17
Jan
09

The Buffalo Beast Does It Again: The 50 Most Loathesome Americans of 2008

bufalobeast

I subscribe to the Buffalo Beast‘s paper edition, and I can’t give ’em enough love.  This year’s annual feature “The 50 Most Loathesome Americans” sports, as per usual, towering shot after towering shot.  They’ve been in my blogroll for years, they were a big inspiration for my production company Aught-Seven, and even though they just get kind of ripped off badly by middle-of-the-road slush factories,  they deserve Pulitzers.  If not that, howitzers.

Highlights from this year:

30. Antonin Scalia

Charges: The bullet-shaped conservative justice should have stuck to his old policy of not allowing anyone to record him, because the more we see of him, the worse he seems. Scalia drew back the curtain on his legendary mind last April on “60 Minutes,” revealing the legal acumen of a gibbon with a Magic 8-ball. Asked about the legal atrocity of Bush v. Gore, Nino bravely replied, “Gee, I really don’t want to get into, I mean this is—get over it, it’s so old by now.” This about a 2000 decision, perhaps the least legally defensible in recent history, which has had and will continue to have an incalculable impact on this country and the world. Scalia has sebaceous cysts older than Bush v. Gore. But it was Scalia’s asinine, compartmentalized semantic parsing on torture that we hoped would give pause to his lionizers. Arguing that torture isn’t “cruel and unusual punishment” because the subject hasn’t been convicted of a crime, so he can’t be “punished,” the so-called Constitutional Originalist puts the framers in the awkward position of saying that it’s wrong to beat up a convicted criminal, but it’s just dandy to kick the shit out of him before he is even charged.

Exhibit A: “Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.”

Sentence: Broken on the wheel by James Madison.

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.

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.

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