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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 87)
October 14, 2002
Bush Across America Edition

So much for the war. Dubya's planning on spending most of the next three weeks raising money for the Republican machine - all on the taxpayer's dime of course, which earns him the number one spot this week. But there were some worthy challengers to the throne - witness Bill Simon (2) who is just getting really, really embarrassing, and the Illinois State Rifle Association (3), who are just really, really evil. Meanwhile Harvey Waite (5) is just trying to help out his wife, and Mike Taylor (6) is floating in a sea of sleaze. Jeb Bush (9) and Dick Armey (10) round of this week's list with the kind of conservative idiocy that only comes with years of practice. Enjoy, and as usual, don't forget the key.

1George W. Bush partisanship photo-opping fiscal irresponsibility warmongering greed
War on Iraq? Not likely - at least, not before November 5th. George W. Bush is planning a fourteen day tour across America leading up to the mid-term elections, so he's obviously not very concerned about anything important going on in Washington. Dubya will be visiting up to four states a day, campaigning and fundraising for GOP candidates. His trip is (of course) paid for by you and I, the taxpayer. So much for all that belligerent rhetoric about Saddam Hussein - Bush's real goal all along was to keep Iraq on the front pages to bolster support for Republican candidates. Now he's off on a massive cross-country taxpayer-funded GOP money grab when he should be in the White House conducting the country's important business. I thought we were at war? Sure we're at war - unless the GOP manages to retain the House and regain the Senate. Then what do you bet there'll be all sorts of far more important business to attend to? Like appointing hard-core conservative judges, making deficit-causing tax cuts permanent, privatizing Social Security, overturning Roe vs. Wade... etc., etc., etc.

2Bill Simon lying dumb dumb
There was more hilarity last week in the California gubernatorial campaign, when GOP candidate "Desperate" Bill Simon accused Governor Gray Davis of accepting illegal campaign contributions. Simon released two photographs which claimed to show Davis accepting a check from Monty Holden, executive director of the California Organization of Police and Sheriffs (COPS) in the Lieutenant Governor's office at the state Capitol. Simon quickly began handwringing in front of TV cameras and on conservative talk radio, pointing to the photographs as evidence of Gray Davis's lack of ethics, and outright accusing him of illegal activity. Except there was one tiny problem: on further inspection, it became clear that the photographs were not taken in the LG's office at all, but in a private home when he was running for Governor back in 1998. Which is, obviously, completely legal. Simon's gaffe caused various California newspapers to write such flattering lines as, "This is now just a case of a corpse kicking himself," "That gurgling sound you heard Tuesday was Bill Simon's political credibility going down the toilet," and "Simon swung wildly and stumbled into the other guy's corner on his butt." And, just to pour a little extra humiliation onto himself, Desperate Bill finally came out and tried to claim that, "It's not my allegation... This is California Organization of Police and Sheriffs speaking, not me." What a loser!

3The Illinois State Rifle Association gun nut gun nut just plain evil
How far will gun nuts go to try and prove their point? Well... maybe a little too far. In the wake of the DC area sniper shootings, local politicians have been quiet on the gun control issue, obviously not wishing to politicize such a terrible situation. But it's sure not going to stop the Illinois State Rifle Association, who put this gem in the recent edition of their newsletter Roundup: "Far be it from us to advance conspiracy theories, but the timing of this sniper activity is unsettling. Maryland has one of the hottest governor's races in the country, certainly hotter than that in Illinois. The central theme of the Maryland race is gun control. Things heat up. There is this off the wall series of sniper killings. Murder made to order for the antigunners." Murder made to order. That's right, folks. The Illinois State Rifle Association is suggesting that some clever liberal is out there murdering people on behalf of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. How low can you go? Well - sadly, even lower. Check out this response to the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence's annual writing and art contest for students (from the same newsletter): "The state's largest gun-grabbing group will hold its yearly group-grope on the Federal Plaza on Monday. Certainly all the antigun politicians will be there tripping all over each other to see who will portray themselves as being the most antigun. Intermixed with all the damning statements about the NRA (most of the folks in the crowd can't even spell NRA) will be silly awards for silly poems and a sappy story from some mom whose honor student kid was gunned down at 3 a.m. on his way home from the library to choir practice. Of course, we'll hear how the little angel wanted to be a doctor. Question, how come all these dead kids wanted to be doctors? Obviously, wanting to be a doctor is the problem, not guns." Beautiful stuff, huh?

4The New York Daily News excessive spin excessive spin
And so, while George W. Bush prepares to go on a nationwide Republican wank-fest, the media continues its dismissal of Al Gore. Last week Gore made an extremely important speech, but you wouldn't know it if you read the New York Daily News. Why? Because they seemed to be far more concerned with the human interest angle - that, ha ha, Al Gore was too fat to wear his wedding ring. "Al Gore came to blast President Bush's handling of the economy but in the end got caught up in The Wedding Ring controversy," reported the Daily News. Excuse me, the "Wedding Ring controversy?" The final four paragraphs of the article discussed in brief Gore's scathing criticism of Bush's economic policy, but it was obvious that the fact that Gore has gained some weight was the big story here. Amazing what kind of crap the "liberal media" is capable of churning out these days, isn't it?

