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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 58)
March 11, 2002
The Blind Misleading the Blind Edition

Last week was a good week for the art of conservative idiocy. George W. Bush (1) returns to the chart with yet another fantastic display of smarts. That's smarts, spelled S-M-R-T-S. John Ashcroft (2) has decided that everyone should spy on their neighbors, but worse than that - he's singing in public. And Tom DeLay (3) has decided that Dubya is the greatest president that the universe has ever seen. Meanwhile Jesse Helms (6) remains a first-class bigot, Robert Ray (8) is really trying hard for the conservative vote in New Jersey, and Ann Coulter (10) has decided that anyone who complains about being sent to an internment camp is just a plain old crybaby. Ah, those conservative idiots, how we love 'em. (As usual, don't forget the key).

1George W. Bush dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
Another one for the "Most Embarrassing President" file: George W. Bush got "very excited" last week, according to the Washington Post, while attending the Ford's Theater Presidential Gala. The cause of his excitement? Stevie Wonder. That would be Stevie Wonder, the famously blind musician. Now, bear with me here. Apparently our great president, seated in the front row, couldn't resist attracting Stevie's attention as he arrived on stage and sat down at his keyboard. And what's the best way to attract a blind man's attention? As Dubya now knows, it's not waving at him. From the Post: "After a moment Bush realized his mistake and slowly dropped the errant hand back to his lap. 'I know I shouldn't have,' a witness told us yesterday, 'but I started laughing.'" Hard not to, really!

2John Ashcroft dumb cheese cheese racism
You may or may not know this but John Ashcroft used to be a member of a Capitol Hill group known as "The Singing Senators." That was of course before the voters of Missouri decided that a dead guy would make a better senator than Mr. Ashcroft. But it hasn't stopped John from singing and songwriting. Oh no. Only last week the Attorney General busted out his latest composition, "Let the Eagle Soar," at a North Carolina seminary. This patriotic epic, which, according to Justice Department staffers "really sucks" can be heard here, if you've got the guts. In a seemingly unrelated story, John Ashcroft recently summoned a group of Hispanic employees to his office. But instead of hearing how their boss would be making a special effort to promote diversity within the DoJ, the employees were asked to give Ashcroft a few quick Spanish phrases to use during an upcoming meeting with a foreign delegation. Oh, and then they were handed copies of "Let the Eagle Soar" and asked to translate it. Ay caramba!

3Tom Delay excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin dumb
I wonder when George W. Bush is going to start walking on water or turning water into wine? In the minds of conservative idiots across the country, there is no limit to the miracles performed by the Boy King from Crawford. Watching in awe and wonderment as the righteous armies of freedom roll across Afghanistan, Tom Delay declared that "If we had had the leadership of a George W. Bush back in the Vietnam War days, we probably would not have lost that war." Riiiiight. And if George W. Bush had been president back in 1929, the stock market never would have crashed. And if Bush had been president in 1860, the South would have unilaterally freed the slaves. Ah, the joys of just making stuff up.

4Chris Hill arrest
You've got to feel sorry for the National Republican Congressional Committee. First they gave their coveted Republican of the Year award to convicted child molester Mark A. Grethen (see Idiots 55). And now it turns out that one of the men who may replace Mr. Grethen is also in a bit of hot water with the law. Chris Hill of Sarasota, FL, ran one of the fastest-growing businesses of 1999, according to Inc Magazine. The problem is that Mr. Hill's business is making bongs. Um, I mean, novelty tobacco-smoking devices. He's facing up to 20 years in prison after being charged by federal prosecutors in Iowa with distributing drug paraphernalia - but remains undaunted, because his pipes are only illegal if vendors know that people who buy them will use them to smoke drugs. And of course, everyone knows that nobody who buys one-hitters or waterpipes actually puts marijuana in them. Tsk tsk. In his defense, Mr. Hill said, "I'm not going to make pipes again. I'm embarrassed that my government has put me in this position: They've lumped me in with some liberal longhaired dopers. That's not the kind of crowd I run with." Indeed, Mr. Hill clearly runs with conservative longhaired dopers. Which brings us to the $64,000 question: will they be able to find a Republican of the Year who isn't into child sex or drugs? Stay tuned!

5Ed McMahon and John Ashcroft unconstitutional
John Ashcroft's war on terror is coming soon to a street near you. It was announced last week that Ashcroft will be encouraging upstanding, patriotic Americans to spy on their neighbors and make sure they're not up to "suspicious things," according to the Associated Press. Assisting Mr. Ashcroft in promoting this rather McCarthyesque activity is Ed McMahon, who will be appearing in television commercials for neighborhood watch schemes later this year. We can only hope that the next time McMahon utters the words, "Heeeeeere's Johnny!" he isn't introducing your spying-ass next-door neighbor to the feds...

