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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 27)
July 16, 2001
Patriotically Challenged Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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Hello and welcome to the new-look Top Ten Conservative Idiots! To help you keep even better tabs on what those silly conservatives are up to, we now have a brand new "idiocy-at-a-glance" icon system. To find out what the symbols mean, either place your mouse pointer over the icon, or click here to see the key. But although the page layout has changed, the idiots have not. The Salvation Army (1) are doing their utmost to support the Bush administration's new "faith-based discrimination" program, while Ari Fleischer (2) and Trent Lott (3) give us some insight into why the GOP isn't doing too well with black voters. George W. Bush (4) makes yet another appearance on the list with a stirring display of patriotism, and Dick Cheney (5) wins the Brown Nose Of The Week Award. Further down the list, Michael Bloomberg (7) decides to slum it with the masses, um, except not really, and Jeb Bush (10) feels the wrath of Poppy. Enjoy!

1The Salvation Army
homophobia homophobia homophobia unconstitutional quid pro quo
The Salvation Army wants to discriminate against homosexuals - and it looks like the Bush administration is more than willing to help out. Last week an internal document revealed that the White House made a "firm commitment" to protect the Salvation Army from state and local employment regulations which would prevent their discriminatory hiring practices. And what does the White House get in return? Nothing less than the Sally Army hiring lobbyists and spending up to $110,000 a month (have you donated lately?) to promote Bush's "faith-based initiative," the program that funnels taxpayers' money to religious organizations. Can you say quid pro quo? Don't worry though, we're sure that the Salvation Army will do their absolute best to make sure that gays' tax money will be excluded from any "faith-based initiative" handout they might receive. Unless of course they're homophobic and woefully inconsistent.

2Ari Fleischerexcessive spin hypocrisy dumb dumb
The Bush administration was blasted by the NAACP last week after George W. Bush declined to speak at the group's 92nd annual convention, citing scheduling difficulties and "an unusual sensation of anxiety when in the presence of black people."* So it was left to spinmaster Ari Fleischer to start yanking on the damage control levers. Sadly, Ari is becoming shamelessly predictable these days. "The comments made by Mr. Bond are another reminder of why the tone in Washington needs to be changed," said the man who made up a story about the White House being vandalized and tried to pass it off as the truth. "Those remarks were not made under Kweisi Mfume's leadership, when Kweisi Mfume was president of the NAACP." Whoops! Kweisi Mfume still is the president of the NAACP. Glad to see you're paying attention, Ari. Although to be fair, folks, if your boss was George W. Bush, you'd probably get all confused about who is and isn't president of stuff too.

3Trent Lottracism racism unconstitutional partisanship
Ah, those compassionate conservatives and their poorly-veiled threats. First it was Florida Republican Party chairman Al Cárdenas with a suggestion that the GOP should attempt to destroy blacks' credibility (see Idiots Week 26). Now we hear that Trent Lott has weighed in with his own solution. Last week the Senate Minority Leader called for the IRS to audit the NAACP, on the grounds that "They were acting totally as an arm of the Democratic National Committee in a totally vicious, inaccurate television ad." Aaawww, did they say nasty things about Georgie?
Perhaps, in light of Trent's efforts, we should change the First Amendment to read: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Unless of course you say mean things about George W. Bush, even if it's the truth. Because if you do, Congress reserves the right to sic the IRS on your black ass.

4George W. Bushdumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
Start spreading the news! George W. Bush arrived in New York last week and headed straight for the place he is most popular - Ellis Island, where his approval rating among seagulls is through the roof. Bush had some locals (shipped in from Jersey?) worried until he remembered to pull out that hall-of-fame cliche, "I love New York," at which point they assumed everything was as it should be and waved their little American flags. Bush was on Ellis Island to welcome a group of new immigrants to the United States, and all went well until it was time to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Okay, I'm going to stop here for a second and ask a question which has been nagging at me for a few days now... how on earth can the (so-called) President of the United States mess up the Pledge of Allegiance? I mean, it's not that hard is it? "Right hand up please," said Bush, holding up his right hand and obviously forgetting that they weren't all taking the Oath of Office (another possibility: daydreaming about the Third Reich), and as the confused immigrants cast glances at one another, Bush realized his error. "Actually right hand on your heart," he mumbled, pulling off the most graceless presidential moment since his father painted the Japanese Prime Minister an interesting new shade of vomit.

5Dick Cheneygreed screwing the poor
Last week, the New York Times reported Dick Cheney's thoughts on George W. Bush's handout for the rich. In a staggering display of conservative denial, Cheney said that the tax cut was the "best-timed dose of fiscal medicine the economy has ever received." Um, best-timed dose of fiscal medicine your wallet has ever received, surely. Meanwhile, Democrats warned that the tax cut had made it "virtually impossible to increase military spending significantly without slashing other programs or dipping into surplus Medicare funds." So what's it going to be, Dick? A massive corporate welfare program for Lockheed-Martin, or taking care of poor senior citizens? My guess: Screw you, Granny!

