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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 62)
April 8, 2002
Trademark Idiocy Edition

If you're looking for conservative idiocy, the ten listed below are trademark specimens. Jeb Bush (1) tries to make it illegal to criticize him during an election year, Rush Limbaugh (3) puts "Crossfire" in the crossfire, and Rev. Michael Taylor (4) says Dubya was chosen by God. Meanwhile, Carl Ford and James Kelly (5) do the Taiwan slush-fund shuffle, Spence Abraham (6) chows down, and Edmund Matricardi III (7) engages in some (alleged) GOP dirty tricks. Finally, Bush Administration Officials (10) don't think you're clapping loud enough! So clap! Louder! And click here for the icons.

1Jeb Bush™ massive ego dumb
Itching to pick a fight with Governor Jebbie as he struggles for re-election this year? Of course you are; we all hate that guy. Here's a word of advice: you had better not call the Jebster by name, because you might find yourself slapped with a nasty lawsuit. You see, he's getting his name trademarked so nobody else can use it. It all seems innocent enough: Jeb claims to be upset that a GOP front group, "Americans for Jeb Bush" shouldn't have the right to use his name, because people might get confused... So he's trademarking it. I know what you're thinking: Hey, if Jeb wants to shut down a Republican group, that's great. Not so fast there, buckaroo. What happens when some Dems start a group called "Americans to defeat Jeb Bush"? Once Jeb Bush™ has the legal precedent he wants, do you think he's going to call off the lawyers when some Democrats try the same thing? Don't count on it. I'm not real big on conspiracy theories, but I'm guessing we won't see a very vigorous legal defense from the folks over at Americans for Jeb Bush.

2Right-Wing Warmongers hypocrisy hypocrisy excessive spin warmongering
As the Middle East goes up in smoke and George W. Bush sits on his ass in Crawford, right-wing warhawks are lining up to encourage Bush to continue his do-nothing policies. Bills Kristol and Bennett, the Wall Street Journal, and the National Review (among others) have recently been bashing any attempts by the administration - no matter how pathetic - to restart the peace process as "moral confusion" and "Clintonite wishful thinking." (Yes, we must end the nightmare of peace and prosperity!) Of course, Bush's nonsensical black-and-white "you're either with us or against us" doctrine is causing a bit of a problem - because now the same hawks who advocate direct intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq have suddenly had to shut up when it comes to the Israel/Palestine conflict. Which just goes to show that the right-wingnut hawks would rather see endless war in the Middle East than appear to contradict themselves.

3Rush Limbaugh hypocrisy hypocrisy hypocrisy hypocrisy partisanship
Some conservatives aren't ashamed to contradict themselves though, and here's the master: Rush Limbaugh. Sweatboy had an interesting review of the new "Crossfire" up on his website last week, a review which would leave even the most hypocrisy-resistant gagging and clutching at their throats as they struggled to stay upright. Comments such as, "These are not broadcasters, folks, they're partisans. They're childish, immature little kids in a sandbox kicking stuff around," and, "Do they really think that a bunch of sniveling, partisan hacks lying through their teeth is going to build a huge audience?" leave one wondering whether Kaptain Krispy Kreme has left the planet Earth for good and is now orbiting a faraway sun somewhere in another dimension. Rush, here's a mirror. Take a good look in it, and (assuming it doesn't break) say H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E two hundred fifty times. Feeling any slight twinges of shame? Nah, thought not.

4Rev. Michael Taylor dumb religious nut election stealing
I would have thought that ministers of the Lord were above such earthly pursuits as sycophantic brown-nosing, but apparently that ain't the case in Bush country. George Jr. got a good laugh out of his Easter service last week when the Reverend Michael Taylor started banging on about how the outcome of the 2000 presidential election was the will of God. "My friend, President Bush, for us who believe, that day of the counting it was all over but the shouting," he said, to a rousing chorus of "Amen!" Taylor went on, "My friends, a lot of you are here strictly to visit and to see dignitaries that are with us this morning, but you really ought to be here to visit with Jesus Christ." This was a reference to front row, which was filled entirely by the Bush family, including George H.W. Bush (sold arms to terrorists), George W. Bush (drinking, drugs, draft-dodging, AWOL, executioner), Laura Bush (vehicular manslaughter), and Jenna Bush (drunk and disorderly). God certainly does move in mysterious ways!

