The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
August 9, 2004
Swift Kick In The Balls Edition
DU 3rd Quarter Fund Drive begins August 15.
But you can pre-donate this week!
it seems that while we were away at the Democratic National Convention,
conservatives failed to stop being idiots. Sigh. Oh well, better
get on with it then. First up this week are the Swift Boat Veterans
for "Truth" (1) who are helping George W. Bush run one
of the dirtiest campaigns in recent history. Next we've got Dick
Cheney (2) who seems to think it's the Democrats' fault that
gas prices are going up. Aha. Meanwhile the Florida GOP (3) have
made themselves - and Jeb Bush - look very foolish indeed. Elsewhere,
Team Bush (4) is asking for signed loyalty oaths, Richard Shelby
(6) is apparently not in any trouble after leaking top secret information
to the press, James Hart (8) is not just a nutjob but a Republican
all the way, and George W. Bush (10) reveals why things have been
going so poorly for the last four years. Enjoy, and as usual, don't
forget the key!
Note: You can now link directly
to a Top Ten item by adding "#" plus the number
of the item to the URL. So if you wish to point someone directly
to, for example, number 6 on this week's list, add "#6"
to the end of the URL so it looks like this:
Boat Veterans for "Truth"
Last week, thanks to constant plugs by the Drudge Report, a book
entitled Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against
John Kerry reached Amazon's number 1 spot based on pre-orders.
At the same time, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth released a TV
ad which attempted to call Kerry's honesty into question and insisted
that he'd "betrayed" his fellow troops and was not fit
to lead the country. The ad begins with a clip of John Edwards saying,
"If you have any questions about what John Kerry's made of,
just spend three minutes with the men who served with him."
The screen goes black, and writing appears which says "Here's
what those men think about John Kerry," before launching into
a series of clips of Vietnam veterans personally attacking Kerry
and accusing him of lying. Let's break this down shall we?
- Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is supposed to be a non-partisan
organization. But it was organized with the assistance of Merrie
Spaeth, a Republican public relations executive "whose late
husband, Tex Lezar, ran for Texas lieutenant governor on George
W. Bush's ticket in 1994," according
- Also according to Salon, the Swift Boat Veterans' website "was
put up courtesy of William Franke, a St. Louis businessman with
longstanding ties to Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Missouri
Republican Party. Its chief financiers, according to the group's
last quarterly IRS filing, are Houston builder Bob
J. Perry and the Crow family, both major Republican donors
from Texas." During the past four years Perry has apparently
given "$5 million to candidates and causes, nearly all of
them Republican and extremely conservative."
- Again, according to Salon, "the group's IRS filing names
several experienced Washington political operatives. The June
30 filing shows payments to Robert A. Hahn, a right-wing Internet
activist and Web designer who also runs something called the Free
- Swift Boat Veterans head honcho and co-author of the Kerry-bashing
book, John O'Neill, is a partisan hack who used to clerk
for William Rehnquist and has had a long-standing feud with Kerry
since the early seventies, when he was hand-picked by Richard
Nixon in an effort to discredit
Kerry's anti-war activities.
- The other co-author of Unfit for Command, Jerome R.
Corsi, PhD, has in
the past called Islam "a worthless, dangerous Satanic
religion"; said of Muslims that, "RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers
as clearly as they are Women-Haters - it all goes together";
said of Catholics that, "Boy buggering in both Islam and
Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported
by the liberal press"; said of John Kerry, "After he
married TerRAHsa, didn't John Kerry begin practicing Judiasm?
He also has paternal grandparents that were Jewish. What religion
is John Kerry?"; and said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, "Anybody
ask why HELLary couldn't keep BJ Bill satisfied? Not lesbo or
anything, is she?" And there's plenty
more where that came from (if you can stomach it).
of the veterans in the commercial served on a boat with John Kerry.
Despite saying in the ad that they "served with" Kerry,
they only served in Vietnam at the same time as Kerry. All but
one of the surviving veterans who actually served under Kerry's
command have endorsed him and strongly support him. Jim Rassmann
the ad, "pure fabrication."
- One of the veterans who appears in the ad - Kerry's commander
in Vietnam, George Elliott - said
last week that he had made a "terrible mistake" by suggesting
Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star. Elliott originally recommended
Kerry for the award, saying he was "calm, professional, and
highly courageous in the face of enemy fire." Elliott - along
with one of the other Swift Boat Veterans - even came to Boston
during Kerry's Senate campaign in 1996 to support him. Now he
says that his contradictory statements "makes me look kind
of silly, to be perfectly honest." By the way, Elliott has since
his retraction. Guess the guy just can't decide what he
believes. Either that or his "pals" gently reminded
him that it ain't so easy to back out of a signed affidavit.
