Cheney loses it; conduct unbecoming a VP

Needless to say, it was all about Halliburton. The story’s everywhere by now, but I read it first at Wonkette:

CNN is reporting that on the floor of the Senate yesterday, Dick Cheney told Sen. Pat Leahy, “Go fuck yourself.”

We agree! Go fuck yourself — while it’s still legal!

UPDATE: Speaking of sodomy. . . Wonkette operatives tell us that the fighting words sprang from an exchange in which Cheney told Leahy he didn’t like what Leahy had been saying about Halliburton, to which Leahy replied that he didn’t like Cheney calling him a bad Catholic. So you’d see how “Go fuck yourself” is the only appropriate response.

Nobody says it quite like Wonkette.

But seriously, this doesn’t look good. Is this acceptable behavior, on the floor of the Senate, no less? Is our VP, the guy who’s a heartbeat away from the presidency, in control of himself?

UPDATE: From Sirotablog.

Cheney On Civility and Respect in Washington

“Governor Bush and I are also absolutely determined that [we] will restore a tone of civility and decency to the debate in Washington.”
– Dick Cheney, 8/4/00


“I look forward to working with you, Governor, to change the tone in Washington, to restore a spirit of civility and respect and cooperation.”
– Dick Cheney, 7/25/00


“Typically a break from partisan warfare, this year’s Senate class photo turned smiles into snarls as Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly used a profanity toward one senior Democrat, sources said.” Cheney “blurted out the ‘F word’ at Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont during a heated exchange on the Senate floor… The incident occurred on Tuesday in a terse discussion between the two that touched on politics, religion and money, with Cheney finally telling Leahy to ‘f— off’ or ‘go f— yourself,’ the aides said…Cheney, who is president of the Senate, ripped into Leahy for the Democratic senator’s criticism this week of alleged war profiteering in Iraq by Halliburton, the oil services company that Cheney once ran…During their exchange, Leahy noted that Republicans had accused Democrats of being anti-Catholic because they are opposed to some of President Bush’s anti-abortion judges, the aides said. That’s when Cheney unloaded with the ‘F-bomb,’ aides said.”
– CNN, 6/24/04; Reuters, 6/24/04

* Also…remember, White House Chief of Staff Andy Card attacked Senator Kerry for using the F-word, saying, “I’m very disappointed that [Kerry] would use that kind of language. I’m hoping that he’s apologizing.”

For many more utterly priceless examples of GOP double standards on the F word, go to Patriotboy now!

Links in this update are via Eschaton.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The WaPo has the story and they actually use the F word, uncensored! What will this do to our children?

The Discussion: 19 Comments

Heartbeat away from the presidency, hah! That’s rich.

Bush: “I gave the order to shoot down any hijacked planes.”
Cheney: “And when he says ‘I’, he means ‘me’.”

June 24, 2004 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

Like screaming fuck you is bad.

Someone got shot on the Senate floor. Now, that is bad.

Cheney’s a punk.

June 24, 2004 @ 7:21 pm | Comment

Michael, good point. Bush is like “Mr. Hat” on South Park. Cheney is Mr. Garrison (the resemblance is striking).

HK, it’s not really that bad, except Republicans are God-loving, God-fearing, proper, righteous, moral, religious, respectful, squeaky-clean milk-and-cookies Americans. They were going to restore dignity to the White House. We all got to see Cheney’s idea of dignity and Christian love today. And you’re right, he’s definitely a punk.

June 24, 2004 @ 7:41 pm | Comment

That’s what richard wants to believe
republicans are, not what they are. The republicans are a coalition, just like the democrats are a coalition. And republicans come in many different flavors; actually I hink more flavors than democrats.

June 24, 2004 @ 7:54 pm | Comment

Mark, the Republicans have made a very conscious effort to portray themselves as the party of religion and of god, of decency and morality. This is not a perception or an opinion; it was and is a centerpiece of the 2000 and 2004 Bush campaigns. It is true that some Republicans come in different flavots. Arlen Specter, for example, believes in a woman’s right to choose (and imagine, those righteous Republicans don’t say a word about how he should be denied communion!). But to my amazement, he and Dick Lugar and John McCain are being marginalized by the more right-wing, self-righteous Bush types. And that’s a fact; check out former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips’ writings on this alarming topic.

June 24, 2004 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

If Howard Stern can’t use that word on a radio show then Cheney shouldn’t use it in Senate.

Maybe we should set FCC rules for the Government.

What a great example to the young voters of America.

June 24, 2004 @ 8:12 pm | Comment

Excellent point, ACB! He should have to pay a $5,000 fine.

June 24, 2004 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

Excellent point, ACB! He should have to pay a $5,000 fine.

June 24, 2004 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

Alternatively, other politicians could be encouraged to follow his example, which would surely liven up some of the more staid debates.

“Gentlemen, I propose that we invade Syria.”
“Are you fucking nuts???”

June 24, 2004 @ 10:18 pm | Comment

I don’t think cussing is immoral or amoral, and I know plenty of Catholic priests who cuss.

Well, I did when I was a kid. Don’t know if they are even alive anyway.

Cussing is hardly something to shake a stick at, as if you read any of the literature printed about the administration, you will find numerous cases where generals, secretaries, the president, the vice president and others are cussing. I think Condileeza Rice has even cussed on occasion.

