Democratic Underground

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 192)

April 4, 2005
Judge Dread Edition

Since the Pope passed away on Saturday it seems there's been a complete blackout on any other news stories - but the Top 10 is here to remind you of the conservative idiots from last week that still deserve attention this week. Tom DeLay (1) was making threats, while the Power-Hungry Maniacs (2) were getting encouragement from his words. George W. Bush (3) and his administration were apparently not to blame for the war in Iraq, despite starting said war. And Jeff Gannon reared his ugly head once more, giving everyone an unpleasant case of Gannon Reflux (4). Meanwhile, Soggy Conservatives (5) had to ask for towels several times last week, Ann Coulter (6) was deputizing burly college boys, and Sean Hannity (7) was demonstrating how to remain polite in the face of rude liberals. Elsewhere, Condoleezza Rice (8) dabbled in a spot of projection, Jim Welker (9) was flogging bestiality, and Bay Buchanan (10) hates America. Enjoy, and don't forget the key...

1Tom DeLay just plain evil
You may have noticed that in the furor over the circumstances surrounding the death of Terri Schiavo, the radical right-wingers have gone a bit, um, over the top. We highlighted several stories in Idiots 191 indicating the lunacy of these people - a man arrested for trying to steal a gun from a firearms store so he could "save Terri," a radio host who suggested that Jeb Bush should take her into custody and advocated the "killing of anyone who interferes with such rescue," a man arrested for offering a $250,000 reward for killing Terri's husband Michael, plus a $50,000 bonus for killing Judge Greer. The threats continued last week, extending as far as Michael Schiavo's family in Pennsylvania.

All of which makes Tom "The Snake" DeLay's remarks last week particularly disturbing, if not downright dangerous. After learning of Terri Schiavo's passing, DeLay appeared in public and said, "This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today." Compare this to a quote from one of the nuts who called to threaten the Schiavos: "Your time will come. The time will come, for all of us, for all of us. Time will come. I wonder which way you will get to go when time does come." Creepily similar aren't they?

And I guess I'm not the only one who thought the House Majority Leader's comments sounded like a threat. Sen. Frank Lautenberg sent an official letter to DeLay last week which read in part, "You should be aware that your comments yesterday may violate a Federal criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. §115 (a)(1)(B) ... Threats against specific Federal judges are not only a serious crime, but also beneath a Member of Congress." When will Republicans wake up and realize what kind of people are leading their party?

2Power-hungry Maniacs unconstitutional unconstitutional unconstitutional hypocrisy pandering
Mind you, DeLay's outrageous comments are just the tip of the iceberg. It's becoming clear that for the right-wing radicals, the point of this whole exercise is to grab control of the only branch of government they don't have total power over yet - the judicial branch. DeLay also referred last week to "an arrogant, out of control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at the Congress and the president." I mean, wow. How dare the judiciary not rubber-stamp all of Bush and DeLay's unconstitutional actions.

Radical groups were lining up last week to jump on the judge-bashing bandwagon - like the Council for Constitutional Restoration (whatever that means) who issued a press release saying "Our purpose is to draw up a plan of action to oppose the liberal judges who have abrogated our most precious human rights - including Terri Schiavo's right to life." Aha! Now we come to the crux of the matter. It's the liberal judges who are ruining America. You know, it often amazes me how much damage the liberals have done since Republicans gained control of the House, Senate, and White House.

So let's take a quick look at some of the liberal judges who've participated in the "murder" of Terri Schiavo. There was obviously the aforementioned Judge Greer - a conservative Christian and Republican. But there were plenty of other judges whose liberal credentials leave a little to be desired.'s breakdown of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals - who upheld the decision to not force-feed Terri Schiavo - reveals that "Of the appeals court's 12 active judges, only two dissented ... The remainder ... included six Republicans: Reagan appointee and Chief Judge J.L. Edmondson; George H.W. Bush appointees Carnes, Stanley Birch, Joel Dubina, Susan Black; and, most ironically, William Pryor Jr., who was given a recess appointment by George W. Bush two years ago in the midst of controversy and filibuster by Democratic senators." For those of you who are intersted, one of the two dissenting judges who thought that Schiavo's feeding tube should be reinserted was appointed by Bill Clinton. Oh yes, and let's not forget that the U.S. Supreme Court - who turned down the case five times - is comprised of a majority of Republicans.

