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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 69)
May 27, 2002
Out Of Harm's Way Edition

Three cheers as Dubya sits atop the chart for a second week running. Turns out that even he admits that his little jaunt across the country on September 11 was the act of a chicken. Not too shabby. Dick Cheney returns to the chart, bringing his wife Lynne along for the ride (2), and John Ashcroft holy rolls his way into the number three slot. But who's this? Why, it's Laura Bush (4), making her debut appearance on the Top Ten list. Congratulations Laura! In fact it seems that we're all about first families this time around, as the First Family of Texas slips into sixth place. Bringing up the rear we have Time Magazine (7) licking the boots of Ari Fleischer, the Michigan Republican Party (8) cheating their way through election season, and Dick Armey (9) just being completely and utterly despicable. (Don't forget the key.)

1George W. Bush cowardice cowardice cowardice cowardice
According to the GOP, the infamous Bush-9/11 exploitation photo they were hawking for cash demonstrated "the gritty determination of our new president." But believe it or not, in an interview last week for German television Dubya revealed what was really going through his mind as he sat safe and sound on Air Force One. "I was concerned about things like, is my wife safe? You know, I was worried about that. I was worried about things such as my parents. I was worried about my [twin] girls....I mean, I was trying to get out of harm's way." Trying to get out of harm's way? There were a lot of people worried about their families on September 11, but let's face it - most of them weren't flown "out of harm's way" when they should have been leading the country. Not that Bush is particularly worried about the servicemen and women he's currently putting in harm's way in Afghanistan, of course. So: gritty determination? Or pant-pooping yellow-bellied cowardice? We report, you decide...

2Dick and Lynne Cheney covering your ass partisanship excessive spin
And so George W. Bush is running scared. Unable to come up with a coherent (or honest) response to the explosive allegations that he had advance warning of the 9/11 attack, George did the same thing he always does when he gets in a bind… He sent in Dick Cheney to do damage control. Too bad Pacemaker Boy (or his wife) couldn't come up with a coherent response either. So they used the classic Bush Administration fallback plan: Get offended that your opponents would even dare to ask questions. "When members of Congress suggest that the president of the United States had foreknowledge of the attack on September 11th, I think that's outrageous, that is beyond pale," Cheney said. "Somebody needs to say, that ain't criticism, that's a gross outrageous political attack, and it's totally uncalled for." Dick later trotted out his wife to echo the sentiment, "To suggest that any president would have information that he could have acted on to prevent Sept. 11 and not acted is absolutely beyond the pale." So let me get this straight: Knowing about 9/11 beforehand, and doing nothing, is perfectly acceptable. But asking questions about it is beyond the pale. Welcome to Bush's America.

3John Ashcroft helping the terrorists hypocrisy
As Americans continue to wonder what went wrong before 9/11, it is becoming increasingly clear that Attorney General Ashcroft dropped the ball last year. It's seems that Holy John was spending way too much of his time and energy on his two pet issues: (1) providing greater access to firearms for America's criminals, and (2) sticking his nose in other people's private business, especially when it relates to sex and drugs. According to the UK Guardian, on September 10, Ashcroft submitted requests for budget increases in 68 programs, none of which were related to terrorism. A memorandum from the same time outlined his seven priorities, none of which was fighting terrorism. He even turned down an FBI request that hundreds more agents be assigned to counter-terrorism efforts. Interestingly, by mid summer Ashcroft had become concerned enough with the threat of terror attacks against himself that he had stopped using commercial airlines, and instead chartered a private jet to travel around the country. This, of course, is becoming a theme for this administration: Screw the American people, but get your own ass "out of harm's way."

4Laura Bush dumb
Never fear folks, our problems with NATO are solved! Yes, Laura Bush, our esteemed First Librarian, is making great strides in the arena of foreign policy - meeting last week with Czech President Vaclav Havel. According to the UK Guardian, Laura and Vaclav spent 30 minutes discussing the November NATO summit "at a candlelit table in his presidential office." How romantic! But as it turned out Laura was more than a match for President Havel when it came to topics such as Russia's potential for inclusion in NATO. After the meeting, she told reporters that, "I think, actually, his viewpoint is also what President Bush thinks - that Russia can be a nice ally to NATO, but not necessarily a member." That's nice!

5House Republicans hypocrisy excessive spin excessive spin partisanship fiscal irresponsibility
House Republicans think it's a disgrace that anyone should use the war for partisan political purposes, but ended up wrapping themselves so tightly in the flag last week that their brains started to squeeze out of their ears. Working on a policy of lowering taxes, increasing spending, and borrowing, borrowing, borrowing, the GOP last week attempted to force an increase in the federal debt ceiling into an anti-terrorism bill. Now that's what I call fiscal responsibility! House Democrats opposed the measure, but Republicans decided to play the terrorism card by accusing Democrats of holding up spending on the military - not that they want to use the war for partisan political purposes, you understand. "American soldiers are dying, unfortunately," sniffed House Appropriations Committee Chairman C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.). "We are going to move this bill to completion." And move it they did - the GOP defeated Democrats' attempts to stop the measure by 215-203. Our sentiments echo those of Rep. John F. Tierney (D-Mass.) "The majority wrapped this bad act in the flag... and brought it here hoping Americans would be distracted by the waving of the flag. It's a disgrace." That's Republicans for you, John...

