Democratic Underground

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 172)

September 27, 2004
Two Faced Edition

It's long been understood that Our Great Leader consistently says one thing and does another. This week, he's gone way beyond that. Yes, George W. Bush (1) may have given up cocaine, but it appears that he's now on LSD. Fortunately he's got the ever-credible Ayad Allawi (2) to back him up, and when I say back him up I mean read carefully-prepared GOP talking points off a teleprompter. Dick Cheney (4) heads up a list of other conservatives who went way off the deep end last week, with Jimmy Swaggart (6) following close behind. Elsewhere, the Rather Haters (7,8) are gleefully shutting down the last remnants of real investigative journalism, and the rest of The Media (9) are licking their chops at the prospect of the upcoming presidential debates. And what would the Top Ten be without Bill O'Reilly? (10) Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1George W. Bush two-faced two-faced two-faced two-faced two-faced
John Kerry is telling the truth about what's happening in Iraq, and if there's one thing the Bush Boys don't like, it's truth-telling. Last week an editorial in the Washington Post said that recent accounts of events in Iraq are "bland to the point of dishonesty." Wrote the Post, "Not only has Mr. Bush not said how, or whether, he intends to respond to the worsening situation - he doesn't really admit it exists. This duck-and-cover strategy may have its political advantages, but it is also deeply irresponsible and potentially dangerous." Bush's two-faced approach to Iraq is indeed dangerous. First he said there were weapons of mass destruction, and there weren't. Then he said there were connections between Iraq and al Qaeda, and there weren't (even the State Department didn't think so). And now he says that democracy is on the way in Iraq, and everything is just peachy-keen there. News flash: it isn't. At the time of writing, September is the fifth worst month for American soldiers in Iraq, with 63 service members killed there since the end of August. Overall more than 135 foreigners have been kidnapped - several have been beheaded this month alone. But Bush is clearly living on his own little fantasy planet. Last week he said, "I saw a poll that said the right-track/wrong-track in Iraq was better than here in America." You know, I'm not sure what's more disturbing about that statement - Bush pretending that Iraqis think they're heading in the right direction, or Bush being proud of the fact that Iraqis are more confident about the future of Iraq than Americans are about America. Still not delusional enough for you? On Fox News last week, Bush was asked whether he would still put on a flight suit and make the Mission Accomplished speech. 900 dead soldiers later, Bush's response was "absolutely." And Our Great Leader also brushed off a recent CIA National Intelligence Estimate which claimed that scenarios in Iraq ranged from "shitty" to "wow-that's-shitty," saying that just a "handful" of terrorists are operating in Iraq (despite Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi saying last week that terrorists are "pouring in"), and that the CIA was just "guessing." Oh, well, gee - guessing? I feel so much better.

2Ayad Allawi excessive spin excessive spin partisanship
Here's an odd thing - Ayad Allawi did say recently that terrorists are "pouring" into Iraq. Yet, oddly, when he held a joint press conference with George W. Bush at the White House last week, he'd completely changed his tune. The Associated Press reported that "Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi sees a bright future for Iraqi democracy, brushing aside skeptics who say elections set for January may be truncated or canceled altogether because of violence." Unfortunately one of those skeptics is Donald Rumsfeld (remember him?) who said last week that elections may not take place in areas where violence is too great. Like, you know... Baghdad... and, um... the entire Sunni Triangle. And most of the rest of the country. Said Rumsfeld, "You have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet." You bet indeed. But getting back to Allawi... it certainly appears that Team Bush had him well prepped to stay "on message," as he continued to repeat the kind of rhetoric that other Republican leaders (I'm looking at you, Dick Cheney) have had to back away from in recent weeks. He told Jim Lehrer, "Well, I assure you if Saddam was still there, terrorists will be hitting there again at Washington and New York, as they did in the murderous attack in September; they'll be hitting also on other places in Europe and the Middle East." In other words, elect George Bush or you'll all be blown to smithereens. Never mind the fact that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, had no weapons of mass destruction, and didn't even have an army to speak of. Deposing him was the right thing to do - although having a plan to make things work after deposing him appears to have been just slightly overlooked.

3George W. Bush and Ayad Allawi two-faced excessive spin photo-opping
Last week two-faced Bush told a bald-faced lie about John Kerry at several campaign appearances. Bush claimed that, "Incredibly, this week, my opponent said he would prefer the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to the situation in Iraq today." Except that's not what John Kerry said at all. What Kerry actually said was this: "Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell. But that was not, that was not, in and of itself, a reason to go to war." Hmm. But while we're on the subject of preferring dictatorships, you might be interested to know that the man Bush installed as Prime Minister of Iraq and invited to the White House and Congress last week, apparently used to be an assassin for Saddam Hussein, and helped Saddam get into power in the first place. Not only that, but his medical degree was allegedly "conferred upon him by the Baath party," and he was recently accused of personally executing several Iraqi insurgents. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, "he threatens martial law; he warns he might shut down sections of the media; he suggests he might delay elections. His Justice Minister is bringing back the death penalty; his Defense Minister warns he'll chop off insurgents' hands and heads." So if you're looking for free and fair elections in Iraq, you'll probably have better luck looking in Florida. And that's saying something.

