Once again we bring you The Beast's Most Loathsome for 2008, filled with the usual hilarities. My favorites:
47. Michele Bachmann
Charges: Exemplifies the simmering, all-American fascism lurking behind the forced smiles of uptight church ladies throughout “real America.” Echoing Sarah Palin’s alarming hints about “helping” the media do its job, Bachmann’s casual call for a “penetrating” press investigation into “anti-Americanism” in congress was so fucking dumb it made Chris Matthews seem smart. Once it occurred to the Oral Roberts University graduate that calling for witchhunts against Democrats might be a tad extreme for election season, she decided to just pretend she didn’t say it, and then she blamed Chris Matthews. Then she just blamed words. Then she denied it again. Then she won. Way to go, Minnesota’s 6th.
Exhibit A: BACHMANN: Actually, that's not what I said at all. COLMES: Well, I'm just — I'm reading your exact quote. BACHMANN: Actually that's not I said. It's an urban legend that was created. That isn't what I said at all. COLMES: We have — it's on tape.
Sentence: Assigned to conduct her own “expose” on anti-American views, in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
45. Nancy Pfotenhauer
Charges: A face so hewn can't be found in American politics outside of the Black Hills—or possibly the Speaker's office. The envy of any giraffe prostitute, her Coulterish neck suggests a correlation between head-shoulder distance and affinity for dissembling fascism. Past crimes include acting as head lobbyist for Koch Industries, which faced 97 indictments and four criminal charges to individuals for dumping benzene, until Koch donated $800,000 to Bush and other Republicans in 2000, and all the charges magically disappeared. As advisor and spokes-liar for the McCain campaign, Nancy touted offshore drilling as the desperate, calculated and completely ineffective solution to America's energy woes. She minimized the environmental impact, claiming “We withstood Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and didn’t spill a drop” of oil. There were, in fact, almost 600 spills. Other Pftotenhauer falsifications included pretty much everything else that passed her collagen-bloated lips.
Exhibit A: "But the rest of the state, 'real Virginia,' if you will..." We won’t.
Sentence: Projectile vomits crude oil whenever she attempts to speak.
Charges: You think it’s your patriotic duty to spend money you don’t have on crap you don’t need. You think Hillary lost because of sexism, when it’s actually because she’s just a bad liar. You think Iraq is better off now than before we invaded, and don’t understand why they’re so ungrateful. You think Tim Russert was a great journalist. You’re hopping mad about an auto industry bailout that cost a squirt of piss compared to a Wall Street heist of galactic dimensions, due to a housing crash you somehow have blamed on minorities. It took you six years to figure out what a tool Bush is, but you think Obama will make it all better. You deem it hunky dory that we conduct national policy debates via 8-second clips from “The View.” You think God zapped humans into existence a few thousand years ago, although your appendix and wisdom teeth disagree. You like watching vicious assholes insult each other on TV. You support gun rights, because firing one gives you a chubby. You cuddle falsehoods and resent enlightenment. You think the fact that 43% of whites could stomach voting for an incredibly charismatic and eloquent light-skinned black guy who was raised by white people means racism is over. You think progressive taxation is socialism. 1 in 100 of you are in jail, and you think it should be more. You are shallow, inconsiderate, afraid, brand-conscious, sedentary, and totally self-obsessed. You are American.
Exhibit A: You’re more upset by Miley Cyrus’s glamour shots than the fact that you are a grown adult who is upset about Miley Cyrus.
Sentence: Invaded and occupied by Canada; all military units busy overseas without enough fuel to get back.
42. O.J. Simpson
Charges: Jesus H. Christ, man. You literally get away with murder, to the astonishment of anyone capable of tying their own shoes. Then you write a book, coyly framed as “hypothetical,” in which you explain slicing and dicing your ex-wife and some poor shlub by describing her as a pain in the ass. You know the whole country is still gunning for you. And yet, you feel it sensible to try your luck one more time, because some guy in Vegas is selling a football you signed? Sure, O.J.’s sentence was too harsh to believe he wasn’t being punished for previous crimes of which he was acquitted, but did anyone think that wasn’t going to happen? O.J. could get 33 years for pissing on a tree, and he knew it, so at a minimum the whole “gimme my shit back” caper was unbelievably stupid, the product of a life in which consequences are things that happen to other people. At least now he can get to work on his next book, “If I was an idiot who got himself locked up for life after skating on a double homicide.”
