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The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
Posted by top10 in Editorials & Other Articles
Sun Dec 03rd 2006, 10:12 PM

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 270

December 4, 2006
War On Christmas Edition

There are just a few weeks to go until Jesus's birthday, and that can only mean one thing - this year's War on Christmas has begun! (I hope everyone has their marching orders - I think mine must have gotten lost in the mail.) The Young Conservatives of Texas (1) are fighting here so they don't have to fight over there, Michael Medved (3) discovers that CGI is the new WMD, Bill O'Reilly (4) insults his paying customers, and Dennis Prager (5) is pure integrity.

The Young Conservatives of Texas

To prove just how much liberals hate Christmas, the Young Conservatives of Texas (University of Texas Chapter) have announced their intention to create an "ACLU nativity scene" for public display on the university's West Mall. In case you were wondering what passes for "clever satire" in Republican circles these days, wonder no more:

"We've got Gary and Joseph instead of Mary and Joseph in order to symbolize ACLU support for homosexual marriage, and of course there isn't a Jesus in the manger," said Chairman Tony McDonald. "The three Wise Men are Lenin, Marx, and Stalin because the founders of the ACLU were strident supporters of Soviet style Communism. The whole scene is a tongue-in-cheek way of showing the many ways that the ACLU and the far left are out of touch with the values of mainstream America."

The scene will also display a terrorist shepherd and an angel in the form of Nancy Pelosi.

Way to go, guys! A bit of gay bashing, a dash of stale old 1950s "reds under the beds" fear-mongering, all capped off nicely with the standard issue "Democrats love terrorists" imagery which worked so well for Republicans in the mid-term elections. And we're the ones who are supposed to be out of touch with mainstream America?

Loma Linda Homeowners' Association

If you go to church, you're probably going to lose track of the number of times you hear some variation of the phrase "peace on earth" in the next few weeks. But for the homeowners' association of the Loma Linda community in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, expressing a desire for peace is now apparently an indication that you, er, love Satan.

Recently the three-member board of the homeowners' association sent a letter to a local family telling them that unless they removed a peace symbol-shaped wreath from the front of their house, they'd be fined $25 a day.

According to the New York Times:

In its original letter to the couple, Lisa Jensen and Bill Trimarco, the association said some neighbors had found the peace symbol politically "divisive."

A board member later told a newspaper that he thought the familiar circle with angled lines was also, perhaps, a sign of the devil.

Unfortunately for the homeowners association, the rest of the residents of Pagosa Springs aren't insane - and the board subsequently resigned after a massive public backlash.

Two board members have disconnected their telephones, apparently to escape the waves of callers asking what the board could have been thinking, residents said. The third board member, with a working phone, did not return a call for comment.

It's probably for the best. No doubt if they'd won this battle in the War on Christmas, the homeowners' association's next move would have been to picket local churches insisting that they sing these new versions of popular Christmas hymns:

Hark! the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King
Dum dum dum and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
With news of joy foretold,
"La da de da, good will to men
From heaven's all gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, All is bright
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child
Holy Infant so Tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly blah-ah,
Sleep in heavenly blah.

Michael Medved

But fear not, proud rightists - despite some epic setbacks for the conservative movement in recent weeks, Michael Medved has the solution to your woes. He's going after animated penguins.

Faced with the bowel-shaking prospect that people have stopped listening to them, conservative pundits like Medved are becoming increasingly desperate. If you need proof, check out his review of the new children's movie "Happy Feet", which according to Warner Bros. is a "comedy adventure set in the land of the Emperor Penguins in the heart of Antarctica."

Despite scoring a respectable 76% on (the movie review aggregator), Medved says that "Happy Feet" is in fact "the darkest, most disturbing feature length animated film ever offered by a major studio." And why's that? Let's do a quick review of his review and see just how far down the rabbit hole conservatives have gone.

Medved: There's (...) a bizarre anti-religious bias operating unmistakably and gratuitously in the film. The penguin protagonist (known as "Mumbles Happy Feet") finds himself harshly treated by the aged leaders of the flock, who worship a false God called "the Great Wind" and decry and persecute anyone who dares to challenge their "sacred" traditions.

Okay, let me see if I can understand this. As Medved describes them, the penguins in charge are a bunch of zealots who persecute anyone who doesn't believe the same thing they do. The hero of the movie stands up to them. But Medved thinks that's a bad thing? I don't get it.

Medved: As in so many other recent films, there's a subtext that appears to plead for endorsement of gay identity. Mumbles (the voice of Elijah Wood) displeases his parents and the leaders of his community because he's born different, and makes an impassioned plea that he can't possibly change - and they should accept him as he is.

The movie suggests that people should be accepted for who they are? That is absolutely shocking and totally unlike any other children's movie ever made!

Apparently the children's movies in Medved's collection are all about conforming to accepted stereotypes, burying your true identity, and not rocking the boat. No doubt "Happy Feet" would have a much better message for kids if Mumbles just shut up and obeyed the "aged leaders" who "worship a false God" and "decry and persecute anyone who dares to challenge their 'sacred' traditions." Three cheers for religious extremism!

