Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 41)
October 22, 2001
House of Wimpresentatives Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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Since September 11, the weekly Top 10 list has had two common themes that just keep popping up over and over again: cowardice and homophobia. Sadly, this week is no different. In the number one spot is an anonymous individual in the U.S. Navy, who thought it would be cool to write a homophobic slur on a missile. Other homophobes this week include Fred Phelps (7) and GOP candidate for governor of Virginia Mark Earley (8). Picking up the cowardice theme is the Republican Leadership of the House of Representatives (2), who turned tail when Senator Daschle received an Anthrax letter.

1Incredibly Dumb Navy Person
Hello sailor! We've known for years that gays aren't allowed in the Navy, but now we know the real reason why - it's because they might be accidentally bombed by their own side. Meet the latest member of the Falwell/Robertson Boy Scouts Association as he autographs this brand new fag-seeking missile:

The Navy released this picture and then issued a hasty apology after they suddenly realized that quite a lot of people might find it offensive. In fact the top brass were so sorry that they decided to still not let gays into the military. Incidentally, I wonder what the friends and family of Mark Bingham would think about this picture? And just in case you were wondering, the picture is absolutely 100% real.

2The House Republican Leadership
So here's the deal - Tom Daschle gets a letter laced with anthrax, and what happens? The House Republicans brick themselves and run away at high velocity. Funny really, how the Democratic Senate (which is where the anthrax was discovered) decided to stand tall, stay and continue to do the work of the people; meanwhile Dennis Hastert and the Republican House chose to throw government out of the window and head for the hills posthaste. All this of course, while George Bush (from the relative safety of China) is unconvincingly attempting to reassure the country that it's safe for everyone to go about their business. Gee, do you think the country would feel safer if they actually had a bit of leadership? Seems to me that for every piece of useful information that's come out of the administration so far, there have been about fifty scare stories. And having the House of Representatives yelling "please remain calm" over their shoulders as they hoof it down the street isn't helping much either.

3Janalyn Holt
It seems that some people will go to any lengths to use the 9/11 tragedy for their own particular cause. Take Janalyn Holt for example, head of Utah's "Women for Decency." Women for Decency are an "anti-smut" group, whose targets range from the Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue ("When a 200-page magazine has 125 pages of sexual photos and full nudity, you know they have another agenda,") to Better Homes & Gardens magazine, (which had the audacity to print a Spiegel ad of a woman leaning up against a naked man - horrors.) And then came the terrorist attacks. Clearly not one to pass up an opportunity like this, Ms. Holt appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune last week, and said, "The parallels between [smut and terror] are uncanny. Pornography destroys families. It's not a one-time shot like an airplane flying into the World Trade Center. But little by little, blow by blow, it can be just as destructive." Uh-huh. Hear that, fellas? Better put down that copy of Playboy, just in case it goes off in your hand (as it were.)

4Michael Zwerling
As right-wing radio merrily broadcasts from coast to coast, the liberal voices are being slowly shut down. One of the only two syndicated AM-band left-wing talk show hosts in the country, Peter Werbe, had his show pulled from Santa Cruz's KOMY after the station's owner, Michael Zwerling, decided that he wasn't being "patriotic" enough. But after people began calling to complain, Zwerling got on the air himself and denounced Werbe's show, apologizing to the people of Santa Cruz for allowing Werbe onto "his" airwaves in the first place. Upon discovering that his denunciation had fallen on deaf ears, Zwerling took it to the top - his mommy. After Michael told her his sob-story about the nasty liberal (no doubt punctuated by much sniffling and nose-wiping), Kay Zwerling read out an editorial on KOMY, slamming Werbe's show for (SHOCK!) left-of-center content, (HORROR!) questioning the war in Afghanistan, and (HOLY BATSHIT!) criticizing the Bush administration. Apparently mommy's tirade did no good because the complaints kept coming in, and the following day little Michael had to make another appearance at the mic, this time calling Werbe an "asshole." It would seem that it does indeed take one to know one.

5Fox News
CNN recently decided to interview Osama bin Laden by sending written questions to the Arab TV network al-Jazeera. And it didn't take long for Fox News to decide that this sort of thing was well below a station of their caliber. In an interview with the LA Times last week, a Fox News spokesperson sniffed, "The only way we would do it is if we could have a sit-down interview with Bin Laden and we were allowed to ask follow-up questions." Oh really? Well that's not what they said about our own famous terrorist, Timothy McVeigh. Earlier this year, Fox New loudly trumpeted Rita Cosby's exclusive interview with McVeigh - an interview which, due to Department of Justice restrictions, consisted of written questions and answers. But that was clearly good enough for them back then, so why not now? It would appear that in the eyes of Fox News, some terrorists are more equal than others.

