Democratic Underground

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 194)

April 18, 2005
Hammertime Edition

That's right - Tom DeLay (1) has made it to the top of the list for the third week running. How much longer will rank-and-file Republicans put up with his antics? Elsewhere, The Bush Administration (2) has an interesting new plan for dealing with terrorism, Senate Republicans (3) showed how much they care about American military personnel, and George W. Bush (5) made some dubious statements about the invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, Sean Hannity (6) demonstrated the integrity of Fox "News," The Alliance Defense Fund (7) likes harassment, Eric Rudolph (8) is not, apparently, a terrorist, and Jeff Miller (10) has made an ass of himself. Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1Tom DeLay
I promise you it's not my intention to put Tom DeLay at the top of this list week after week until he gets booted out of Washington D.C. - far from it. If he keeps this up I'll run out of bad puns for the name of each week's edition. It's just that, well, it seems like he's been going out of his way to earn the number one spot lately. Most recently The Hammer was out and about blaming the Democrats - again - for his misfortunes, because if there's one thing Republicans want you to know about America, it's that personal responsibility is paramount. Wait a second, that's not it... what was it again? Oh yes - it's that everything is the Democrats' fault.

This time, though, it appears Tom needs a little help from his friends. In a private meeting last week he urged his GOP pals to blame the Democrats (and the "liberal media" naturally) if they were asked about his ethics misfortunes. Sadly it seems that some Republicans are starting to step away from the stench of impropriety surrounding the House Majority Leader: Rick Santorum said last week that he doesn't believe that DeLay is guilty of any crimes, but he should "lay out what he did and why he did it," Newt Gingrich noted that "DeLay's problem isn't with the Democrats; DeLay's problem is with the country," Rep. Tom Tancredo said, "If he chose to resign as majority leader until these matters are resolved, that's probably not the worst idea," Rep. Christopher Shays went a bit further, calling DeLay "an absolute embarrassment to me and to the Republican Party," and George W. Bush said, "I'm looking forward to working with Tom. He's been a very effective leader." Which means DeLay is definitely in trouble.

(A quick aside: if Rick Santorum is so keen on Tom DeLay explaining himself, perhaps Santorum could also tell everyone why, when he went down to Florida because he was so concerned for the well-being of Terri Schiavo, he flew to on a Wal-Mart corporate jet and raised $250,000 for his 2006 re-election campaign?)

DeLay has also continued to criticize the judiciary, saying that recent court decisions "are not examples of a mature society, but of a judiciary run amok." I guess a mature society is one in which Tom DeLay has complete control over the federal government and every judge in the country makes decisions that he agrees with. However, he also apologized for his earlier remarks about judges (see Idiots 192) saying, "I probably said - I did, I didn't probably - I said something in an inartful way, and I shouldn't have said it that way, and I apologize for saying it that way." So all you judges who have had to get extra security from the U.S. Marshals can breathe a sigh of relief now. Tom DeLay didn't mean to encourage his radical nutcase supporters in such an "inartful" way.

2The Bush Administration covering your ass covering your ass covering your ass helping the terrorists
Considering how badly things are going for George W. Bush and the Republicans at the moment, it's a wonder we haven't had a good old terror alert to keep us on our toes and remind us how much better life is under the GOP. But the Bush administration really doesn't seem too keen to take that tack at the moment - it was revealed last week that the State Department is eliminating a 19-year-old international terrorism report.

Why? Because, according to Knight Ridder, "the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered." I guess the administration's anti-terror policies are really working wonders, eh? Apparently the National Counterterrorism Center reported 625 "significant" terrorist attacks in 2004 compared with 175 attacks in 2003. The 2003 total was the highest in twenty years, and incidentally the 2003 report was the one the administration used to justify its anti-terror policies in the run up to the 2004 election.

So in light of this information it's good to know that the administration is taking action to stop terrorism by, uh, not reporting it.

3Senate Republicans hypocrisy
Now is also probably a good time to remind ourselves of how well the Republicans are treating our military. Last week Senate Republicans blocked Democratic efforts to add more money for veterans' health care to a supplemental appropriations bill in a party-line 54-46 vote. According to the Marine Corps Times, the money - which the Republicans voted against - was to "cover costs of treating returning combat veterans for war-related injuries and to cover shortfalls in funding for VA programs." Thad Cochran (R-Naturally), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said that the money was "not really an emergency need." I wonder how Republicans are going to explain that to the injured veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan? No, don't tell me - they'll blame the Democrats.