4Dick Cheney lying excessive spin warmongering
But you'd better think twice if you want to tell the truth about Ayad Allawi and the situation in Iraq - because if you do, look out! Dick Cheney is on the rampage, and it's not a pretty sight. Cheney blasted John Kerry last week for the heinous crime of truth-telling, saying he was "appalled" by Kerry's "lack of respect" for Allawi. What's that, Dick? You've brought Saddam's former assassin over to act as a prop for your election campaign, and Kerry isn't allowed to mention that you're telling fibs about every single aspect of the Iraqi misadventure? Get off your high horse. Cheney went on: "John Kerry is trying to tear down all the good that has been accomplished, and his words are destructive to our effort in Iraq and in the global war on terror." What bullshit. Here's the truth, Dick: you and George fucked Iraq up but good, and now you can't fix it. So rather than tell the truth about what's happening over there, you're endangering us, the Iraqi people, and the rest of the world by lying, spinning, and creating bizarre fantasies about the situation there. This is how you got us into Iraq in the first place, and this is the only way you know how to deal with it.

5Team Bush excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin
Waaaah! Team Bush, reeling from John Kerry's recent tough attacks on President Two-Face's mishandling of Iraq and the war on terror, have come up with the lamest campaign idea ever - they're saying John Kerry is COPYING George W. Bush! Jeez, guys, why don't you tell the teacher? "Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones! John Kerry is COPYING me!" Kerry said last week that Iraq was a "profound diversion" from hunting down al Qaeda, and promised, "I will never take my eye off the ball." In response, "the Bush-Cheney campaign said Kerry is 'copying' Bush's anti-terror plan, even as he attacks the way Bush is waging that fight," according to NBC News 10. Odd - it seems to me that if Kerry really was copying Bush he'd be lying to everyone about the progress being made in Iraq, fabricating stories about how invading Iraq was vital to preventing another 9/11, and making stuff up about the Iraqi people throwing flowers at the feet of our soldiers before dashing hand-in-hand to the polls in January. Doesn't sound like Kerry is copying Bush to me.

6Jimmy Swaggart homophobia homophobia homophobia homophobia homophobia
But let's leave the serious topics behind now and get onto some more lighthearted entertainment. Last week serial prostitute-procurer Jimmy Swaggart said on his popular television show, "I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died." Wait a second - that doesn't sound very lighthearted. But don't worry, it's okay - see, Swaggart later clarified his position, saying his comments were "meant to be a joke." Oh, a-ha ha ha! I get it now! It's all a big joke! Man, don't you just love it when evangelist preachers make jokes about killing homosexuals? Hoo-boy. Swaggart made the remarks to "applause and laughs" during a televised sermon, but has since apologized, saying "I am totally opposed to any type of violence against anyone." He added, "Everyone except gay men, that is. I'd kill them." He further added, "Just a joke, get it?" He concluded, "Does anyone know where I can get a hooker 'round here?"

7Rather Haters hypocrisy hypocrisy excessive spin
The outcry over the infamous CBS memos has reached truly ridiculous proportions. For some reason it seems that these memos - which were not even central to the story of Bush going AWOL from the National Guard - are now THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD. And the utter hypocrisy of the right-wing spin machine is, in my opinion, about to create some kind of dangerous rip in the space-time continuum. Take this quote from Mike Krempasky, who set up Before you read it, pretend that he's talking about George W. Bush and the way this administration invaded Iraq based on politicized and profoundly wrong intelligence, leading us into a poorly-managed occupation which has taken the lives of thousands upon thousands of people. Okay? Here we go: "The buck has to stop ... He's certainly the face of the story. He's the one who sneered at anyone who dared criticize him on the story for 10 days. He's the one who put his credibility on the line when he said he believed in the story." Except he's not talking about George W. Bush, he's talking about Dan Rather. Has the world gone completely insane? Meanwhile, some media corporations have removed CBS from their radio stations' broadcast schedules, allegedly because of listener uproar. "We had so much outcry from our listeners. They were calling and complaining and saying they wouldn't listen to a CBS newscast anymore," said Lisa Sinclair, general manager of Sinclair Communications. "This is a conservative market, and people felt that CBS was exhibiting a great deal of liberal bias and lost credibility with this situation." By the way, if the name Sinclair rings a bell, it's because they're a bunch of right-wing nutjobs who were featured back in Idiots 154 when they refused to air Nightline's special broadcast honoring soldiers killed in Iraq. So you can bet they were really disappointed about getting rid of Dan Rather. I bet they took all of, I dunno, two calls before they caved.

