Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 13)
April 9, 2001
Where's the Beef? Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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It's idiots aplenty this week, and there are yet more exciting new faces to add to our growing collection of conservative chuckleheads. Ann Veneman (1) leads the charge with a light-speed U-turn on salmonella testing, Dan Burton (2) is setting a world record for Congressional time-wasting, and it turns out that Condoleeza Rice (3) has a comedy Big Oil connection. Meanwhile, Dr. Laura (6) waves a sad farewell to her incredibly boring TV show, and Rudy Giuliani (8) shows off his sensitive side.


Ann M. Veneman - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Just when we started to think that the Bush Administration couldn't possibly stoop any lower pandering to corporate lobbyists on K Street, the Agriculture Department came up with this brilliant proposal: Let's get rid of the federal rule that requires the meat in school lunches be free of salmonella! Of course, if you're going to risk the lives of school children to pay off the meat industry, you can't have the Secretary of Agriculture call a press conference herself to announce it. So they got a low-level staffer to float the idea - just to see if anyone would notice. Faced with a massive outcry from consumer groups and parents, the whiplash-inducing flip-flop took less than 24 hours. Said Secretary of Agriculture Veneman: "The safety of our food supply, particularly school lunches for our children, is an extremely important issue and USDA will continue to take appropriate steps to ensure the safest possible food supply is available for all consumers." Whatever. We've got a modest proposal that is guaranteed to keep our food supply safe: Make Ann Veneman eat school lunches.


Dan Burton - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 3 - No doubt, many in Congress can stake a claim to the coveted title of "undisputed heavyweight champion of scandalmongering," but only Dan Burton can back up his claim with a real record of achievement. Early last week the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported that Dan was closing in on his 1,000th subpoena. "Walter Payton rushed for more than 16,000 yards; Kareem-Abdul Jabbar scored 38,000-odd points; Nolan Ryan chalked up more than 5,000 strikeouts." As of March 30, Dan's record stood at 994 (approximately 1.5 subpoenas for every day he has been chairman). For those of you keeping score at home, here are some of Dan's other impressive stats: Number of illegitimate children - 1. Number of female "staffers" he has had on federal payroll who didn't actually do any work - 2.


Condoleezza Rice - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - It isn't exactly front-page news that this Administration has close ties to Big Oil. But even we were bemused to learn that Condoleeza Rice has an oil tanker named after her. Condoleeza Rice (the oil tanker) belongs to multinational oil company Chevron, where Condoleeza Rice (the National Security Advisor) was a board member and stockholder. While this is becoming something of an ethical problem for Rice, it could be an even more embarassing PR problem. Imagine the headlines: "Condoleeza Rice Spills Millions of Barrels of Oil into Prudhoe Bay." Or, "Condoleeza Rice Caught Smuggling Iraqi Oil, Calls for Air Strikes."


Dr. Robert Cline - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Dr. Cline, a surgeon from Austin, Texas, appeared in a New York Times article last week to explain how he really, really needs George W. Bush's tax cut. You see, poor Dr. Cline only made $289,678 last year and has a wife and six kids to support, and with the tax cut he could save an estimated $12,000 dollars a year. When the Clines moved to Austin in 1995, they were dismayed to discover that the high-tech boom had created a new class of dot-com millionaires. "It was a little frustrating," Dr. Cline whined. "Here I was building a practice and already starting to see there is a top end on what I can provide. And everybody is quitting their jobs and going into dot-com. It was insanity. You would see all these young guys driving around in Porsches." The Clines' $867,000 house is now no longer large enough for the family, but they are having a hard time finding a five-bedroom house in a neighborhood they like for less than $1 million. They could move to the suburbs, but Dr. Cline is a self-proclaimed "city guy" and hates the idea of commuting. Mrs. Cline said that the family has to rake their own leaves, paint their own bedrooms, and clean their own pool. "We don't have the luxuries that you would think in this tax bracket," she said. "Of course, I'm sure that having six kids doesn't help." Dr. Cline added: "I can only imagine what someone who makes $40,000 or $50,000 a year needs with a family my size."


