May 29, 2004
GOP Hypocrite of the Week: Tom Ridge
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Listen to the GOPHOTW HERE.
Welcome back to the BuzzFlash.com GOP Hypocrite of the Week.
Well bust out the duct tape and dust off the plastic sheeting, Tom Ridge, our fearless protector of the homeland, is back.
Back from where, you ask? We don't know. Maybe Karl Rove keeps him in a closet with a box of 3M's finest. Poor Tom! Rove seems to only let the guy out when he needs to trample some bad news about Bush, usually by supporting another vague, meaningless Ashcroft terrorist alert.
And this time, Tom scurried from his hidey-hole on the exact same day that Al Gore skewered Bush and Company in a scathingly accurate assessment of the dishonor and corruption the White House has brought upon America. It just also happened to be a day when a report was released that indicated American military torture and abuse of prisoners was widespread. And it ALSO just happened to be a day when Bush's poll numbers were falling faster than, well, Bush, from a mountain bike, or a Segway, or just the edge of a couch.
But, the timing of Ashcroft and Ridge was all just a coincidence, right? Um, no. But, don't ask the press corpse to ask anyone about it.
Although it's a been a while since the last color wheel of terrorism news fright, BuzzFlash thought the American press had actually awakened somewhat from their 9/11 trauma, and might be more suspect of the Bush administration's motivations. Apparently not, since the strategy of "bury the important bad Bush news with weak terrorist scare story" seems to have headlined most of America's news sources.
Message to the media: Here's a clue to what's really going on. Ridge, on NBC's "Today" show, said there are no plans to raise the national alert status from yellow, where it has stood since January.
"There's not a consensus within the administration that we need to raise the threat level," he said.
Wait a minute. John Ashcroft announces that Al-Qaeda terrorists are in the United States, poised to launch a devastating attack, but Ridge says that there is no need to increase the crayon color alert? To quote Jon Stewart: "Whuhhhhhhh?"
If there's one reason that we can all agree on to boot BushCo in November, "It's the hypocrisy, stupid." And we get lots of that from useless, Rove-shilling, taxpayer-salaried Bush administration employees like Tom Ridge.
Ya know, what do we pay Tom Ridge for anyway? The only thing he's ever done is provide bucketloads of vague threat-filled information and boost the bottom line of companies that make home repair and improvement products.
Ridge is a prop that Rove trots out during times of politically sensitive news.
If all they need is a hand-puppet, why don't they just hire someone to impersonate Tom Ridge? We bet the Screen Actors Guild knows a few people who would be interested. Tom Arnold even looks a little like him.
Besides, it's not like he ever has anything important to say. The really fun stuff goes to Johnny boy.
Ashcroft, fresh from trampling rights across America, really outdid Tom when he said, "Ideal Al Qaeda operatives may now be in their late 20s or early 30s, and may travel with a family to lower their profile. Our intelligence confirms Al Qaeda is seeking recruits who can portray themselves as Europeans."
Holy cripe, "Family men pretending to be Europeans"? Someone tell Clark Griswold that Ashcroft and Ridge are after him, and, if they catch him, laws be damned, he'll end up in an orange jumpsuit at National Lampoon's Gitmo Vacation.
So, Tom Ridge, until the next time Rove needs to steal the headlines and they loosen your leash to parade you in front of the cameras, we hope you've enjoyed the fresh air your support provided and we honor you (drum roll, please) as this week's BuzzFlash GOP Hypocrite.
You sure have earned it.
Until next week, just remember our motto at BuzzFlash.com: So many Republican hypocrites, so little time.
Catch up with you soon.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL