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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 57)
March 4, 2002
Hooteriffic Edition

Greetings and welcome to idiot festival number 57. This week brings us an old favorite at the top of the pile, Ari Fleischer, who last week took it upon himself to blame Bill Clinton for everything that's gone wrong in the Middle East - um, except Ari didn't mean it of course. Next up is Trent Lott (2) who has apparently forgotten that you can support the troops but not the president, and Tom DeLay (3), who's been sticking his fingers in the Enron pie. Further down the list we have Tom Feeney, who hired this week's cover girl Bridgette A. Gregory for reasons we'll leave you to work out for yourself. And last but not least we have Fox News (9) accidentally sending the Dow in a downward spiral, and Dick Cheney (10) who managed to pop out of his cowering place just in time for a spot of arch-nepotism. Enjoy! (And don't forget the key).

1Ari Fleischer Clinton hating excessive spin flip-flopping dumb
You'd think that a White House Press Secretary and political operative with years of experience would know better than to blame an ex-president for the actions of Middle Eastern terrorists. And therefore there's no explanation for Ari's behavior last week, other than that he simply lost it. Early Thursday morning, Fleischer announced that the reason there was ongoing violence in the Middle East was because, er, of the Clinton administration's attempts to push the peace process. "You can make the case that in an attempt to shoot the moon... more violence resulted," Fleischer told reporters. "That as a result of an attempt to push the parties beyond where they were willing to go... it led to expectations that were raised to such a high level that it turned into violence." This bizarre and outrageous spin led reporters to hammer Fleischer during the daily briefing, forcing him to back-pedal at record speed and weasel out of what he said by calling it a "mischaracterization." In a final humiliating twist, the White House issued a "statement of regret" later in the afternoon. "I mistakenly suggested that increasing violence in the Middle East was attributable to the peace efforts that were underway in 2000," Fleischer wrote. "That is not the position of the administration. . . . No United States President, including President Clinton, is to blame for violence in the Middle East. The only people to blame for violence are the terrorists who engage in it. I regret any implication to the contrary." We can only hope that Dubya doesn't fire this guy - he's hilarious!

2Trent Lott partisanship partisanship partisanship partisanship
Screw bipartisanship. George W. Bush recently asked the Senate for $379 billion to fight his increasingly obscure war on terror, so it's no wonder that Tom Daschle stated that "I think that it is critical that we keep the pressure on; we do the job that this country is committed to doing. But we are not safe until we have broken the back of al Qaeda, and we haven't done that yet." Daschle also said that while the war had been so far successful, "the jury is still out on further success." These remarks seem eminently sensible, unless of course you're Trent Lott, who exploded like a Dan Burton watermelon. "How dare Senator Daschle criticize President Bush while we are fighting our war on terrorism, especially when we have troops in the field,'' wrote the Senate Minority Leader, almost pooping his pants in apoplexy. "He should not be trying to divide our country while we are united.'' Glad you're united, Mr. "I cannot support military action at this time." (Remember THAT?
Nah - you've probably just erased it from memory, you partisan, hypocritical bastard.)

3Tom DeLay quid pro quo quid pro quo
Who's the latest Republican greaser to be fondled by the oily tentacles of Enron? Step forward Tom DeLay! It was reported last week by Roll Call that The Hammer "personally recommended to Enron officials that they hire the team of strategists who make up the inner circle of his political and fundraising machine." Why? So that they could, "secretly conduct an aggressive grassroots campaign pushing energy deregulation," of course. Splendid. And lo and behold, Enron took DeLay's advice and awarded a $750,000 contract to his strategists to do just that. According to Roll Call, "The previously undisclosed connection between DeLay and Enron offers a glimpse into how the Texas lawmaker and the corporate giant combined forces behind closed doors to deliver a bare-knuckled political punch aimed at breaking a legislative logjam frustrating efforts to deregulate the $300 billion-a-year electricity market, a top goal of both Enron and DeLay." Mind you, Enron probably did exactly the same thing with Democrats, right? Right? Move along, move along. Nothing to see here.

4Lying Wingnuts, Part Three lying lying lying Clinton hating partisanship
If you missed last week's Lying Wingnuts Part One and Two, you should check here. This week we deal with the story of Bill Clinton's fabled golf game with Ken Lay. From the way the story has been reported, you may have been led to believe that Clinton and Lay were off to the links every other weekend, sinking birdies and slapping each other on the back. But unfortunately for the wingnut believers out there, it's just another piece of sad conservative spin. It turns out that Clinton did play golf with Lay - once. And it's not even what you think. Here's the real deal, from the Washington Post's "Names and Faces" back in 1993: "Clinton began his vacation with a bipartisan golf match Saturday at the Country Club of the Rockies in Vail, Colo., teaming up with fellow Democrat (and golf pro) Jack Nicklaus to take on the Republican duo of former president Gerald Ford and Houston businessman Ken Lay." Man, does that sound shady or what? I mean, you can almost smell the dirty deals they were cooking up on that, um, one golf round. Yes, it's clear to me now that Enron is a CLINTON scandal! George W. Bush has been exonerated!