5Carl Ford and James Kelly quid pro quo quid pro quo quid pro quo
From the "honor and integrity" file: Recently, Taiwan was rocked by news of a secret NT$3.5 billion slush fund which was used to buy favors for Taiwan in Washington, DC, and elsewhere around the world. Leaked documents indicate that two Bush Administration officials received payments from the slush fund before they were tapped to join the administration. One official, Carl Ford, is now the assistant secretary of defense for intelligence and research, and the other, James Kelly is the assistant secretary of state of East Asia. Online Journal reports that Carl Ford was responsible for millions of dollars donated to the Bush campaign and the RNC. This raises questions of possible indirect foreign campaign contributions, something which the GOP tried (unsuccessfully) to pin on Al Gore. So, where's the outrage about illegal Chinese campaign contributions this time? And why isn't the liberal media all over this story?

6Spence Abraham covering your ass quid pro quo
Spence Abraham has one of the most difficult jobs in Washington - planning his entire schedule around food. According to the Washington Post, "His appointment schedule is crammed with culinary references," including "scheduling lunch," "working lunch," strategy lunch," and "a 'get to know each other' lunch." But it's not just lunch - how about, "snacks," "heavy hors d'oeurves," "breakfast," "sandwiches," "cocktail party," "dinner," and, of course, a "cook-off." Interestingly all this gastronomic information comes from the energy policy documents which were released recently but mysteriously censored (see Idiots 61). Seems that the Bush administrations is much more interested in you knowing the content of Spence Abraham's stomach than knowing exactly what Dick Cheney did for Ken Lay...

7Edmund Matricardi III partisanship partisanship partisanship
This just in from the Republican dirty tricks department. Last week the Associated Press reported that the executive director of the Virginia Republican Party, Edmund Matricardi III, allegedly tapped illegally into a telephone call between Democratic Governor Mark Warner, Democratic state legislators and their lawyers as they plotted strategy in a redistricting case. While Matricardi refused comment on the case, one prominent GOPer gave an eyebrow-raising explanation: According to House Speaker S. Vance Wilkins, the most powerful Republican legislator in the state, "operatives play these games all the time." Oh really? Maybe Republican operatives do.

8Bradley County, Tennessee unconstitutional unconstitutional religious nut
The Constitution forbids the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools. But public schools can teach about the Ten Commandments, as long as it is done in a historical context. So fundies across the country have been trying to do an end-run around the U.S. Constitution by posting the Ten Commandments in a historical context. But usually the effort spent adding "historical context" is so half-assed that these displays are blatantly unconstitutional. (Imagine a giant full-color poster of Moses holding the Ten Commandments, next to tiny white three-by-five cards with ball-point-pen stick figures labeled "Julius Caesar," "Alexander the Great," "Phaeroah" [sic], and, for good measure, "Martin Luther King, Jr.") After Bradley County, Tennessee, decided to display the Commandments in a similar fashion, a clever student filed suit asking that they also display the Five Pillars of Islam in a historical context. School officials who were previously so keen on teaching religious history, suddenly lost enthusiasm. "At this point we have our agendas full, and there's no point in the immediate future to address that," said Commission Chairman Mike Smith. Score another victory for separation of Church and State!

9Paul Scott homophobia
Paul Scott, a parent in El Cajon, Califorinia, recently filed a discrimination claim on behalf of his school-aged daughter. According to the claim, Mr. Scott thinks that his daughter's right to privacy is being violated because she has to share a bathroom with lesbian students, so he wants the local school superintendent to designate separate bathrooms for gay students and straight students. Fortunately, local education officials rejected the claim outright. Apparently Mr. Scott didn't get the memo when the whole "separate but equal" thing was rejected by the Supreme Court about half a century ago.

10Bush Administration Officials crybaby crybaby
And finally: If you ever get the opportunity to go see George W. Bush in person, remember this: APPLAUD. VIGOROUSLY. Because if you don't, you see yourself on the receiving end of the over-sensitive and easily provoked Bush Administration Spin Machine. Just ask Paul Krugman. At the recent Gridiron Dinner, while the rest of the media elite were clapping like a pathetic bunch of trained sea lions, Krugman did not. According to an anonymous White House source, Krugman "refused to applaud any of the military leaders who were announced, nor did he applaud the president, the vice president or any members of the president's staff." The source added that Krugman, who was seated in the audience with hundreds of other people, "stuck out like a sore thumb." Things are getting ominous here, people. It used to be that you would get attacked if you criticized the president. Now the Bush goon squad will publicly savage you if you don't clap hard enough. See you next week!

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