Democratic Underground

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 221)

November 7, 2005
Frist Of Fury Edition

Last week was a great week for Democrats. But for Bill Frist (1) ... not so much. He and other conservative idiots in the U.S. Senate were left crying like little babies as Give 'Em Hell Harry Reid and the Democrats took a stand for accountability. Something which, incidentally, Frist's friend Pat Roberts (2) has been fighting against for more than a year. Meanwhile, Samuel Alito and Friends (3) tried to play the racism card, Mike Brown (4) was exposed to be even more of a moron than we previously thought, and Scooter Libby (7), well, um, you'll see... Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1Bill Frist crybaby crybaby crybaby
What pleasure! What joy! What an utter, utter buffoon! If you saw Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Martha) almost crap himself live on television last week, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If you didn't, here's the deal...

Several times over the past year, Republicans have publicly promised to carry out an investigation into how the Bush administration used intelligence before the invasion of Iraq. But somehow the GOP kept forgetting about it. Last week, sick of Republican stonewalling and emboldened by the recent Libby indictment, Democrats decided that it was time to take action.

The fun began when, during a speech on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Harry Reid suddenly invoked Rule 21. Rule 21 forces the Senate into closed session and is normally only invoked through mutual agreement between the two parties - but not this time. Oh no. This time Harry Reid picked up ol' Rule 21 and swung it like a club straight into Bill Frist's nuts.

When Frist appeared before reporters shortly afterwards to discuss the situation, he looked a bit like someone really had just given him a swift kick in the balls. Red-faced and spluttering, the senator could barely contain his outrage.

"About 10 minutes ago or so, the United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership!" he raved. "Never have I been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution. They have no conviction. They have no principles. They have no ideas. This is a pure stunt. This is an affront to me personally. It's an affront to our leadership. It's an affront to the United States of America!"

whAAAAAAA!!! Someone get that man a diaper.

Frist went on to complain that back in the good old days, the Senate Minority Leader would never have been so rude or discourteous. Why, if Harry Reid had been a better person he would have given Bill Frist the opportunity to stop the Democrats from invoking Rule 21 in the first place. That would have been the gentlemanly thing to do.

Oh Bill, why are you such tool?

The good news is that it all worked out. Harry Reid and the Dems obviously got a brand new spine for Fitzmas, the Republicans were - finally - forced to agree upon a schedule for the intelligence investigation, and Bill Frist ended up looking like a complete moron.

Good times!

2Pat Roberts flip-flopping covering your ass
Meet Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Stonywall), the guy who's been doing everything he can to impede the aforementioned investigation. As I'm sure you can imagine, it's been a real top priority of his for the last year or so.

The investigation is known as "Phase Two" because it's the second part of the Senate's look at how America ended up invading Iraq. The first part - the Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq - was completed last year. Phase Two is far more politically sensitive because it deals with the way the Bush administration used that intelligence, and with a majority of Americans now favoring impeachment for Bush if he lied the country into war - well, let's just say Pat Roberts has got his reasons for stalling.

Unfortunately for Pat he appears to have gotten himself caught in his own spin machine. Last week Media Matters pointed some rather glaring discrepancies in his statements over the past year or so.

For example, on July 9, 2004, Roberts called the investigation "one of my top priorities." Then on July 13, 2004, he said the investigation would focus on:

1) "what the intelligence community said in regards to what would happen after the military mission was over"; 2) the role of the Defense Department's Office of Special Plans, led by undersecretary Douglas Feith; and 3) "the use question" in which the committee would "look at the public statements of any administration official and public official ... and compare it with the intelligence and what we have found out in regards to the inquiry."

So much for that. In March, Roberts said that the investigation was "on the back burner," and wrote that, "I don't think there should be any doubt that we have now heard it all regarding prewar intelligence. I think that it would be a monumental waste of time to replow this ground any further."

Finally, in April, Tim Russert reminded Roberts that he had made a "firm commitment" to complete the investigation. Roberts replied, "Yeah, we're going to do that, Tim."

So you see? It's right at the top of his list of things to do. Just underneath "fly to the moon," "win an Olympic gold medal," and "star in a Broadway musical."

3Samuel Alito and Friends excessive spin
Let's cut right to the chase: Bush's new Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is a right-wing nutjob. How do I know? Because this is what Focus on the Family leader James "Spongebob" Dobson said about him last week:

We are extremely pleased by President Bush's selection of Judge Samuel Alito, who has earned the respect of colleagues in both parties for his legal acumen and courtroom demeanor. As a federal judge for the last 15 years, Judge Alito has demonstrated that he understands the role of the judiciary is to interpret existing law in light of the Constitution, not make new law in service to a personal political agenda.

And if Dobson's saying that, you know something is up.

But it's not just the Dobsons of this world who are carrying water for Samuel Alito. Alito's judicial philosophy is so close to that of Antonin Scalia that he is often known as "Scalito" - a rather clever play on words indicating that he is a "little Scalia."

