Monday, April 17, 2006

Can't say ----

I'm reading a law article on the great unprintable word [long alert; pdf alert; endless swearing alert; you've been warned]. It's quite interesting, but only if you're into that sort of thing. The word occupies a curious no-man's-land in current jurispridence, where free speech and the public good collide.

At the moment I've detoured into an article it cites from last August, about President Bush's deteriorating mood and profanity-filled tirades. Capitol Hill Blue, if I understand it, is kind of a rag sheet for the DC political scene. I don't really buy the armchair psychology that all the rage has to do with alcoholism in the second half of the story (any more than I buy Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn)'s long-distance "diagnosis" of Terri Schiavo). But I do buy the first half, which is all sourced to White House insiders.

The picture of President Bush flipping off the camera is pretty priceless. Of all the reasons the evangelicals should dump him, this is the main one: he's not some special great Christian on a personal mission from God. He's a man making lots of important decisions who is as sinful and faulty and vulgar as you or I. He gets a free pass on Iraq, Katrina, the Constitution, and so on, because he's a "good Christian man", and he tries to "do the right thing".

When we get beyond that Christian image, there is a lot of incompetence that man has to answer for.

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