What’s in a word? A lot it seems

Republicans have their ass cheeks clinched even more over Democratic Senator (and Presidential wannabe) John Kerry’s use of the Queen’s English to describe George W. Bush’s performance as President.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Kerry said “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.”

Now Republicans, who have been known to say “fuck” a time or two, are screaming that Kerry isn’t very Presidential when he deploys a word that just about everyone else uses in everyday conversation.

“I’m very disappointed that he would use that kind of language. That’s beneath John Kerry,” says White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. “I’m hoping that he’s apologizing at least to himself, because that’s not the John Kerry that I know.”

Which is an interesting statement because the Andy Card I know says “fuck” all the time. His temper is well known and he has berated many a staff member with colorful language.

So has his boss. It was George W. Bush who, in 2002, told National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice: “Fuck Saddam. We’re taking him out.”

And it was the same George W. Bush who, in front of his daughters, told Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Al Hunt: “You no good fucking son of a bitch. I will never fucking forget what you wrote.”

At a 1999, fundraiser in Washington, then-candidate Bush told a group of Republicans that his goal as President would be to “reverse all the fuckups of the Clinton administration and then fuck the Democrats over.”

Five minutes later, he was talking about how much he believed in God.

Bush isn’t the first President to swear like a sailor and he certainly won’t be the last. Clinton was, and still is, a profane man given to obscenity-filled temper tantrums. So is his wife.

Ronald Reagan’s favorite word was “shit.” He used it all the time in staff meetings and in telling jokes.

As the Watergate tapes show, Richard Nixon spewed four-letter words in every other sentence.

So why are Republicans so upset that John Kerry invoked such a classic Anglo Saxon term in reference to Bush? Their only option is anger at the language because they can’t really argue that Kerry’s assessment is wrong.

George W. Bush’s administration is a case study in FUBAR, a military acronym that stands for Fucked Up Beyond All Repair. Soldiers Iraq use the term often as they load another of their comrades into a body bag for the trip back home. Republican members of Congress use the same language whenever the White House rams through another spending bill that increases the cost of government and sends the national deficit to record levels.

And an increasing number of fools who voted for Bush now admit they fucked up when they cast their vote back in November of 2000, although they can take solace in the sad fact that they didn’t really have much of a choice.

Their only choices were George W. Bush or Al Gore and, given the history of both men, the only result could be a fuckup.