Exhibit A: "I'm O.J. Simpson. How am I going to think that I'm going to rob somebody and get away with it? Besides, I thought what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas."
Sentence: Ghost of Howard Cosell narrates the remainder of OJ’s life: “This man, once a man of greatness, now a man fallen, disgraced, disgusting, reduced to defecating in an unenclosed, seatless toilet, in close proximity to other convicted felons, the indignity apparent on his sad, rapidly aging face. What an incredibly pitiful story is his.”
23. John Fund
Charges: Membership on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board requires that one be a cynical sophist, but the dog-faced Fund actually appears to be in love with lying. Fund has devoted himself lately to muddying up the election fraud issue by selectively promoting mostly spurious tales of ground-level Democratic voter fraud in an effort to obscure more credible stories about the GOP’s top-down machinations. Fund’s book, Stealing Elections, is replete with phony numbers and discredited stories—he even sources a well-refuted tale to a WSJ editorial he probably wrote. Fund delivers his lies with a sneering smugness that would merit facial pummeling even if he were truthful, but whipping conservatives into a creative frenzy of demonic fabrication against ACORN, creating the lamest conspiracy theory of the year (which even McCain hyperbolized absurdly) based on false registrations that ACORN themselves flagged a suspicious, and none of which could conceivably have led to actual voter fraud, reveals Fund to be against not fraud, but the simple act of registering voters. The endgame here is to pass Voter ID laws that will prevent 20 million legal voters in this country who don’t have the required ID from voting.
Exhibit A: “Republicans focus more on the rule of law.”
Sentence: Malfunctioning Diebold central tabulator flips public referendum on whether Fund should be fed to sharks.
20. Joe the Plumber
Charges: The Che Guevara of bald, pissed off white men. In a lot of ways, Samuel Wurzelbacher really does represent the average American—basing economic opinions on unrealistic expectations of personal future success, blaming his failure to meet those expectations on minorities and old people, complaining about deadbeats getting his taxes when he isn’t actually paying his taxes, and advertising his own rudimentary historical and mathematical ignorance by warning of creeping socialism in a country whose highest income tax rate has dropped by half in thirty years. “Joe” indeed symbolizes the true American dream—to become undeservedly rich and famous through a dizzyingly improbable stroke of luck. As American folk heroes go, Wurzelbacher ranks somewhere between Hulk Hogan and Bernie Goetz.
Exhibit A: "Social Security is a joke...social security I've never believed in, don't like it. I hate that it's forced on me."
Sentence: After blowing his fifteen minutes and all his money on coke and Thai hookers, an infirm, elderly Joe finds that social security actually is a joke, and is finally forced to snake toilets for a living.
14. Ashley Todd
Charges: As attention-getting devices go, trying to start a race war is a tad disproportionate. It’s a good thing this batty bitch was completely hopeless as a fraudster, or her 11th hour “big black Barack backer battered burgled and branded Barbie” ruse could have done a lot worse than throw Pennsylvania to McCain. It’s not surprising that log cabin bottom feeder Matt Drudge slapped the headline “Shock: McCain volunteer ‘attacked and mutilated’ in Pittsburgh” on his bafflingly popular website in big red letters, as he’s got about a 40% accuracy rating on the stories he “breaks.” We’ve tried feeling sorry for Todd, but the fact that she scratched the “B” backwards, because she was looking in the mirror, is just too damned funny.
Exhibit A: “Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her cloths [sic] off, but its better if you do.”
Sentence: The reverse “B” never heals.