However, a rather clever play on words to some is apparently head-explodingly insulting to others.

Last week Democrats circulated a memo explaining the reasons why Alito should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court. One of the items on the memo discussed Alito's failure to gain convictions against twenty mobsters after the longest criminal trial in U.S. history. Here's the relevant section:

Alito Embarrassed Government by Failing to Obtain Crucial Mafia Conviction
U.S. Attorney Alito Failed to Obtain Conviction of 20 Mobsters, Saying "You Can't Win Them All." Federal law enforcement agencies sustained a major rebuff in their anti-mafia campaign with the August 1988 acquittal of all 20 defendants accused of making up the entire membership of the Lucchese family in the New Jersey suburbs of New York. The verdict ended what was believed to be the nation's longest federal criminal trial and according to the Chicago Tribune, dealt the government a "stunning defeat." Samuel Alito, the US Attorney on the case, said, "Obviously we are disappointed but you realize you canít win them all." Alito also said he had no regrets about the prosecution but in the future would try to keep cases "as short and simple as possible." Alito continued, "I certainly donít feel embarrassed and I donít think we should feel embarrassed." [Guardian, 8/29/88; Chicago Tribune, 8/27/88; UPI, 8/26/88]

Pretty lame huh? Botching "the nation's longest federal criminal trial" certainly doesn't sound like a good qualification. And bear in mind that this was just one of fifteen items on the memo.

But for some reason Chris Matthews of Hardball fame decided to read between the lines and come to a conclusion that nobody else but Matt Drudge and Orin Hatch managed to reach: because Alito screwed up a really important criminal case, Democrats hate Italian-Americans. Matthews went ballistic on his show, calling the memo "disgusting" and making the utterly bizarre allegation that by noting one of Alito's grandest failures as a prosecutor, Democrats had racist intentions.

Personally I think DUer louis_c said it best when he commented, "I'm A 100%, Union Made, Italian-American and the Last Thing I Need is F*cking Matt Drudge or Orin Hatch defending my heritage ... Save me your patronizing bull-shit. Who the F*ck do you think you're kidding?"

Well quite.

4Mike Brown dumb dumb dumb
Eeww! He's like a bad smell you just can't get rid of. Last week more of Mike Brown's Katrina shenanigans were revealed when new emails - sent between government officials during the crisis - were released to the public. We noted in Idiots 219 that Brown's response to FEMA official Marty Bahamonde was, shall we say, underwhelming. But now the full horror of Brown's cavalier attitude toward the unfolding disaster has been unveiled - and it's not pretty.

For example, in response to Bahamonde's desperate August 31 email which read in part, "Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical ... many will die," Brown replied, "Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?"

And then there was this exchange between Brown and FEMA deputy director of public affairs Cindy Taylor, regarding Brown's appearance on the Today show:

Taylor: Sunday August 29, 7:19 a.m. My eyes must certainly be deceiving me. You look fabulous - and I'm not talking the makeup.

Brown: 7:52 a.m. I got it at Nordsstroms ... Are you proud of me? Can I quit now? Can I go home?

Or how about this email to assistant Tillie James:

Brown: Monday Aug. 30, 10:52 p.m. Do you know of anyone who dog-sits?

Or how about this email to friend Betty Guhman:

Brown: Friday Sept. 2, 8:37 a.m. Last hurrah was supposed to have been Labor Day. I'm trapped now, please rescue me.

To put the icing on the cake you'll probably be interested to know that Mike "Heckuva Job" Brownie is not only still on the FEMA payroll, but his contract was recently extended by a further 30 days. Yes, when it comes to corruption and incompetence, you just can't beat the Bush administration.

Much as you might like to.

5George W. Bush dumb
Our Great Leader was in Argentina last week, where he was greeted by adoring crowds:

...cheering supporters:

...and a very important economic policy summit which the president seemed really keen to attend:

6George W. Bush hypocrisy
But of course George isn't going to be interested in boring foreign policy discussions when he's got so much exciting work to do at home. Last week Our Great Leader demonstrated that he was committed to upholding the many promises he has made to return honor and integrity to the White House.

In case you've forgotten those promises, allow me to refresh your memory. For example, on October 15, 2001, he said:

Let me say a few words about important values we must demonstrate while all of us serve in government. First, we must always maintain the highest ethical standards. We must always ask ourselves not only what is legal, but what is right. There is no goal of government worth accomplishing if it cannot be accomplished with integrity.

Second, I want us to set an example of humility. As you work for the federal government there is no excuse for arrogance, and there’s never a reason to show disrespect for others. A new tone in Washington must begin with decency and fairness. I want everyone who represents our government to be known for these values.

