Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 19)
May 21, 2001
Whitewashgate Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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Those who give us our daily dose of news have really hit the ball out of the park this week - the Media hogs the number one spot for ignoring the truth behind the White House vandalism lies. But some media folks have really gone the extra mile to get their own place on the chart this week. The Wall Street Journal (3) report that the Bush administration is taking a tough stance on youthful indiscretions, the Voter News Service (4) in its cowardice fails to report the real reason that the networks got it wrong, and Robert Novak (5) gets in a tizzy about his precious car. Meanwhile, Karen Hughes (8) spins a tale about campaign contributors, and USA Today (9) sucks up to Religious George.


The Media - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 3 - "WHITE HOUSE OFFICES LEFT 'TRASHED': PORN BOMBS, LEWD MESSAGES; LEGAL PROBE CONSIDERED" screamed the Drudge Report headline on January 24th, 2001, and a media-driven propaganda campaign was born. While Bush's Goebbels Brigade (Rove and Fleischer) refused to confirm or deny rumors that former Clinton staffers had trashed White House offices, media whores from Rush Limbaugh to Chris Matthews went into overdrive, devoting hours of airtime to the story. And the rumors weren't just relegated to the third-rate spinmeisters - all the major TV networks ran the story too. Then Bob Barr got in on the action, demanding that the General Services Administration conduct a full investigation into the matter. But last week the GSA released their report, which concluded that the rumors of vandalism were completely and utterly false. So where were the red faces, the apologies, and the retractions? Good luck if you found one. Most newspapers (if they even covered the story at all) shunted it to the back pages, and we have yet to hear Limbaugh or Matthews - or indeed any of the other folks who breathlessly parroted Rove's quietly-leaked rumors - offer a full and frank apology for the unfounded smearing of Bill Clinton. But we're sure the story will live on - after all, Rove and Fleischer are well versed in the theory that people will believe a lie if you repeat it loudly and often enough. And in the era of George W. "Change the Tone" Bush, that seems to be the media's modus operandi.


Ted Olson - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 2 - Back during the impeachment of President Clinton, Republicans liked to say, "It's not about the sex, it's about the lying." Funny how none of them seems to care now that Ted Olson, Bush's nominee for Solicitor General, has spent the last two weeks lying to the collective face of the Senate Judiciary Committee - while under oath. Last week, however, the wall of conservative hypocrisy began to crack as none other than David Brock, Olson's old colleague at the American Spectator, stated unequivocally that Olson lied. "There's no question that he did not tell the truth before the committee," said Brock. "In one of the amended answers that Mr. Olson submitted to the committee, he stated that he had not given advice concerning the conduct of the [Arkansas Project]. That's false. He gave me advice concerning the conduct of the project on more than one occasion." But don't expect this bombshell to make any difference. Because it's not about the lying; it's about the politics.


The Wall Street Journal - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Last week the Journal boldly editorialized that the message of the Bush administration is that "it will not buy into the idea that drugs are somehow innocent fun, or wink at use as some youthful right of passage." It's all a little odd really. Remember back in the campaign when Bush dodged questions about allegations of cocaine use? Obviously not wishing to buy into the idea that drug use is some youthful right of passage, one of Bush's answers was, "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible." Double standard? Nah, of course not. This is George W. Bush we're talking about here. Anyway, The Wall Street Journal obviously feels it's okay for Bush to make himself an exception. Remember, he doesn't want anyone to know about his wild past because he's just trying to prevent his daughters from making the same mistakes. Which is obviously working out really well so far.


Voter News Service - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - At a pollsters meeting in Montreal, the editorial director of Voter News Service (VNS) indicated that VNS is undertaking a massive review of its practices after what they now call "faulty exit projections" in Florida last year. Based on its exit polling, VNS had projected that Gore would win the state. Among their explanations: they didn't anticipate the Bush margin among absentee voters; they need a better model for dealing with votes outstanding; and they did not provide analysts with the "history of what's been going on through the night in close states and counties" (whatever that means). Apparently all of the browbeating VNS has received from James Baker, Billy Tauzin, and other GOP thugs has taken its toll, because they chose to gloss over the most obvious explanation: The exit polls were right.


Robert Novak - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 2 - Blustering Bob is truly a typical conservative idiot. While interviewing Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida on CNN last week, he refused to admit the truth about drilling in ANWR, and ended up resorting to childish me-first scare tactics. "You may ridicule wildlife," said Wexler, "but some of us believe it's very important. It's the last pristine spot in the country, and the return that you are going to get isn't going to be worth the environmental danger." But hang on, said the Prince of Dumbness, "What about the 600,000 barrels a day?" "We could get far more with conservation," continued Wexler, "we could get far more by drilling for oil where we're already drilling." Faced with losing his scientific credibility, Bob hit back the only way he knows how - with stupidity. "You just want, you and all the greenies, just want me to get out of my Corvette." Awww, is poor Bobby worried that the nasty liberals are going to take away his vroom vroom? Sounds like he's been listening to a little too much Rush Limbaugh.


Dennis Nolan - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - As a State Assemblyman, Dennis Nolan may be a smart-cookie when it comes to Nevada politics, but he needs to do a bit of work on his basic computer skills. Last week he made the foolish mistake of opening a dubious e-mail attachment - which promptly sent porn pictures to everyone in his address book, including conservative colleagues in the State Legislature. The blunder ended up shutting down the Legislature's e-mail server for two days, although we hear that when it was fixed Nolan did find several "thank you" notes in his inbox.


Vermont House of Representatives - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Conservatives are going nuts trying to repeal Vermont's civil union law - and when we say nuts, we mean totally and utterly crazy. The latest right-wing nonsense in the fight against equal rights involves a pair of amendments quietly announced in the Vermont House last week which would declare gay and lesbian relationships a "health hazard." Hazardous to conservatives' mental health, maybe. Hell, we can't allow those stinkin' homosexuals to spread their diseases to the common folk by allowing them to... gulp... formally commit to serious and stable monogamous relationships with their life partners, can we? Yikes! To his undying credit, Governor Howard Dean declared that the amendments "made me ashamed of the Legislature. It was one of the few times in this building I have been ashamed... Years from now when people read that legislation it's going to look like it would for us to go back to the 1830s in the south and read about slave owners."


Karen Hughes - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - No Lincoln Bedroom shenanigans here! Ms. Hughes was grinning like the Cheshire Cat last week as USA Today reported that the White House overnight list was free from big campaign contributors. Bush is "keeping his promise," she gushed. Yes, we're certainly glad that Bush is returning honor and integrity to the White House by keeping his contributors out of the Lincoln Bedroom. Thank goodness that he is content to merely give them a huge tax cut, or let them swan around on nuclear submarines, or hand them cushy ambassadorships, or make sure that we have to spend our tax refunds on their overpriced fuel, or allow them to despoil conservation areas for their profit. Anything really. Just as long as they're not in that Lincoln Bedroom, goshdarnit.


USA Today - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Last week, America's most brightly colored newspaper published a fawning article describing how religion "infuses" George W. Bush's daily life. Apparently he starts every day on his knees (the less said about that, the better), reads the Bible each morning, studies a daily Bible lesson, and frequently prays in the Oval Office. But we just can't help wondering what Bush's favorite political philosopher, Jesus Christ, would have to say about the 152 people Bush executed while he was Governor of Texas. Maybe it would be something like, "Don't worry George, they had it coming." Or, "Go ahead, fry the bastards." Or possibly, "I don't mind the slayin' if you keep on prayin'."


Bill Cobey - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - And finally, the North Carolina GOP Chairman firmly grasped the wrong end of the stick last week by attacking John Edwards on tax cuts. Cobey has been attempting to cast his party as the REAL champions of the working class, and moaned about Edwards' vote against George W. Bush's budget plan: "Millionaires like John Edwards may not need a tax cut... the hard-working people of North Carolina not only need one, but they deserve one." So let's just get this straight - Edwards votes against giving himself a massive tax break so that the working class can get a bigger refund, and Bill Cobey thinks this is bad why? We'll leave you to ponder this bizarre insight into the conservative mentality, and we'll see you next week!

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