Somebody in Sacramento has just informed our Governator that politicians are supposed to be nice to puppies and kittens. Schwarzenegger has now backed-off on his plan to euthanize lost pets after three days, instead of the current six days, in an effort to save the state $14 million per year. Also gone is his proposal to "cruch dem vit my bear hents" to save more money on poison gas.
Meanwhile, manners and respect are still out of fashion in Washington, DC. Dick Cheney is refusing to apologize for using "the F-word" on the Senate floor. In fact, he's actually defending his telling Senator Patrick Leahy to "f*** off", saying, "I expressed myself rather forcefully, felt better after I had done it."
This should come as no surprise as this administration - which ran to "restore decency to the White House" - has never apologized for anything. And, as we all know, Dick Cheney is a major league asshole. "Big time."
This is a serious incident. It is quite different than previous cursing "scandals" where an embarrassingly rude comment was made un-aware that microphones were on. In the other cases it showed a little poor judgment, and an interesting look at who these people really are. But yesterday's little display took place on the Senate floor, and was spoken directly to the intended target.
We are all susceptible to saying something to our friends and associates that we wouldn't necessarily want made public. (Although, the first thing you should learn in public life is that every microphone is live.) But at work, I'm a little more careful with my language, as I'm sure you are too. The Vice President, who presides over the Senate, cursing out a senior Senator in a public forum cannot be either explained away or excused.
And then, defending it, and saying that he feels better for having done it, is truly a signal of the end of civilization. When my wife tells her second grade students not to curse at each other next year, what can she do when they look back at her and say, "But the Vice President said it feels good to release tension that way... And he was right! So fuck you too!"