6Jesse Helms homophobia homophobia just plain evil
We were surprised to hear arch-conservative Jesse Helms announce recently that he regretted not doing more about the AIDS epidemic during his time in Congress. But of course, there is a caveat. Helms clarified his remarks last week, making sure everyone knew that he was referring to the epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, and certainly not to homosexuals in the United States. "If it had extended to them, I would have said so," quoth Helms. So, just to re-clarify: sub-Saharan Africans dying of AIDS = not good. American homosexuals dying of AIDS = A-OK in Jesse's book. Thanks for making that clear, Mr. Helms.

7Ronald C. Kline just plain evil just plain evil
It seems that the Grand Old Party of morals and values doesn't mind turning a blind eye to criminally sick individuals within its own ranks (as if you didn't know that already). Judge Ronald Kline, who was appointed by Pete Wilson in 1995, is running for his seat in Irvine, CA, soon. He also happens to be under house arrest for child molestation and possession of child pornography. And if you think his chances of re-election are slim, think again: his is the only name on the ballot. "The man had a wonderful reputation as a civil trial judge," said his lawyer in a statement. "He was extraordinarily well-respected, and he brought a tremendous wealth of experience in complex civil cases from his many years as a trial lawyer." Well, that's okay then. Guess the right-wing can just overlook the charges against him.

8Robert Ray Clinton hating Clinton hating Clinton hating
He's been out of office for well over a year now, but it seems that the Republicans just can't let go of Bill Clinton's genitals. The successor to Ken Starr, Independent Counsel Robert Ray, released a report last week, which (they promise) is the last, last, last, last word on the Bill Clinton National Fellatio Crisis. And here it is: Never mind that right-wing extremists failed miserably in their attempt to remove Clinton from office. Never mind that Clinton was never convicted in a court of law. Never mind that the entire country doesn't care. The $70 million wasted by the Independent Counsel was clearly money well spent because, Ray said, "sufficient evidence existed" to prosecute and convict President Clinton. So, Robert Ray did what any good prosecutor does with a slam-dunk case: He took Bill Clinton to court and made sure justice was done. Oh, wait a minute... That's not what he did at all. Ray didn't have the guts or the evidence to finish the job, so he cut a deal and ran. In fact, he's running right now -- for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey!

9George W. Bush (again) lying quid pro quo
It wasn't so long ago that Dubya had barely any recollection that he ever even met a man called Ken Lay. On the one hand it's not that hard to believe - after all, he forgot the entire Second World War a couple of weeks ago (see Idiots 56). But on the other hand, it's becoming more and more apparent that George is telling fibs. Last January he made the laughable claim that Ken Lay supported Ann Richards in the Texas gubernatorial race in 1994, and that he didn't get to know Lay until after that. So if that's the case, what was he doing working with Ken Lay all the way back in 1986? As David Corn reported in The Nation last week, Dubya's doomed-to-failure Spectrum 7 oil company had two business arrangements with Enron back in the mid-80s. And while Mr. Lay can deny to the heavens that he knew Dubya back then, don't you think you would know if the Vice-President's son was working with your company? Hmmm. Memories like sieves, these multi-millionaire corporate executives.

10Ann Coulter dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
And finally: Miss Coulter is back in action this week, this time with a novel way of attacking Democrats. Her target of choice in FrontPage Magazine was Norman Mineta, Dubya's transportation chief. "Let the record reflect that among President George Bush's dazzling team of advisers, the only stink-bomb is the one Democratic holdover from the Clinton administration," wrote Ann. Why? Because he is "burning with hatred for America." Huh? Well, apparently, Ann reasons that because Norman was sent to an interment camp during World War II, he holds some kind of grudge against the US. So she decides to make fun of him. Apparently Mineta once said, "I remember on the 29th of May, 1942 when we boarded the train in San Jose under armed guard, the military guard, I was in my Cub Scout uniform carrying a baseball, baseball glove and a baseball bat. And as I boarded the train, the MPs confiscated the bat on the basis it could be used as a lethal weapon." Coulter's response? "Good God! A guard took Mineta's baseball bat as a child, and as a result he's subjecting all of America to the Bataan Death March! Someone please give him a baseball bat." Um, Ann - he was being sent to a freakin' internment camp. Have you no shame? Um, stupid question I guess. See you next week!

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