In fact, Judge Birch - who, it should be noted, is an extremely conservative Republican - wrote that, "In resolving the Schiavo controversy, it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people - our Constitution."

Let's face it - there's no such thing as a "liberal judiciary." This is just a ploy by the radical right-wing to gain control of the judicial branch and fill it with their own radical right-wing judges. Sure, Republicans say they hate judicial activism - but then they used to hate interference by the federal government until they got control of it. Just wait until they get their own radical activists on the bench.

3George W. Bush covering your ass covering your ass covering your ass warmongering hypocrisy
In a remarkable piece of good fortune, the recently-released report into intelligence failures leading up to the Iraq war has completely exonerated George W. Bush and his administration! That's right - the Bushies didn't make any mistakes or errors in judgment at all. How conveeeeenient! The report - prepared by a panel put together by, um, George W. Bush - asserts that the intelligence community - not just the CIA, but the DIA and the NSA - were "dead wrong" in almost every single prewar judgment. Not only that, but the Bushies didn't have anything to do with pushing the intelligence community to come up with Saddam's smoking gun. Well smack me with a herring and call me Marjorie.

In fact, the report practically places all of the blame for the entire Iraq war on an Iraqi defector named "Curveball", who was described by his handlers as "crazy" (not to mention a "drunken liar"). "So let me get this straight - "Curveball" makes up a bunch of shit, and the intelligence community swallows it whole. Then the intelligence community takes it to the Bush administration, and they swallow it whole, deciding to base the invasion of Iraq on the ramblings of a crazy drunken liar (Curveball, not George W. Bush). Oh, but it's not their fault. And, oh, I forgot that the only reason we invaded Iraq was so they could have elections, silly me.

So, despite the fact that the administration knew that Curveball was lying but a bunch of his "information" showed up in Colin Powell's presentation to the U.N. anyway, the administration is not to blame here. And despite the fact that George W. Bush said in 2003 that he had "darn good intelligence," after the uranium from Africa State of the Union debacle, he's not to blame.

And here's one interesting tidbit: the Republican party's 2000 platform explicitly stated that "In a time of fluid change and uncertainty, intelligence is truly America's first line of defense. The [Clinton] administration has weakened that defense by allowing a series of shocking security breaches, from blatant espionage and its virtual abandonment of national security-related export controls, to sheer sloppiness at the highest levels of government. This must stop, immediately. Nor should the intelligence community be made the scapegoat for political misjudgments." But fuck it, let's blame the intelligence community anyway. You know, this whole farce would be pretty funny if we weren't killing thousands of people over it.

4Gannon Reflux excessive spin hypocrisy
Later this week, the prestigious National Press Club will be holding a panel discussion on blogging and online journalism. There's just one problem - the star of the show is going to be famous non-journalist and non-blogger Jeff Gannon, aka the White House's favorite male prostitute. So why is Jeff Gannon being invited to a panel discussion on blogging and online journalism? Hell if I know. Considering that Gannon's contributions to journalism have mainly involved recycling RNC press releases and plagiarizing Associated Press articles, it seems a bit of a stretch. Still, it's perked him up a bit - according to Editor & Publisher magazine, he told them last week that "he always considered himself a legitimate journalist, and 'perhaps [the] invitation is recognition of that.'" Yeah, right - keep dreaming, Jeff!

5Soggy Conservatives photo-opping
So while the radical right are resorting to death threats and putting prices on the heads of people they literally want to kill, a few creative people are resorting to a more entertaining - and decidedly less violent - way to protest. Here's neo-con editor and PNAC member William Kristol getting the old pie-in-the-face treatment:

To be fair, he took it well. And here's Pat Buchanan after catching a healthy dollop of salad dressing:

Mind you, Michelle Malkin didn't think it was so humorous - she wrote on her blog last week, "If you think this is funny, you are sick. This is madness and it is chilling." Right... but the right-wing wackos offering quarter-million dollar bounties for the head of Michael Schiavo and making death threats against his family is, what, just good clean fun?

