So Vice President Cheney dropped the F-bomb on Senator Leahy this week. Shocking! Naturally, he went tattling like a little child to tell everyone how mean Cheney was to him.
Now granted, throwing Carlin's classic "dirty" words at someone might reasonably be considered rude, or indecorous. It's just not nice.
On the other hand, it doesn't mean much. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but all this really meant is that Cheney was angry with the senator. He suggested that the senator have sex with himself. This is obviously physical impossibile. What it really means is "I don't like you." He has not really said anything about the senator. He has not accused him of anything.
The vice president explained his behavior by reference to Senator Leahy's repeated comments claiming corruption and seeming inferences of felonious and impeachable behavior, which the vice president vigorously disputes. The senator hasn't used any of Carlin's seven magic words, but he has made grave and -at best- questionable accusations against him.
If Vice President Cheney has NOT been starting wars and fixing contracts for the purpose of benefitting the company he used to work for, then the senator (among many others) has committed far worse offense than he has. Being cussed at does not besmirch your reputation, being accused of felonious corruption does. If the senator and his Democratic colleagues can make their accusations stick in the public mind, Cheney et al could not only lose their jobs, but expect to be scorned by decent people for the rest of their natural lives.
Many liberals today like to drop extremely bad aspersions on basically anyone who substantively disagrees with them, starting with the Bush administration. It is routine rhetoric now to describe President Bush or Attorney General Ashcroft as Nazis. Also, the president — so they say — LIED again and again to the American people to trick them into a war in Iraq. That's pretty serious, far worse than simply saying that the president was mistaken in thinking there were WMDs. They are essentially accusing the president of treason.