The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
September 04, 2004
Republican National Convention Special!
to the Top Ten Conservative Idiots! We've changed things around
a bit for this Republican National Convention Special. It was simply
way too difficult to put the week's idiocy into some kind of vague
numerical order, so instead we're doing a day-by-day, play-by-play
of the Convention. Head honchos like John McCain, Rudy Giuliani,
Dick Cheney, Zell Miller, and of course, George W. Bush will be
making an appearance, and we've got various "Convention Week
Idiots" scattered about the place. If you notice anything that
we left out - sorry about that. It's been a heck of a week. Enjoy,
and as usual, don't forget the key!
George W. Bush has not treated veterans well since he came to power
pay, cutting veterans
benefits, um, getting an awful lot of them killed
for nothing), but that certainly wasn't enough to pry the Republican
party's nose from the military's ass last week. Fortunately some
bold delegates decided to show the GOP's true colors and went to
great lengths to ridicule America's veterans.
Yes, the must-have accessory on day one of the Convention was the
"Purple Heart Band-Aid" - brainchild of Morton Blackwell, a delegate
from Virginia. These oh-so-hilarious accoutrements were designed
to deride John Kerry's honorable service in Vietnam, and Morton
them out with the message, "It was just a self-inflicted
scratch, but you see I got a Purple Heart for it." But isn't this
incredibly offensive to any veteran who won a Purple Heart?
Not according to Republican bigwigs such as Newt Gingrich who declared
on ABC, "I think it's funny." So for all those who volunteered
to join the military and won the Purple Heart for wounds received
during combat, please remember - the Republican party thinks you're
a bunch of pussies who deserve nothing more than their undying contempt.
You have to feel a little bit sorry for John McCain - when he made
his call for bipartisanship on Monday he obviously had no idea just
how big a fool the GOP was going to make of him by the end of Wednesday
night. And his swipe
at Michael Moore - whom it appeared McCain did not know was
in the Convention hall - was the latest example of McCain being
played like a puppet by the GOP. Okay, you can stop feeling sorry
for him now. Clearly many people have been laboring under the misapprehension
that "Straight Talk" McCain is a man of principle, a man
of his word, a man of... straight-talkishness. But his speech
to the Republican National Convention should serve to remind us
on which side McCain's bread is buttered. "Only the most deluded
of us could doubt the necessity of this war," he said, calling
of the population of the United States deluded. "I knew
my confidence was well placed when I watched [Bush] stand on the
rubble of the World Trade Center, with his arm around a hero of
September 11th," he uttered, getting the theme-of-the-week
warmed up. And when he got to the part about "the steady, experienced,
public-spirited man who serves as our Vice-President, Dick Cheney,"
it was time to turn the channel on McCain for good.
Fox News pretty much ignored the massive protest which took
place the day before the Convention - except when some moron
set fire to a float (which the fire department put out in
about two minutes) and then they were all over it like a rash.
The Fox News presenter at the time said that the organizers
must be pretty disappointed with the turnout since they'd
expected 250,000 people and only "thousands" had
showed up. No, no, no. THIS is what "thousands"
And this is what close
to half a million people looks like:
9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11!
9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11!
Sorry, got a bit carried away there. In case anyone forgot (and
for some reason the GOP seems to think people have) the World Trade
Center's twin towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001, by Islamic
fundamentalist terrorists. Now, considering the fact that we have
since found out that George W. Bush ignored all the warnings that
something like this might happen before September 11, 2001
- such as the August
6 presidential daily briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined
To Strike in US," you have to kinda wonder why Rudy would brag
about this: "I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner
Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, 'Thank God George Bush is our
President.'" And considering the fact that since 9/11 we half-heartedly
- and temporarily
- kicked the Taliban out of Afghanistan before ignoring Osama bin
Laden (there were more police officers on duty in New York City
during the Convention than there are American soldiers in Afghanistan
at the moment) and deposing Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do
with 9/11, losing 1,000 of our troops in the process, you have to
wonder why Rudy would say, '[For] his determined effort to defeat
global terrorism, no matter what happens in this election, President
George W. Bush already has earned a place in our history as a great
American President." Oh, he's going to earn a place in history
all right. You know, it must be nice to live in Rudy's bizarro-world
where Bush's foreign policy hasn't increased the threat
of global terrorism and made America less safe. Shame the rest of
us have reality to deal with.
Karl "Bush's Brain" Rove made some bizarre
pre-Convention comments on the subject of terrorism, demonstrating
that he has absolutely no concept of the conflict in Northern
Ireland whatsoever. "This is going to be more like the conflict
in Northern Ireland," he said, "where the Brits
fought terrorism, and there's no sort of peace accord with
al-Qaida saying, 'We surrender.'" Hmm. Is it just me, or did
Karl Rove just compare the Irish to al-Qaida?
