Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 32)
August 20, 2001
Swimming With The Sharks Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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Leaping Limbaughs! The media world was abuzz last week with the news that CNN (1) has thoroughly debased itself by grovelling at the feet of Rush. That's Rush (2), the man who blames the current upsurge in shark attacks on anyone who didn't vote for George W. Bush. Elsewhere on the chart we have Kimberly Strassel (4), cockfighting afficionado and Clinton-hater, and Dick Cheney (6) who appears to want to eat himself to death. Bringing up the rear are Drew Lewis (9), ex-Secretary of Transportation and now also ex-transportation, and George W. Bush (10) who has simply gone mad. Enjoy - and as always, don't forget the key.

pandering pandering pandering pandering
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Well well well. Two weeks ago Walter Isaacson, the head of CNN, was tooling around Capitol Hill on a mission to make his news network more right-wing than it already is (see Idiots 30). Funnily enough, all the congressional Republicans he grovelled to must have given him the same piece of advice - hire Rush Limbaugh. Last week it was revealed that CNN had indeed approached Limbaugh, although the Fat One was apparently unwilling to commit at this point. So here it is, folks - the end of CNN's long and desperate slide from serious news network to third-rate infotainment cable channel. Remember the heady days of the Gulf War? Ah, it was the best of times - 24-hour live feed from Baghdad, cruise missiles zipping by, Christiane Amanpour in combat fatigues as flak burst in the night sky - and now they've been reduced to fellating a fat, fraudulent windbag just so they can out-nazi FOX News. Pathetic.

2Rush Limbaughpartisanship dumb
RETURN! Weeks on chart: 7
- And lookee here, it's the fat, fraudulent windbag himself! One of our readers reported that Pigboy was making some really quite outrageous statements on his show last week, blaming the recent increase in shark attacks on - you guessed it - liberals. "But... but... but...!" I hear you stammer. Yes, you heard right - it's all the fault of those damn liberal Environmentalist Wackos don'tcha know, stupidly allowing the sharks to breed freely in their natural environment instead of wiping them out in a fish-murdering frenzy of biblical proportions. What is the world coming to when people can't enjoy a dip in the ocean without having to commit a spot of inter-species genocide, eh? Although I can understand why Rush is more concerned about this than most people - I'm sure a shark could easily mistake him for an elderly sea-lion, or possibly a baby sperm whale. Tasty.

3ANWR Drilling Proponentsexcessive spin
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Isn't it amazing how the proposed ANWR drilling will take place in an area only one-fifth the size of Washington's Dulles airport (a figure oft-repeated by Dick Cheney), and yet will employ 700,000 people (according to Alaska Senator Frank Murkowski)? Yes, it is truly amazing. And, amazingly - untrue. Here's how it works - in 1980 Congress set aside 1.5 million ANWR acres for drilling, but Republican Congressman John Sununu of New Hampshire managed to get an amendment added to the energy bill which would limit drilling to just 2,000 of those acres. There's your Dick Cheney figure. But what proponents of drilling fail to mention is that that the 2,000 acres is spread out over the entire 1.5 million acres. According to a recent Time article, "Each drilling platform can take up as little as 10 acres. The pipelines are above ground. For space purposes, the amendment counts only the ground touched by the stanchions holding up the pipe." Oh, and of course road widths are conveniently left out of the calculation. According to a Sierra Club spokesman, "It's like a fishing net. If you count just the space of the string's width, that's small. But if you open up a fishing net and count the area it covers, that's much larger." And what of the 700,000 new jobs? Well to put it bluntly, it's bullcrap. That figure comes from an eleven-year-old study commissioned by, you guessed it, the American Petroleum Institute. But of course, they won't tell you about this on the nightly news - unless, presumably, someone is caught having sex with a moose.

4Kimberley Strasselpartisanship excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - An astute reader spotted this fascinating story last week at unbeknownst to most people, the Wall Street Journal will stoop so low to attack a Clinton that they will even defend the barbaric practice of cockfighting. Two weeks ago, regular columnist Kimberley Strassel wrote an article in the WSJ blasting Senator Hillary Clinton for aiming to "strangle America’s game fowl industry." You see, cockfighting is banned in 47 states, but breeding birds for the "sport" is legal everywhere. Strassel claimed that Clinton's bill would ban interstate transportation of fighting birds, depriving breeders of their livelihood, and trampling on state's rights. But not only does Strassel have to glorify cockfighting in her attempt to smear Senator Clinton, the truth is that Clinton didn't even author the bill - it has been worked on for the last three years by Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado, a Republican. Hillary was one of 29 senators who co-sponsored the bill, adding twenty amendments which had nothing whatsoever to do with cockfighting. But to hear Strassel tell it, you'd think that a power-crazed Hillary was single-handedly trying to destroy the livelihoods of honest, hard-working red-staters. Don't take our word for it - read the ConWebWatch article. We guarantee you'll like it.

