rove's late-breaking idiocy has forced us to create an unprecedented "zeroth" slot this week, but what better number than zero to describe the man some refer to as "Bush's Brain?" It looks like Karl is about to finally learn the meaning of karma; he was implicated last week as the man who leaked the name of covert operative Valerie Plame.

On "The McLaughlin Group" last week, MSNBC analyst Lawrence O'Donnell revealed that "least two authoritative sources have confirmed that one name is top White House mastermind Karl Rove," according to Editor & Publisher.

If true, Rove is guilty of a crime which former RNC chief Ed Gillespie has agreed is "worse than Watergate." And here's how George H.W. Bush described those who out CIA agents:

Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.

So there you have it. Is Karl Rove the most insidious of traitors? Is he guilty of a crime "worse than Watergate?" And, incidentally, what did the president know and when did he know it? Looks like things are about to get interesting...

1George W. Bush photo-opping
So what was up with the stony silence which greeted Bush's speech last week? Many were expecting a re-run of the "Mission Accomplished" extravaganza with a throng of soldiers cheering on Our Great Leader - look, the troops love him! How can he be such a screw up when he commands such respect from the armed forces?

Funny that... because on Tuesday night Bush was greeted with absolutely no applause whatsoever. No cheering. No "Hoo-ahs." Nothing. There was some talk that the soldiers had been ordered not to applaud because this was a somber, serious policy speech (which of course it wasn't, but we'll get to that in a minute). However, the White House acknowledged that the speech was intended to run for 40 minutes, which included breaks for applause. Bush zipped through it in 28 minutes.

There was one pause for applause towards the end of the speech, when Bush read the line, "We will stay in the fight until the fight is done." But according to the New York Times, "Terry Moran, an ABC White House correspondent, said on the air on Tuesday night that the first to clap appeared to be a woman who works for the White House, arranging events." Oh well.

2George W. Bush excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin hypocrisy helping the terrorists
Okay, but what about the substance of the speech? Well, a curious thing happened last Tuesday night - Bush came up with yet another rationale for the Iraq war. And it's the most ridiculous one yet.

Forget what you were told before. Forget you were told that Saddam was involved in 9/11; threatened to attack us with his chemical and biological weapons; came this close to building a nuclear bomb; could strike the United States with unmanned aerial vehicles. Forget you were told that the Iraqi people were begging us to liberate them, and would dance in the streets once our troops arrived. Forget you were told that the whole thing would take six weeks - six months at a maximum. Forget you were told that it would hardly cost us a dime.

And forget that any of this was Bush's fault. Sure, his administration was pumping 24/7 lies and misjudgments and propaganda down the American people's throats - but he was just trying to protect us from the WMDs. I mean, the terrorists.

So now where are we? Well apparently Iraq is a real live training ground for terrorists. Apparently, by invading a country which had nothing to do with 9/11 (except in the mind of George W. Bush and friends), we have stoked the flames of jihad and emboldened radical Islamists all over the world. Apparently Iraq is home to more and more foreign fighters, although - and this is a piece of luck - we can now "fight them over there instead of fighting them over here." Assuming they have no concept of multi-tasking, that is.

And so we must stay the course, and defeat the terrorists. Or, as David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet.org put it: "Apparently the disaster that Bush has created in Iraq is now the justification for having created it."

Here's one of the highlights of Bush's speech:

BUSH: The lesson of this experience is clear: The terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom. The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi, and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like Bin Laden. For the sake of our nation's security, this will not happen on my watch.

I'll tell you what - if we've learned anything since 9/11, it's how not to fight a war on terrorism. It seems that the only people who haven't noticed that the war is creating more terrorists and making the world a more dangerous place are the people in charge of running the war. That's not good. With all the tough lessons the Bush administration has learned in the last two years, you'd think they'd be experts by now - or at least have some kind of plan. But no, the lesson they appear to have learned is that if something's a really shitty idea, you should never stop doing it.

And what about bringing freedom to the Iraqi people? Here's what Bush had to say about that:

BUSH: In the past year, we have made significant progress. One year ago today, we restored sovereignty to the Iraqi people. In January 2005, more than 8 million Iraqi men and women voted in elections that were free and fair, and took time on - and took place on time. We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country.

Well that's good to know. But hold on a minute. From earlier in the speech:

BUSH: The commander in charge of coalition operations in Iraq - who is also senior commander at this base - General John Vines, put it well the other day. He said: "We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us."