Medved: The propagandistic theme suggests that the biggest menace for the lovable penguins is the human race --- stealing the fish on which the birds depend, or ruining planet earth through pollution and global warming.

How awful. Teaching little kids that pollution and global warming are bad is just plain wrong. Listen up, conservatives: every one of you who accidentally takes your kids to see this dreadful propaganda piece should immediately un-brainwash them by forcing them to toss litter all over the street as they exit the theater. That'll show those Hollyweird liberals!

Medved: At least 80% of the film's running time shows its penguin characters in pain or danger. Scenes of terrifying leopard seals and killer whales trying to devour the protagonist and his friends are so intense as to guarantee nightmares.

I'm not sure why Medved thinks this is so terrible. Going by his other comments it sounds like those gay, environmentalist-wacko, people-hating, secularist penguins deserve everything they get.

Bill O'Reilly

But animated penguins aren't the worst of it - oh no, not by a long shot. I'll let Bill O'Reilly fill you in on the details:

I don't own an iPod. I would never wear an iPod... If this is your primary focus in life - the machines... it's going to have a staggeringly negative effect, all of this, for America... did you ever talk to these computer geeks? I mean, can you carry on a conversation with them? ...I really fear for the United States because, believe me, the jihadists? They're not playing the video games. They're killing real people over there.

Yeah, stupid computer geeks and their iPods, ruining America and helping the terrorists.

If you'd like to hear more straight talk from Bill O'Reilly at any time of the day or night, simply hop on over to his website, sign up for premium membership, and download the Radio Factor podcast.

According to O'Reilly's website, the advantage of his podcast is that it "allows you to listen to the program during the time and at a place most convenient for you." It doesn't mention anything about jihadists and podcasting's staggeringly negative effect on America, but that's probably just a simple omission. No doubt they'll have it fixed by the time you read this.

Dennis Prager

Okay, where are we so far... liberals trying to ruin Christmas, check. Peace symbols = devil worship, check. Animated penguins making children gay, check. iPods helping the terrorists, check. As you can see, conservatives have really got some great ideas for winning back Congress in 2008. Oh yes, they're in touch with the mainstream. They've got their finger on America's pulse, you might say.

But of course there's one thing missing from their list of priorities - they haven't quite finished crapping on the Constitution yet, and they'd really like to get around to that sooner rather than later.

Step forward right-wing radio host Dennis Prager. You may remember his name from Idiots 268, in which a hate-mailer wrote to tell us, and I quote:

Bill O'Reilly speaks the truth;

Dennis Prager is pure integrity;

and Rush Limbaugh is God!

...which should give you some idea of where he stands on the issues.

Last week Prager wrote a column to denounce newly-elected Democratic congressman Keith Ellison because "he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran." Since Ellison is a Muslim, one might think that it would be a bit strange for him to take his oath of office on the Christian Bible. But according to Think Progress:

Prager claimed this "act undermines American civilization," and compared it to being sworn in with a copy of Hitler's "Mein Kampf."

Gosh. Elsewhere in his column, Prager had this to say:

Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress. In your personal life, we will fight for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath.

There's just one tiny problem with this argument: the U.S. Constitution, Article VI, section 3, clearly states the following:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

This probably explains why Think Progress also notes that:

The Office of the House Clerk confirmed to ThinkProgress that the swearing-in ceremony consists only of the Members raising their right hands and swearing to uphold the Constitution. The Clerk spokesperson said neither the Christian Bible, nor any other religious text, had ever been used in an official capacity during the ceremony.

But don't be put off by the fact that Dennis Prager manufactured this whole phony controversy out of thin air because he's a) a giant bigot, and b) mind-blowingly ignorant of the Constitution. Dennis Prager is pure integrity!

Larry Corrigan

As you've seen so far, conservatives are giving us a great preview of all the new ideas they're going to bring to the table when Congress reconvenes in January. But they're still relying on some old classics. Take Larry Corrigan, for example.

Mr. Corrigan was, according to the Seattle Times, "the director of financial operations at the prosecutor's office for more than 25 years and was deputy treasurer in (Rep. Dave) Reichert's (R-WA) 1997 and 2001 runs for King County sheriff. He was also a supporter without an official role in Reichert's congressional campaigns."

And last week he was "booked into King County Jail around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday for investigation of the attempted rape of a child and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes."

Corrigan was busted after allegedly arranging to have sex with a 13-year-old girl he met online, only to discover that the 13-year-old girl was actually an undercover police officer. So for all you right-wingers out there who have been worrying that the mid-term election results will force top conservatives to abandon their old principles, rest assured that they haven't.

George W. Bush

George W. Bush really loves being president, because there's nothing a bully likes more than to be able to hurt people without having to face any consequences. Being president of the United States allows Our Great Leader to get away with all kinds of behavior which would likely get his ass kicked in any other environment.

For example, imagine this scene taking place between two guys in a bar, instead of between the president and a newly-elected senator in the White House. From The Hotline:

At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked (Jim) Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

"I didn't ask you that, I asked how he's doing," Bush retorted, according to the source.

Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn't.

