The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
September 19, 2005
Hell Freezes Over Edition
city of New Orleans is still underwater, and Hell is covered in
a sheet of ice. That's because George W. Bush (1, 3, 6) has done
something he's never done before in his presidency, if not his entire
life. Over at the U.S. Senate, Republicans (2) are helping cover
the Administration's collective ass, and John Roberts (5) has been
keeping his mouth firmly closed. Meanwhile, Jerry Kilgore (7) showed
that he's a hypocrite, while Glenn Beck (8) showed that he's a total
scumbag. And Bill O'Reilly and Condoleezza Rice (9) are talkin'
coffee. Don't miss the awesome picture book preview this week! Enjoy
and don't forget the key!
At a Tuesday news conference with the president of Iraq, George
W. Bush said: "Katrina exposed serious problems in our response
capability at all levels of government, and to the extent that the
federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility."
And at that moment, Hell froze over.
Remember that this is the president who, when asked in 2004 to
name his biggest mistake, was unable
to think of a single one. And this is the administration that
has spent the last five years shifting blame onto everyone else
but themselves. (Apparently there is a snappy name for this type
of blame-shifting activity. I am racking my brain trying to remember
it right now, but for some reason I cannot. Perhaps it has not been
used very much recently. I think that it rhymes.) The media, duly
impressed by Bush's incredibly magnanimous gesture, immediately
began to regret the fact that they were so hard on the guy one week
earlier. Sure, an entire city is still chin-deep in raw sewage,
and there are a whole bunch of dead people because of his incompetence,
but he took responsibility. So within an hour or so the entire
media had somehow collectively agreed to give up on that whole unseemly
"journalism" thing, and went back to licking Bush's boots.
But talk is cheap. Just in case you might be inclined to believe
that through the utterance of a few simple words Bush's has somehow
made up for past mistakes and wiped the slate clean, we would like
to show you the slate, as it currently stands:
W. Bush Accountability Scorecard
|Federal budget deficit
|Everyone on the planet hates us now
|Osama Bin Laden still at large
|Lying to the American people
|Energy Task Force
|"Bring it on"
|"Now watch this drive"
|Downing Street Memo
|Swift Boat Smear
|Billy Bush on Access Hollywood
|Federal response to Hurricane Katrina
|*to the extent that the
federal government didn't do its job fully. Which is debatable.
One down, approximately 30+ left to go. Well done, Dubya.
While we're on the topic of accountability, it turns out that
the administration and their cronies in Congress aren't that interested
in figuring out what happened after all. In the wake of one of the
worst government screw-ups in memory, you would think that our elected
leaders would want to put aside partisan differences and find out
what actually went wrong. When he famously took responsibility
George W. Bush even admitted that Katrina "exposed serious
problems in our response capability at all levels of government."
So wouldn't it follow that they want to figure out what those serious
problems were? Um, no.
Last week when Senator Hillary Clinton proposed the creation of
an independent, non-partisan commission, similar to the hugely successful
9/11 commission, to investigate what went wrong in the response
to Hurricane Katrina, Republicans in the United States Senate killed
the proposal. So, it seems that they're actually not that interested
in getting answers. Which kinda makes you wonder what they've got
Much to Bush's consternation, uttering the words "I take
responsibility" did not miraculously make everything better.
Eventually it became apparent that he would need to do more to help
the victims of the Hurricane, and to improve his flagging approval
ratings. So on Thursday he held a televised address to the nation
in which he promised "one of the largest reconstruction efforts
the world has ever seen." Some in the president's own party
estimated that Bush's reconstruction proposals would cost more
than the war in Iraq, hundreds of billions of dollars.
There once was a time when a massive increase in spending such
as this would cause some killjoy, green-eyeshade, bean-counter types
to ask, sheepishly, "um, how, exactly, are you going to pay
for that?" As you well know, that time is long past. Cough,
cough. Our country is now so ridiculously far beyond
the point where government revenues no longer cover our expenses,
that it is laughable to even bother worrying about it. In 2004,
the federal budget deficit was a record $412 billion. Throw in the
money for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction, and the deficit might
as well be "$800 gajillion" because actual numbers no
longer matter. It's all just a massive pile of IOUs to foreign creditors,
which we will foist upon future generations of Americans without
So, what the heck, how about if we just go ahead and pass another
massive tax cut for the rich? Now would be the perfect time! In
fact, let's just get rid of taxes altogether. Instead, we'll keep
on spending more and more, and we'll keep borrowing more money from
foreign banks. And when those foreign banks ask us to pay the interest
(or, God forbid, the principal) on their loans, we'll just take
out more loans from more banks. It'll be the world's greatest pyramid
scheme! If we're lucky, we will all be dead before anyone figures
out that someone has to actually pay for all this borrowing. To
my nieces and nephews and children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren,
all I have to say is, "Ha! In your face, suckers!"