So that's the bottom line. "We'll fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." Hey Iraqi people, you don't mind if we use your country to fight the terrorists that we brought there do you? You'll get that "freedom" we were talking about right after we've killed every last one of you, er, I mean, them.

3George W. Bush excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin fearmongering
The other great theme of Bush's speech, was, of course, 9/11. It's common knowledge that Bush's favorite way to score political points is to hump the pantlegs of the 3000 Americans who died on his watch, but last Tuesday he took it to ridiculous new extremes.

In a speech about a war on a country which had nothing to do with 9/11, Bush managed to conjure up the image of the twin towers no fewer than five times:

"The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. The war reached our shores on September the 11th, 2001..."

"After September the 11th, I made a commitment to the American people: This nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will defend our freedom. We will take the fight to the enemy..."

"The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th..."

"They are trying to shake our will in Iraq, just as they tried to shake our will on September the 11th, 2001..."

"After September the 11th, 2001, I told the American people that the road ahead would be difficult..."

All this in a speech about the quagmire in Iraq. Now what was it that Bush said previously about Saddam Hussein and 9/11? Ah yes:

"We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with... September 11th." - George W. Bush, 2003

Hmm. Well it sounds like Dubya is a little mixed up. Maybe Disappearing Dick Cheney is more of a voice of reason on the subject of Iraq and 9/11:

"We will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who've had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11." - Dick Cheney, September 2003

"The senator has got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11." - Dick Cheney, October 2004

Oh well, I guess not.

See, here's the thing folks. You want to know why things are going badly in Iraq? It's because George W. Bush and his administration are, not to put too fine a point on it, FULL OF SHIT. Commander Cuckoo Bananas could have used his speech last week to tell some real, hard truths about the war in Iraq. Instead he filled it with yet more blather and spin, and attempted - again - to use 9/11 for political point-scoring. The good news is that the American people seem to have finally caught on.

4Robin Hayes dumb dumb
Unfortunately, while a majority of America have caught on some elected Republicans are still desperate to stoke the falsehood that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. Not long after Dubya's speech, Rep. Robin Hayes (R-Of Course) told CNN that the "evidence is clear" that the evil Iraqi dictator was behind the terrorists' plans.

After being told that no investigation has ever found any evidence that Hussein and bin Laden were in cahoots, Hayes said, "I'm sorry, but you must have looked in the wrong places." Well, that's true - if you call the 9/11 commission's final report "the wrong places" and the festering imagination of Sean Hannity "the right places."

But Hayes wasn't done there. "Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11," he said. Oh, okay - I get it now! Saddam Hussein and "people like him" ... right, right, I see. Well I guess they all had brown skin and dark hair and talked funny, so yeah. I see what you're saying. I guess we'll just have to kill them all then.

5The Pentagon covering your ass
George W. Bush ended his speech on Thursday with a call to "those watching tonight" to consider military service. Because you see, it turns out that while a substantial number of people in this country support what Bush is doing in Iraq, a significantly smaller number are interested in putting themselves or their children on the line for it.

Which is why the Pentagon has come up with a great new way to reassure the country that the military isn't in the middle of a recruitment disaster. Last week it was revealed that in June the Army met their recruitment goal "for the first time since January," according to the New York Times. Huzzah! It turns out that the Army recruited around 6,100 new members. But don't get too excited...

At the start of May, the goal was 8,050 new recruits. By the end of May that goal was reduced to 6,700. And the number of new recruits that actually came in during May was just over 5,000. So faced with this recruitment crisis the Pentagon did what any sensible organization would do - it simply lowered the target even further. June's target was 5,650 recruits.

But according to Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, there's only one number that really matters: 80,000. "The Army's fiscal 2005 goal was, is and remains 80,000 recruits," he said earlier this month. Unfortunately CBS News pointed out recently that "with only four months left in the budget year, the Army is at barely 50 percent of its goal. Recruiters would have to land more than 9,760 young men and women a month, on average, to reach the 80,000 target by the end of September."

But don't worry - faced with these dire statistics Donald Rumsfeld is stopping at nothing to solve the problem. Why, just last week he was in Daytona Florida to, uh, act as Grand Marshal for the 47th running of the Pepsi 400.


Photo: Reuters

6 Young Republicans hypocrisy hypocrisy cowardice cowardice
Of course, there are good reasons why the military is suffering from recruitment problems - despite personal pleas from the president himself, the fact is that many young people who support the war simply want other people to fight it for them. Take the Young Republicans of South Carolina, for example. While the war rages in Iraq and violence is on the rise in Afghanistan, the South Carolina GOP recently held a contest to see who could do the best impersonation of Howard Dean "scream." Question: why weren't those young Republicans down at the local recruiting office instead?