4Wolf Blitzer partisanship
Here's a shining example of the insidious conservative spin that infests the corporate media: on a recent edition of CNN's Inside Politics, Wolf Blitzer discussed the Pope's funeral with Crossfire hosts Paul Begala (the liberal one) and Robert Novak (the treasonous one). He introduced the segment thusly:

While they were united today in mourning the death of the pope, U.S. Catholics are a diverse group, as illustrated by two of our Crossfire co-hosts, the conservative Robert Novak, the liberal Paul Begala. Both good Catholics - I don't know "good" Catholics, but both Catholics. I'm sure Bob is a good Catholic, I'm not so sure about Paul Begala.

Huh... interesting. Now why would Bob Novak be a good Catholic, but Paul Begala a bad one? Sure, Paul Begala is in favor of things like a woman's right to choose, which goes against the church's official positions - but Robert Novak is a strong supporter of things like the death penalty and Bush's invasion of Iraq, which also goes against the church's official positions. So why did Wolfie decided that Novak was the good Catholic and Begala was the bad Catholic? Aside from the fact that Blitzer is a biased fool, obviously?

Fortunately Paul Begala decided to take offense at Wolf's aspersion asking, "who are you to pass moral judgment on my religion, Mr. Blitzer?" and reminding him that "My eldest son is named John Paul, after the Pope." He continued, "I'm serious, that annoys me. I don't think anybody should presume that a liberal is not a good Catholic." A cowed Blitzer had to finish with a lame, "I was only teasing," and said, "Don't be so sensitive." Nice thing to say to someone on the day of their church leader's funeral, eh?

5George W. Bush excessive spin
April 9 marked the second anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, and Our Great Leader was back on Planet Braindead last week telling a crowd at Fort Hood that the toppling of Saddam's statue was equal to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Let's take a look shall we?

Here's a picture of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989:


Now here's a picture of the toppling of Saddam's statue in 2003:


Okay, one more photo, this time from Baghdad on the recent second anniversary of the fall of Saddam's statue - the anniversary that prompted Bush to make his little speech in the first place:


That's much more like it! Look at that cheering throng! Why, it brings a tear to the eye! Well, it does until you realize that the huge crowd of people in that picture are gathered en masse to protest the American occupation. Oh well.

6 Sean Hannity
Whether you know him as Derek Smalls or Principal Seymour Skinner, Harry Shearer is a hero - and he proved it again last week by exposing loudmouth Fox News hack Sean Hannity. On his radio show, Shearer played an off-air Hannity & Colmes audiotape from the midst of the Terri Schiavo case, where Hannity can be heard giving two of Schiavo's former nurses some helpful tips on how to answer Alan Colmes' questions...

Hannity: Just say, "I'm here to tell what I saw" ... No matter what the question, "I'm here to tell you what I saw. I'm here to tell you what I saw." ... Say, "I'm not going to be distracted by silliness." How's that? Does that help you? Look into that camera. Look at me when I'm talking.

Later, on air...

Nurse Iyer: I don't have any opinions or judgments. I was there.

After the segment, off-air...

Hannity: We got the points out. It's hard, this isn't easy. But you did great, both of you. Thank you, guys. Those nurses are powerful, aren't they?

Good Lord, Fox News is shit.

7The Alliance Defense Fund homophobia homophobia
The annual "Day of Silence" has in recent years become extremely popular among students at schools and colleges across the country. According to the Associated Press, "Most Day of Silence participants go through the school day without speaking - a tactic for drawing attention to the isolation and harassment experienced by many gay students." And it's working - the Day of Silence is apparently now observed by tens of thousands of students each year. But faced with this outbreak of tolerance and understanding, the pro-harassment lobby has decided to have its say.

It seems that drawing attention to the plight of gay students is not acceptable to pro-harassment groups such as the Alliance Defense Fund and Focus on the Family, who have organized their own "Day of Truth" to counter the Day of Silence. Participants in the Day of Truth will hand out cards to classmates which criticize the "detrimental personal and social behavior" of homosexuals. Mike Johnson of the Alliance Defense Fund stated last week that the Day of Truth is supposed to be "peaceful and respectful." He said, "No one is for bullying and harassment, but ..." (ah, you knew there would be a but, didn't you?) "... that's cloaking their real message - that homosexuality is good for society." And Mr. Johnson's view of homosexuality is? "You can call it sinful or destructive - ultimately it's both."

So let me get this straight. The Alliance Defense Fund and their pro-harassment buddies don't want to promote the persecution of gay students per se - they just want to let people know that gay students are sinful, destructive, and participate in detrimental personal and social behavior. Hmm... well that should help end the bullying.

8Eric Rudolph just plain evil
Combine religious fanaticism with a political agenda and explosives, and what do you get? Some might call it terrorism - but the corporate media was noticeably shy about referring to Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph as a terrorist last week, despite the fact that he meets all the criteria. (But I forgot. These days you can't be a terrorist unless you have brown skin and a towel on your head, right?)

