The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
July 25, 2005
Perjury and/or Obstruction of Justice Edition
House Conspirators (1) were feeling the heat last week, as as Karl
Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby were identified as two
sources for the Plame leak. George W. Bush (2) even rolled out his
nominee for the Supreme Court, John Roberts (3) in a futile attempt
to divert attention away from the scandal. Meanwhile, Orrin Hatch
(5) and Tom Tancredo (6) were both overheard using some utterly
moronic hyperbole. And for those of you who love Republican Family
Values, we've got a guy busted for roughing up his fiancee, and
another who admitted a five-year affair (but, to be fair, he swears
that he never choked his mistress).
White House Conspirators
Even a Supreme Court nomination - which was timed to try to
knock the Valerie Plame scandal off the front pages - couldn't divert
attention from the White House's machinations last week. First the
Washington Post revealed
that "A classified State Department memorandum central to a
federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer
Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked '(S)' for secret, a clear indication
that any Bush administration official who read it should have been
aware the information was classified, according to current and former
government officials." In fact, it was later
revealed that the memo was actually classified "top secret."
Meanwhile Dick Cheney's chief-of-staff Lewis "Scooter"
Libby and Karl Rove have now been identified as two of the sources
in the Plame leak case and the prosecutor in the case is apparently
looking at perjury and/or obstruction of justice charges. These
are two of the most powerful men in the White House - this scandal
the way to the top.
But there's more: it was also suggested
last week that Judith Miller's source could be none other than John
Bolton, Bush's dubious pick for ambassador to the United Nations,
who is still having difficulty getting confirmed. Not only that,
but Bolton testified before the grand jury and then somehow failed
to mention that fact in the forms he had to fill out for his
confirmation hearings. Whoops.
Finally, a panel of ex-CIA officers convened by Senate and House
George W. Bush last week for jeopardizing national security. Said
former CIA analyst Larry Johnson - a Republican, by the way - "I
wouldn't be here this morning if President Bush had done the one
thing required of him as commander in chief - protect and defend
the Constitution. The minute that Valerie Plame's identity was outed,
he should have delivered a strict and strong message to his employees."
Well quite. And now let's take a look at the strict and strong
message that the commander-in-chief actually delivered...
George W. Bush is a man of his word, a man who likes to stay
the course, a man whom some have even described as "stubborn."
But never let it be said that George W. Bush can't flip-flop with
the best of them when he wants to. Last week Our Great Leader demonstrated
just how much he cares about national security by changing his mind
about firing anyone who leaks official secrets.
Previously the White House had insisted that they would take quick
action against anyone caught leaking. In 2003, Scott McClellan,
speaking on behalf of the president, said,
"if anyone in this administration was responsible for the leaking
of classified information, they would no longer work in this administration."
George W. Bush himself said
in 2004 that anyone who was involved in the leaking of Valerie Plame's
identity would be fired.
But now the bar has been raised. Bush said
last week that "If somebody committed a crime, they will no
longer work in my administration."
Oh, a crime now is it? Well, okay. I guess George "Honesty
And Integrity" Bush just said one thing and then completely
went back on his word, but hey. No big deal.
Mind you, perhaps Dubya should take a look at Executive Order 12958
which states that "Officers and employees of the United States
Government ... shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they
knowingly, willfully, or negligently ... disclose to unauthorized
persons information properly classified." As Henry Waxman noted
last week, "Under the executive order, you may not wait until
criminal intent and liability are proved by a prosecutor. Instead,
you have an affirmative obligation to take 'appropriate and prompt
You almost have to feel sorry for poor old Dubya, rushing out his
Supreme Court nomination in the hope that this will all go away.
Speaking of which...
