Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 39)
October 8, 2001
Not-So-Fine Man Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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Here we go again. Howard Fineman (1) sets a new standard for media-whoring, while the Florida Recount Consortium (2) covers for the Commander-in-Thief. Louis Sheldon (4) strikes a blow against grieving gays, Ari Fleischer (5) strikes a blow against the American people, and Rudy Giuliani's (6) ego just blows up. And just in case anyone thinks this list is unpatriotic, here's an American flag:

1Howard Fineman
In the wake of the September 11 attacks, we suppose it was inevitable that the media would "rally 'round the president" to a certain degree. (Why, he's got the best qualities of Reagan, FDR, and Lincoln — with the rugged good looks of JFK to boot!) But in case you haven't yet been convinced that Bush/43 strides the globe like a proverbial giant, Howard Fineman has got conclusive proof — proof! — that you are not only an idiot, but also a shameless partisan who just needs to get over that whole 2000 election thing. The Newsweek/MSNBC "journalist" (and Whore of the Week at Media Whores Online) has given all of us one more reason to bow down before the altar that is Dubya: All of Al Gore's Top Advisors are "relieved" that our current president is George W. Bush, and not that other guy with the beard who lied all the time about inventing the Internet. Says not-so-Fineman: "with almost audible sighs of relief, some top people who worked for Al Gore privately tell me they are glad (relieved might be a better word) that George Bush — not Bill Clinton’s veep — is in the White House now." Never mind that he only quotes four people — all anonymous. (Editor's note: Remember how Gore ran that presidential campaign last year with only four people?) Fineman's real kicker is the reason that they are glad that Gore is not in charge: "The Republican Right would have been all over us." Did you catch that, folks? Gore would have done a bad job, because Republicans can't put aside their hate, even in a time of national crisis.

2The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Palm Beach Post, The St. Petersburg Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Orlando Sentinel, and The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Remember the Florida recount by that Consortium of news organizations? There was a little-noticed story in late September that the ballot review had been "delayed indefinitely as a result of the recent terrorist attacks." This would be enough of an outrage, if it weren't also probably untrue. Last week, David Podvin published an explosive article indicating that the recount had actually been deep-sixed because "The Consortium was stunned to discover that the recount revealed Gore won a clear victory." Prior to September 11, "the de facto majority shareholders in the publicly traded New York Times Company reportedly intervened on the side of quashing the recount results and convinced the other participants to shelve the story." And it's a good thing too. Believe it or not, before September 11, there was a time when some Americans actually gave a shit whether the current president was lawfully and democratically elected. Fortunately, we've since learned that to do so is shamefully partisan, if not downright un-American.

3George W. Bush
Making fun of Bush's verbal slip-ups is kinda like shooting fish in a barrel. It's so easy, even a child could do it. But every so often, Bush says something so dumb that even we seasoned Bush-bashers have to take the bait. On Thursday, the Dubya said the following during his remarks to the employees of the Department of Labor: "And we'll be tough and resolute as we unite, to make sure freedom stands, to rout out evil, to say to our children and grandchildren, we were bold enough to act, without tiring, so that you can live in a great land and in a peaceful world. And there's no doubt in my mind, not one doubt in my mind, that we will fail." One is inevitably led to ask:
"What Would Freud Think?" No doubt, Bush didn't mean to say what he did, but we here at DU worry there might be a kernel of truth in this gaffe.

4Rev. Louis P. Sheldon
The forces of anti-gay hate have been positively shameful in their efforts to use the 9/11 tragedy to promote their cruel, un-American agenda. The latest backward-ass ditto-monkey to jump on the Falwell/Robertson bandwagon of bigotry is the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman and founder of the so-called Traditional Values Coalition. Last week, the evil Reverend said that relief agencies should not give assistance to surviving members of gay partnerships. Groups "should be first giving priority to those widows who were at home with their babies and those widowers who lost their wives," he said. Assistance "should be given on the basis and priority of one man and one woman in a marital relationship." Presumably, Sheldon doesn't want gays and lesbians to have any special rights, like the right to get some help from a private organization when your partner is killed in a terrorist attack. (Hide the children! Somebody is helping a gay person!)