The Bush Twins
To be fair to Jenna and Barbara Bush, it must have been tough giving
a speech laden with pop-culture references to an audience that put
the "square" into "Madison Square Garden." But
to be slightly
less fair, their speech was apparently written by a forty-something-year-old
political consultant (who has presumably since been fired and/or
shot) and read with all the aplomb of a couple of B-list celebs
presenting the Spike TV Video Game Awards. Let's do a quick recap
of some of the highlights of their speech:
BUSH TWINS: It's great to be here. We love Arnold. Isn't
BUSH TWINS: Thanks to him, if one of us ever decides to
marry a Democrat, nobody can complain.
AUDIENCE: Yay! Uh, wait a second...
BUSH TWINS: Gammie, we love you dearly, but you're just
not very hip. She thinks "Sex and the City" is something married
people do, but never talk about.
AUDIENCE: Sex what now?
BUSH TWINS: We spent the last four years trying to stay
out of the spotlight. Sometimes, we did a little better job than
AUDIENCE: I don't get this. Why are they making jokes
about being arrested for underage drinking?
BUSH TWINS: We kept trying to explain to my dad that when
we are young and irresponsible, well, we're young and irresponsible.
AUDIENCE: And why on earth would they bring up that whole
embarrassing cocaine thing again? I'm confused.
BUSH TWINS: Besides, since we've graduated from college,
we're looking around for something to do for the next few years.
Kind of like dad.
AUDIENCE: Argh, do they actually want him to LOSE?
BUSH TWINS: You know all those times when you're growing
up and your parents embarrass you? Well, this is payback time on
AUDIENCE: Um, NO SHIT.
BUSH TWINS: Take this. I know it's hard to believe, but
our parents' favorite term of endearment for each other is actually
AUDIENCE: Make it stop. Please make it stop.
BUSH TWINS: And we had a hamster, too. Let's just say ours
didn't make it.
AUDIENCE: Oh, the pain.
BUSH TWINS: But, contrary to what you might read in the
papers, our parents are actually kind of cool. They do know the
difference between mono and Bono.
AUDIENCE: Mongo and Bongo?
BUSH TWINS: When we tell them we're going to see Outkast,
they know it's a band and not a bunch of misfits. And if we really
beg them, they'll even shake it like a Polaroid picture.
AUDIENCE: I have no clue what any of that means.
BUSH TWINS: So, OK, maybe they have learned a little pop
culture from us, but we've learned a lot more from them about what
matters in life, about unconditional love, about focus and discipline.
They taught us the importance of a good sense of humor, of being
open-minded and treating everyone with respect. And we learned the
true value of honesty and integrity.
AUDIENCE: Yay! Wait a minute, haven't you been arrested
like FOUR TIMES?
BUSH TWINS: Ladies and gentlemen, one of the two most loving,
thoughtful people we know. Your president and our dad, George W.
AUDIENCE: Is it over? YES!! Thank you Lord. Thank you.
Thank you. Ooh look, my Purple Heart Band-Aid is coming off. Let
me just stick that back down.
You'd think that Arnold Schwarzenegger would cool it with the dubious
homophobic imagery after he was criticized
for calling California's Democratic lawmakers "girlie men"
back in July. But no, when the Groping Austrian Beefcake took to
the Convention stage on Tuesday night - purportedly to distract
the public with his allegedly moderate leanings - Arnold busted
out his new favorite cliche once more. This time the remark was
reserved for critics of Bush's fiscal policies; Schwarzenegger referred
to them as "economic girlie-men." Got that, naysayers?
If you think it's bad that we've lost a million net jobs since Bush
came to power, if you think that a record high budget deficit and
a record national debt are not a good thing, if you think it sucks
that 1.3 million more people have descended into poverty in the
last year alone - well hell, you must be GAY! That wasn't the
only dumb thing Arnie came up with on Tuesday though - his recollection
that while growing up in Austria, "I saw tanks in the streets.
I saw communism with my own eyes," didn't go down too well
with historians. According
to CNN, "The Soviets already had left Styria in July 1945,
less than three months after the end of the war..." Meanwhile
retiree Franz Nitsch said "Let me tell you this: As a boy,
I lived for many years across the street from where the Russians
were based in Vienna - and honestly, I never saw a Russian tank
there. He said it all on purpose - and that's bad." And as
usual, the muscle-bound man-mountain's speech was liberally peppered
with references to his movie career, which, to be honest, is getting
so incredibly lame. I mean, it was bad enough when we had
to suffer through all those groan-inducing "Running Man"
and "Total Recall" puns, but on Tuesday night Convention
viewers were treated to the Democrats' "True Lies" (whatever
that means), and let's not forget the weakest pun on a Schwarzenegger
movie quote in recorded history, "America is Back." Aaaaargh,
It was pretty clear to anyone who saw all those "W" signs being
waved around inside Madison Square Garden that when it comes to
the Republican National Convention, "W" stands for "White." But
on Wednesday night, "W" also stood for "Wild-eyed," "Wacko," "Whoa,
Nellie," and "Whee! I've lost my mind!" Yes, Zell Miller's keynote
speech was by far the nuttiest political act since Pat Buchanan's
infamous "culture war" meltdown during the 1992 Republican
Convention. You could almost see the steam rising from his collar.