5Scott McCallum dumb dumb dumb
Looks like Republicans need a little lesson in microphone technique. First it was George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who, while on the campaign trail in 2000, made the mistake of discussing journalist Adam Clymer over an open mic during a press conference. "Major league asshole," was Bush's description of Clymer, to which Cheney famously replied, "Big time." Now step forward Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum. At the end of a live TV interview last week, in which he became irritated by reporter Matt Barrie's line of questioning, McCallum reached for his earpiece and said "Thank you. Sure. Thank you. Dumb son of a bitch." The remark was broadcast on live television. McCallum later apologized, although we're not sure what for, since he obviously meant what he said. Oh well, if the morality party can't keep their vulgarities off the airwaves, I guess that's their problem. But perhaps from now on Republicans appearing on TV should be prefaced by one of those "Mature content, parental discretion is advised" warnings. Won't somebody think of the children?

6Tom Feeney sex dumb
Why did Florida House Speaker Tom Feeney call a news conference last week to defend one of his top legislative aides against questions about her job? Well, to be honest we're not really sure. But since he did, we thought we'd give you a bit of background on the 27-year-old policy staffer, Bridgette A. Gregory. Miss Gregory has no college degree, no technical experience for her job, and used to work as a waitress at Hooters. She is paid $55,664 per year. She can't spell, including, in some cases, her own name. Her work duties have got nothing to do with her job description. Oh yes, and she's apparently been working on Feeney's congressional campaign from his Capitol office, which is illegal. But she has a lovely set of gams and according to Tom Feeney himself, is "underpaid." That's why he gave her a 13 percent raise last June in "appreciation for your exemplary work performance." He added, "Oh, Miss Gregory, I think you dropped your pen."

7Scott Sutterlin racism racism racism racism racism racism racism racism
Scott Sutterlin, Republican hopeful, is using illegal immigration as the centerpiece of his bid to unseat Illinois State Senator Chris Lauzen in the upcoming Republican primary. So what? Well, let's just say that Mr. Sutterlin has some, er, unorthodox views on the subject of immigration. Take for example the remarks he made on the "Geraldo" show back in 1994, when he told the studio audience that black people should have been sent back to Africa "a long time ago." Said Sutterlin, "I personally don't like the black people in general." Last week, Sutterlin inexplicably defended the comments he made on the show, and while he apparently couldn't recall saying that black people should go back to Africa, he does think that they should be given an option. "And we should pay their way, if that's what they want." In response, Chris Lauzen said that Sutterlin's comments were "an insult to every single Republican alive." I dunno, sounds like classic compassionate conservatism to me.

8Antonin Scalia just plain evil
Not content with stealing an election and bullying the Pope, Antonin Scalia has taken it upon himself to execute the cognitively disabled. It's been a bad couple of weeks for those with mental retardation. Two weeks ago we saw the adorably sensitive AP headline, "Execution of Retards to Be Reviewed." (See Idiots 56). And now we have Justice Scalia coming over all offended that people with an IQ of 59 might not be entirely capable of taking care of themselves (although this doesn't really explain his treatment of George W. Bush). But anyway, at a Supreme Court hearing last week Scalia was downright hostile to the suggestion that it was maybe time to stop executing people who don't understand why they're being executed. In fact he went so far as to announce that people with mental retardation are simply "not playing with a full deck." Please can we stop this guy becoming Chief Justice when Rehnquist retires? Pretty pretty please?

9Fox News dumb dumb dumb
Those good ol' boys at Fox News were making a little news of their own last week when they mistakenly reported that US ground troops were inside Iraq. The report had been earlier denied by the Pentagon. But that didn't stop the Fair and Balanced network from re-running it, prompting a bit of a panic on Wall Street. As news of US military action reached the Street, the Dow Jones dropped 140 points despite climbing earlier in the day. Ah, Fox News. We report, markets slide...

10Dick Cheney nepotism
And finally: Obviously hiding away in his hidey-hole was getting a bit dull for our Dick, so he's found a novel way to keep himself entertained - setting his family members up in cushy State Department jobs. It was announced last week that Dick's daughter Elizabeth (the respectable one, not the lesbian) will become deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs for regional economic issues, a post specifically created for her. So all you folks who've lost your jobs thanks to Dubya's economic miracle can rest easy in the knowledge that your shadow Vice President is doing his bit to kick-start the economy - one family member at a time. See you next week!

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