The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 248
June 19, 2006
It's true, Karl Rove (1) isn't going to be indicted. But he's still a conservative idiot, just like everyone else on this week's list. George W. Bush (2,5) flew all the way to Iraq so he could ignore the wishes of their president and vice president in person. Tony Snow (4) showed once again how much Republicans support the troops. And Jack Burkman (10) got busted on My Space. Don't forget the key - which you can now also see in the right-hand column of this Journal.
Like a master magician, Karl Rove managed to escape from the clutches of Patrick Fitzgerald last week. And like a master magician, people everywhere are wondering how did he do that?
The answer to that question is actually quite simple - Rove, and other members of the White House, lied to the American people while telling the truth to prosecutors behind closed doors. It turns out that Rove really was up to his neck in the outing of Valerie Plame, but told enough of the truth to prosecutors in 2003 that they couldn't indict him. While this was going on, the White House repeatedly insisted that Karl Rove had nothing whatsoever to do with the Plame case.
Lest we forget, it was a little over two years ago that this happened:
Q Given -- given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?
THE PRESIDENT: That's up to --
Q And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
So now that this portion of the investigation is over, what are the consequences for all the lies that Rove allowed (directed?) the White House to tell? According to the Washington Post:
President Bush yesterday reaffirmed his trust in White House strategist Karl Rove, and GOP allies said the longtime presidential adviser has no reason to apologize for his role in the disclosure of a CIA officer's identity three years ago.
See? Rove is a trustworthy guy with no reason to apologize. After all, he only leaked the name of a CIA operative to the press, then allowed the White House to cover up his involvement, and then just managed to squeak out of getting indicted by the skin of his teeth. There's nothing to see here. In fact:
Republicans close to Rove argued yesterday that, technically speaking, the aide never lied about his role and that, if anything, he is owed an apology by the media and some Democrats.
Oh, poor Karl. It's obviously we who should be apologizing to him. So here goes: Karl, I'm sorry that we all thought you'd lied to federal investigators when in fact you only lied to the American people. Apparently being cleared of committing a crime frees you from any responsibility for anything. Clearly it's okay to mislead the public about your involvement in the outing of an undercover CIA agent for political purposes - especially during the run-up to an election when national security is the big issue - and I apologize for ever thinking that you might be held accountable. Okay?
George W. Bush
Our Great Leader dropped into Iraq for a quick visit last week - in total secrecy of course, due to the fact that things are going so well over there - and spent several hours gripping and grinning before jumping back aboard Air Force One and hightailing it out of there. No word on whether Bush was wearing his trademark "Mission Accomplished" flightsuit, although this picture does indicate just how much Tony Snow and Dan Bartlett were enjoying themselves and totally not crapping in their pants:
Upon arriving back in the U.S., George was quick to announce that there's no end in sight. Apparently "Iraqis had 'concerns' that a (withdrawal) timetable would disrupt their strategy to create a secure and democratic Iraq," according to Think Progress. Bush said:
...the willingness of some to say that if we're in power we'll withdraw on a set timetable concerns people in Iraq, because they understand our coalition forces provide a sense of stability, so they can address old wrongs and develop their strategy and plan to move forward. They need our help and they recognize that.
Oh really? Are you sure? Want to double-check?
See, it turns out that the vice president of Iraq, Tariq al-Hashimi, specifically asked George W. Bush for a withdrawal timetable while he was in Baghdad. Here's the AP:
Iraq's vice president has asked President Bush for a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq, the Iraqi president's office said. Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, made the request during his meeting with Bush on Tuesday, when the U.S. president made a surprise visit to Iraq.
Of course, that's just the vice president talking. What did Iraq's president think of al-Hasimi's request?
"I supported him in this," President Jalal Talabani said in a statement released Wednesday.
Oh. So what happened? Did Bush pretend not to hear the request? Or did he simply forget about it? I mean, he was only there for five hours - you'd think he'd remember something that important.
What do you get if you cross the death of a second rate terrorist, a bright red conservative district almost turning blue, an unindicted chief adviser to the president, and a five hour surprise trip to the Green Zone? Why, Massive Media Mojo, of course!
Last week journalists (and I use the term loosely) were clambering over one another to report that Our Great Leader is Still Great. "A surge of momentum" was the phrase of the week, as pundits and news anchors lined up to kiss the chimp's ring. From Media Matters:
Numerous media figures have declared that the Bush administration is experiencing "a surge of momentum" as of late, due to the recent death of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the news that White House senior adviser Karl Rove would not be indicted in the CIA leak case, the Republicans' recent victory in a special congressional election, and President Bush's unannounced June 12 trip to Baghdad to meet with the new Iraqi prime minister.