Former FEMA director Michael Brown was sent packing a week ago
because, well, someone had to get sacked after the shameful
federal response to Hurricane Katrina. And let's face it, he was
totally incompetent. But since then we learned that we might have
the wrong guy. According to federal documents reviewed by Knight
Ridder Newspapers, "The federal official with the power to
mobilize a massive federal response to Hurricane Katrina was Homeland
Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, not the former FEMA chief."
The explanation is a little complicated, but basically it comes
down to this: Michael Brown didn't have any authority to order a
massive federal response until Michael Chertoff gave him that
authority. And Chertoff didn't give him the authority until
the afternoon of August 30 — about 36 hours after the
Hurricane hit. Before that moment, Chertoff was in charge. And during
that time when Chertoff was in charge, Chertoff didn't do anything.
Except, perhaps, sit in his office and chertoff, if you know
what I mean.
The White House and the Department of Homeland Security did
not have any explanation for why Chertoff waited 36 hours before
handing off authority. But in hindsight it looks pretty obvious,
to me at least, what happened. You see, after about 36 hours Chertoff
and everyone else in the Administration suddenly realized that they
had totally screwed everything up, and someone had to be the fall
guy. So you sign a few papers and declare that your clueless friend
"Brownie" is in charge just in time so he can get the
The confirmation hearings for John Roberts to be the next Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court began this week. And even though they
are called "hearings" there wasn't actually much to hear
— from Roberts anyway. Despite senators' best efforts to get
him to discuss his judicial philosophy on a number of important
issues, Roberts responses were no more than eloquent variations
on the theme: [Imagine grown man clasping hands over his mouth
and making muffled "mmm ... mmm ... mmm" sounds as if
unable to speak.] Check out this video
from IndependentCourt.org for a thirty-second recap of Robert's
insightful testimony before the committee. A few choice quotes:
"I'm not going to comment." ... "I can't address
that." ... "I feel the need to stay away from the discussion."
... "I don't remember." ... "I do not feel it appropriate
for me to comment." ... "I don't want to discuss anything."
... "I can't answer that." ... "I don't know."
... "It's a matter I can't talk about." ... "I
can't answer that." ... "I don't remember." ...
"I don't recall." ... "I think I should stay away
from discussions of particular issues." ... Lather ...
Rinse ... Repeat ...
When an exasperated Senator Joe Biden pointed out that Roberts'
answers were misleading, Arlen Specter, the Republican Chairman
of the Judiciary Committee shot back (in a rare instance of Republican
truth-telling), "They may be misleading, but they're his answers."
Despite Roberts' stonewalling, the conventional wisdom is that
this guy is going to breeze though the confirmation process without
actually answering any questions. Which is pretty messed-up considering
that this is a lifetime appointment to one of the most powerful
offices in the land, with the power to overturn laws that have passed the
Congress. You'd think that perhaps it might be important to know
how this guy actually thinks about the important issues of the day.
But for some reason, many people seem to think that Roberts is well
qualified to sit on the court, precisely because of his lack
of experience and unwillingness/inability to articulate any concrete
opinions. Just imagine what would happen if we chose a president
with those "qualifications"? Oh, wait, we did. And look
At the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, a Reuters photographer
caught George W. Bush writing a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice. Somewhat embarrassingly, it would seem that the most powerful
man on the planet is incapable of going
to the bathroom on his own:
Many people were upset with the photo, presumably because they
were shocked to learn that the current president of the United States,
whom many consider to be the second coming of Jesus Christ himself,
actually uses the bathroom at all. It just seems so ... how
do I say it ... earthly. But what most people don't know
is that the photographer actually snapped a number of other photos
which never made it to print. Fortunately we've got a contact over
at Reuters who was able to sneak a few of the better ones out to
us. Apparently the president gets easily bored when he's not eating,
sleeping, or watching television. He finds the whole "international
relations" thing to be particularly irritating, and will often
doodle when the other world leaders drone on with their speechifying:
Apparently this next one is a common theme for presidential doodles.
He draws it at least two or three times every day:
I have no clue what this is about:
There's a a governor's race in Virginia this year. (Yes, I am
aware that this is an odd-numbered year. If you've got a problem
with that, take it up with Virginia.) Last Tuesday, the two major-party
candidates — Tim Kaine (D) and Jerry Kilgore (R) — had
a debate, which was moderated by none other than Tim Russert, who
(for once) actually may have lived up to his undeserved reputation
for toughness. With two vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court, there
is a chance that the next governor of Virginia might be faced with
the possibility that Roe v. Wade is overturned. If the Virginia
legislature were to pass a bill outlawing abortion, Russert asked
Kilgore if he would sign the bill. Seems like a pretty simple question
for a candidate who claims
to be pro-life on his website, and who has been endorsed by
the National Right to Life PAC. Kilgore refused to answer the question
on the grounds that it was "hypothetical,"
which is the lamest excuse ever. Pardon me for misunderstanding
here, but if you call yourself "pro-life" doesn't that
mean that you support making abortion illegal? But if this joker
actually had the chance to make abortion illegal, apparently he
isn't really sure what he would do. So, like, um .... What the
heck have we all been fighting over for the last thirty years?
