Donald Trump is a vile, uncouth barbarian, they cry, so -- f*** it! -- let's emulate him, or something. The pioneer in this realm was DNC Chairman Tom Perez, who started cursing up a storm in order to ingratiate himself with his party's ascendant and angry left-wing. As a top emissary of the Democratic establishment, Perez has experienced icy receptions from movement activists in various settings. One of his apparent solutions to evincing solidarity and "strength" in the eyes of his base is to lace his public remarks with expletives -- most famously his delightful formulation that unlike Republicans, Democrats "give a s**t" about people. Tough Guy Tom refused to apologize. Because courage and conviction, or whatever:
Sorry not sorry. https://t.co/PPyuzAwbpq
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) April 3, 2017
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, hungrily devouring the role of indignant anti-Trump obstructionist, got in on the action, dropping repeated F-bombs in a recent interview about her view of public service. Not to be outdone, California Senator Kamala Harris -- who is proving to be a fitting replacement for the departed Barbara Boxer -- joined the profanity party:
.@KamalaHarris apparently very comfortably dropping f-bombs tonight re: healthcare at @PodSaveAmerica taping. This one via @mimofernandes pic.twitter.com/vMGJDl5gZH
— Sarah Boxer (@Sarah_Boxer) May 7, 2017
Your move, Gillibrand. Bombs away:
Kirsten Gillibrand speaking at NYU just now on Trump: "Has he kept his promises? No. Fuck no."
— Hamilton Nolan (@hamiltonnolan) June 9, 2017
Look, I don't have an especially puritanical view of such things (for instance, this is among my favorite Charles Krauthammer columns of all time), although I do prefer our leaders to at least feign interest in public comportment and propriety. I also recognize that the Republican Party has no standing to clutch pearls over "salty language," given who they nominated for president. I just hope the Democrats will spare us the sanctimonious "we go high" and "love trumps hate" garbage moving forward. Mud-slinging vulgarianism is all the rage in American politics nowadays, as our discourse gets dumber, and our institutions fray. Neither side occupies the high ground here; let's at least just be honest about that.
I'll leave you with a thought that occurs to me: There's a certain someone whose unquenchable thirst for power and acceptance compels her to shape-shift as the prevailing winds dictate. One moment, she's a kindly "abuela," and the next minute, she's a Chardonnay-chugging everywoman coping with disappointment, just like the rest of us. If dropping f-words is what the cool kids are doing these days (just listen to the laughter an applause from those audiences!), we should consider starting a countdown clock to the moment that you-know-who "lets one slip" in public. Because now she's edgy af and super resist-y, you know. And if/when that happens, it will mean only one thing: She's running.