But that's not all. According to the blog Not Larry Sabato:

I've gotten a tip on the background to this confrontation, and it appears that Webb may have under reacted.

As President Bush is well aware, a couple of weeks before this dinner the tank riding next to Jimmy's in Iraq was under fire and three marines died.

My sources are telling me that the way President Bush approached Webb with his tone, it appeared he was asking the question of how Jimmy was doing in a mocking manner, while he was certainly aware of the tragedy that had hit his unit a few weeks earlier.

Webb has every right to be livid as the Commander in Chief should not be talking about service members in Iraq in a condescending manner like that. I hope everyone can understand what Webb is going through as a parent with death striking Jimmy's unit that closely, and President Bush should have been a lot more sympathetic to Jim's feelings as a parent.

He should have, but let's face it, that's never going to happen. After all, this guy doesn't just have the temerity to mock a man whose son is facing death in Iraq, he's doing it while his own daughters are enjoying a wild two-week-long birthday junket in Argentina. Pure class.

Mitt Romney

The Republican governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, is planning on running for president in 2008, and one of his big issues is illegal immigration. Romney supports the idea of building a fence across the border with Mexico, and according to the Boston Globe, "announced he would seek an agreement with federal immigration authorities to allow Massachusetts State Police to arrest illegal immigrants for being in this country illegally."

But if Romney's really so concerned about getting tough on illegal immigration, perhaps he should start by literally looking in his own back yard.

The Globe recently interviewed four current and former employees of Community Lawn Service with a Heart, the tiny Chelsea-based company that provides upkeep of Romney's property. All but one said they were in the United States illegally.

The employees told the Globe that company owner Ricardo Saenz never asked them to provide documents showing their immigration status and knew they were illegal immigrants.

"He never asked for papers," said Rosales, who said he had paid smugglers about $5,000 to take him across the US-Mexican border and settled in Chelsea.

The workers said they were paid in cash at $9 to $10 an hour and sometimes worked 11-hour days.

Romney never inquired about their status, they said.

In addition to maintaining the governor's property, they also tended to the lawn at the house owned by Romney's son, Taggart, less than a mile away on the same winding street.

Whoops. So how did Romney react to the news that he's a big fat hypocrite?

Asked by a reporter yesterday about his use of Community Lawn Service with a Heart, Romney, who was hosting the Republican Governors Association conference in Miami, said, "Aw, geez," and walked away.

The Transport Security Administration

Way, way back in Idiots 53, I ridiculed John Ashcroft for spending $8,000 to cover the naked breasts of a statue in the Department of Justice's Great Hall. Remember that? Ha! What a douchebag.

It turns out though that while the Bush administration used to be absolutely disgusted by carved stone representations of certain female body parts, they now plan to take naked pictures of every single person who wants to fly on an airplane. I guess 9/11 really did change everything.

Yes, if you thought that being forced to take off your shoes in the security line was annoying, wait till you get a load of the Transport Security Administration's brand new Humiliationatron 9000.

That's Susan Hallowell, the director of the Transportation Security Administration's security laboratory, standing in front of an x-ray machine which looks under your clothes to see if you're carrying a weapon.

Now, the right-wing's usual rebuttal to this sort of thing is, "Hey, if you haven't done anything wrong, what do you have to worry about?!?!" I wonder if they're still going to think that while they're exposing their ample girths to the security staff at George H. W. Bush Intercontinental Airport. Which brings up an interesting point: the machine can see under clothes, but it can't see under rolls of flab. Are they going to make you lift your spare tires so they can see if you've got a dirty bomb tucked in there somewhere?

Even more bizarre, according to the Associated Press, is the news that:

The agency is trying to find a way to modify the machines with an electronic fig leaf - programming that fuzzes out sensitive body parts or distorts the body so it is unrecognizable.

Pardon my ignorance, but doesn't that render the device useless? If the point is to look under people's clothes to see if they're carrying a weapon, couldn't someone with malicious intentions simply strap a weapon to one of the parts behind the "fig leaf?" And if that's the case, isn't this just a Perv Machine?

But have no fear, the AP reports that in order to protect your privacy, "Another option might mean stationing the screener in a booth so only he sees the image." That should give you some peace of mind next time you go on a nice vacation with the kids.

Actually, there's a thought - maybe Congressional Republicans can get one of these machines hooked up in the Page Dormitory. You know... for security purposes.

Rush Limbaugh

And finally, speaking of rolls of flab our old friend Rush Limbaugh was back on fine form last week. As you probably know, the Republican party didn't do too well with female voters in the 2006 elections, so last week Rush did his best to woo them back. Here's what he had to say:

My cat -- here's how you can get fooled. My cat comes to me when she wants to be fed. I have learned this. I accept it for what it is. Many people in my position would think my cat's coming to me because she loves me. Well, she likes me, and she is attached, but she comes to me when she wants to be fed. And after I feed her -- guess what -- she's off to wherever she wants to be in the house, until the next time she gets hungry.

She's smart enough to know she can't feed herself. She's actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn't have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat's taught me more about women, than anything my whole life.

Did I mention that Rush has been divorced three times?

See you next week!

-- EarlG
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