Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 18)
May 14, 2001
In It For The Bunny Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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And they just keep coming, folks. George W. Bush (1) rebounds from a couple of recent lackluster performances on the chart with a hair-raising display of downright scary behavior, brother Jeb (2) leaps back onto the chart thanks to a series of fascinating adultery allegations, and Jim Gilmore (3) announces National Racism Month. Meanwhile Harvey Pitt (5) brings honor and integrity to the SEC, and Dick Posthumus (8) goes after Detroit's inner-city vote.


George W. Bush - LAST WEEK: 3 Weeks on chart: 15 - It looks like GW might have had the right idea about staying away from press conferences. Last week, after giving a statement about Timothy McVeigh, the Twit took some questions from a surprisingly stern press corp. Shifting his weight from toe to toe behind the podium, Bush looked increasingly uncomfortable - and not unlike a small child who was being reprimanded by his parents. So what is the solution to the nation's energy crisis, George? If you guessed "tax cut," you'd be right. See how this works? Energy prices rise, the Chimp gives you a tax cut, and you give it straight back to his oil buddies. Aren't they already showing record profits? And now he wants us to give our tax refund to them as well as being gouged? Is he really that dumb that he thinks we're going to fall for it? Meanwhile, George continued his tradition of undercutting members of his own administration by talking up conservation as part of a possible solution to the energy crisis - a complete turnaround from Dick Cheney's statements just one week earlier. But the darkest and most disturbing moment of the question-and-answer session came when Bush was asked: "Mr. President, you would not equate the baby that was killed in retaliatory Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip with the thirteen and fourteen year old Jewish boys, one of them a U.S. citizen, who were tied up, beaten to death, and mutilated near Tekoa would you?" - Bush laughed. Then he caught the reporter's eye and tried to collect himself, mumbling "Uh... I was kinda smiling cause like it kinda sounded like an editorial." Whatever that means. See it here (21 minutes and 12 seconds into the video). Oh, and make sure you have a bucket handy.


Jeb Bush - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 6 - The Tallahassee Democrat reported last month that Jeb Bush has discounted rumors that he will not seek a second term, although apparently he needs another month to fully decide what he's going to do. Presumably this has something to do with the widely-reported rumors of his affair with Cynthia Henderson, a former Playboy bunny who Jeb appointed to various positions in Florida government. Interestingly, DU reported in Idiots Week 9 that Jeb Bush might not seek reelection for the sake of his wife (she doesn't like Tallahassee.) But if the allegations of an affair are true it will surely have a detrimental effect on Jeb's already slim chances in 2002. Which may ultimately leave him with no job - and no wife. How ironic!


Jim Gilmore - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 4 - Last Wednesday Jim Gilmore, the Virginia Governor and head of the RNC, boldly signed a decree declaring May to be "European-American Heritage and History Month," on behalf of the National Organization for European-American Rights. But on Thursday he was force to do and abrupt U-turn and rescind the decree. Why? Well, if had he checked his facts before signing the decree, Gilmore would have discovered that the National Organization for European-American Rights is headed by ex-Klan leader David Duke. Whoops!


Orrin Hatch - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 2 - For those of you who may have forgotten, when Bill Clinton was President, any Senator could veto any judicial nominee from his or her own state. That's how the Republicans managed to block so many of President Clinton's nominees throughout the nineties. But now Orrin Hatch has changed the rules, and in an astonishingly transparent piece of spin is blasting Democrats for wanting to change the rules... back to what they were in the first place. Appearing on Fox News, Hatch complained, "They have very little reason to gripe. I'll tell you what's behind this. ... They feel they are going to take over in 2002, and they want to delay all these [appointments] so they can control this process completely." Later, Hatch went off on a slanderous rant accusing Democratic Senators of wishing death upon Strom Thurmond: "I hate to say it, but yes. They're hoping they're going to get control if something happens to Strom." It has been pointed out to Hatch that all he need do is allow the same veto rule that was in effect when Clinton was president and everyone can get on with it, but that's not good enough for our bug-eyed friend: "They are delaying this, hoping they can delay the appointment of judges long enough to where they get control in 2002." Well at least he's already conceded defeat! What's the matter, Orrin? Getting a little... scared?


