I have to say that I have newfound respect for Clint Didier and his campaign after reading spokeswoman Kathryn Serkes response to Dino Rossi’s predictably mealy-mouthed evasion of Didier’s prerequisites for endorsement:
“So is Dino saying, ‘Fuck you’ to those people [who supported Didier]? ‘Fuck you, I don’t need your votes? I can win with 33 percent.’”
Ah, I love a woman who talks dirty to me, especially about politics. The BIAW’s equally foul-mouthed Erin Shannon better look over her shoulders, as she may have new competition for my unwanted affections.
The truth is, Rossi’s response was a “fuck you” to Didier and his supporters, and Serkes should be applauded for using the most accurately descriptive term available. This is the way real people speak, and while there are certainly times and places that demand more formal language, politicians and their spokespeople make a mistake by abandoning the vernacular in favor of vague politenesses. Voters crave authenticity, even if that comes with the occasional F-bomb.
Of course, such rhetorical bluntness is not without its risks, especially in a media landscape where the boundaries of public discourse are still rigidly defined by the sticks shoved firmly up the asses of the editors at our once-dominant “family newspapers.” Indeed, back in May of 2004, in my very first post, it was a risk I clearly anticipated when I warned readers what to expect from HA:
Now I know some might find this split between the politically prankish Goldy and the politically earnest David a little arbitrary… or even weird. So to those upstanding members of the political and media establishment who insist I cannot possibly expect to maintain my credibility as an activist while producing an irreverent and outrageous blog, the Goldy half of me respectfully says: “fuck you.”
And I’ve been saying “fuck you” ever since, despite frequent admonitions from critics and fans alike that I would be taken more seriously, and reach a wider audience, if I would only clean up my language. But… you know… if folks can’t tell the difference between being serious and being solemn, well, fuck that.
Ironically, I don’t actually swear all that much. Of my 5,732 posts since May 10, 2004, only 336 have contained some conjugation of the word “fuck.” That’s less than six percent of my posts… fewer than five per month on average. In fact, despite my reputation for foul-mouthed muckraking, the bulk of my posts are neither.
But sometimes a “fuck you” is a “fuck you,” and no other euphemism would be quite as honest, so if politicians, spokespeople and other public figures seem more willing to speak truthfully theses days when speaking truth to power — even when the truth involves, say, calling a sitting state senator a “pig fucker” — then I hope my example has served to help raise the level of public discourse to a more accurate, truthful and honest level.