6House Republicansexcessive spin excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin partisanship partisanship
So, farewell, Campaign Finance Reform - for now. Due to the House GOP leadership's complicated parlimentary rules under which the Shays-Meehan bill was to be debated
, it was almost a certainity that Campaign Finance Reform would have been rejected for good. So last week House Democrats and moderate Republicans had no choice but to vote against the proposed ground rules, thus preventing the bill from reaching the floor, and shelving it until later in the year. GOP leaders were embarrassed that the rare defeat of a procedural measure had failed to kill the bill, and started pointing fingers. First, Dennis Hastert accused Dick Gephardt of trying to "scuttle" the bill, while Dick Armey called co-sponsor Christopher Shays "unreasonable" and "arrogant." Later, Jim Gilmore was quoted as saying, "Today, Democrats voted against Campaign Finance Reform and Republicans voted for it," and Mitch McConnell chimed in with, "Reformers killed reform." Now I'm totally confused. So Democrats and moderate Republicans, who refused to allow the GOP to kill Campaign Finance Reform, are against it, but Republicans who've spent the last six months going around kicking Campaign Finance Reform like a bag of flaming dog poop are actually for it? Welcome to conservative bizarro-world!

7Michael Bloombergdumb
Long Island Newsday reports that New York businessman Michael Bloomberg leaped aboard the environmental bandwagon last week, claiming that if elected mayor he would use mass transit at least once every day, rather than a city car - one of several proposals to unclog city streets and protect pedestrians. What an honorable, honorable thing to do. It only took a couple hours for him to realize the full horror of what he'd done though, because later that day a Bloomberg spokesperson announced that "although taxis are not considered mass transit, they fall under the purview of the mayor's office, which regulates the industry through the Taxi and Limousine Commision." Ha ha!

8Mitt Romneyflip-flopping flip-flopping pandering
Mitt Romney is the President of the Winter Olympics Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and when he ran as a Republican against Ted Kennedy in 1994, he was solidly pro-choice. But now he's considering his political prospects in Utah, and surprise! Mitt Romney is suddenly pro-life. Not only that, but apparently he's always been pro-life, believe it or not. So how does Romney explain this? Well, with lots and lots of waffle. In a recent letter to the Salt Lake Tribune, he wrote, "I do not wish to be labeled pro-choice," and it has also been reported that it "upset him to be characterized as pro-choice." That's funny, because in 1994 a Romney spokesperson told the Boston Globe that there were only "tiny nuances" between his and Ted Kennedy's abortion stances. So, voters of Utah, what do you think of Mitt Romney's stand on the issues? Confusing? Let me guess - you'll vote for him anyway.

9Ronald Reagancovering your ass covering your ass
You know, that Ronald Reagan was one sneaky old dude. A law enacted after the Watergate scandal meant that 68,000 papers from his presidential tenure were due to be released earlier this year. But six months after the papers were scheduled for release, they're still locked away in the dark dungeons of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Why is this? Well, last week it was reported that just days before he left office in 1989, Reagan quietly signed an executive order requiring the National Archives and Records Administration to notify the sitting president of any pending release of documents from previous adminstrations, and to give the White House time to review the papers. And we all know what he meant by review, don't we - hint: it involves a LOT of whiteout. Of course, the six month delay has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that half of the Bush administration worked for Reagan, and don't want the world to know what they were up to during the 80's. No sir. It's funny really, you'd think that the GOP would be jumping to release the papers. After all, surely they'll prove just how innocent everyone involved in Iran/Contra really was, right?

10Jeb Bushboat accident
And finally, poor Jeb Bush was injured during an unfortunate boating mishap last week, which involved two boats, his father, and his middle finger. The Bush clan were in Maine last week to celebrate George's birthday, and despite the family's insistence that they're not mad at Jebby any more for almost losing Florida (and by the way Mr. Oh I've Recused Myself, don't think for a second that anyone buys your bullshit about not having a clue who made all those phone calls from your office to various members of the Bush campaign during the recount), Poppy Bush suspiciously reversed his boat into Jeb's, sandwiching Jeb's middle finger between the two. Thankfully though, despite the injury, Jeb still managed to give a metaphorical middle finger - to all the unfortunate folks who couldn't spend the weekend dicking around in boats at a millionaire's retreat because they were too busy working a second job to pay off their credit card bills. See you next week!

*Note: For those of you not paying attention, this quote is satire.

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