6Ann Coulter
It's easy enough to churn out the occasional hate-filled rant about Bill Clinton and Democrats in general, but what's a girl to do when faced with the prospect of writing a whole big book (with pages and a cover and everything?) If you're name is Ann Coulter, the answer is simple - you just steal the words from somebody else and pretend that you wrote them. Apparently the furor began shortly after the 1998 release of Coulter's book, "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," which dealt with - surprise - the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Michael Chapman, a former colleague of Coulter's (although apparently she's never heard of him), claimed that a lot of the original material from a special piece he had written, "A Case for Impeachment," had mysteriously managed to find its way into "High Crimes and Misdemeanors." Suspicious. Anyway, if you hop on over to this link, you can decide for yourself whether the uncanny similarity between paragraphs from Coulter's work and paragraphs from Chapman's work are the result of a) a massive alien conspiracy, b) the most incredible coincidence since the lookout on the Titanic said "I could really do with some ice to go with this scotch," or c) plagiarism.

7Fred Phelps
Meet the Reverend Fred Phelps, pastor of Westboro Baptist Church and owner of Fred claimed recently that everyone on board the hijacked American Airlines plane piloted by David Charlebois is in hell. Why? Because Charlebois was gay, of course. "The Rod of God hath smitten fag America!" preached Fred, finishing up with a statement which could have come straight from the mouth of Osama Bin Laden himself: "The multitudes slain Sept. 11, 2001, are in Hell - forever!" So let's get this straight... according to Dumb Navy Guy, the terrorists are homosexuals. But according to Phelps, the terrorist struck America because we tolerate homosexuals. I mean, you'd thing these idiots could at least coordinate their bigotry... sheesh. Anyway, if you're interested in reading Phelps's comments for yourself, along with the rantings of many other right-wing crazies (aka America's Anthrax Delivery System) click here. If you can stand it.

8Mark Earley
Religious fundamentalists say the darndest things! And sometimes, it doesn't reflect too well on their friends. Back in September Mark Earley, Republican candidate for VA governor, refused to comment when his good buddy and campaign contributor Pat Robertson participated in the now-infamous Falwell blame-game on "The 700 Club." (see Idiots 37) And the funny thing is - he still hasn't commented, nor has he returned any of the money which Robertson contributed. So he clearly doesn't disagree with what Falwell and Robertson had to say, which frankly makes him a bit of a toe-rag. Oh well, I'm sure that Mr. Earley will get over this little hump and probably just go back to that favorite of conservative pastimes: fraudulently painting his opponent (centrist Democrat Mark Warner) as a commie liberal tax-raising socialist. Principles? Who needs 'em.

9Karl Rove
Poor Karl made a bit of a blunder last week. He decided to hold a special White House luncheon for a select group of ambassadors, and naturally the response was one of excitement. Here was a chance to hear the latest insider information on the war against terrorism! Plus, get some top nosh. So on the day of the luncheon, diplomats were raring to go - eager to cling onto any nugget of up-to-the minute news. And then Karl blew his big moment. Rather than giving the diplomats what they were all expecting, Karl droned on and on about (according to the Washington Post) "the nature of party politics, how to win, the history of the Republican Party's opposition to slavery, the importance of the black vote, and so on." The diplomats were, understandably less than thrilled. "It was so surreal, it was difficult to keep a straight face," said one diplomat, neatly summing up in one sentence the entire Bush administration.

10United Airlines
And finally, while FAA officials continue to sneak box-cutters past minimum-wage security guards, passengers are now being stopped depending on their choice of reading material. "Literature profiling" you might call it. When Neil Godfrey arrived at Philadelphia airport, he was stopped as he passed through security because he was carrying a copy of Hayduke Lives! - a work of fiction about a radical environmentalist. Why? Because the book had a picture of some dynamite on the cover, obviously. After being pulled aside by police and National Guardsmen, who studied the book for 45 minutes, Godfrey was told that the book was "innocuous" and that he would be allowed to fly. But almost immediately after that, he was accosted by a United Airlines representative who said, no, actually, he wouldn't be able to fly. Godfrey was escorted out of the airport, but returned later after a United Airlines rep booked him a new flight over the phone and told him that he was certainly not banned from flying on United. Godfrey left his book behind this time (electing to take a copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban instead) but uh-oh... when he tried to pass through security he was recognized and stopped again. This time the police and National Guardsmen scrutinized the Harry Potter book for about 20 minutes (we're not kidding, the full story is here), before allowing him through. But after Godfrey had been taken into an interrogation room and patted down, another United employee showed up and told him that he would not be allowed to fly after all. Then he was told that he was banned for life from United Airlines, because he had made a "joke about bombs." The moral of the story? Watch what you read... See you next week!

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