Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 12)
April 2 , 2001
Lower Expectations Than Usual Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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Once again, George W. Bush finds himself at the top of the list, this time for his thoroughly laughable (and last ever) press conference. Meanwhile, Christie Whitman (3) is appearing on the list for an impressive third-straight week, pulling off the elusive "Conservative Idiot Hat Trick." Tom Delay (4) tries to hammer a nail into the campaign finance reform coffin. And John Ashcroft (7) appears to be bearing false witness.


George W. Bush - Picking this week's winner was a tough decision... aw, what am I saying? Anyone who saw GW's press conference last week should know exactly why he's at the top of the heap. Faced with slightly more difficult questions than usual from the previously-fawning press corps, George gently dissolved into a wobbling heap of embarassing stumbles and non-jokes which provoked nervous laughter from those present. The experience was not unlike watching a pack of toothless, three-legged wolves chasing an inebriated sheep. But lest we forget the "low expectations" game that the Bush administration has been playing, here are a few of the more important things Mr. Bush attempted to cover up with his thin layer of inanity last week: he suspended a rule which would have strengthened the government's ability to deny contracts to companies that have violated federal laws, he opposed Senator Lieberman's plan for immediate tax relief, he restricted the distribution of RU-486 to low-income women, he refused to aid the Middle East peace process, he pulled out of the Kyoto global warming treaty, he announced a "National Baseball Initiative", he decided that the latest reason for his tax cut is to "help children", he pissed off the Europeans, he pissed off the Japanese, he pissed off the Arabs, he pissed off the Russians, and, by God, he pissed me right off.

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Ari Fleischer - On the heels of Bush's disasterous performance last week, Ari announced that there would be no more formal press conferences. Apparently he's fed up with spinning the unbelieveable brain-rot that dribbles from his boss's flapping maw. But not to worry. The formal press conferences will be replaced with more touchy-feely "informal" press availabilities. We here at Democratic Underground imagine something along the lines of sixties-style "love-ins," whereby all the reporters hang out in a room at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel and chill with Dubya, toke Moroccan hash from exquisitely crafted bongs, drop CIA-strength acid, and mellow out to the sounds of Karl Rove's groovy sitar playing. New White House motto: "The buck stops over there somewhere, dude."


Christie Todd Whitman - Protecting the environment with extreme prejudice! "I would strongly recommend that you continue to recognize that global warming is a real and serious issue," said our environmental hero in a March 6th memo to George W. Bush, as reported in last week's Washington Post. Whitman's forceful words obviously had an effect on Bush, who proceeded to immediately renege on his campaign promise to reduce carbon dioxide levels and then pull out of the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty. Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Robert C. Smith said last week, "I have the utmost confidence in her and I don't think she has lost one bit of effectiveness." Effectiveness as a brown-nosing doormat and handy scapegoat, that is.

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Tom DeLay - With the McCain-Feingold bill cruising toward Senate approval, there appears to be a real chance that campaign finance reform will be signed into law. Unfortunately, it's got to get throught the House of Representatives, where Majority Whip Tom "The Hammer" DeLay has promised to fight it tooth-and-nail. God forbid that Members of Congress might lose their incentive to slavishly follow the dictates of their big-business bagmen who have been gorging themselves at the federal government's corporate-welfare trough. They might actually have to listen to The American People. But wait. In The Hammer's Bizarro-World, he thinks he's actually protecting us: "I'll work as hard as I can to beat this," the Hammer said. "What they are doing is they are destroying our freedom." That's right Tom. They're destroying the freedom of corporate whores like you to sell your votes to the highest bidder.


Rudy Giuliani - You know how Rudy's got his panties in a twist about decency? And how he doesn't think that some of the artworks displayed in New York museums are decent? Well in his never-ending quest to save the museum-going public from accidentally stumbling upon a piece of art that doesn't meet his approval, Rudy has decided to name a Decency Panel to investigate how public funds are spent on art. Readers may be interested to know that one of the members of the Decency Panel is Raoul Felder, who is also the mayor's divorce lawyer. Another is Peter Max, who in 1998 spent two months in prison for swindling the IRS out of $714,000 in unpaid taxes. And if that ain't decent, we don't know what is.