So while conservative pundits have been ranting about the dangerous and frightening epidemic of, um, pie-throwing, the man who killed innocent people during a wave of family planning clinic bombings released a statement last week which contained whole sections apparently lifted straight from the Republican party platform. In fact, the statement is most remarkable for how smoothly Rudolph segues between the language of conservative leaders and the language of Osama bin Laden:

Abortion is murder. And when the regime in Washington legalized, sanctioned and legitimized this practice, they forfeited their legitimacy and moral authority to govern. ... Because I believe that abortion is murder, I also believe that force is justified and in an attempt to stop it. Because this government is committed to the policy of maintaining the policy of abortion and protecting it, the agents of this government are the agents of mass murder, whether knowingly or unknowingly. And whether these agents of the government are armed or otherwise they are legitimate targets in the war to end this holocaust, especially those agents who carry arms in defense of this regime and the enforcement of its laws. This is the reason and the only reason for the targeting of so-called law enforcement personnel.

I guess their "time will come," eh? Rudolph goes on to rail against George W. Bush, calling him a "coward" for not doing enough to overturn Roe vs. Wade (gee, wasn't the ingrate satisfied with his tax cut?) and then marches further into la-la land with a quick rant about gays:

Along with abortion, another assault upon the integrity of American society is the concerted effort to legitimize the practice of homosexuality. Homosexuality is an aberrant sexual behavior, and as such I have complete sympathy and understanding for those who are suffering from this condition. Practiced by consenting adults within the confines of their own private lives, homosexuality is not a threat to society. Those, consenting adults practicing this behavior in privacy should not be hassled by a society which respects the sanctity of private sexual life. But when the attempt is made to drag this practice out of the closet and into the public square in an "in your face" attempt to force society to accept and recognize this behavior as being just as legitimate and normal as the natural man/woman relationship, every effort should be made, including force if necessary, to halt this effort. This effort is commonly known as the homosexual agenda. Whether it is gay marriage, homosexual adoption, hate crimes laws including gays, or the attempt to introduce a homosexual normalizing curriculum into our schools, all of these efforts should be ruthlessly opposed.

Man, he should get a job at the Alliance Defense Fund. So let's see: anti-abortion, anti-gay, likes the idea of killing innocent people, thinks that George W. Bush is a liberal pussy... yup, sounds just like one of Osama's crew. Or a Freeper. Take your pick.

9Arthur Finkelstein hypocrisy hypocrisy
GOP strategist Arthur Finkelstein made a name for himself helping Republican politicians attack their opponents as "too liberal;" he was particularly responsible for the rise of the famously conservative Senator Jesse Helms. So you may be surprised to learn that Mr. Finkelstein married his male partner last week in a civil ceremony in Massachusetts. Apparently Finkelstein believes that "visitation rights, health care benefits and other human relationship contracts that are taken for granted by all married people should be available to partners." Exactly what we've been saying all along!

So it's kinda strange that Finkelstein should spend twenty-five years working for people like Jesse Helms - a man who was well known for such delightful comments as "there is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy" and "the homosexual movement threatens the strength and survival of the American family." Actually... it's not that strange. He's just a massive, massive hypocrite.

10Jeff Miller hypocrisy hypocrisy sex
And finally, speaking of massive hypocrites, meet Jeff Miller, Republican state senator from Tennessee. Miller is currently sponsoring a constitutional amendment which would ban gay marriages in the state and "[solemnize] the relationship of one man and one woman." Unfortunately it turns out that Miller's own marriage could do with a bit of solemnizing - his wife filed for divorce last month and accused him of "inappropriate marital conduct." Miller's wife is accusing him of having a fling with a woman in Nashville - according to, "she said family members saw him with the woman at a Martina McBride concert." Oops.

You know, this is a tragic story and personally I blame Arthur Finkelstein. Poor old Jeff Miller was just trying to do the right thing and prevent homosexuals from ruining the marriages of heterosexuals, and then along comes Mr. and Mr. Finkelstein and the next thing you know Jeff Miller is cheating on his wife at a Martina McBride concert. If only Jeff had been able to amend the state constitution sooner, this would have never happened. Curse you meddling Finkelsteins.


Addendum to the list: last week we featured my new all-time favorite conservative idiot, The Ultimate Warrior (aka Mr. Warrior). For those of you who enjoyed Mr. Warrior's antics, please head over to and read this hilarious email exchange between webmaster Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka and Mr. Warrior's "Director of Communications" Chris Lewis. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. See you next week!

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