An open mike at a G8 Summit luncheon caught President Bush peppering his conversation with some salty language, suggesting that the mess in the Middle East is getting poopy.
"See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over," Bush told British PM Tony Blair as he chomped on a roll.
Of course, the news media is all over Bush's language, sorta like your little sister when she tattles, "Mommy, Ronnie said the F-word!"
Personally, I'm glad the president -- in his language anyway -- proves not to be the stodgy, prudish Baptist prig that he wants the Moral Majority to think he is. In private, most of us use profane language that we'd would never use in a major speech at the Tuesday Rotary meeting, much less the State of the Union address. I confess to using much stronger language regarding Hezbollah than "shit" ... and they are usually deliciously compound profanities, blending juicier and poly-syllabic obscenities. I am able to turn the air around me an acidic blue. It's a gift.
Without a doubt, the Radical Left will act horrified and say it proves our Republican president is unstatesmanlike, even though you gotta believe that President Clinton probably didn't get Oval Office, um, perks without expressing a few comely expletives. And then there's Harry Truman ... a Democrat to whom, ironically, George W. Bush often compares himself. But most of my Leftist friends have been complaining for years that "Bush never says shit." Now he has.
And the Radical Right, especially in the Bible Belt, will probably find some passage in the Bible where Jesus warned that "thou shalt not speak with a potty mouth" or somesuch.
Remember when "crap" was a cuss word? Now it's not just OK for prime-time TV, it's a regular line on some of the best shows, like "Everybody Loves Raymond." As with any word, overuse and misuse are generally the problem, fer crap sakes.
Now, I'm not for a cultural Tourette's Syndrome, where vile words spill out freely at the most inappropriate times, like my annual job review. I've sometimes blurted out some blistering epithets, and I've generally had the good grace to know I fu ... messed up. The trick is knowing exactly when to drop the F-bomb, or the MF-Scud, or the CS-Katyusha to hit the target precisely.
I'm a writer. I writhe, revel and bathe in words. I love them. I use them all. I don't think there's any such thing as a bad word. Sometimes civil language simply doesn't make the point. My use -- or the president's use -- of a colorful word or phrase isn't always evidence of ignorance or an underdeveloped vocabulary; it often means I've chosen a word for its precise meaning and effect. Profanity often allows for a much more passionate expression. A cuss word is like a verbal exclamation point.
So the president said "shit." Get over it, dammit.