And on January 22, 2001, he said:

First, we must remember the high standards that come with high office. This begins with careful adherence to the rules. I expect every member of this administration to stay well within the boundaries that define legal and ethical conduct. This means avoiding even the appearance of problems. This means checking and, if need be, doublechecking that the rules have been obeyed. This means never compromising those rules. No one in the White House should be afraid to confront the people they work for, for ethical concerns. And no one should hesitate to confront me, as well. We’re all accountable to one another. And above all, we’re all accountable to the law and to the American people.

So in the wake of the Scooter Libby indictment and the current scandals swirling around the White House, what is Our Great Leader to do? Good news! He has a plan.

It seems that George's administration didn't pay much attention to his original requests for humility and decency and ethics, so he's putting his foot down and sending them back to school. Last week it was announced that George W. Bush has ordered White House staffers to "attend mandatory briefings beginning next week on ethical behavior and the handling of classified material," according to the Washington Post.

Phew - just in the nick of time!

6Scooter Libby sex bear
Sure, we all know about Scooter Libby's criminal indictment for perjury, making false statements, and obstruction of justice - but did you know that the former chief of staff to the vice president is also a published author?

Yes, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is the proud father of The Apprentice, a novel published in 1996 which, according to The New Yorker, "tells the tale of Setsuo, a courageous virgin innkeeper who finds himself on the brink of love and war."

The Apprentice isn't exactly a must-read for the "traditional conservative values" set, mind you. It features incest, bestiality, and all manner of dirty fantasies. Check out this short excerpt:

At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest.

Um... okay.

8Donald Rumsfeld covering your ass excessive spin
It hasn't received much coverage in the mainstream media - at least not in America anyway - but it's currently reckoned that about 200 of the inmates at Guantanamo Bay are taking part in a hunger strike which is eliciting concern from the International Red Cross.

Why are they doing this? Because they want to be treated in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions. Best of luck with that one.

Of course the military have put their own spin on the situation, calling the hunger strike a "voluntary fast," with a mere 26 participants. 21 of those participants have apparently been hospitalized for "assisted feedings" via a tube placed up the nose and down the throat. According to The Nation:

...someone committed to self-starvation could easily remove such a tube, if he had any freedom of movement. So we can surmise that there is a line of twenty-one hospital beds, each with a prisoner held tight in four-point restraints. His head must be strapped down, immobile, and forcible sedation seems probable. Hardly the image evoked by the term "assisted feeding."

Thank goodness Donald Rumsfeld is here to explain the situation more clearly. Last week he told reporters, "There are a number of people who go on a diet where they don't eat for a period and then go off of it at some point. And then they rotate and other people do that."

So let me get this straight... down at Six Flags Guantanamo Bay the inmates have "never been treated better;" in fact we're feeding them so much honey-glazed chicken and lemon-baked fish that every so often they decide to go on a diet!

George Orwell must be vomiting in his grave.

9Doug Forrester photo-opping photo-opping
It's crunch time for Doug Forrester (R) and Jon Corzine (D) in the race for governor of New Jersey, and Forrester is looking a little the worse for wear. As of October 30 he was trailing Corzine by nine percentage points, 54-42.

So what's a gubernatorial hopeful to do when faced with such troubling poll numbers on the eve of the election? If you're Doug Forrester the answer is simple - just buy yourself some support.

Last week it was revealed that Forrester allegedly offered New Jersey residents $20 apiece to "hold up campaign signs and cheer him on" at a recent photo-op, according to the Star-Ledger. Now that's just plain sad.

But that's not all - see, after Forrester finished the photo-op and buggered off on his campaign bus, the crowd found out that they wouldn't be getting $20 after all... unless they showed up outside his radio debate that night to do a bit more cheering. Cue one very pissed-off crowd.

You know, this is almost as dumb as the time Bret Schundler published a photo of himself standing in front of cheering supporters, only to be ridiculed when it was revealed that the photo had been maniuplated and the supporters actually belonged to Howard Dean (see Idiots 200). What is it with New Jersey conservatives?

10Joey Dauben dumb
And finally... the idea of politicians metaphorically prostituting themselves is not new. But Joey Dauben, a 24-year-old running for Congress in Texas, recently decided to take the GOP in an interesting direction by literally prostituting himself. Dauben came up with the idea of raising campaign dollars by going on dates with local residents - yes, just $25 could buy you a fun-filled evening of dancing, bowling, or miniature golf.

Dauben was forced to drop the plan after a barrage of criticism, but one has to wonder where this might have gone if he'd seen it through. Just think - if a date went well, Dauben could have had an entire menu of further donation options available. $50 for a discreet fumble in the back of a taxi on the way home, $75 for a make-out session on his doorstep, $100 if he invites you in for coffee... I wonder what you'd have to do to get "Pioneer" status?

You know, there could be something to this idea - personally I think Dauben should ignore the critics and press on with his plan. And if I'm not mistaken there's a currently-unemployed conservative out there who would make an absolutely perfect campaign manager:

See you next week!

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