On the June 14 edition of CNN's American Morning, co-host Soledad O'Brien claimed that the recent "string of good news" is "giving momentum to the Bush administration." Shortly after Bush's June 14 press conference, MSNBC anchor Melissa Stark similarly asserted that "the Bush administration has gained a lot of momentum over the last week." On MSNBC News Live, anchor Randy Meier said that recent events have given Bush "a surge of momentum." Meier went on to ask his guest, Washington Post staff writer Peter Baker, "how the White House plans to capitalize and keep this momentum going."
In a similar vein, Wall Street Journal staff writer John D. McKinnon wrote in a June 14 article (subscription required) that Bush "suddenly is scoring gains on several fronts, raising a far-reaching question: Is he setting the stage for a political recovery?" And the headline to a June 13 Knight Ridder article read: "Bush is on a bit of a roll after months of unrelenting bad news."
Where's the evidence for this "surge of momentum?" Well, last week CBS released their first poll taken since the death of Al Zarqawi, and the results showed Bush... dropping two points to 33%. Wow! Now that's what I call "on a roll!"
So after three-plus years of carnage in Iraq, George W. Bush finally had a "good week." Whoop-de-do. It's unfortunate that the death of the 2,500th U.S. soldier in Iraq came during George's Good Week, but hey, what can you do? Here's Tony Snow at a White House briefing last week, responding to the question, "American deaths in Iraq have reached 2,500. Is there any response or reaction from the President on that?
It's a number. And every time there's one of these 500 benchmarks, people want something.
Just a number? "One of these 500 benchmarks?"
The president would like the war to be over now. Everybody would like the war to be over now.
Yeah, I mean, it's not like the president can do anything to stop the war.
And the one thing that we saw in Iraq this week is further testimony to the quality of the men and the women who are doing that, and the dedication and determination to try to ensure that the people of Iraq really do live in a free, effective democracy of their own creation and design.
...which is why we're now lining up Zarqawi #2 - meet Abu Ayyub al-Masri!
Any president who goes through a time of war feels very deeply the responsibility for sending men and women into harm's way and feels very deeply the pain that the families feel. And this president is no different.
Except when he pumped his fist and said "feels good" just before announcing the invasion.
You've seen it many times. You saw it. You saw it when he was in that ballroom. You had this crowd of service men and women who were cheering loudly for the president, and he got choked up.
I think that was the Jim Beam.
So it's always a sad benchmark.
Oh... I thought it was "just a number."
Anyway, shut up about the dead soldiers already. Bush is on a roll! He's surging!
George W. Bush
Surging all the way to Moronsville, that is. Last week, after flying all the way to Iraq without telling the Iraqi prime minister, spending five hours on the ground, and then flying all the way back home, Our Great Leader held a press conference to brag about his stunning performance. Here he is taking a question from Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times, and the ensuing exchange:
BUSH: Are you going to ask that question with shades on?
WALLSTEN: I can take them off.
BUSH: I'm interested in the shade look, seriously.
WALLSTEN: All right, I'll keep it, then.
Ha ha! Funny stuff, picking on Wallsten for wearing sunglasses at the press conference. It's a shame Wallsten has to wear those sunglasses because he's legally blind.
Okay, enough of last week's Bushgasm. Let's move on to something different - the state of Congress. Last week Stephen Colbert interviewed Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) as part of his "Better Know A District" series, in which Colbert tries his level best to make our elected representatives look like complete chumps. Sometimes he doesn't have to try very hard.
COLBERT: You have not introduced a single piece of legislation since you entered Congress.
WESTMORELAND: That's correct.
COLBERT: This has been called a do nothing Congress. Is it safe to say you're the do nothingest?
WESTMORELAND: I... I... Well there's one other do nothin'er. I don't know who that is, but they're a Democrat.
Good comeback. But while Westmoreland hasn't introduced any legislation since entering Congress, he has co-sponsored a very important bill that would require the Ten Commandments to be displayed in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
WESTMORELAND: The Ten Commandments is not a bad thing for people to understand and to respect.
COLBERT: I'm with you.
WESTMORELAND: Where better place could you have something like that than in a judicial building or in a courthouse?
COLBERT: That is a good question. Can you think of any better building to put the Ten Commandments, than in a public building?
WESTMORELAND: No. I think if we were totally without them we may lose a sense of our direction.