8Rather Haters (again) pandering partisanship
Unfortunately, the fact is that the pressure the Rather Haters are putting on CBS is paying off - last week CBS announced that are shelving a report on Iraq's lack of weapons of mass destruction. Why? Because apparently it would be "inappropriate" to air it so close to an election. Inappropriate? So how long does the media have to stop reporting the news before an election? Six weeks? Seven? I didn't realize there was a statute of limitations on this kind of thing. Add to that the fact that the CEO of CBS's parent company Viacom announced last week that he was a Bush supporter, and you have a very nice squeeze that the right-wingers are putting on CBS. So all you reporters who still believe in the power of investigative journalism, I'm afraid your days are numbered. Now please, everyone return to your TV sets and watch the talking heads shout at one another. It's thoroughly uninformative and it's not very entertaining, but with the election just over a month away we certainly wouldn't want the media to rock the boat by reporting actual news stories, would we?

9 The Media partisanship excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin
With the first of the presidential debates scheduled for this Thursday, I think it's important to put things in perspective. First of all, forget about all this low expectations bullcrap. When it comes to public speaking, George Bush is pathetic. Kerry will wipe the floor with him without even breaking a sweat. HOWEVER, this does not necessarily mean that Kerry will win the debates. In fact, Kerry's chances are slim, and here's why: the following handy list comes courtesy of DUer Sparkly, and is a concise summary of what will happen after each presidential debate. Keep this list handy on September 30th, and see how many of these pundit points YOU can spot when the debate ends!

KERRY If he's serious - they'll say he's glum, gloomy, pessimistic, and uninspiring.
If he's jovial - they'll say he's phony and trying too hard.
BUSH If he's serious - he's presidential, the war-time commander in chief.
If he's jovial- everybody wants to have a beer with him.
KERRY If he's forceful - they'll say he's too aggressive, mean, negative, desperate.
If he's calm - they'll say he's weak, unsteady, dull, lacks energy.
BUSH If he's forceful - they'll say he's strong, resolute, unwavering.
If he's calm - they'll say he's prepared, on-message, disciplined, reserved.
KERRY If he's specific - they'll say he's wonkish, presenting "laundry lists," being overly-intellectual, show-offy, and nobody likes the smart kid.
If he's not specific - they'll say he's vague, criticizing but not offering solutions, not addressing the issues, and nobody knows who he is.
BUSH If he's specific - they'll say he "lays out his plan" and "makes his case."
If he's not specific - they'll say he's spanning the issues, giving a global presentation, painting a broad outline of his plans.
KERRY If he jokes - they'll say he lacks gravitas, trivializes important issues, doesn't understand troops are in harm's way, nation's at war, disrespects the president, etc.
If he doesn't joke - they'll say he needs to lighten up, he's too stoney, he's wooden.
BUSH If he jokes - they'll say he's a man of the people, a regular guy, people relate to him.
If he doesn't joke - they'll say he truly cares about the American people and his sincerity resonates with voters in this difficult time.

Plus, if Bush finds his podium and doesn't trip on his way to it, he's surpassed all expectations. (Extra points for correct pronunciation of "Abu Ghraib" or "nuclear.")

10Bill O'Reilly massive ego massive ego massive ego dumb
And finally, there's intriguing news from the world of one of our favorite conservative idiots, Bill O'Reilly. After his recent stellar rebuttal of Mr. Jack Mehoffer (see Idiots 170), it seems that Bill is starting to think bigger than Fox News prime-time. So, what's next for the blotchiest loudmouth on television? Well, it seems that Mr. O'Reilly may be contemplating politics as a job rather than simply a tool to annoy people. That's right - our Bill may well be planning to run for the United States Senate. But don't get too excited - if Bill does take the plunge he'll be going toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton, so his plunge could well end up being a long, screaming plummet, followed by a loud splash and then a sort of gurgling sound. Insiders aren't sure why O'Reilly would want a seat in the Senate, but it's possible that he's trying to break Alan Keyes' current record for Worst Senate Candidate Of All Time. Although if it does happen, I can't wait for him to try to tell Hillary to "shut up, shut up, just shut up" during the debates. He'll be picking his teeth up off the floor. See you next week!

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots list is back on the radio! The Air America Radio Network's Ring 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].


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:

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