Who is the douchebag of the decade/century/millennium?


One of the major websites recently chose Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild as its douchebag of the decade. I just couldn't agree with that. Sure, Francis is a well tempered doucheclavier, but could he have been the d-bag supreme of the noughties? I doubt it. After all, we just went through what might have been one of the worst decades in mankind's history, probably the worst since the 1940s. It was a decade marked by economic crisis, epic malfeasance, terrorism, reality TV,  steroid abuse, bad leadership, and hatemongering in all media from radio and cable to the internet. It was a desperate time when the world lost, just when it needed them the most, some of its greatest men, from Pope John Paul II to the guy who created the hokey-pokey.

So I asked my blog's readers to vote for the douche of the millennium. That process only confirmed what a bad decade it was. It was so bad that Mr. Francis couldn't even make the top ten. It was a decade so filled with douchebaggitude that even Donald Trump, Tom Cruise and O.J. Simpson couldn't make the top ten. Think about that. The general concept of a douchebag is a smug and obnoxious jerk with an inflated sense of self-importance. If you look it up in the dictionary, they probably have Trump's picture there. The man is a douchebag's douchebag. He's the guy other douchebags aspire to be. And even he couldn't crack the decade's leaderboard, finishing a distant 15th.

Actually, I think I can explain that. It's the Hank Aaron syndrome. When Hammerin' Hank was a young player, people always used to underrate him because he never did anything spectacular. He simply had the same excellent season every year. After 20 years however, Aaron's career totals looked enormous, and people started to realize how good he had been. So it is with Jeff Bridges in acting. And so it is with Donald Trump in douchebaggery. He's never really pulled off the ultimate douche move, ala Kanye West, but day in and day out, he can go douche for douche with anyone, and over a long career, he's a hall of famer.

One more note before we get to the winners. We need to make a special tip o' the hat to Gwyneth Paltrow. Douchebaggery has always been an exclusively male characteristic. Women have their own separate category in which they compete for divahood. That is similar to douchebaggery, I grant you, but not quite the same. Divahood is generally missing the know-it-all component that marks the true male douchebag, so only Ann Coulter has been able to compete in the boy's club. But Gwyneth is an exception. She's the Michelle Wie of douchebaggery. Going head-to-head against the guys, she is already out-polling such notable douchepuppies as Michael Lohan, Charlie Sheen and Russell Crowe. I think Gwyneth is capable of taking the entire next decade if she makes the effort. She certainly has, as they say, all the tools.


The poll results:


Tucker Max

Tucker is the only candidate in this election who actively campaigned. This statement comes from his website:

"My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole.

I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead."

And yet, for all his faults, at least nobody could accuse him of lying.


Barry Bonds

Although Barry claims never to have taken steroids, he now has the world's largest head not belonging to Zardoz.

And, as if cheating his way to the top of the baseball heap were not sufficient to make him the top sports douchebag, he chose to act like a jerk at every possible opportunity, until he was so generally despised that nobody in baseball would hire him when he was still arguably among the five best hitters in the game.



Barney Frank

This quote from the New York Times, Sept 11, 2003 says it all:

"''These two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis,' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. 'The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.'"




Bernie Madoff

Here's a guy who took embezzlement to the next level. Excluding non-existent paper profits, he walked off with between ten and twenty billion dollars. That's billion with a "b." One prosecutor complained that Madoff's sentence couldn't be properly assessed because his crimes were "off the charts." The sentencing guidelines for fraud only go up to $400 million.

Despite that restriction, he received a sentence of 150 years in jail.

Imagine if they had been able to punish him properly!




Osama bin Laden

No offense to the rest of you who voted for somebody else, but here's the lad who got my vote, and I never considered voting for anyone else.

Not only is he virtually the incarnation of pure evil, but he's the only person in the world whose movies are harder to watch than Kate Hudson's.




Perez Hilton

He received the most votes of any online celebrity, so he's not only the biggest douchebag on the internet, but he's also, to the best of my knowledge, the biggest gay douchebag. At least I don't think any of the higher finishers are gay. That picture of George Bush below does not imply that he enjoyed it. Having sex with oil sheiks is simply a presidential duty.

Up from nowhere, Hilton managed to become more despised than Osama bin Laden himself. That is damned impressive for a guy whose entire claim to fame consists of an ability to draw cum stains on pictures.



Glenn Beck

Beck to Muslim congressman-elect Keith Ellison, a guest on his show: "What I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel."

Because punditry, by its very nature, is essentially a breeding ground for douchebags, the competition to finish at the top of the douchepile is intense. One must defeat such stalwart competitors as Sean Hannity, Chris Matthews,  Rush Limbaugh, and Keith Olbermann. But each of those guys has a limited bag of tricks, while Beck has the whole portfolio: ridiculous pronouncements delivered with cocky certainty, paranoia, prejudice, both emotional and mental instability, an almost complete lack of education, and a multi-million dollar contract.



Kanye West

"Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'll let you finish, but Beyonce has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!"

Just as much as Barack Obama, Kanye West has been an inspiration to young members of America's racial minorities.

It was just a few short years ago that only white children could dream of becoming the President of the United States or the biggest douche in the entertainment industry.




George W. Bush

"Is our children learning?"

What can you say? He was the president of the United States for 80% of the decade. That is the ultimate platform for douchebaggery because every misstep is placed under a magnifying glass, and every mistake has such a massive impact on the country and the world.

"W" made the most of the opportunity.




Al Gore

"The interior of the earth is (chuckle) extremely hot - several million degrees."

Al Gore's qualifications for this list can be best summed up in his last appearance on the Tonight show (seen right), when he was confidently asserting that the temperature in the core of the earth is millions of degrees, while simultaneously snickering smugly at those who dare to question his wisdom.

Remember how his exasperated sighs caused the public to think he could do no better than debating George Bush to a standstill? That's like settling for a tie in Twister against Stephen Hawking.

His disdain for fact-checking, his exaggerations, and his contempt for those who doubt him - therefore turning what should be legitimate environmentalism into an easy punchline for the anti-science nutburgers - are the defining characteristics that make him the Duke of Douche.



But there can be only one ...



Dick Cheney

So who's your man, Cheney or Gore? Your choice depends on which side of the political spectrum you prefer. They're both douchebags. As a general rule, all vice-presidents of the U.S. are douchebags, irrespective of their politics. Remember Mondale and Quayle?

In a way this is a sad situation because both Mr. Undisclosed Location and Mr. Love Story have something important to say. They have identified genuinely significant threats to the world - pollution and terrorism - and each sees himself as leading a gallant quixotic struggle against a truly evil enemy. The sad part is that neither of them can pull it off without acting like a total douchenozzle.

Whether riddling his friends with shotgun blasts, establishing himself as the pro-torture poster boy, dismissing any criticism with pomposity, or just flat-out lying about things he said - even when he said them on tape and for the record (right), Cheney proved himself the biggest Dick of them all.



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