5Ari Fleischer
Just how long can a presidential spokesperson last, when he repeatedly and gratuitously expresses his utter contempt for the press corps and for the American people? Somehow, Ari "Liescher" seems to have the green light from his boss to just keep pilin' it on, and last week he did it again. Seeing as this country has been the target of a savage terrorist attack, one would think we might be interested in learning, exactly, who was responsible. But when he was asked why the U.S. government did not directly make the case against bin Laden to its own citizens, Fleischer suggested reporters were the only ones interested. "I'm not sure that there's a clamor from the American people," he said.
Apparently our government considers us either a) too stupid, or b) too slavishly trusting of their spin, to expect any actual accounting of the evidence from them against Osama bin Laden. Instead, we had to get it from our friends in the UK. (Tony Blair: Our Real President?)

6Rudy Giuliani
After weeks of unprecedented admiration and adulation, Rudy's titanic-sized ego spoiled everything as his iron fist came out again, threatening to sabotage the democratic process by demanding the 3 mayoral candidates give him another three months in office to handle things. (This after the "independent" effort to repeal term-limits never got off the ground.) Only Ferrer had the cajones to say no, while certain other candidates became spineless jellyfish in kowtowing to Rudy. Rudy just doesn't know how to bow out gracefully and let Mayor #108 take charge of City Hall. Sorry Rudy, NYC is not a banana republic — just take Judy Nathan and get lost. Heck, even Winston Churchill was defeated in 1945 after WWII. Nobody is indispensable. New York will keep going without you. (Special thanks to Sharon Rutman, who said this better than we could have.)

7The Staff of the Senate Press Gallery
It seems that the White House is not the only governmental institution that restricts press access during a time of crisis. But instead of protecting National Security, the US Senate is clamping down to protect... a doddering old conservative fossil who got a little too "dehydrated." Last Thursday, Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-Ancient) fell ill on the Senate floor. Within minutes there was a media blackout. The viewing galleries were closed and TV cameras were shut off. They even established a "security perimeter," presumably to ensure that no Islamic militant suicide bombers tried to take advantage of Strom's weakened state. Viewers of C-SPAN 2 got no indication of what was going on, and the Congressional Record only notes that the Senate went into recess at 10:36 and "reassembled" at 10:54. Reporters were furious, but who cares? Everyone hates them anyway.

8House Republicans
Of course, the unprecedented atmosphere of unity was bound to end sometime, but who would have thought that the first rift would be between Bush and the Republicans? Last week, George W. Bush agreed with Democrats that the best way to improve airline security is to have the federal government take over security measures in airports. After all, the airlines had their chance, and they blew it — hiring poorly trained people at minimum wage. Of course, conservative ideological extremists in the House refused to go along with the deal. According to the Washington Post, GOP leaders in the House "did not want their members to be forced to take a difficult vote — to choose between a larger federal workforce or greater airport security." Boy, there's a toughie! Fortunately, we here at DU have a solution to the impasse: let's just have the Pentagon take over airport security. Then the anti-big-government crowd would be sure to spend billions of dollars on bigger government, no questions asked.

9Lynne Cheney
On September 30, an official for the New York City Public Schools wrote that the September 11 attacks underscore how "We have to do more to teach habits of tolerance, knowledge, and awareness of other cultures." Lynne Cheney was outraged. Apparently Cheney, the long-time cultural crusader, felt that this "implies that the events of September 11 were our fault, that it was our failure to understand Islam that led to so many deaths and so much destruction." Fair enough. But then Cheney goes on to say, "If there is a failure here, it is a lack of commitment to this nation's history." Hmm. Let me get this straight: first, Cheney says that we are not to blame. But then she points the finger at our "lack of commitment to this nation's history." So, which one is it? Oh, I understand - it's the liberals' fault!

10The U.S. Supreme Court
And finally, the U.S. Supreme Court, without provocation, announced last week that Bill Clinton is officially barred from practicing law before the Court. Never mind that Big Bill wasn't exactly planning to argue any cases before the Court any time soon. We're at war with terrorists, but the esteemed Justices of the Court insist on rehashing the vitally important National Fellatio Crisis. I guess it wasn't enough for them to screw Al Gore, they had to take one last pot-shot at Bill Clinton as well. See you next week!

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