Lest we forget, Zell got his start
in politics polishing Lester Maddox's axe-handles, and has spent
the last forty years seething as the Democratic party moved slowly
and inexorably towards progressive policies of inclusion, tolerance
and liberty. On Wednesday night the lid came off the pressure cooker
and Zell took out four decades of frustration on the party that
left him by the wayside a long time ago. It's really a shame that
the content of Zell's speech was so misinformed, since he delivered
it with such, uh, fervor. After reaching new heights of nonsensical
demagoguery by suggesting that opposing George W. Bush is practically
treasonous, and saying that Kerry would defend America with "spitballs,"
Zell went into specifics - but from the way he read off a long list
of weapons systems that John Kerry voted against, you'd never know
that the weapons systems were, according
to the Washington Post, "mostly derived from a single
Kerry vote against a spending bill in 1991, rather than individual
votes against particular systems." Not to mention the fact
that "The bill was also opposed by five Republican senators
at the time, and Cheney, who was defense secretary then, was
demanding even deeper cuts in defense spending by Congress."
(In case you were wondering, yes, that's Dick Cheney, the guy who
just happened to be speaking after Zell.) Miller also lambasted
Democrats for referring to the ongoing conflict in Iraq as an "occupation"
rather than a "liberation." But when it was later pointed
out to him that George W. Bush has also referred to it as an occupation
on multiple occasions, he
said, "Well, I don't know about that." Really? Then
why did you give a speech where it was one of the central themes
of your criticism of the Democrats? How odd! But to be fair, pointing
out the gigantic hypocrisies in the content of Zell's speech doesn't
really do justice to the manner in which he delivered it. Considering
the lengths the GOP went to to hide their nutjobs behind a wall
of "compassionate conservatism" during the first two nights
of the Convention, it was somewhat unnerving to see Zell Miller's
clenched fists and popping eyeballs as he danced on the grave of
the politics of hope. Let's see what the pundits
thought of his performance:
"I wonder if it was smart to have him out there in such
a hot fashion" - George Stephanopoulos
"He looked angry" - Mara Liasson
"Miller went over the line into demagoguery" - Mort Kondracke
"I've never heard such an angry speech" - Bill Schneider
"I don't think I've ever seen anything as angry and ugly as Miller's
speech" - Joe Klein
Miller "looked like a spouse at a divorce proceeding who says,
'Oh yeah, she's a child molester too'" - John Harwood
Rave reviews for a raving lunatic.
Hang on, we're not done with Zell yet! One of the most entertaining
moments of the week came during the Wednesday night after-party,
when, still reeling from the Miller/Cheney hatefest, Chris Matthews
Zell live on air. But the interview did not begin well. Early on,
Matthews suggested that Zell's politics of fear were comparable
to conservative accusations that Democrats try to scare people by
saying Republicans are going to starve children and take away old people's
medicine. Of course, this went way over Zell's head: "I'm not
saying that. Now wait a minute. This is your program, and I'm a
guest on your program, and so I want to try to be as nice as I possibly
can to you, I wish I was over there so I could get a little closer
up into your face. But I don't have to stand here and listen to
that kind of stuff. I didn't say anything about not feeding poor
kids. What are you doing?" Oh Zell, you are a loon. But it
gets better! Matthews went on to ask about Zell's comment that "it
is the soldier, not the reporter, that has given us the freedom
of the press." And after a bit of back-and-forth, Zell did
what any rational human being would do during a live television
interview at a national party convention. "I wish we lived
in the day when you could challenge a person to a duel," he
said. "Now that would be pretty good." Completely mad,
I tell ya.
Arizona Rep. John Shadegg (R) joined the hate-fest on Wednesday,
that Kerry voters "have mental health problems"
at a speech to GOP delegates. If Zell Miller is anything to
go by, I'd say Mr. Shadegg needs to take a quick look in the
Yes, disingenuous hypocrisy and flat-out lying was definitely the
order of the day Wednesday, and Dick Cheney proved that by following
Zell Miller with a similar hit-piece
on John Kerry. First, Dick delighted everybody (well, except Giuliani
fans) by accepting the party's nomination. Yay. Then he bored the
pants off everyone by trying a bit of John Edwards-style populism:
"My grandfather didn't have a chance to go to high school.