Fox News - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 2 - Last week a group of intrepid Democrats took to the streets outside Fox News headquarters in New York to protest the supposedly unbiased network's disgusting conservative slant. A DU member who participated in the protest reported various underhand tactics from Fox. A producer was overheard telling his film crew to get a shot of the protestors and then sweep up to the building's electronic marquee, which was displaying phony approval ratings for George W. Bush (67%? I don't think so!). Yes, it would certainly appear that "We report lies, you decide what we want you to." In addition various Fox employees were sent down to street level on a regular basis to act as "counter-protestors" (which apparently involved simply shouting obscenities). But the message from the progressives who braved the rain was clear. To quote our protestor's sign: "Faux News. We've decidedů YOU'RE WHORES."


Dr. Laura Schlessinger - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - A moment of silence, please, for Dr. Laura's television show. Paramount announced last week that a second season will not be forthcoming after this season's final epsiode airs in September. Despite the fact that the show would have been axed anyway due to its high crap factor and appalling ratings, Schlessinger was quick to blame activists: "I believe it could have earned a substantial audience in time, but the television advertiser boycott precluded that." Well boo-hoo. Perhaps now she'll figure out that the majority of Americans aren't particularly keen on TV shows starring celebrity gay-bashers.


Scott Stewart - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - During an investigation into Scott Stewart, head of the College RNC, three women filed affidavits claiming he "made frequent and unwanted sexual advances and regularly spoke obscenely to and about female employees." In addition, they claimed that Stewart appropriated several thousand dollars in GOP funds to pay for his and others' personal expenses, such as cellular telephone bills, plane tickets, and campaign mailings. Last week an investigation found that Stewart's behavior was "unprofessional and inappropriate for a work setting." So what was his punishment? Sending a tough message to sexual harrassers and crooks everywhere, the RNC gave Stewart a warning, made him apologize in writing to the three women, and let him keep his job. RNC spokesperson Mark Miner: "We are firmly committed to ensuring that any organization with which we work operates in accordance with the same principles that govern the RNC." Well, quite.


Rudy Giuliani - LAST WEEK: 5 Weeks on chart: 3 - He's back! The decency crusader showed off some thick skin on his WCBS radio show last week when a caller said he had a question about Giuliani's newly named 20-member arts advisory panel: "The mayor may or may not have performed adultery in office. Would this not be subject to a decency panel?" Despite the thorny question, our Rudy was able to see the funny side and displayed his famously gentle wit by responding: "I don't let people intrude on my personal life, and I think that man is an idiot. So why don't you go stick it? Thank you." Oooh, good comeback!


Mike Foster and the Louisiana State Senate - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Remember when Republicans thought that term limits were the best thing since sliced bread? Not so fast! Now that the clock is ticking for Governor Mike Foster, Senate President John Hainkel is sponsoring a bill to repeal the legislators' term limit law. The only real obstacle is that pesky old thing called "democracy" - the term limit law was approved by 76% of Louisiana voters. Still, since when has that stopped Republicans from getting their way? After all, they probably didn't mean to vote for term limits, right? Sheesh, voters can be SO dumb sometimes.


Arnold Schwarzenegger - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 2 - And finally, after weeks of tedious non-speculation, Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided that maybe he will run for Governor of California after all. Last week, the groping beefcake revealed to an Austrian newspaper that "It is now almost certain that I will enter politics." He continued, "I have stood at such a crossroads before. Then, I had to decide whether to continue with bodybuilding or whether I should take up a film career. Now, the situation is similar, film or politics." Hmmm. Bodybuilding or film? Film or politics? It's certainly a relief to know that Arnie can make such tough decisions regarding the advancement of his celebrity career... um, I mean, serving the citizens of California. See you next week!

« Week 12 All Weeks Week 14 »

Other popular nominees this week: George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Ken Starr, Dick Morris, Ralph Reed, Ben Stein, Chris Matthews (again), Tom DeLay. Dropping off the list: George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, Christie Todd Whitman (finally), Tom DeLay, Bret Schundler, John Ashcroft, Michael Bloomberg, Paul Weyrich, Christopher J. Lauzen.

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