John Roberts, ah, John Roberts. What is there to say about this
guy that hasn't been said already? Well, quite a lot actually considering
that up until last week hardly anyone knew who he was. So let's
take a look at some highlights from the career of the man who could
soon be the newest Supreme Court Justice:
Overturning the Constitution
Just last week, John Roberts joined a ruling that "special
panels of military officers [could] conduct trials of terrorism
suspects detained in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay,
to the Washington Post. "The appellate court swept
aside the lower court's decision in what amounted to a general endorsement
of a legal theory that the president has broad powers under the
Constitution to decide how military detainees are to be handled
during a time of conflict."
Georgetown University professor Neal Katyal said the decision was
"contrary to 200 years of constitutional law," which "places absolute
trust in the president, unchecked by the Constitution, statutes
of Congress and long-standing treaties."
Pshaw. Surely any decision that places absolute trust in our wonderful
president can't be bad, can it?
Sure John Roberts doesn't have a very long judicial paper trail,
but before becoming a judge, his partisan
hackery was well known. Roberts served as Deputy Solicitor General
under George H.W. Bush and told the Supreme Court that Roe vs. Wade
was "wrongly decided and should be overruled." He also served as
a legal adviser to the Bush campaign during the Florida recount.
Three years later Bush appointed him to the DC Court of Appeals.
Two years after that Bush nominated him to the Supreme Court. Must
be nice to have friends in high places.
Incidentally, despite the fact that the Washington Post
says that Roberts gave him "private legal advice," Jeb
Bush now has a "fuzzy" recollection of Roberts' role in
the recount, and can't
even remember meeting him. Funny that.
A Year In The Making
to the New York Times, "For at least a year before
the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court, the
White House was working behind the scenes to shore up support for
him among its social conservative allies, quietly reassuring them
that he was a good bet for their side in cases about abortion, same-sex
marriage and public support for religion..."
"...with a series of personal testimonials about Judge Roberts,
his legal work, his Roman Catholic faith, and his wife's public
opposition to abortion, two well-connected Christian conservative
lawyers - Leonard Leo, chairman of Catholic outreach for the Republican
Party, and Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of an evangelical Protestant
legal center founded by Pat Robertson - gradually won over most
social conservatives to nearly unanimous support, even convincing
them that the lack of a paper trail was an asset that made Judge
Roberts harder to attack."
It's Not What You Know...
So let's see how the fruits of the White House's labor paid off
and check out a few endorsements of John Roberts shall we?
"[John Roberts is an] exceptionally well-qualified and impartial
nominee. Judge Roberts is widely respected for his fair judgments,
intellect and integrity." - Tony
Perkins, Family Research Council
"Judge Roberts is an unquestionably qualified attorney and
judge with impressive experience in government and the private
sector. He has demonstrated at every stop on his career path the
legal acumen, judicial temperament and personal integrity necessary
to be a Supreme Court justice." - James
Dobson, Focus on the Family
"The President promised to nominate an individual to the
Supreme Court who will interpret, not rewrite, the Constitution.
He kept his word by nominating John Roberts. Now he needs your
encouragement." - American
"Operation Rescue supports this selection. Roberts has shown
strong conservative credentials with indications that he will
not uphold Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that decriminalized abortion."
"He's brilliant." - Rick
The Unknown Quantity
Roberts has spent only two years on the bench. His name was
being quietly pushed to right-wing groups after only one year on
the bench. He has no experience in academia.
Well heck, with that kind of background, and without knowing anything
about what he might do if he gets to the Supreme Court, I say we
just rubber-stamp his application and give him a round of applause.
After all, he has a friendly smile and such a nice haircut.
Oh, and lets not forget those adorable kiddies.
Bottom line: it would be utter insanity to allow John Roberts quick
and easy passage to a seat on the Supreme Court - especially now
that the White House is refusing
to release papers relating to his work for previous Republican
administrations. Never mind Roberts' qualifications, you only have
to look at the work he was doing before he became a judge - not
to mention the groups that are delighted at his nomination - to
know that he's a) a right-wing hack, and b) in George W. Bush's
Bush has been grooming this guy since Selection 2000 to take a
spot on the Supreme Court. That fact alone should tell you all you
need to know about John Roberts.
