"It's different back East, I know, but I can promise you Cheney did himself a lot more good -- and Leahy did himself a lot more damage -- in that exchange among the people Cheney would think of as peers," writes Charlie (Colorado) in comments on Daniel W. Drezner's post "What the f@#% is in Dick Cheney's coffee?":
I'm willing to put money on the proposition that none of these people complaining about Cheney saying a naughty word would forebear from using a naughty word in what they believe to be a private conversation.
I would further bet that very few of them grew up out here in the west in the 40's and 50's.
Here's a clue, folks: out here, especially among those of us of Cheney's generation, it is considered to be far better manners to say "fuck you" to a man's face than to be their best friend face to face but deeply offensively insulting behind their back. You might be able to reconcile with someone who will insult you face to face; you'll never be able to trust the other guy.
It's also generally considered better form to have the argument one to one than to whine about how nasty the person was to others.
We think it has something to do with those wide open spaces. A big sky expands your thinking, as we were reminded on our recent two-day drive through the heartland. Sometimes the ocean can do that for us New Englanders. But, of course, Leahy's Vermont is landlocked. Maybe that's his problem.
*Lyrics from "Don't Fence Me In" by Cole Porter