5Utah Republicansdumb dumb
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Ha ha! The Salt Lake Tribune reported last week that some Utah GOPers will be feeling a little underprotected at their party convention this August. Because Dick Cheney is expected to attend the conference, security will be a little tighter than normal - which means that attendees won't be allowed to bring their guns into the exposition center. They are - surprise - pissed off. Women Against Gun Control founder Janalee Tobias said, "I know there are a lot of people who are a little upset about this. It makes them feel uncomfortable to be without their gun." Ah yes. But the question remains: why do Salt Lake GOPers feel that they're going to need their guns at the party conference anyway? One popular theory is that it's because they're a bunch of slack-jawed, square-dancing, banjo-duelling yokels. But Democratic Underground would of course never endorse this opinion.

6Dick Cheneydumb
RETURN! Weeks on chart: 12
- Doctor's orders? Pah! Fresh from having a portable defibrillator plugged into his ailing ticker, the veep has decided that real men don't eat vegetables (unless they're deep fried of course). According to the New York Times, Death Wish Cheney was spotted at his wife's 60th birthday party last week tucking into a hearty plate of steak and battered onion rings. Perhaps it's his way of saying he's tired of being Dubya's babysitter, or perhaps he just can't get enough of that sweet red meat. Here's my prediction for the first line of Dick's obituary: "Richard B. Cheney, former vice-president of the United States of America, loved his grease - perhaps a little too much."

7Jane Swiftexcessive spin
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 -
Perjury by an elected official? Surely this is grounds for impeachment! Yeah - in your dreams. How about a $100 fine? That's what Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift got when it was revealed last week that she and her husband, Charles Hunt, lied on their 1994 marriage application by saying he had been married only once before, when in fact he had been married, um, three previous times. According to the Boston Globe, Swift said that they were trying to keep her husband's "private life private," and they obviously "made a misguided decision." She's a Republican, so that's okay. See how this works?

8Donald Rumsfeldflip-flopping
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - Help is on the way! ABC News released details of Rumsfeld's defense plans last week, which include eliminating a carrier battlegroup (6,000-8,000 sailors, 80 airplanes, three to five support ships), 15,000 troops based in Europe, 30,000 troops from the National Guard and three fighter squadrons (about 70 planes and more than 1,000 people). Help is on the way! After Bill Clinton was constantly bashed by Republicans for shrinking the U.S. military, the Pentagon has now decided that "it is essential to cut forces if the United States is going to realistically meet overseas commitments." Help is on the way! The cuts are needed to pay for the administration's proposed (and highly dubious) missile defense system, and the new F-22 fighter (which was incidentally designed to fight wars against the former Soviet Union). Help is on the way! Yep, sure it is - as long as you're Lockheed-Martin and not the average U.S. serviceman.

9Drew Lewisaccident dumb arrest
NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - As well as having a name made up of two characters from The Drew Carey Show, Drew Lewis also used to work for Ronald Reagan as Secretary of Transportation. Lewis was so good at his job that he was replaced by Elizabeth Dole in 1983. But ironically, the ex-Secretary of Transportation seems to have a bit of a problem with... transportation. Last week, Drew Lewis was arrested for drunk driving after he flipped his Lincoln Navigator while... um, leaving his driveway. Lewis's second faux pas occurred when he told the police officer who responded to the accident that he was "too drunk to get out," according to the Allentown Morning Call. Lewis faces thirty days in jail if convicted, which he won't be, because he used to be Secretary of Transportation. But surely the real question is: I don't care how drunk you are, how the hell do you flip a Lincoln Navigator while leaving your driveway?!?!

10George W. Bushdumb dumb dumb dumb
Last week: 10 Weeks on chart: 24 - And finally, just a few weeks ago George W. Bush insisted on adding a new item to the West Wing mess menu - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (with three different kinds of jelly, naturally). But now the New York Daily News reports that Dubya will "not stop until he makes the mess look like the inside of a Sizzler steakhouse." Yes, peace in the Middle East may be a toughie, but when it comes to his lunch Dubya knows exactly where he stands. Last week he called for a salad bar to be installed in the mess, complete with a "see-through plastic sneezeguard." Perhaps he just wants to prove that, despite all appearances to the contrary, his policies are indeed more effective than wet lettuce. Or is there an ulterior motive for installing a salad bar? The New York Post revealed last week that Dubya never leaves home without a copy of his favorite book of all time, The Very Hungry Caterpillar (go here and search for "hungry caterpillar" for the story). Laura Bush claimed two years ago that the book was Dubya's favorite "from childhood," despite the fact that it was written in 1969, one year after he graduated from Yale. Anyway, according to the Post, Bush's handlers always have a copy of the book on hand, and he has been "spotted turning its pages" on trips to New Orleans, Phoenix, San Diego and elsewhere. So could it be that the secret motive behind Dubya's salad bar scheme is... to attract a very hungry caterpillar all of his own? See you next week!

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