Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 24)
June 25, 2001
The Truth Isn't Out There Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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Yes, it's time once again for your fabulous weekly dose of conservative idiocy! Dick Cheney (1) cannons back onto the chart with a lie so sickeningly blatant that even Ari Fleischer (4) must have been reaching for the Pepto Bismol. The American Taxpayers Association (3) aren't quite what they seem, George W. Bush (5) is back with some more words of foreign policy wisdom, and Gale Norton (8) is renting her office out to big oil. Meanwhile, Trent Lott (9) starts tattle-tailing and Jesse Helms (10) does the funky chicken with Bono, of all people...


Dick Cheney - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 9 - Yet another top member of the Bush Administration has been caught telling a huge whopper. Step forward the oh-so-honorable Richard B. Cheney, ex-CEO of friendly oil-folks Halliburton. On June 30, 2000, Dick appeared on ABC's "This Week", and said, "I had a firm policy that we wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal. We've not done any business in Iraq since U.N. sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990, and I had a standing policy that I wouldn't do that." He changed his tune three weeks later when it was revealed that two Halliburton subsidiary companies had, in fact, been trading with Iraq since 1998. Appearing again on "This Week", Cheney explained, "We inherited two joint ventures with Ingersoll-Rand that were selling some parts into Iraq, but we divested ourselves of those interests." Oh, that's funny. We thought you said you hadn't done any business with Iraq. Still, if Halliburton divested the interests immediately then that would put Dick in the clear, right? Whoops! It was recently revelaed that the subsidiaries signed nearly $30 million in contracts with Baghdad and traded for over a year before Halliburton finally sold them off. Don't blame Dick though; as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, he was, of course, "unaware" that any of this was going on. You believe him, don't you?


Doug Bereuter - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - First there was the news that the IRS would send a letter praising George W. Bush to all taxpayers who are receiving refunds. The cost: $30 million. But if that isn't disgraceful enough by itself, the way in which the decision was reached will make you lose your lunch. Last week, Democrats tried to pass an amendment to remove the cost of the mailing from the IRS budget, and were joined by 11 Republicans to reach a majority of 218. But as the official House floor clock reached 00:00, signifying the end of the vote, Doug Bereuter (R-Neb), the congressman presiding over the vote, refused to bring down the gavel. Upon receiving instructions from the Republican leadership, Bereuter waited until Tom DeLay had completed several rounds of the floor, on a mission to persuade key Republicans to change their votes. As onlooking Democrats cried "Shame!" six Republicans changed their votes before Bereuter gaveled the session closed. So by stopping the clock and extending the vote, Republicans have now authorized the IRS to spend $30 million sending what is essentially a Bush campaign letter to taxpayers. This goes beyond idiocy - it's a disgrace.


American Taxpayers Alliance - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - The American Taxpayers Alliance started running a TV ad in California last week attacking Governor Gray Davis for failing to protect the public from rising energy costs. The campaign-style ad doesn't promote a rival candidate, but features fuzzy, unflattering close-ups of Davis while assailing his record. So who are the American Taxpayers Alliance? Surely they're a group of concerned citizens who are worried about spiralling energy prices in California, right? Um, wrong. The "American Taxpayers Alliance" is actually a front group for hundreds of corporations, including Texas-based Reliant Energy. Reliant Energy are proud to list James "rent-a-hatchet" Baker and Bush fundraiser Steve Ledbetter on their board of directors. So, Californians - energy companies are selling electricity to you at vastly over-inflated prices, then spending the profits on TV ads attacking your governor for failing to stop them. How do you feel?


Ari Fleischer - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 5 - Remember how on his first day in office George W. Bush made all his staffers promise that they must avoid even any appearance of impropriety if they were to return honor and integrity to the White House? Well, now we know that Karl Rove met with Intel executives when he still held stock in the company, George Bush appears to be taking a really tough line on this appearance of impropriety. "My level of confidence with Karl has never been higher," he said last week. But it's the full-on, balls-out, blindingly arrogant hypocrisy of Ari Fleischer which has earned him a spot on this week's list. After Rep. Henry Waxman asked for information on any meetings or discussions between Rove and companies he held stocks in, Ari sighed, "The American people are tired of these open-ended investigations and fishing expeditions." Wh... WHAT????!!!!! Oh, so NOW they're tired! That's funny, they obviously weren't tired during the last eight years, were they? No, even if the Republicans had to shove it down their throats, the public had a right to know about every single thing that Democrats may or may not have done (White House vandalism anyone?), because obviously the public needs to know how dirty the Democrats are. Tired of investigations? Ari would just love it if the American people went to sleep for the next four years.