- John McCain, chairman of Bush's campaign in Arizona, denounced
the ads last week, saying, "I deplore this kind of politics.
I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is, none of
these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of
his crew have testified to his courage under fire." Referring
to the dirty
tricks Team Bush used against McCain during the 2000 Republican
primaries, he said, "It was the same kind of deal that was
pulled on me."
- Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said, "We have been very
clear in stating that, you know, we will not - and we have not
and we will not question Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam,"
to condemn or criticize the ad, instead using the opportunity
to complain about "unregulated soft-money activity."
So - Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? Hardly. On the contrary, this
is likely to go down in history as one of the most dishonest and
dirtiest campaign tricks ever. Shame on Team Bush for not disowning
Back in 2000, George W. Bush used rising gas prices as a campaign
issue. He said,
"I think the president ought to get on the phone with the OPEC
cartel and say, 'We expect you to open your spigots.' … The president
of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price."
Meanwhile, spokesman Scott McClellan was telling reporters that
rising gas prices were an example of "failed leadership."
Well guess what? Now that oil is more expensive than it's ever been,
it's suddenly somebody else's fault - specifically, John Kerry and
John Edwards. Whuh? How did that happen? At a campaign event
last week, Dick Cheney "blamed his Democratic opponents and
their opposition to the Bush administration's energy policies"
for rising gas prices, according
to the Los Angeles Times. If you feel like pounding your
head against your desk at the unbelievable temerity of that statement,
please, go ahead. Okay, so let's get this straight - when Bill Clinton
was in office, rising gas prices were a sign of "failed leadership."
Now that George W. Bush is in charge, rising gas prices are a sign
of, um... hey! Look over there! It's John Kerry's fault! Ah, the
Responsibility Administration is hard at work once again...
The Florida Republican Party made a total ass of itself last week
when organizers had to apologize
for producing a campaign brochure which encouraged voters to use
absentee ballots this fall. The brochure read, "The liberal
Democrats have already begun their attacks and the new electronic
voting machines do not have a paper ballot to verify your vote in
case of a recount. Make sure your vote counts, order your absentee
ballot today." Whoops! See, Gov. Jeb Bush has been trying his damndest
to convince everyone that touch-screen voting machines are the best
thing since sliced bread, and then along comes the Florida GOP to
undermine all his hard work. Ha ha! So which is it? Do Florida's
Republicans really believe that the computerized voting machines
are screwed? Or was it all just a giant public relations SNAFU?
"Have no doubt that we are confident of Florida's elections system,
and that means the entire electoral system is accurate and secure,"
said Joseph Agostini, spokesman for the Florida Republican Party.
He added, "Um... but you should probably all get absentee voter
ballots just to be on the safe side. Did I just say that? My bad.
Everything's fine. Vote Bush. Absentee ballots. Wink."
Folks showing up to see Vice President Crashcart's appearance in
Rio Rancho, NM, last week were surprised
to discover that they weren't getting in until they kneeled
before Zod. As it turned out, the Albuquerque Bush-Cheney Victory
Office - who were in charge of distributing passes for the event
- wouldn't give anyone a ticket until they signed an official-looking
Bush/Cheney 04 "endorsement." What's interesting about
the endorsement form is that clearly it was not just approved by
the White House but drafted by George W. Bush himself. If you look
closely at the copy below, you'll notice that the signatory must
"herby endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United
States." Presumably the Bush-Cheney Victory Office then weeded
out people who weren't real Bush supporters by gauging their reaction
to this appalling use of the English language. "Notice anything
wrong with the form sir? No? Very good, here are your tickets."
"They" - that is, the right-wing spin machine and the
lazy media - say that John Kerry is a waffler. That he can't
boil his talking points down into simple language that the public
will understand. That he has no sound bites. Oh yeah? It seems he's
not the only one. Check out this rare Bushian magniloquence
from a speech to the UNITY Journalists of Color Convention last
Our Great Leader: "We actually misnamed the war on terror,
it ought to be the struggle against ideological extremists who do
not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon
to try to shake the conscience of the free world." Aside from
the remarkable fact that Bush managed to string all those words
together into one sentence, let's be clear - we've since stopped
referring to it as the War on Terror and we're now calling it TSAIEWDNBIFSWHTUTAAWTTTSTCOTFW.