Last week the Bush administration was supposed to release the
second batch of photos and video taken at Abu Ghraib prison. The
administration has so far stonewalled attempts by civil libertarians
to access the pictures - which have been described
by Donald Rumsfeld as "blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane"
- but was ordered by a judge to release them on July 22. Guess what?
The administration initially claimed that they needed time to redact
the faces of the men, women and - yes - children who appear in the
torture pictures. But late on July 22 they filed a motion "requesting
a 7(F) exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information
Act to withhold law enforcement-related information in order to
protect the physical safety of individuals," according
to the Center for Constitutional Rights. Er, now they want to
protect the physical safety of individuals who have already been
If Bush is trying to create a legacy of war, conspiracy
and torture, he's doing a damn good job. Last week the White House
"threatened to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion
in next year's defense programs if it moves to regulate the Pentagon's
treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations
at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere," according
During the 2004 election, Republican attack dogs slammed John Kerry
for voting for defense spending cuts which George H.W. Bush and
Dick Cheney had proposed (of course, the attack dogs conveniently
forgot to mention that last part). But now Our Great Leader is threatening
to veto a giant defense spending bill if it means he's not allowed
to torture people any more. What's wrong with this picture?
Now it's time for a useful tip for any Republican officials
who might happen to be reading the Top 10 this week (I know they're
all big fans really). Tip: if you're going to use moronic hyperbole
to describe something, at least try to make sense. Let me
Example 1: Proper use of moronic hyperbole
Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare
indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.
- Karl Rove, June
While this is moronic hyperbole (and bullshit to boot), at least
you can understand what he's trying to say. Now let's see how not
to do it...
Example 2: Improper use moronic hyperbole
The rule has been in place for 214 years that this is the way
we confirm judges. Broken by the other side two years ago, and
the audacity of some members to stand up and say, how dare you
break this rule. It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942,
"I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb
my city? It's mine." - Rick Santorum, May
See? Now that just sounds like the crazy guy who sits next to you
on the bus.
But anyway, my point is that the misuse of moronic hyperbole by
elected officials has been getting way out of hand lately. Last
week Sen. Orrin Hatch had this
to say about left-wing opposition to the nomination of John
It's a little bit like biblical Pharisees, you know, who basically
are always trying to undermine Jesus Christ. You know, it goes
on the same way. If they can catch him in something, they can
then criticize and the outside groups will go berserk.
How bizarre. Never mind the fact that Hatch just compared John
Roberts to the Son of God - who are these "outside groups"
who went "berserk" when the Pharisees criticized Jesus?
The Judean Civil Liberties Union? People for the Galilean Way? JehovahOn.com?
I do wish Sen. Hatch would expand on this peculiar analogy so we
could all understand what the hell he's talking about.
And speaking of moronic hyperbole, here's Rep. Tom Tancredo's
answer to a large-scale terrorist attack on American soil: nuke
Mecca in retaliation. Yeah, that makes sense. First of all,
if such an attack does happen, could someone please explain to me
what the hell George W. Bush has been doing for the last four years?
I thought the world was supposed to be safer. Second, what if the
attack comes from a right-wing
domestic terrorist group? Do we still nuke Mecca? Third, is
it just me, or is it getting harder and harder to tell the extremist
Republicans apart from the extremist Muslims?
All this talk of wiping whole populations and ideologies from the
face of the earth. Will it ever end? It's unlikely with people like
Tom Tancredo in charge. I mean, here's a guy who would drop a nuke
on a city purely because of the religious makeup of the majority
of its inhabitants. And then what? Presumably Tancredo would just
keep bombing cities until he's killed anyone whom he believes is
a threat to his safety, which, going by his paranoid ramblings,
is everyone on the planet except himself.