11. Rush Limbaugh
Charges: The father of modern stupidity, Limbaugh spins reflexively, never struggling with issues, because he knows his conclusion must favor Republicans, and his only task is finding a way to get there. In other words, he may or may not actually believe what he’s saying, but it’s beside the point. His job is not to say what he thinks, but to instruct his listeners on what they should think. If the facts don’t agree, he can always change them, as his “ditto heads” are already armed against the contrary evidence with the all-purpose “liberal bias” attack. “Rush is right,” as the slogan goes, and all those nerdy reporters in the “drive by media” are lying, because they secretly love terrorists. It’s this creepily worshipful, breathtakingly infantile abdication of intellect to a blatantly dishonest hypocrite that makes Limbaugh’s audience so goddamn sad. These pathetic, insecure, failures of men look to Rush as the champion of their impotent rage, helping them to externalize responsibility for their own deficiencies, pinning the blame on those darn liberals and their racial and gender equality.
Exhibit A: You have to marvel at the sheer ignominy of someone who coins the term “Obama recession” two days after the election.
Sentence: Tiny speaker implanted in his inner ear which blares Randi Rhodes 24-7.
4. George W. Bush
Charges: It’s hard—believe us, we know—to keep coming up with new things to say about this brutally stupid narcissist, who may have ruined this country irrevocably and certainly has ruined a couple of others, mugging amiably all the way. If anything good comes from Bush’s reign of error, let it be the death of the notion that vitally important, life or death decisions that affect the entire world should be made with one’s “gut.” We used to think that incompetence was just a good cover story for this administration, an excuse that masked their deliberate criminality, but it turns out that Bush and his inner circle are both treasonous, corrupt warmongers and inept fools. One good thing about him, though, is that he has no real interest in politics, and probably won’t give a flying shoe what happens to the world when his term is up. As he once put it, ““History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead.” Here’s to George W. Bush being history.
Exhibit A: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
Sentence: Detained in formaldehyde-laced FEMA trailer without charges or counsel, sodomized by Lynndie England, declared guilty by military tribunal, set adrift naked on a small ice floe in the Arctic.
2. John McCain
Charges: McCain vowed to run a clean, respectful campaign, and then accused Obama of pushing sex ed for kindergartners, calling Palin a pig, hanging with terrorists, being a welfare-loving Marxist, being an arugula-loving elitist and pretty much everything but conspiring with the Borg—but he didn’t really mean it, and he didn’t use Reverend Wright, so we’re all supposed to think he’s swell. McCain lied so blatantly and constantly that even cable news bootlicks were compelled to fact-check him, to which he and his surrogates responded by insisting on the same lies. When pressed on the Nixonian onslaught of falsehood, McCain whined that he wouldn’t have had to be such a mendacious prick if Obama had only refrained from raising so much more money than him. McCain pretended to give a shit about America, and then he picked a vapid ambition-hound to succeed him. His response to the economic crisis might as well have been to punch himself in the face. In every way he could this year, McCain burned up all the credibility he had stored up from decades of shameless worship by the press, utilizing every tactic he ever decried, exuding a heady aroma of bullshit and Alzheimer’s, and displaying an unrequited obsession with Joe the Plumber, and he still wound up a failed Faust even the Devil didn’t want.
Exhibit A: "In the 21st century nations don't invade other nations."
Sentence: Every time anybody says the word “surge,” McCain is shot in the leg.
1. Sarah Palin
Charges: If you want to know why the rest of the world is scared of Americans, consider the fact that after two terms of disastrous rule by a small-minded ignoramus, 46% of us apparently thought the problem was that he wasn’t quite stupid enough. Palin’s unending emissions of baffling, evasive incoherence should have disqualified her for any position that involved a desk, let alone placing her one erratic heartbeat from the presidency. The press strained mightily to feign respect for her, praising a debate performance that involved no debate, calling her a “great speaker” when her only speech was primarily a litany of insults to city-dwellers, echoing bogus sexism charges when a male Palin would have been boiled alive for the Couric interview alone, and lionizing her as she used her baby as a Pro-life stage prop before crowds who cooed when they should have been hurling polonium-tipped javelins. In the end, Palin had the beneficial effect of splitting her party between her admirers and people who can read.
Exhibit A: Waving her embryo-loving credentials, in the form of her Down syndrome baby, at "But ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy."
Sentence: Hand-to-hand combat with Vladimir Putin and a pack of wolves.