6The First Family of Texas nepotism lying
What do you do if you're a 15-year-old girl who really really wants a driver's license like right now without having to wait until you turn 16? Well if your daddy's the governor of Texas, it's simple. The Dallas Morning News reported last week that Sydney Perry has been given a special driver's license after her mother indicated that their family faces "unusual economic hardship." Apparently young Sydney needs the license to get to school, and to drive to a summer job (despite the fact that Rick Perry has Department of Public Safety drivers at his disposal). The first family's economic hardship must be quite unusual - Perry makes $115,000 a year, and the DPS must find that failure to grant the license "will result in an unusual economic hardship for the family of the applicant." So Sydney's job must be quite something if she's going to be keeping the Perrys afloat this summer. Halliburton CEO perhaps? I mean, it can't be that she just wants the license to impress her friends...

7Time Magazine excessive spin
This week's award for Most Sycophantic Piece of Brown-Nosed Buttock-Fondling goes to Time Magazine for their fawning write-up of Ari Fleischer's performance last week. Ari was Time's Person of the Week for "having one tough week - and not really deserving it... It would be a hardhearted newsman who didn't feel just the slightest twinge of sympathy for White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer Wednesday night as he took the withering first wave of Washington's latest 9/11-related feeding frenzy." Uh-huh. Of course one could make the argument that since this is the first time in a year and a half that Ari's actually had to answer any real questions, we really shouldn't be feeling that sorry for him. Unless of course you like to pretend that one of the administration's most egregious liars and partisan hacks is a poor, sad fellow deserving of sympathy. Thanks, Time.

8The Michigan Republican Party election stealing election stealing
It's an election year, which could only mean one thing: Republicans are cheating again. From Michigan comes the latest offense from the GOP Dirty Tricks file. It appears that the Michigan GOP has planted eight fake Democratic candidates on this year's primary ballot to challenge legitimate Democratic candidates for state senate. The two public notaries who certified the eight fake candidates work for (surprise!) two Republican state senators. One of the candidates was an 18-year-old kid who was talked into running by a group of Republicans. Apparently he thought he was signing up as a Republican. It appears that the kid filled out the entire form except the space for party affiliation, which had the word "Democrat" scrawled in someone else's handwriting. When the poor kid was asked who talked him into running, all he could come up with was the name "Pete" and a phone number in Lansing, the state capital. Turns out the number was for the Senate Majority Communications Office, which just happens to have a staffer named Pete. (Incidentally, Michigan law forbids the use of government facilities for political work - Whoops!) So, looks like the GOP's been busted for fake candidates in Michigan. Now, if they could only do something about the fake President in the White House.

9 Dick Armey homophobia homophobia just plain evil just plain evil
The United States Senate unanimously passed legislation to provide federal death benefits to survivors of ten fallen heroes from the 9/11 tragedy. The bill was named for Father Mychal Judge, the gay chaplain who died while administering last rites to a firefighter in the World Trade Center. While the Senate did the right thing, bigoted Republicans in the House, led by Dick Armey, couldn't stand the thought of providing assistance to surviving family members of gays and lesbians. The bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee, but Armey pulled it before it could come up for a vote on the House floor. Apparently it would set a bad precedent to show a little conservative compassion to all the dead heroes of 9/11. The message from Dick Armey is, United we stand… Unless you're gay, in which case we don't give a shit that you made the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect your fellow Americans. Absolutely sickening.

10George W. Bush (again) dumb sex
And finally, it would appear that our great leader George W. Bush has finally fallen under the spell of former KGB chief Vladimir Putin. It was only last year that George stared into Vlad's eyes and caught a glimpse of his soul, but he doesn't seem to be able to get the incident out of his mind, the poor, lovesick dunderhead. And last week it was revealed that Bush has a new nickname for his beloved - he now refers to the Russian leader as "Pootie-Poot." We're not sure what Pickles makes of this, but we suspect that her recent candlelit dinner with Vaclav Havel may not have been an in-depth discussion of NATO policies, as advertised, but instead a cry for help - a way to make hubby jealous. "George, I'm a woman, for god's sake, with feelings. I wanted you to keep your hands off that ex-KGB whorebag, but you wouldn't listen! And now it's too late!" Yup, whether it's Dubya and Pootie-Poot or Pickles and Vaclav, this nail-biting story of love, romance, and top-level Eastern-European shagging is keeping us on the edge of our seats. See you next week!

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