The Top Ten Conservative
Idiots (No. 84)
September 16, 2002
Florida Fiasco Edition
Jeb usurps George as chief conservative idiot this week, jumping straight into the top spot with a fantastic performance this week. Election misadventures, doped-up daughters, terra alerts - it's all here. Slinking up behind Jeb this week we find Rep. Mark Foley (2) with a wonderful display of conservative hypocrisy, and GOPAC (3) who have been playing the race card and trying to scare voters. Wait a minute, I thought that's what they accused us of doing! Elsewhere we find the Denver Police Department (6) with their own version of Operation TIPS, Edward Fine (8) who is making a quick buck off 9/11, and Benjamin Netanyahu (10) new spokesperson for the FOX network. Enjoy, and as usual, here's the key.
Jeb Bush should probably start taking his job a little more seriously. After the election debacle of 2000 you'd expect him to clean up his state's act a little - but no, Jeb doesn't give two hoots about the electoral process. In fact, the brother of the "Responsibility President" knows exactly who's responsible - anyone but him, of course. He even had the gall to publicly ponder, "What is it with Democrats having a hard time voting?" As if you need to ask, fraud-boy. But poor Jeb did have more important things on his plate. His daughter Noelle - a shining example of the fruits of Bush parenting - was in trouble at her rehab clinic for hiding crack in her sock. Uh huh. Fortunately, just as reporters were heading down to Florida to investigate incompetent Jeb's misadministration, a convenient terror alert (quick, there might be a bomb in a car on I-75! Oh, wait - no there isn't) managed to distract everybody's attention and gave Governor Boob a nice little "war on terra" carrot to dangle in front of the hypnotized media. Good news though - Jeb managed to avoid breaking down in tears like he usually does a press conferences...
Unbridled Hypocrisy Of The Week Award goes to Rep. Mark Foley (R) of Florida, who last week was - if you can believe this - calling the legitimacy of Bill McBride into question. After another farcical Florida election McBride topped Janet Reno by around 8,000 votes. The state canvassing board certified the result, but Reno is weighing a challenge. Step forward Mark Foley, who back in 2000 insisted that, "it would be a sad commentary if this election ends up being taken out of the hands of the American people and decided by the courts," and, "whatever the outcome, we need to respect it," said of McBride last week that, "his legitimacy is definitely in question." Whyzzat? Here's how it works - when it looked like his boy was in danger of losing the presidency, it was all "let's move on." Now it looks like Governor Bush is going to face a serious challenge from McBride, the tables have turned - we must investigate! Interesting to see that vote counting is only important to Republicans when it's going to do them a favor.
Look who's playing the race card: Last week the Republican political action committee GOPAC (yes, that GOPAC) ran a radio ad in Kansas City in an effort to appeal to African American voters. The ad, one of the most shameful we've heard in a long time (even by conservative standards), tried to undercut black support for the Social Security system by calling it "reverse reparations." The sick conservative logic is that since blacks don't live as long as whites, they don't get as much retirement money: "So the next time some Democrat says he won't touch Social Security, ask why he thinks blacks owe reparations to whites." Strangely, the ad didn't mention how the entire Republican platform contributes to the tragically low life expectancy of African Americans in this country: Crappy healthcare and lax gun laws... they're reverse reparations!
Is that the sound of a clucking chicken I hear? Why, yes it is - Dick Cheney has gone back into hiding again! Vice President Crashcart was last seen heading for the bunkers shortly before the anniversary of September 11, presumably so he could yank on the levers of power in private. Yellow Dick did manage to pluck up the courage last week to phone Rush Limbaugh's show and have a nice chat with him, which doesn't seem like a particularly good way of uniting, not dividing - but then what do you expect from the man who is desperately calling for American soldiers to be sent to Iraq, all from the safety of his own sordid little hidey-hole?
Environmental Protection Agency
I guess while George W. Bush and his cronies are focussing on busting a cap in Saddam's ass, there's really not much need to worry about other dumb issues, such as the economy, or the environment. At least, that must be the case since the EPA last week released their annual federal report on air pollution trends - which for the first time in six years had no section on global warming. Why? "Some people at pretty high levels in my organization were saying, 'Take it out,'" said an EPA official. Well, I guess the White House thinks that they don't need to bother reporting global warming trends right now. And knock me down with a feather, the New York Times reported that "Industry lobbyists are praising the decision." Oh, why am I not surprised?
If you live in Denver, Big Brother may have been watching YOU! It was reported last week that the Denver PD has been keeping a list of 3200 people and 208 organizations that they thought were worth keeping an eye on. 74-year-old nun Sister Antonia Anthony was on there for being a member of a "criminal extremist group." 82-year-old great-grandmother Helen Henry was on there for the "Free Leonard Peltier" bumper sticker on her car. Stephen Nash was on there for belonging to Amnesty International and two local police watchdog organizations. When Denver's mayor found out what was going on he ordered the files thrown out, but not before the ACLU sued the city for invasion of privacy. Hey folks, better get used to it! This is John Ashcroft's wet dream come to life!
It may be rough living under Bush's "compassionate" conservatism, but it could be worse. Check out this story from Iran last week, in which a certain Mr. Khazir was so certain that his seven year old daughter had been raped by her uncle that he, er, cut her head off. What? Mr. Khazir explains: "The motive behind the killing was to defend my honor, fame, and dignity." Unfortunately it turns out that a post mortem showed that the girl hadn't been raped at all. See what happens when conservatism really gets out of control?
Homicidal conservatism may only go on overseas, but when it comes to insensitive and tasteless opportunism, you don't have to look too far from home. Take Edward Fine - a World Trade Center survivor who was pictured covered in dust on the front cover of Fortune magazine shortly after September 11. Mr. Fine has decided that he'd like to make a quick buck off the misfortune of thousands and has announced that he will henceforth be charging for interviews. And how much will he be charging? You'l love this: "I ask $500 for an hour, for two, it's $911 - and, yes, there is a significance to that sum." Nice.
Faith Based Initiative
So it appears that George W. Bush's "faith-based initiative" is actually nothing more than a ploy to help get GOP candidates elected. The Washington Post reported last week that "Top government officials overseeing the [faith-based initiative] program, designed to funnel federal social service grants to religious groups, have appeared at Republican-sponsored events and with GOP candidates in at least six states. For example, at a recent South Carolina event, attendees were sent follow-up letters explaining how to get grants - on GOP stationery. White House spokeswoman Ann Womack assured the press that Jim Towey, soon-to-be-head of the program, "travels all over the country to talk about the president's faith-based initiative," although oddly enough she couldn't recall any instances where he'd made joint appearances with Democrats facing tough election fights. Ain't it nice to see that your tax dollars are working hard - for the Republicans.
And finally, it seems that former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doing his bit to help billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch extend his media reach to the Middle East. Netanyahu appeared before the House Government Reform Committee last week and announced that the USA could start a cultural revolution in Iran. How? By broadcasting FOX shows such as "Melrose Place" and "Beverly Hills 90210" of course! "This is pretty subversive stuff," Netanyahu said. "The kids of Iran would want the nice clothes they see on those shows. They would want the swimming pools and fancy lifestyles." He went on to add, "And don't forget the premieres of 'John Doe' and 'Fast Lane', two exciting new shows starting this fall, only on FOX!" See you next week...