5Harvey Waite dumb dumb dumb arrest
Here's a brilliant piece of grassroots campaigning, conservative-idiot style. The story begins when a St. Petersburg, FL, deputy heard a loud crash and saw a man running to climb into a pickup truck, which sped off. The deputy stopped the truck and according to the St. Petersburg Times, found "a hammer, two pairs of gloves, four Karen Thurman for Congress signs, driver Larry Laxton and passenger Harvey Waite, husband of Thurman's Republican opponent, Ginny Brown-Waite." Whoops! The two men had obviously worked hard on a cover story - Laxton said that he'd found the signs lying on the side of the road, and Waite said that they were from a construction site. Nice going, boys! Clearly this wasn't going to work, so they owned up. In his defense, Waite whined, "We have been having a lot of our signs stolen and it is very frustrating." Cry me a river, bub. Apparently Brown-Waite does "not condone her husband's actions," and is presumably now wondering why she married this unbelievable doofus in the first place.

6Mike Taylor crybaby homophobia
Poor old Mike Taylor has been washed away on a "sea of sleaze" - at least, that's what he says happened. Taylor last week dropped out of Montana's Senate race after a Democratic Party-sponsored ad accused him of running a "student loan scam at his Denver-area hairstyling schools in the 1990s," according to the Great Falls Tribune. But that's not why he dropped out - see, Taylor reckons that the ads are actually secretly implying that he's gay, and that it would take "millions of dollars" of advertising to counter that claim. Hey - him and Rush Limbaugh said it, not us. In typical Republican fashion, Taylor is running straight to the courts to fix a problem he can't solve himself - he's threatening to sue the Democratic Party and his opponent Sen. Max Baucus for libel. Taylor says that the student loan scam claim is simply not true - apparently "auditors from the U.S. Department of Education had simply uncovered some bookkeeping errors." Uh, yeah, right. Oh, and he also wants you to know that he's NOT GAY. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course!

7The West Virginia Family Foundation homophobia homophobia
The gayoskeptics seem to be out in force this week - check out the West Virginia Family Foundation, who last week accused a school anti-bullying program of secretly promoting that ol' favorite, the "gay agenda." The Family Foundation insists that, "the 'project' is really nothing more than hate crimes training for children under the guise of an anti-bullying program." Why? Because the program's booklet suggests that teachers should, "Tell students not to assume all their classmates are heterosexual, but acknowledge that some students are homosexual and bisexual," and "Identify the contributions of homosexuals in history, literature, art, science and religion and expand libraries to include books related to sexual diversity." My goodness, we can't have that! This is the very fabric of society we're talking about here! And anyway, surely every "pro-family" person knows that if you want to cure gayness you have to catch it early - so what's wrong with knocking the stuffing out of effeminate schoolboys?

8Taney County Commissioners partisanship partisanship partisanship
Ya gotta admit, playing politics with September 11 is a ballsy move - especially when your motives are purely personal. Last week in Missouri, Taney County officials finally (and reluctantly) agreed to hang a plaque of remembrance for a Missourian who was killed at the World Trade Center. Why the long wait? Because he was a Democrat, of course! The late John Willett was appointed to county treasurer in 1996, where he accused the county's clerk and collector (both Republicans) of "illegally entering into personal contracts to collect property taxes for six area cities," according to the Associated Press. The two men were eventually cleared, but it didn't stop county officials from putting partisanship first and not only refusing to put up the plaque, but also intentionally failing to mention Willet's name during a remembrance ceremony. Ah, the party of honor and integrity, patriotism and compassion. Doesn't it just make you want to... puke?

9 Jeb Bush flip-flopping lying
Oh dear - someone should have told Jeb Bush that it's a good idea to check for reporters before you start making dumb statements which totally contradict your public policy statements. At a meeting last week with Pensacola lawmakers, Bush said that he had "devious plans'' to prevent a constitutional amendment which would mandate smaller class sizes. And he said that he wants to" give the Legislature the power to set teachers' salaries, bypassing locally elected school boards" - a reversal of the current Republican position. And finally, he "bragged to the lawmakers he had some 'juicy details' about the caregivers of Rilya Wilson, the girl who disappeared from her Miami home this year after state workers failed to check on her," suggesting that the women were lesbians, according to the Tampa Tribune. So there you have it, folks - a rare peek into the real thoughts of a Bush family member, and the inconsistencies between what they spew in public and what they think in private. Doesn't it make you proud to have this family in charge?

10Dick Armey hypocrisy
And finally: what do you do if your son's failed congressional bid received less-than-favorable coverage from your local newspaper? Why, take massive retaliatory action of course! According to the Austin American-Statesman Dick Armey recently "tried to have language inserted into a $10 billion military appropriations bill to force Belo Corp. to divest itself of one of its three Dallas media properties." And all because the Belo-owned Denton Record-Chronicle "looked at Scott Armey's record as judge, including his votes for contracts benefiting political associates" during his campaign. Tsk, tsk. Apparently at the time Armey accused the newspaper of "vicious unprofessionalism." Not like, say, attempting to hijack a military appropriations bill to get petty revenge on some nasty newsmen who told the truth about your son. That's not unprofessional, is it? See you next week!

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