Bret Schundler - Unless you live in New Jersey, you may have never heard of Bret Schundler. Mr. Schundler is the mayor of Jersey City, and also the founder of the New Jersey Scholarship Fund, a program which helps needy families send children to private or parochial schools. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, it was revealed last week that Schundler spent $800,000 from the Scholarship Fund last December on TV ads that gave him wide exposure - coincidentally just one month before announcing his candidacy for governor of New Jersey. Strange then that Schundler spent a slightly less impressive $150,000 on actual scholarships throughout all of last year. So, scholarship fund for underprivileged children, or private slush fund for a rotten politician? You be the judge.

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John Ashcroft - Ashcroft was in the public eye last week showing off some of the new minor tweaks he has in mind for the American legal system. It seems that the pesky concept of "innocent until proven guilty" will be the one of the first items on the Attorney General's agenda. Of former President Clinton's pardons, Ashcroft said, "while the Constitution affords the president broad authority to grant pardons, there are limits... We all know that the president's authority is a very broad authority, but I don't think anybody argues that the authority of the president, though, is to sell pardons." But just in case you might have inferred something from his statement, Ashcroft was quick to add that he was not suggesting that he believes Clinton did that. Of course not, John. And I bet none of your Republican colleagues believe that either, even though they spent the last two months implying it. They just can't resist an opportunity to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on politically-motivated anti-Clinton witch hunts.


Michael Bloomberg - Media mogul Michael Bloomberg, who is planning to run for mayor of New York, has been in a little hot water recently over a three year old sexual discrimination lawsuit brought against him by female employees. But it's okay, because, sensing that the allegations may prove troublesome to his candidacy, Mr. Bloomberg decided to clear himself of any wrongdoing by giving himself a lie detector test. In a statement last week, Paul Minor, the man who performed the test for Bloomberg, said, "The questions during the examination were formulated solely by me. I concluded that all of Mr. Bloomberg's responses were truthful." Accompanying Minor's statement was an eight-page resume. But what about the results of the test? Sadly, Bloomberg has refused to release them - so you'll just have to take his word for it.

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Paul Weyrich - The president of the ultra-conservative think-tank "Free Congress Foundation", and a founder of the Heritage Foundation, Paul Weyrich came out and admitted last week that George W. Bush's campaign was, from begining to end, a sham. As Bush assembles one of the most conservative governments of modern times after his centrist campaign, Weyrich was gleeful. "This administration is shaping up to be the best... When Reagan ran for office, even when Nixon ran, it was the campaign that was lovey-dovey. Then, when they got in, they didn't know who you are. Here, the Bush campaign didn't pay any attention to us, but as soon as they got in, they started taking notice. This is something that I've never experienced before." Perhaps that's because it's usually considered the honorable thing to actually do what you said you were going to do when you become president...

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Christopher J. Lauzen - And bringing up the rear this week is Illinois State Senator Christopher Lauzen, who last week failed in his bid to have his name legally changed to "Christopher J. Lauzen CPA". During the 1998 campaign for Illinois Comptroller, Lauzen was miffed that his opponent ran ads claiming that he was not a licensed CPA, and hoped that the name change would clear up confusion over his professional credentials. Sadly Judge Patrick Dixon ruled against the request, saying that only the Illinois Board of Examination can award the CPA designation. In a related story, we hear that an undeterred George W. Bush is also considering clearing up confusion over his legitimacy by legally changing his name to "President George W. Bush". See you next week!

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Other popular nominees this week: Dick Cheney, Tim Russert, Bill O'Reilly (again), Robert Novak, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Barr. Dropping off the list: Lisa Riddle & Brigham McCown (1), Larry Farrell (3), Noelia Rodriguez (5), Robert Novak (6), Ben Stein (7), Bob Barr (8), Sons of the Confederate Veterans (9), U.S. Geological Survey (10).

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