George W. Bush - Last Week: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Weeks on chart: 18 - Remember the good old days when we were all afraid of being blown to pieces by nuclear bombs? Well they're back! And it's all thanks to the great George W. Bush. Last week, George's new best friend Vladimir Putin announced that if America abandoned the ABM treaty and went ahead with the missile shield, why, the Russians would simply upgrade their nuclear arsenal with multiple-warhead ICBMs. Cheap and effective, these missiles would easily be able to overwhelm any defense shield we could put up. Of couse, these weapons were previously banned by the ABM treaty - but as we all know by now, that's just an old relic. After all, GW told us last week that "the Cold War is over", and surely a new arms race is an obvious indication of that. It's okay though, because George has personally looked into Putin's eyes, seen his soul, and found him to be trustworthy. So nothing to worry about there. What's that, you don't trust George? Why not? He did tell you he's trustworthy didn't he? Then that should be good enough for you. Now let us never speak of this again.


J. D. Hayworth - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Rep. Hayworth (R-AZ) is a man of high intellect. A man of impeccable taste and good manners. A man with a sophisticated sense of humor, and a quick wit to boot. Last week, J. D. Heyworth sent out fundraising letters which were accompanied by "Jim Jeffords Barf Bags," to be used when contemplating the Senator's "sickening... disgusting... treachery." Hilarious! In the letter, Hayworth notes that Ted Kennedy is now a committee chairman, and writes, "I can sense you reaching for the bag!" Ooh, stop. My sides are splitting. Well, at least it's good to know that the adults are back in charge.


William Scoggins Jr. - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - And speaking of high comedy, step forward William Scoggins. Mr. Scoggins (of North Carolina) was so upset by Jim Jeffords leaving the GOP that he has started a boycott of Vermont products by unleashing letters, e-mails and phone calls upon unsuspecting Vermont-based companies. In a letter to Gardener's Supply Co. in Burlington (no, we are NOT making this up!) Scoggins wrote, "I hope you folks will call this to your senator's attention. Maybe you can call for a new election. I do not know. I do know if this happened here in N.C. we would be looking for a tall oak tree and some rope." Zoinks! The good news is that a) William Scoggins appears to be a complete nutcase, and b) after reading this, we bet that you'll never hear of him ever again.


Gale Norton - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 3 - It's full steam ahead for the Interior Department. Gale Norton recently appointed Camden Toohey as her special assistant on Alaska, and he will help in "managing and protecting Alaska's nearly 270 million acres of Interior Department land." Oh yeah, we bet he will. What you may not know about Camden Toohey is that in addition to his new role as Gale Norton's special assistant, he also happens to be executive director of the pro-oil development lobbying group Arctic Power. Not a bad place to run your pro-oil operations from, is it, the office of the Secretary of the Interior? You may also be interested to know that his appointment was not subject to confirmation, so there's really not a damn thing anyone can do about it.


Trent Lott - RETURN! Weeks on chart: 6 - In a private meeting last week, Trent Lott warned Speaker Dennis Hastert and George W. Bush of the dangers of trusting Senate Democrats, and in particular Tom Daschle, on spending bills, according to Capitol Hill newsletter Roll Call. So just to make sure we've got this straight: Vladimir Putin, Russian president and ex-KGB chief, soon to be mounting multiple warheads on the nukes which he's got pointing at the U.S. = trustworthy. Tom Daschle, Senate Majority Leader = untrustworthy. Perhaps the GOP should move to Russia since they seem to like it so much over there!


Jesse Helms - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - And finally, Senator Helms enjoyed his very first rock concert last week, courtesy of U2 lead singer Bono. Apparently a friendship was struck up last fall when Bono lobbied Helms on international debt relief. Helms was invited to U2's Washington, DC show and was fascinated by what he saw. "It was filled to the gills, and people were moving back and forth like corn in the breeze..." he said. "They had that crowd going wild... When Bono shook his hips, that crowd shook their hips." After the show, Helms went backstage and reportedly hung out with The Edge. Breaking news just in: next week we hear that Senator Helms will be attending his first Limp Bizkit show, where he is anticipating a fun evening of crowd surfing, slam dancing, and possibly "boffing some tarts" with Fred Durst. See you next week!

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