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June 29, 2004

The Bush Administration and Cursing - Cheney and "Go Fuck Yourself"

Why is everyone getting all googly over Dick Cheney saying "fuck?" It's not like that kind of language is new from the Bush administration.

In keeping with the astounding level of discourse displayed by Dick Cheney when he told Senator Patrick Leahy to "fuck yourself," I thought I'd repost (with some new links) my old post about how the Bush administration jumped all over John Kerry for saying the very same word.

In response to a question about anti-war candidate Howard Dean's success, Kerry responded: "When I voted for the war, I voted for what I thought was best for the country. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, `I'm against everything?' Sure. Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did."

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card's reaction: "I'm very disappointed that he would use that kind of language. I'm hoping that he's apologizing."

Bush's "kind of language" -- "major league asshole" - with a ringing endorsement from Dick Cheney

Sept. 4, 2000 - At a Labor Day event in Naperville, Ill., Monday morning, apparently oblivious of the microphone just inches from his mouth, Gov. George W. Bush made a crude offhand remark about a reporter that those in the campaign of his rival, Vice President Al Gore, hope will take some of the shine off Bush's warm and sunny veneer.

Waving and smiling to the crowds, Bush and his running mate, former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, seemed to be enjoying the generous reception offered by the Republican enclave in the Chicago suburbs.

Then Bush spotted New York Times reporter Adam Clymer, who has been with the paper since 1977, serving as national political correspondent during the 1980 presidential race, as polling editor from 1983 to 1990 and as political editor during the successful presidential campaign of Bush's father in 1988.

There's Adam Clymer -- major league asshole -- from the New York Times," Bush said.

"Yeah, big time," returned Cheney.

Bush's "kind of language" -- "Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out." - (What's worse, that he used the "F" word or that he outed his intention of invading Iraq one year before doing so??)

Robert Parry, THE CONSORTIUM: "As he marched the nation to war, Bush presented himself as a Christian man of peace who saw war only as a last resort. But in a remarkable though little noted disclosure, Time magazine reported that in March 2002 – a full year before the invasion – Bush outlined his real thinking to three U.S. senators, 'Fuck Saddam,' Bush said. 'We’re taking him out.'"


Mar. 31, 2003

First Stop, Iraq

How did the U.S. end up taking on Saddam? The inside story of how Iraq jumped to the top of Bush's agenda — and why the outcome there may foreshadow a different world order.

F___ Saddam. we're taking him out." Those were the words of President George W. Bush, who had poked his head into the office of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. It was March 2002, and Rice was meeting with three U.S. Senators, discussing how to deal with Iraq through the United Nations, or perhaps in a coalition with America's Middle East allies. Bush wasn't interested. He waved his hand dismissively, recalls a participant, and neatly summed up his Iraq policy in that short phrase. The Senators laughed uncomfortably; Rice flashed a knowing smile. The President left the room.

Bush's "kind of language" -- "pussy."

At the Republican National Convention in 1988, he was asked by a Hartford Courant reporter about what he and his father talked about when they weren't talking about politics. 

"PUSSY," Bush replied.

Bush's "kind of language" -- "You no-good fucking son of a bitch, I will never fucking forget what you wrote." - (More important: WSJ editor Hunt reported that Bush was well "lubricated" - i.e., drunk. This was in 1987, when Bush declared that he had stopped drinking.")

In 1987, one year after he had given up drinking he ran into Al Hunt, a Wall Street Journal editor who was minding his own business sitting at a restaurant with his wife and 4-year-old daughter.    Bush lit into him, saying, among other things, You no-good fucking son of a bitch, I will never fucking forget what you wrote."

Posted on June 29, 2004 at 01:05 PM | Permalink


Dear Trish,

I think the word "fuck" has so many connotations unrelated to "copulate illicitly" that the offensiveness of the word varies immensely.

"fuck you" = I utterly disregard you

"fuck up" = "cock up" (if either is used as a transitive verb); to execute a task with surpassing incompetence; but

"fuck up" (as an instransitive verb) means to disrupt, ruin, wreak petty havoc.

"fuck up" (as a noun) means one who disrupts, ruins, wreaks petty havoc. "Cock up" means the act itself, not the perpetrator.

"fuck yourself" is, among men, extraordinary rude. It really is like the sounds my older cat makes when the new kitten runs up to her and won't stop--the panicked fury, the prelude to a hiss, and the distinctive "thpit!" interjection. Seeing the President of the Senate behave like a cornered, furious cat is disturbing.

Posted by: James R MacLean at Jul 1, 2004 1:39:41 PM

"googly" = complusively driven to search for things on Google (e.g., "The public is googly about Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction"); or else, = something that is related to, or felicitous to, the use of internet search engines (e.g., "The thing about MLN, it's so googly.").

Posted by: James R MacLean at Jul 1, 2004 1:57:28 PM

If hypocrisy is what you measure your candidates by..why is that John kerry's carrer full of hypocrisy hasnt been talked about?

Im quite sure though.. that as far as hypocrisy goes, kerry has a corner on the market.

Now come november you all remember that.

Posted by: at Jul 1, 2004 2:14:06 PM

"asshole" = someone who pursues his legally acknowledged rights/powers/claims to an extent that causes hardship. Assholes are not assholes by virtue of breaking the law. Adam Clymer may have driven over the posted speed limit a time or two, perhaps illegally parked--but GWB and Cheney weren't objecting to that.

I think in the past GWB and Cheney were making remarks in a "good-ol-boys" fashion. That's one thing; while I harbor a deep antipathy for them, here I'd concede that it's inevitable men their ages, very competitive in temperment, would now and then lash out verbally like that--and even get caught. But doing so on the Senate floor is something else again. What if he said, "Pat, come on, that's fucked up"? Probably less rancor.

Personally, I suspect it was strategic, or semi-scripted. The subtext is: liberals are bloodless elite wonks; conservatives are flesh-and-blood men, with genuine feelings that they cannot always hide. I expect that's how it'll be spun.

Posted by: James R MacLean at Jul 1, 2004 2:44:18 PM

James, I was thinking more on a line of "googly" - feeling grossed out and disgusted" - or "googly-eyed" - wide-eyed astonishment.

I didn't even consider the possibility of "great googly-moogly." There are so many googles to choose from. Then there is the similar-sounding "gaggle," which could mean either a noisy flock of neo-conservatives or the gag reflect, or both.

I thought Bush said he was going to bring respect and decency back to the America with his administration, after all those decadant Clinton years? They are hypocrites, which is hopefully how reasonable Americans will take Cheney's "fuck yourself," no matter how the Cheney spins it.

p. s. - Now I have this image of Cheney as a crotchety old Persian and Kerry as a hyper-whacked out kitten (fat chance) stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Heh heh.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jul 1, 2004 3:23:00 PM

Bush really is a Nincompoop!

Posted by: John at Jul 27, 2004 1:29:46 PM