6 Ann Coulter partisanship partisanship
Our old friend Ann Coulter got similar treatment - minus the food - at an appearance at Kansas University last week. Poor Ann was heckled by half the audience after she launched into her usual anti-liberal diatribe (liberals want to eat babies and have gay sex with the Constitution, that sort of thing). Unfortunately her reaction was a tad more excitable than old-timers Kristol and Buchanan - in order to quiet the rabble she asked, "Could 10 of the largest College Republicans start walking up and down the aisles and start removing anyone shouting?" Which, funnily enough, they did. Talk about brownshirts! I mean, just imagine what Coulter would have done if she HAD been hit in the face with a pie. Probably pulled out a handgun and started firing randomly into the audience.

7Sean Hannity hypocrisy hypocrisy excessive spin
Of course, it's always us liberals who are uncivil and mean - the radical right are consistently polite (pay no attention to the death threats). Take Sean Hannity, for example, who, while sitting in front of a crowd of protesters down in Florida last week, interviewed Congressman Jim Moran via satellite. The News Hounds reported that "Hannity was so intent on controlling his message, that he cut off Alan [Colmes] at the start of the show and took his turn for himself interviewing Terri Schiavo's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler ... Pat Robertson joined Hannity's chorus claiming, 'this judge is brutal. We have to do something with this out of control judiciary.'" (Hey, there are those GOP talking points again!) According to News Hounds, "Moran tried to explain that he cared about the thousands of people who have been abandoned because of Medicare cuts." Of course, Hannity wasn't having any of that - but it was his off-mic comments which were the most interesting. Not knowing he was being recorded, Hannity called Moran an "asshole" and said, "I hate these people." So much for his constant complaints about the lack of civility coming from the left. Check out his mumbling rant here (courtesy of Oliver Willis).

8Condoleezza Rice hypocrisy hypocrisy excessive spin
See if you can guess which election Condoleezza Rice is criticizing here: she said the government should "abandon policies designed to repress, crush and otherwise stifle expressions of differences," she noted that "would-be voters were turned away from polling stations due to irregularities with voter registration rolls," she pointed out that the "the electoral playing field was heavily tilted in the government's favor," and she criticized the way that "The independent press was muzzled; freedom of assembly was constrained; food was used as a weapon to sway hungry voters." Aha - perhaps you guessed from that last point that Ms. Rice was actually talking about the recent elections in Zimbabwe, which, according to the Associated Press she called "unfair" and "not free." I probably don't have to point out that when you're criticizing a country's elections using examples which almost all occurred in your own country's elections, you end up looking like a bit of a hypocritical asshat. But I'll point it out anyway.

9Jim Welker homophobia homophobia
State Rep. Jim Welker (R-Loveland) brought back the spectre of box turtles last week while trying to defend Colorado from the homosexual hordes. At a news conference in support of a state constitutional ban on gay marriage, Welker suggested that gay marriage and civil unions are the top of the slippery slope to bestiality, saying "Where do you draw the line? A year ago in India, a woman married her dog." Hmmm, where do you draw the line? I dunno, how about at two consenting adults? I'm pretty sure you could draw the line somewhere before sheep-shagging. Even fellow Republican State Sen. Ed Jones (R-Colorado Springs) was uncomfortable with Welker's rhetoric. "That's a little extreme for me," he said. The concept of gay marriage equaling bestiality is a little extreme for him? Then what the hell is he still doing in the Republican party? It's practically part of their platform these days, the sickos.

10Bay Buchanan crybaby
And finally: heads up! Apparently the wingnuts have decided that their "why do you liberals hate America?" tactic has gotten a bit stale, so they've decided to flip the script. Perhaps she was annoyed at her brother Pat's impersonation of a Caesar salad, but during an appearance on Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff last week, Bay Buchanan had this to say about the Terri Schiavo case: "Today we saw a glimpse of the soul of America, Judy, and it is an ugly sight, unfortunately." Wow! Why does Bay Buchanan hate America? Perhaps she should move to France, or Canada, or Russia, or China, or North Korea, or insert your favorite country of choice here. Love it or leave it, Bay! These colors don't run! (Unless you accidentally wash your stars and stripes underpants on hot.) See you next week...

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