Apparently the "pro-life" side has been just kidding.
Is it possible that the Republican opposition to abortion rights
was all just cynical political posturing? Say it ain't so!
To his credit, Tim Russert saw the obvious hypocrisy in Kilgore's
position and went for the jugular. He asked Kilgore if he would
veto a tax increase passed by legislature. Kilgore — who apparently
is too stupid to recognize a set-up — said that he would. (Duh.)
And just in case anyone else in the room was as stupid as Kilgore,
which is likely since there were other media there, Russert explained,
"That's a hypothetical question." At which point Kilgore,
sensing that something bad had just happened, wrote on the note
pad on his podium, "Note to self: ask aides what 'hypothetical'
I swear to God I am not making this up. Conservative talk radio
host Glenn Beck called survivors of Hurricane Katrina "scumbags."
He also said that he "hates"
the families of 9-11 victims. You know, I'm sitting here, trying
to come up with something clever and witty to say about this guy.
But as far as I'm concerned he isn't even worth the effort. Nothing
that I do or say is going to make this guy sound any worse than
he actually is. He's just a despicable human being. A despicable
human being with a radio program on 160 radio stations, with an
audience of approximately 3 million people. So, instead of wasting
my time, I'm just going to post a few select quotes, courtesy of
Media Matters for America. I give you, Glenn Beck, in his own
You know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims'
families? Took me about a year. ...
And when I see a 9-11 victim family on television, or whatever,
I'm just like, "Oh shut up!" I'm so sick of them because they're
always complaining. ...
I didn't think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims.
All we're hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those
are the only ones we're seeing on television are the scumbags.
I would like to believe that this attitude is an aberration; that
it is not typical of conservatives generally, or of conservative
talk radio hosts in particular. But it's not. To the extent that
he actually said it on the air, yes, Glenn Beck is the exception.
But his knee-jerk attitude toward the victims in society
is not an aberration at all. In fact, it's pretty much the emotional
and intellectual foundation for the entire conservative agenda,
which is all about helping the haves and screwing the have-nots.
O'Reilly and Condoleezza Rice
If you are a regular reader of the Top Ten Conservative Idiots
— or if you are a reader, for that matter — then
surely you are already aware of the numerous problems plaguing Iraq.
But leave it to Bill O'Reilly and Condoleezza Rice to draw attention
to the issues that really matter. On the deadliest day of
violence in Iraq since the end of combat operations, O'Reilly and
Rice were talking about — wait for it — the scarcity
of a good cup of joe in Baghdad. Our friends over at Think Progress
have the video.
O'Reilly: The truth of the matter is that our correspondents
here at Fox News can't go out for a cup of coffee in Baghdad.
... That's tough. That's tough.
Rice: No, it's tough. But would they want to go out for a cup
of coffee when Saddam Hussein was in power?
Who says that Fox News doesn't ask the tough questions? While it's
true that this Rice-O'Reilly discussion is utterly ridiculous, I
suppose we should take some comfort from the fact that Fox News
is broadcasting any bad news at all from Iraq. Now that they
have gone so far as to admit on the air that you can't get a good
cup of coffee in Baghdad, maybe next they might go a bit further
and admit, oh, I don't know, that weapons of mass destruction have
not actually been found. Or that we actually weren't greeted as
liberators, and most regular Iraqis want us to get out of their
country. Just a thought.
When I first heard about this one, I thought it was a joke.
But as far as I can tell this is absolutely
true, and furthermore it is being done with an entirely straight
face. On September 20th, author Katharine DeBrecht will release
her new children's book entitled Help! Mom! There Are Liberals
Under My Bed. Yes, that's the actual title. Here is the kid-friendly
cover, which shows (who else?) Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton,
who — if the cover is to believed — is at this moment
trying to pinch your piggy bank while you are here reading:
We here at Democratic Underground were fortunate to get an advance
copy of the book, and what we learned about liberals is truly
shocking! Take a look at this hair-raising example of liberal
treachery which we found in Chapter 5:
And who wouldn't be appalled when they read Chapter 6 and learn
what all liberals like to do for fun during their spare time?
And then there's Chapter 9, which, well ... This is just too
upsetting for words:
Hide the children! That is some some scary stuff! See you next
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