Who cares?

Now, to get to the point, the fact that some of these political highrollers who claim to be moralistic and ethical are doing things like cutting off the sleeves of our Bill of Rights is a point far more worthy of questioning. We want more evidence of that.

Who the fuck cares who cusses. For some families its a form of love.

June 24, 2004 @ 10:30 pm | Comment

Big deal. It was conversation between them, not part of open dabate. I tell people to “fuck you” all the time and, while there are many, many things I do that would disturb me if done by a vice-resident of the US (especially one with a heart condition) saying “fuck” is not one of them.

Before you Dem supporters climb on too high a horse about “conduct unbecomming” just remember the conduct you all were prepared to overlook during the last administration.

June 25, 2004 @ 1:57 am | Comment

“What a great example to the young voters of America.”

What sanctimonious horseshit. Have you ever listened to the “young voters of America?” I own two of them, and they’re not exactly wrapped in cotton padding. In fact, a little candor and “frank-speaking” may actually win some of their votes.

I don’t remember Cheney claiming to be a born-again, and I sure don’t remember him promising to never say anything that would offend a Democrat. Compared to the days when there were literal brawls on the Senate floor, Cheney is a politically correct pansy-ass.

The days of intellectual debate are apparently long gone, so the least they can do is put some raw meat in the rhetoric.

June 25, 2004 @ 3:55 am | Comment

And yet when Kerry was overheard saying “fuck” a couple of months ago, the right-wing élite went ballistic. Hundreds of conservabots simultaneously demonstrated their commitment to sophisticated, independent, and perceptive political discourse by instantly renaming him “John F-ing Kerry” or versions thereof.

June 25, 2004 @ 6:11 am | Comment

vaara, the word you’re searching for is “fuckface”.

June 25, 2004 @ 7:28 am | Comment

Conrad, I agree, it is absolutely no big deal! But look at the emphasis on purity and morality under Bush! Look at the emphasis on God and religion, not necessarily by Cheney himself but by the president, the attormey general and the increasingly conservative lot of them.

I don’t give a fuck how much any of them curse. I will say, however, that it is damned poor judgement to use the “F” word in front of everyone on the Senate floor. That really is conduct unbecoming a VP. If Clinton had ever done it, he’d have been ripped apart.

And Vaara, good find about Republicans going bonkers over Kerry’s much more discreet use of the F word. The Grand Old Hypocrisy Party.

June 25, 2004 @ 9:34 am | Comment


When Kerry said “fuck,” it was in the context of a private meeting in which he said something the lines of, “the Bush administration will fuck up the occupation of Iraq.” (Any argument there?)

Whereas Cheney said it to a political opponent’s face on the Senate floor.

June 25, 2004 @ 11:11 am | Comment

“… something along the lines of…”

Note to self: do not post after drinking a martini.

June 25, 2004 @ 11:12 am | Comment

Vaara, be sure to see Patriotboy’s collection of Republican quotes when Kerry said the F word in a private meeting.

Now, when Cheney does it, some of them — like Sam above — are finding something worthy of praise. “In fact, a little candor and ‘frank-speaking’ may actually win some of their votes.” Kerry does it and it’s a mortal sin and a sure sign of incompetent leadership. Cheney does same, only louder and more visibly, and it’s a sign of refreshing candor.

Can we spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y?

June 25, 2004 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

The day is coming when US television and newspapers will be as forthcoming on shoots of boobies and use of expletives.

Apparently, the Washington Post is starting:

from the website that you have to register to read

The New York Times said Vice President Cheney had used “an obscenity” against Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The Los Angeles Times had Cheney saying “Go . . . yourself.” CNN said Cheney used “the F-word.”

But The Washington Post printed the word yesterday for the first time since publishing the Kenneth Starr report in 1998. And that set the town buzzing.

“When the vice president of the United States says it to a senator in the way in which he said it on the Senate floor,” says Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., “readers need to judge for themselves what the word is because we don’t play games at The Washington Post and use dashes.”

At the same time, the article recalled that in 2000 then-candidate George Bush made an off-mike comment about Adam Clymer, then a New York Times reporter, calling him a “major-league [expletive],” to which Cheney responded, “Big time.” Downie said the paper used the vulgar term for an orifice at the time and he saw no reason to repeat it in yesterday’s newspaper.

The Post did not report when John Kerry used the F-word in a Rolling Stone interview, saying he did not “expect George Bush to [expletive] it up as badly as he did.” Downie said there was no need to report that language, given that the culture magazine is a very different publication from The Post.

The only other times the word appeared in The Post was in a 1992 story about a death row inmate and in a 1987 profile of former White House spokesman Jim Brady, according to a database search.

A few dozen readers have called to complain, some saying the word was inappropriate in a family newspaper read by children. “How utterly sad for your fine paper,” a Springfield man said in an e-mail.

Others saw signs of political bias. “If Leahy had used the profanity when speaking to Cheney, you guys wouldn’t even have bothered to print it,” a Colorado woman wrote.

But an Arlington woman wrote: “Anyone who is old enough to have an interest in reading the newspaper has presumably heard the word and is aware of its meaning.”

June 26, 2004 @ 4:29 am | Comment

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