And now the punchline...
COLBERT: What are the Ten Commandments?
WESTMORELAND: What are all of them? You want me to name them all?
COLBERT: Yes please.
WESTMORELAND: Hmm... Don't murder. Don't lie. Don't steal. Uhhh... I can't name them all.
Don't miss the video over at Crooks and Liars!
The Left Behinders
A couple of weeks ago I noted that the apocalyptic and badly-written Left Behind series was getting its own video game (see Idiots 246). According to the game's website, players can:
But it seems that Tyndale House, the publisher of "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," may have bitten off more than they can chew - they now have loony right-wing decency-crusader Jack Thompson, er, gunning for them.
Ironically, Tyndale House has previously published Thompson's own book vilifying video game violence, along with several books by Focus on the Family head James Dobson. Last week Thompson cut ties with the publishing company and sent a letter to James Dobson imploring him to stop the game's launch. According to the religious-right-watch website Talk To Action:
The game immerses children in a post-Apocalyptic New York City setting evocative of 9/11. It simulates armed conflict between conservative Evangelical Christians and all New Yorkers who refuse to convert to their brand of Christianity. All "neutral" New Yorkers must ultimately convert or be killed. "They cannot remain neutral," states the game's creator, Left Behind Games. Bodies of slain New Yorkers litter the streets as the game builds to a final battle between the forces of absolute good and absolute evil. Christian militia fighters include a member of the Elite Forces, who is depicted lighting the fuse on a bundle of dynamite.
Thompson says, "My words cannot fully describe what a betrayal this has been by Tyndale ... not just to me but to all of the Christian families out there who are trying to protect our kids from the corrosive, violent effects of violent media. A Christian organization has now become one of the mental molesters of minors for money."
What a delightful conundrum! You know, it's possible that if Thompson continues this crusade he might rip a hole in the conservative idiocy space-time continuum.
Guess what - there's a new outrage involving Ann Coulter! No, she hasn't insulted the 9/11 widows again - this time she's advocating the assassination of Rep. John Murtha. Seriously.
But you know what?
Who gives a shit.
The Bush Administration
Three Guantanamo Bay inmates committed suicide last week by hanging themselves with bedsheets. According to The Scotsman (UK):
The suicides, which US military officials said were co-ordinated, have triggered further condemnation of the isolated detention centre in Cuba, which holds some 460 men on suspicion of links to al-Qaeda and the Taleban. Only ten have been charged with crimes and there has been growing international pressure on the US to close the prison.
This was, according to U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy Colleen Graffy, a "good PR move." In case you were wondering, Graffy's job is to coordinate with Karen Hughes to improve America's image in Muslim countries. Er, how's that going?
But just in case you were still thinking that these are the final acts of desperate men who've been held in prison without charge for four years, allow base commander Rear-Admiral Harry Harris to set you straight: "...this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us," he said. That's right - these prisoners, who had previously given up a hunger strike after guards force-fed them - have, by killing themselves, committed an act of war.
Make sense? It's just like a suicide bombing, but without the bomb.
And finally, step forward Jack Burkman, you're the latest addition to our Republican Morals and Values Wall of Shame. GOP strategist Burkman is a true conservative - thinks Ann Coulter is aces, loves the Swiftboat guys, etc. He was also apparently Senate Republican counsel on Alfonse D'Amato's Whitewater Committee, and a big fan of Ken Starr.
Nonetheless, being an upstanding Republican doesn't stop him from allegedly approaching young ladies on the street and badgering them for a quick threesome. The young lady in question was in Washington D.C. with her friends for the Pride parade. Here's what happened next, according to her MySpace blog (via Wonkette):
afterward, we got a snazzy hotel room at the mayflower downtown. on the way over there, this really hot business man in a pinstriped suit walked past me, said hello, and doubled back. he asked me my name and introduced himself (jack burkman, government relations strategies), asked where i went to school, etc, gave me his card, and asked me to call him. i later texted him and never could get rid of him again. he thought he talked to me on the phone several times, but he never did. i always made kat or kristin be me. he told kristin about how he really enjoyed my outfit (TITS GALORE) and that i was beautiful, etc. by the end of the night (5 am or so), he was offering to pay for our room and give us a thousand dollars if two of us would fuck him. oh, jack burkman. his card is my DC souvenir.
It is too - she scanned it and put it up on MySpace:
So if you ever happen to be in D.C. and find yourself accosted by a man who later attempts a thousand dollar booty call via text message, beware - he's probably a spokesman for the Republican party. See you next week!
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