Maybe it's because they just don't give a fuck. Max Blumenthal recently attended the College Republican National Convention and asked attendees why they weren't joining the military. Collin Kelley, who said that he's "'sick and tired of people saying our troops are dying in vain,' ... rubbed his shoulder and described a nagging football injury from high school." Edward Hauser, who said "I support our country. I support our troops," also announced that, "I know that I'm going to be better staying here and working to convince people why we're there [in Iraq]. I'm a fighter, but with words."

I'll let Max tell you about Cory Bray himself:

By the time I encountered Cory Bray, a towering senior from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, the beer was flowing freely. "The people opposed to the war aren't putting their asses on the line," Bray boomed from beside the bar. Then why isn't he putting his ass on the line? "I'm not putting my ass on the line because I had the opportunity to go to the number-one business school in the country," he declared, his voice rising in defensive anger, "and I wasn't going to pass that up."

And besides, being a College Republican is so much more fun than counterinsurgency warfare. Bray recounted the pride he and his buddies had felt walking through the center of campus last fall waving a giant American flag, wearing cowboy boots and hats with the letters B-U-S-H painted on their bare chests. "We're the big guys," he said. "We're the ones who stand up for what we believe in. The College Democrats just sit around talking about how much they hate Bush. We actually do shit."

No Cory, you actually are shit.

7Flag Fellaters
Since today is Independence Day, we should probably mention that two weeks ago the House of Representatives endorsed a constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration. This is the umpteenth time the House has tried this, and so far the measure has never made it past the Senate. But in these times, the flag desecration amendment may actually stand a chance.

So the next time you see someone flying a ratty, tattered Stars & Stripes from the window of their car, make sure to let them know that they are un-American. Next time your neighbor hangs Old Glory in the front yard and leaves it there for the wind to rip to pieces, remind them that they are helping the terrorists. Next time you see someone wrapping their head or their tits or their ballsack in the Star Spangled Banner, tell them that not only are they desecrating the flag, but they look like a clown.

And the next time you see someone burning a flag in the street... ha ha! Yeah right - that happens all the time.

8Duke Cunningham boat quid pro quo
Avast! Federal agents boarded Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's yacht last week, but they weren't looking for booty - they were trying to find out if he lives there or not. It turns out that Duke Cunningham is apparently in a spot of bother - he's under investigation by "the U.S. Attorney's Offices in San Diego and Washington, D.C., the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Internal Revenue Service." Crikey.

The California Republican is in trouble because of a dubious real estate deal he made in 2003. Cunningham apparently sold his home to defense contractor Mitchell J. Wade for $1.675 million; just two months later, Wade put the house back on the market for $700,000 less than the amount he paid for it. Wade's reward? Well, his company tripled its contracts with the Defense Department. But of course, whether or not this has anything at all to do with the fat profit he handed to his friend the congressman is really anyone's guess. Although if I had to guess, I'd say that it stinks worse than stilton cheese stored in a hobo's sock.

9Jon Huntsman nepotism
While we're on the subject of really stinky things stinking up a storm, let's pay a visit to Utah's governor's mansion and say hello to Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-It's Utah What Do You Expect). Gov. Huntsman recently hired a new director of international trade and diplomacy, one Layne Palmer, at a salary of $60,000 per year. According to Palmer, his qualifications include the fact that he has "traveled extensively" and been involved in "entrepreneurial activities." Sounds, um, fishy.

And it is fishy. Before being hired as Utah's director of international trade and diplomacy, Palmer's previous job was managing NAPA Auto Parts in Tremonton. But to be fair, Palmer does have other qualifications - for example, he's the father of Gov. Huntsman's executive assistant, Jami Palmer. What a happy coincidence!

10Willis Stephens dumb
And finally, these are trying times for technophobes. Last week New York State Assemblyman Willis Stephens (R-Obviously) was reading the comments of about 300 members of his constituency on a local community message board. Mr. Stephens then wrote an email to one of his aides to inform them that he was "watching the idiots pontificate."

But how do we know what the assemblyman wrote in a private communication to one of his aides? Because unfortunately for Mr. Stephens, instead of sending the comment to the aide he accidentally posted it on the community message board, where it was promptly read by his constituents and shortly thereafter delivered to the media. Whoops. See you next week!

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