Harvey Pitt - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Ah, yet another very special example of compassionate conservative family values. Last week it was revealed that George W. Bush's pick for chief of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Harvey Pitt, was hired by New Frontier Media back in 1999 to help the firm keep its NASDAQ listing. Pitt obviously did a good job - the company is indeed still out there exploiting the "New Frontier" by distributing teen sex videos and other "adult entertainment" online. New Frontier Media's website reveals that their growth strategy revolves around "key opportunities" and "strategic partnerships." Nudge nudge, wink wink. So if he gets the SEC job you can bet that Harvey Pitt is set for life when it comes to "Naughty Catholic Schoolgirls" videos...


Bob Franks and Bret Schundler - NEW!/RETURN! Weeks on chart: Franks 1/Schundler 2 - "I'm Ronald Reagan!" "No, I'm Ronald Reagan!" Republican infighting hits new heights of vapidity as the tough New Jersey Governor's race kicks off. First, Jersey City Mayor Schundler (see Idiots Week 12) ran an ad claiming that he was an "ideological disciple" of Ronald Reagan, and the most fiscally conservative candidate in the contest. Nonsense, declared ex-Rep. Franks, who ran a hard-hitting radio ad last week accusing Schundler of "misleading" voters. In a painfully low blow, Franks' ad revealed that far from being the next Ronald Reagan, Schundler actually worked for Democrat Gary Hart in the 1984 Presidential Primaries. Ooh, that hurts! We can't wait to see what the next twist will be in this oh-so-interesting tale. Tax cuts at dawn? Minority-bashing at twenty paces? Our view: they're both idiots.


Marge Roukema - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Rep. Roukema of New Jersey has been in a bit of a pickle recently. Last week she called on Congress to "censure" (censor?) HBO's "The Sopranos" because it contains "negative and unfair stereotyping of Italian-Americans." Says Roukema (an Italian-American), "This program is highly discriminatory. They do ethnic stereotyping and it's Mafia, homicide, cheating, corruption, financial corruption, denigrating women and families, all of it." But it seems that other Italian-American politicians don't share Roukema's view. Senator Bob Torricelli "counts himself among the millions of devoted fans" of "The Sopranos." And when Hamilton, NJ, City Councilor Vinnie Capodanno criticized Roukema's stance she simply resorted to insults: "It shows his ignorance." Speaking of ignorance, you may be interested to learn that Marge Roukema later admitted that she'd never actually seen an episode of "The Sopranos." There's a shocker.


Dick Posthumus - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - With a name like "Dick Posthumus," it was only a matter of time before the lieutenant governor of Michigan ended up on our top ten list. Last week the Michigan Front Page, an African-American newspaper, reported that Posthumus (now a candidate for governor) referred to certain neighborhoods in Detroit as the "ghetto." This slap in the face to the Motor City is a new tactic for Repubs seeking high office in Michigan. In previous campaigns, Republican candidates would pay lip service to the idea of serving the whole state, and then, once elected, give the cold shoulder to the people of Detroit. John Engler, the current governor, was a master of this approach. Posthumus has apparently decided to forgo all that so-called "big-tent" campaign-speak mumbo-jumbo so he can commence with the serious business of dissing Detroit before he is elected governor. Or maybe, considering the big-name Dems who are lining up to hand Dick his Posthumus, he realizes that he's never going to actually be elected governor.


Trent Lott - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 3 - In sports, you need a referee to enforce the rules and make the tough calls. So, too, in the United States Senate, where the game is played with arcane parliamentary procedures, and the Parliamentarian acts as the referee. At least, that's the way it's supposed to work. Trent "the Fixer" Lott was a little miffed at some of the recent rulings by Parliamentarian Robert Dove, a GOP appointee. So Lott did the honorable thing: He fired him. Now they need to hire someone new. No doubt Honest Trent is looking for someone more willing to (ahem) do the right thing. A disinterested honest broker who can look beyond party politics and make the right decision for our country. Looks like a job for... The US Supreme Court!


County Election Officials in Florida - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - And finally, during the Florida Recount last year, the spinmeisters in the Bush camp built their entire case around one simple argument: If a machine can't read a ballot, then it must not be counted. But they could have added: unless it's a vote for Bush. The Orlando Sentinel reported last week that on Election Day, county officials "made new copies" of at least ten thousand incorrectly marked or torn absentee ballots that optical scanning machines "initially couldn't read" - saving the ballots "from being thrown out." Since absentee ballots went more for Bush than Gore, this "divining of voter intent" by election officials likely handed the election to Bush. We are still waiting for James Baker to take a stand on principle and admit that by his sacrosanct machine-readable-votes-only standard, Bush should have lost. See you next week!

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