Incidentally, Tom Tancredo is now considering running
for president. It's just my humble opinion, but he'd probably
stand a better chance if he spent more time attempting to return
to reality and less time whacking off to Tom Clancy novels.
Now let's turn to the first of another two entries in the Republican
Family Values file. Last week Will Folks, a spokesman for Gov. Mark
Sanford (R) of South Carolina, turned himself in to police and was
with criminal domestic violence. Apparently Mr. Folks showed up
at his fiancee's house, kicked the door down, and proceeded to rough
Clearly there's only one place to lay the blame in this case of
domestic violence - squarely at the feet of homosexuals. See, if
Folks hadn't felt the threat of gay marriage bearing down upon America's
shoulders, he wouldn't have kicked his fiancee's door down and shoved
her into the furniture. Surely Mr. Folks is really the victim
here. For shame.
We've always known that everything Ann Coulter writes is idiotic
right-wing crap. We now know that it isn't even her own idiotic
right-wing crap. That's right - Ann has been ripping
off other people's stuff. Consider these gems, courtesy of Rude Pundit:
Coulter: "A photo of a newborn infant with its mouth open
titled to suggest the infant was available for oral sex."
The Flummery Digest: "The title of a photo of a newborn
infant with its mouth open suggested that the infant was available
for oral sex."
Coulter: "A photo of a woman breastfeeding an infant,
titled 'Jesus Sucks.'"
The Flummery Digest: "One otherwise tame photograph of
a woman breastfeeding an infant was titled 'Jesus Sucks.'"
Coulter: "A show titled 'DEGENERATE WITH A CAPITAL D'
featuring a display of the remains of the artist's own aborted
The Flummery Digest: "'Degenerate with a Capital D'...included
'Alchemy Cabinet' by Shawn Eichman, featuring the remains of the
artist's own aborted baby."
Coulter: "Performance of giant bloody tampons, satanic
bunnies, three-foot feces and vibrators."
The Flummery Digest: "[T]he performance art of Johanna
Went...relies upon props such as giant body tampons, satanic bunnies,
three-foot turds, and dildos."
But The Flummery Digest (what the heck is a "flummery digest,"
anyway?) wasn't Ann's only source. She also stole from the Boston
Globe, Counterpoint, and a book called Art Lessons:
Learning from the Rise and Fall of Public Arts Funding.
It's kind of ironic really. Considering that it's not that difficult
to just make stuff up out of whole cloth, you'd think Ann wouldn't
have any need to steal from other people. But apparently her busy
schedule of attacking Vietnam War veterans and 9/11 victims doesn't
leave her enough time to make shit up on her own, so she's got to
plagiarize someone else's made-up shit.
It's been a while, but here's another classic from the King
of Falafel, Bill O'Reilly. Apparently poor old Bill is running out
of liberals to demonize and has now resorted to attacking Jimmy
Carter, who, last time I checked, hasn't been president since 1981.
On his radio show last week, Bill showed his love for Jimmy by announcing
that, "if Carter were president today, we'd all be speaking
Yeah right. And if George W. Bush were president today, the World
Trade Center would have been destroyed by terrorists.
And finally, here's the second of our Republican Family Values
stories. Back in Idiots 197
we noted the story of Rep. Don Sherwood, the Republican congressman
who was sued by a young woman who claimed not only that she was
having an affair with Sherwood, but that he tried to choke her during
a tryst at his Washington apartment. Sordid stuff, to be sure, and
Sherwood has vehemently denied any involvement with the woman.
That is, he denied it right up until last week when he admitted
having an affair with her for five years. Oh dear. But don't
worry - he's still denying the choking charge, calling it a "malicious
and baseless" allegation - although to be fair, he previously
called the woman a "casual acquaintance."
See, while Sherwood lied to his family, his friends and his supporters
about shacking up with a woman who wasn't his wife, only to have
to admit it when he was caught out, he's definitely telling
the truth about not choking her. See you next week!
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