Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 37)
September 24, 2001
Infinite Justice Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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There was no list last week. It didn't seem particularly appropriate to be making jokes about idiots. But in the last two weeks, there have been plenty of conservatives who have gone out of their way to make themselves look downright foolish. It's almost like they were asking us to write about them. And so we are proud to present the return of the Top Ten Conservative Idiots. No icons this week though, the words speak for themselves. Enjoy - if you can. Oh, and by the way, we did receive some submissions for Osama Bin Laden this week. We're not going to go there. These people may be idiots, but they certainly don't deserve to be compared to that scumbag.

1Ann Coulter
Look, we've all been deeply affected by what happened on September 11. Ann Coulter lost one of her best friends, Barbara Olson, on the plane which hit the Pentagon. But at a time when even the most partisan individuals set aside their differences, no matter how temporarily, Ann Coulter just could not let it go. In a September 12 article, Coulter paid tribute to her friend the only way she knew how - by bashing the Clintons: "[Ted and Barbara Olson's] was a relationship that could only be cheaply imitated by Bill and Hillary." Now I don't have a problem with that. After all, it's probably what Barbara would have wanted. But the really weird stuff came in the very last paragraph of the article, where Ann suggested a mind-boggling solution to the problem of terrorism. "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." Um... I think we already tried that between the 11th and 13th centuries and it didn't really seem to do a lot of good. Mind you, we didn't have Cruise missiles back then, so perhaps it's worth another go, eh? There were more pearls of wisdom from Coulter this weekend - in another article, she suggests that since "really annoying" security procedures don't necessarily make a "safe plane," we should simply "pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave." Yeah, c'mon guys, you're making life annoying for Ann. Why don't you all just go back where you came from already?

2Jerry Falwell
Ever the good shepherd, Jerry Falwell just could not resist the opportunity to use the September 11 tragedy for his own twisted ends. People were still reeling from the shock of it all when Falwell appeared on Pat Robertson's TV show The 700 Club and went off on a tirade against all things liberal. According to Falwell, the disaster occured because God was displeased with feminists, gays, lesbians, abortionists, pagans, the U.S. courts, the ACLU and the People for the American Way. "I point the finger in their face and say, you helped this happen," he announced. For Falwell to even think of making such comments in the first place is sickening; to make them on behalf of a religion which is supposed to promote forgiveness, tolerance and compassion is despicable. But hey, this is America. The guy has the right to say whatever he likes, even if he is using the deaths of thousands of people to promote his own hateful, bigoted agenda. I wonder how Falwell feels about Mark Bingham - a gay man - one of the passengers who courageously helped to bring down the fourth plane before it could hit its target in Washiongton D.C.? On second thoughts, I don't want to know.

3Pat Robertson
Yeah you too, Pat Robertson. Don't think you're getting away it. Mr. "Oh, I agree."

4Chuck Spingola
Jerry Falwell would be so proud of the Reverend Chuck Spingola and his little, um, "outreach" program. On a recent visit to the University of Wisconsin, Chuck Spingola, and some members of his ministry, "Missionaries of the Pre-Born" got into a little hot water after Spingola decided to do a little "laying on of hands." The group were visiting the university campus to talk about the evils of abortion and homosexuality, which unfortunately didn't go down too well with some of the students. During a confrontation, Spingola allegedly started choking a gay man, while telling him that his time had come to go to hell. Forgive me, I must have missed the bit in the Bible where Jesus told his flock to spread the good word by strangling homosexuals.

5John Cooksey
Rep. Cooksey of Louisiana decided that if he was going to beat Ann Coulter in the xenophobia Olympics he would have to pull out all the stops. So he told Lousiana radio stations last week that the police should crack down on anyone who might be "wearing a diaper on his head," just in case they had something to do with the terrorist attack. A diaper? What on earth? Even without that ignorant comment, the sentiment behind racial profiling is particularly dense. And I don't suppose it occured to Cooksey that any terrorists who are still in the country might not be out and about in full traditional dress. Anyway, after hearing that Attorney General John Ashcroft had announced that racial profiling is, and will remain, illegal, Cooksey said, "Well, I hope that no additional Americans die because of a failure to recognize that some people, that 100 percent of the people who were involved in this, met a certain profile." Presumably this doesn't include the Americans who've been beaten and shot to death recently because they happened to be wearing a diaper on their heads.