For many years he worked as a cook on the Union Pacific Railroad,
and he and my grandmother lived in a railroad car. But the modesty
of his..." - sorry Dick, it doesn't work as well when you do
it. Next, Cheney rattled off a list of Bush administration "accomplishments"
(ha ha!) before reiterating the general theme of the Convention
- fear, fear, 9/11, fear. Did we mention fear? It was only when
Cheney got to the subject of John Kerry that the delegates really
started paying attention, starting a rousing chant of Four...
more... years... Four... more... years... (Although given the
zombie-like state of many inside Madison Square Garden, they might
as well have been chanting We... eat... brains... We... eat...
brains...) So that was it. A half-assed attempt to make everyone
think that America is actually somehow better off after four years
of Bush policies, a reminder to everyone that we shouldn't forget
to be really, really scared, and a long, hypocritical attack on
John Kerry's voting record. Wow, this Convention is the most optimistic
ever! I'm so excited for another four years of this kind of thing!
A Young Republican
Want to see a video of a young Republican Convention-goer
dragging a protester to the ground and then kicking her while
she's down? Here
you go. (Video from ActUpNY.org.
Note that the video is mislabeled - the man doing the kicking
is NOT Taylor Bickford.)
George W. Bush
And finally, we come - almost - to George W. Bush. But first, after
snoozing through Gov. Pataki's speech, the Convention audience was
treated to a disturbingly hokey video documenting Bush's many "accomplishments"
since he came to office. Apparently these accomplishments include
wearing a cowboy hat and throwing a baseball - indeed, most people
would be forgiven for thinking they were watching a Cialis commercial.
If you haven't seen it, the Daily Show's RNC video - available here
or here - is a far
more accurate portrayal of Bush's presidential achievements. But
once the warm-up was complete, it was time for the main event. Rumors
that Bush would make a 1970s-rock-concert-style entrance, rising
slowly through the floor amidst a cloud of dry ice, were sadly proven
to be false - although his 1980s-game-show-style entrance did leave
many viewers wondering whether he was going to ask members of the
audience to "come on down." Unfortunately, the first half
of Dubya's speech appeared to be nothing more than a re-hash of
his unkept promises from the 2000 campaign, except without the money
to pay for any of it this time. Leave No Child Behind? Compassionate
Conservatism? It's almost like the last four years never happened!
But it was during the speech's second half that Our Great Leader
really caught fire - because he got to talk about WAR and TERRA.
(Pay no attention to those soon-to-break exposes
on his National Guard Service - or lack
of it - by the way.) "We have led, many have joined, and
America and the world are safer," Bush boasted.
Funny then that President We-Will-Not-Flinch almost crapped his
drawers when two protesters interrupted
the proceedings and were dragged out by police. Incidentally, has
anyone noticed that the Republicans spent all week bragging about
making America more secure, and they couldn't even secure their
own damn Convention? There were protesters
inside Madison Square Garden every single night for goodness sake.
Anyway, while some pundits were shedding tears of joy at Our Great
Leader's Great Acceptance Speech, others were not
quite so impressed. The fact that he obviously left out quite
a bit of stuff which hasn't gone too well so far - you know, little
- The economy being in the crapper
- Everyone losing their jobs
- The gap between rich and poor getting wider and wider
- Enron (etc.)
- Record-breaking oil prices
- Record-breaking government deficits
- Corporations outsourcing American jobs
- Corporations getting massive tax-breaks while low income Americans
- Environmental laws being gutted
- Abandoning stem-cell research
- Failing to fund No Child Left Behind
- Giving massive government handouts to pharmaceutical industries
while pretending to help the elderly
- An increase in the overall tax burden on the middle-class
- More and more people falling into poverty
- More and more people without health insurance
- Failing to unite, not divide the country
- Exploiting September 11th for political purposes
- Opposing investigations into September 11th
- Opposing the Department of Homeland Security
- Israeli spies influencing American foreign policy
- Iranian spies influencing American foreign policy
- No end in sight to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict
- No sign of Osama bin You-Know-Who
- Almost 1,000 dead American soldiers
- Quagmire in Iraq
- A resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan
- Insulting our friends and allies
- Making the world hate us
- Four more years
- Four more years
- Four more years!
And just think - they're in charge of the House, Senate and
White House. Yes, after the disappointing failure of Bush to arrive
by rising through the floor, I know this viewer was left
wondering if perhaps he would instead sink into the stage at the
end of the speech as flames leaped up around him. Alas... it was
not to be. 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 [email protected].
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