TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein: Top 10 dumbest statements of 2011

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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The end of the year is upon us and that means the public absolutely must be deluged with top 10 lists — and I’m happy to oblige.

Here is a list of the top 10 dumbest comments of the year, or at least the top 10 dumbest comments I could recall — with some aid from my Daily Caller colleagues.

Coming in at number ten is Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who said this while campaigning in Waterloo, Iowa:

“Well what I want them to know is just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.”

Actor John Wayne was not, in fact, from Waterloo, Iowa. Serial killer John Wayne Gacy was. An inconsequential and totally innocuous faux pas to be sure, but one that is truly and genuinely funny.

At number nine is a comment from Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, who moonlights as an idiot on Twitter. After Seal Team Six eliminated American enemy number one Osama bin Laden in a daring raid, he tweeted:

“What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”

It is the last line that is particularly galling — I can understand recoiling from the excessive celebration. But to answer his first query, it is the bin Ladens of the world who glorify and celebrate death, or as they put it, martyrdom. If you believe you have only heard one side of the story, may I suggest opening a book? (He followed up that tweet, it should be noted, by questioning the entire 9/11 narrative.)

Next up at number eight is President Obama, who played historian in a recent “60 Minutes” interview and ranked himself among the top four presidents of all time, besting the likes of George Washington and Ronald Reagan:

“The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history.”

He forgot to mention that he is also the most modest president in American history.

Coming in at number seven is Mario Batali, America’s most famous chef of Italian cuisine. During the height of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, he provided us with this little gem:

“So the ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys.”

Yes, because what was unique about Hitler and Stalin is that they stole money, not that they were responsible for the deaths of millions.

But talk about biting the hand that feeds you. You can expect to pay in excess of $100 a person, according to Zagat, for a meal at Del Posto, one of Batali’s New York restaurants. Want to bet without Wall Street Batali would be living on the street? It would probably be advisable for Batali to spend more time in the kitchen and less time speaking.

Six goes to Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, whose ludicrous column in The Jewish Week on Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow included this crazed raving:

“If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants.”

To Hammerman’s credit, he later recognized the utter asininity of his piece and apologized to readers and to Tebow for it.

Next up at five is country singer Hank Williams Jr., who provided this analogy on “Fox & Friends” when discussing the golf outing between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama:

“That would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.”

If you can understand what he was trying to say, more power to you, because I can’t.

At four we have MSNBC contributor Meghan McCain, who makes Ed Schultz look like MSNBC’s resident genius by comparison. Comparing Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, McCain said this: “I think she’s [Michele Bachmann] — this is going to get me in trouble — but I actually I think she’s just more smarter.”

Oh dear.

Number three may be the most iconic quote of 2011. It comes from former New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner. He was accused of tweeting a picture of his junk to a female Twitter follower, which he initially denied. When first asked if the picture was of him, he replied: “I can’t say with certitude.”

Naturally, he ultimately resigned in disgrace.

At two, we have Glenn Beck, who suggested that if you oppose President Obama and support Newt Gingrich, you’re a racist.

“You read this guy’s [Gingrich] record, you read his words. Not just the happy parts like you read about Theodore Roosevelt. Look into his record. See what he believes. This man is a progressive. He knows he’s a progressive. He doesn’t have a problem with being a progressive. So if you’ve got a big government progressive [in Gingrich] or a big government progressive in Obama, one in Newt Gingrich, one in Obama, ask yourself this tea party: Is it about Obama’s race? Because that’s what it appears to be to me. If you’re against him but you’re for this guy, it must be about race.”

What a brilliant mind.

But taking the top spot with the number one dumbest quote of 2011 is Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence this:

“The term Muslim Brotherhood is an umbrella term for a variety of movements. In the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam.”

I know intelligence is a precarious business, but I would think that looking at the name of the organization isn’t asking too much of the America’s top intelligence official. Or maybe reading their credo: “God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”

Yeah, real secular.

I know I must have missed many that could have easily been put on the list. Give your favorites below. 

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Jamie Weinstein