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THE BEAST 50 MOST LOATHSOME PEOPLE IN AMERICA, 2008click here for printer-friendly version
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.
19. Ted Stevens
Charges: It’s amazing, really, what can take a 40-year senator down. You can take money for legislative favors, but whatever you do, don’t let your lobbyist friends give you a gaudy statue. Alaska owes its very statehood to Stevens’ willingness to break the law—he was illegally lobbying congress to pass the bill from within the Eisenhower administration in 1954. “We were violating the law,” he happily admitted years later. Stevens has gotten rich off his lack of integrity, and the friends it has brought him. And what friends they are, paying for a house-sized extension on his house, offering him land deals that multiply his money tenfold in six years, and all he had to do is funnel hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to them, bringing home between 500 and a thousand dollars per Alaskan annually. Finally busted after a lifetime of graft, charged and convicted on seven felonies, Stevens still very nearly won reelection. And people talk about Chicago.
Exhibit A: Four days after being convicted, Stevens told a debate audience “I have not been convicted.”
Sentence: Pushed through a series of tubes—each one narrower than the last.
18 The Clintons
Charges: Still around. Still married. Still rich. Still acclaimed. Still influential. Still sought. Still sanctimonious. Still aggrieved. Still phony. Still compromised. Still petulant. Still striving. Still self-pitying. Still self-important. Still important.
Exhibit A: Madame Secretary.
Sentence: Sniper fire.
17. Rod Blagojevich
Charges: Some things are worse than being bald—Blagojevic should have given that senate seat to John Edwards’s barber. A sad truth about Blago is that he’s not really in trouble for corruption, abuse of power or favor-trading, all of which are routines practices in just about every elected official’s office across the nation; he’s in trouble for being so damn rude about it, and for not being smart enough to realize what “appreciation” means to more careful favor-traders.
Exhibit A: “[O]ur recommendation is fire all those fucking people, get 'em the fuck out of there and get us some editorial support.”
Sentence: Flesh removed a pound at a time and used as topping on deep dish pizza, which he is force-fed while his wife spews obscenities at him and Eugene Robinson writes scathing editorials about it.
16. Rick Warren
Charges: Dubbed “America's Pastor” by The Nation, he's duped people from both sides of the political spectrum into thinking he's the kinder, fatter version of James Dobson. Though he is fatter, how could anyone think a man who—professionally—quotes a book written by a make-believe space-giant, instructing the murder of homosexuals, could be anything other than a delusional bigot? Still riding the undeserved wave of fame onset by a meth-head kidnap victim’s ownership of his pop-psych hybrid of churchy prudishness and self-help pabulum The Purpose Driven Life, Warren had a big year hosting a presidential forum at his gay-sounding Saddleback Church, helping to pass Prop 8 and being tapped to invoke said make-believe space-giant at Obama's inauguration. Plus, his neatly trimmed goatee is the queerest thing we've ever seen.
Exhibit A: “God tells us that he created all the land animals on the sixth day of creation, the same day that he created mankind. Man and dinosaurs lived at the same time.” Can you feel the wisdom?
Sentence: He shalt giveth The Lord a blumpkin and eatheth of the pie until he bursts.
15. Kwame Kilpatrick
Charges: Had a stripper party at the mayor’s mansion, at which his gate-crashing wife assaulted the entertainment. The stripper was later gunned down in an obvious hit, the second attempt on her life. The guns and bullets were Detroit Police standard issue. The cop investigating the incident alleged sabotage by two subsequent police chiefs and other officials, finding files deleted and reports missing. He was transferred. Nothing happened. Then Kwame was accused of having an affair with his Chief of Staff, which they both denied, perjuring themselves, until steamy text messages were released—the only part of this story that made national news, naturally. Other texts showed preferential treatment for friends in business contracts, but that’s just not very sexy. Oh yeah, he also assaulted a cop. Finally, “justice” caught up with the mayor—and gave him 120 days in jail. Even Kwame had to laugh, calling the sentence a “joke.”
Exhibit A: “I want to tell you, Detroit, that you done set me up for a comeback.”
Sentence: Stomped to death with eight inch clear heels.
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.
13. Joe Lieberman
Charges: A fickle, flabbery fiend reviled by both parties, Lieberman somehow finds himself more powerful than ever, failing forward by virtue of the Democrats’ unfalteringly chumpish lack of discipline. After promising that he was “not going to go to…the Republican convention, and spend my time attacking Barack Obama,” Lieberman went to the Republican convention and attacked Barack Obama. But that was just the beginning of his descent into a self-dug hole of betrayal that should have proved inescapable. Lieberman thought it was “a good question” to ask if Obama was a Marxist. He campaigned not just with McCain, but with Palin and down-ticket Republicans, another thing he said he wouldn’t do. But the most loathsome trait Lieberman exhibits is that most loathsome of all: Smearing dissent as treasonous. The kind of suppressive asshole who would accuse you of helping terrorists by beating him at checkers should not be Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and is not someone worth rewarding for his own dissent.
Exhibit A: “In matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril.” “Sen. Obama doesn't come to this debate with a lot of credibility.”
Sentence: Lieberman awakes to find himself in the body of an impoverished Iraqi living in a small apartment with 12 family members and no electricity. Shocked by this inexplicable turn of events, he stumbles outside and cries to God, looking up just in time for the white phosphorous to hit him in the face.
12. John Edwards
Charges: For all his rhetoric about income disparity and his millworker dad, it was impossible to ignore Edwards’s raging vanity and not-so-slick southern-fried hucksterism. Even a smart phony would know that a $400 haircut and dolphin-smooth skin just isn’t the right look for a food bank photo op. And anybody knows that no nominee’s secret affair could survive the scrutiny of general election season—no Democratic nominee’s, anyway—so Edwards was knowingly jeopardizing the future of the world on the off chance the Enquirer reporter following him around, who already knew about the affair, wouldn’t find anything concrete. But hey, it’s not so bad, because, as Edwards stressed, his wife’s cancer was in remission when he began the affair. Classy guy.
Exhibit A: "I don't know if that picture is me. It could well be. It looks like me. I don't know who that baby is. I have no idea what that picture is."
Sentence: His prospects dashed and his fortune lost in collapsed hedge funds, Edwards toils the rest of his days as a millworker and Supercuts customer. Rielle Hunter dumps him for Dennis Kucinich’s wife, and every few days Ralph Nader stops by his studio apartment to piss on his futon and laugh.
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.
Written by Allan Uthman & Ian Murphy
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