6James Inhofe and Frank Murkowski
Capitol Hill has been mostly stunned into bi-partisanship, but there is a small but growing list of Republicans who just want to push their agenda through, national tragedy or no national tragedy. Step forward Senator Frank Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Last Wednesday Murkowski vehemently denied that he was going to add an ANWR drilling amendment to the defense bill which is currently being rushed through Congress, but a few hours later his energy policy ally Senator Inhofe stepped in and did his dirty work for him. Although of course, Murkowski had absolutely no idea that Inhofe was going to do that. It must have just been pure coincidence. So there you go. After months of debate they just stick an amendment onto a bill that Democrats can only oppose if they want to be labeled as Bin Laden sympathizers, and it's bye-bye ANWR. Despite everything, it's politics as usual for the GOP.

7Mark Steyn
It appears that idiocy is not just restricted to American shores - witness Mark Steyn, who, writing in the UK magazine The Specator took the World Trade Center's destruction as an opportunity to bash the disabled. "The post-Cold War interlude is over," Steyn wrote, "an era of follies — OJ, Monica — and fatuities, a few of which Tuesday’s horror stories cruelly underlined: employees in wheelchairs, whom Bob Dole’s Americans with Disabilities Act and the various lobby groups insist can do anything able-bodied people can, found themselves trapped on the 80th floor, unable to get downstairs, unable even to do as others did and hurl themselves from the windows rather than be burned alive." Yeah, that'll teach those pesky disabled people who think they're just as good as us normal folks. Perhaps those who weren't crushed to death or burned alive will now see the error of their ways and start asking for wheelchair ramps. Um, hang on a second...

8Orrin Hatch
When Intelligence Committee member Senator John Edwards was interviewed on television shortly after September 11, he quite rightly refused to divulge any classified information - the same position we have seen taken by Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and General Hugh Shelton. Unfortunately our old friend Senator Orrin Hatch couldn't resist the tempatation to blab sensitive information to all and sundry, appearing on television September 11 to reveal everything he knew about telephone conversations which had been intercepted between groups linked to Bin Laden. Hatch was pressed on the matter, and said that he got the info from high-level intelligence sources - who were plenty pissed when they had to come out the next day and admit that it was true. And when Hatch wasn't compromising national security, he was doing his best to destroy the temporary suspension of partisanship, getting in a few digs at Bill Clinton and claiming that he had been warning everyone for years that this was going to happen. Way to showboat, Orrin. Just what we needed.

9Larry Kudlow
And on and on it goes... left-wingers who don't suddenly jump into lockstep with George W. Bush are un-American, unpatriotic, and worse, Bin Laden sympathizers. But it's just fine and dandy for right-wingers to use September 11 as an excuse to aggressively push their conservative political agenda. Here's Larry Kudlow in the National Review Online: "Phony lockboxes must be thrown out the window. Unnecessary obsessions over debt retirement must be driven away. Now is the time for aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus to promote growth and finance freedom. Substantial tax cuts on individuals, businesses, capital investment, and equipment depreciation should be immediately put into place. Lower tax rates across the board will aid recovery by reducing production and investment costs while stimulating an entrepreneurial economic return. The Federal Reserve Board must substantially increase the volume of bank reserves to reliquefy the financial system and the economy. Steps to promote energy production must be taken aggressively." Gee Larry, can't you even wait until Ground Zero has stopped smoldering?

10Randy Ankeney
And finally - hot on the heels of "Republican Marty" (see Idiots 15) and Philip Giordano (see Idiots passim) comes a story that would have slipped under the radar screen. But since we're in the business of bringing these things to your attention, here you go. Meet Randy Ankeney, Republican activist and child molester extraordinaire. He's pleading "not guilty," of course, to all the charges - don't they always? - but Randy might be in deep doo-doo pretty soon. It's the usual tale - boy meets girl, boy finds out girl is thirteen years old, boy takes topless photos of girl in room full of pictures of George W. Bush. You'll have to read it to believe it. See you next week.

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