And remember, you can't spell TSAIEWDNBIFSWHTUTAAWTTTSTCOTFW without
It was revealed last week that Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama "divulged
classified intercepted messages to the media when he was on the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence," according
to the Washington Post. The messages - which were intercepted
on September 10 but not translated into English until September
12 - said "The match is about to begin," and, "Tomorrow is
zero hour." National security officials were extremely pissed when
the media broadcast the content of the messages in 2002. The funny
thing, though, is that despite the fact that both the FBI and the
Justice Department investigated the case and even empaneled a grand
jury, they didn't bother to actually charge anyone with anything.
In fact, after sitting on the case for two years the Justice Department
recently decided to "forgo a criminal prosecution" and
turn the case over to the Senate Ethics Committee. For their part,
the Justice Department "declined to comment on why it was no
longer pursuing the matter criminally." Gee, I wonder if has
anything to do with that little "(R)" next to Shelby's
For security purposes, journalists covering the president or vice
president are commonly required to disclose their name, date of
birth and Social Security number so that the Secret Service can
do a background check. The Arizona Star provided this information
last week when they sent one of their reporters, Mamta Popat, to
photograph Dick Cheney at a campaign rally. So imagine the Star's
when Christine Walton, an organizer from the Bush/Cheney re-election
campaign, called them to find out Popat's race. That's right - first
it's forcing attendees to sign loyalty oaths and now Team Bush appears
to be using racial profiling on journalists. To their credit, the
Star refused to answer. "One has to wonder what they
were going to do with that information," said managing editor Teri
Hayt. Apparently Christine Walton's excuse was that, "Popat's
race was necessary to allow the Secret Service to distinguish her
from someone else who might have the same name." Right. And
if you believe that, you probably believe that George W. Bush is
the best president ever.
The Republicans sure are putting up some weird candidates these
days. Take James Hart, who handily won the Republican primary for
the Eighth District congressional seat in Tennessee last week. Hart
is a firm believer in eugenics - the idea that the human race can
be improved by selected breeding - and that "less favored races"
are the biggest problem in America today. For "less favored
races" you should of course read "anyone who isn't white"
- according to his campaign
website, Hart believes that, "Unless we stop dysgenic welfare
and immigration policies, the US will look like one big Detroit."
to WKRN.com, while Hart doesn't expect to win the seat he says
that he "probably will go to the Republican convention anyway."
I'm sure they'll be delighted to see him.
The New York Post
Perhaps we really are living in the end times. Rupert Murdoch's
newspaper of record recently upped the ante after its disastrous
pre-emptive running mate prediction a few weeks ago (see Idiots
last week reporting
that, "These days, [Sylvester] Stallone keeps in fighting form
with his new nutritional program, 'Stallone in Stone.' After saying
hello to NBC head Bob Wright and his wife, who were seated with
Brandon and Lily Tartikoff, he took his trim body to Koi to meet
his wife, Jennifer Flavin." Now - since Brandon Tartikoff died
...we can only assume that a) these are the end times and
he's risen from the dead, b) his body was exhumed specifically for
the purpose of appearing at a dinner with Bob Wright, or c) the
New York Post isn't fit to wipe your dog's ass with.
And finally: It's been a while since Our Great Leader has malapropped
so comedically - sure, it's no secret that George W. Bush has the
oratorical skills of a retarded chipmunk, but last week's appearance
at a bill-signing ceremony took the cake, the cakestand, the knives,
the plates, and the tablecloth (you can see the video here
- it's about eight minutes in). "Our enemies are innovative
and resourceful, and so are we," Bush uttered.
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country
and our people, and neither do we." Aah! The cat's out of the bag
at last! See you next week!
The Top Ten Conservative Idiots
list is back on the radio! The Air America Radio Network's
of Fire show is currently broadcasting "Cuckoo Conservatives"
- excerpts from the Top Ten read by 30+ year radio veteran
Dean Randall. Dean has worked in broadcast markets from the
Midwest to the west coast including an overseas hitch in Wellington,
New Zealand, and most of his radio experience was spent as
a morning show personality. He is currently employed by a
local ABC TV affiliate and is active in politics on a local,
state and national basis. Dean says, "My liberal roots went
down and deep early when my father hosted a Minnesota state
DFL rally in 1961. Ever since I have had a keen interest in
politics and the Democratic philosophy and history." You can
drop him a line at DeanRandall1@aol.com.
Nominate a Conservative
for Next Week's List