CBS’ John Dickerson has always struck me as a person who holds propriety in the highest regard, and his recent commentary on DNC Chairman Tom Perez supports that line of thinking.
Perez is a well-known “potty-mouth” but his frequent use of foul language tends to go unnoticed in the era of Donald Trump, who is no saint when it comes to his use of language either. Dickerson argues that two wrongs don’t make a right, and while the President may often use off-color commentary when speaking in public, it doesn’t mean that Perez should do it too.
In a recent bit of editorializing for his Sunday show Face the Nation Dickerson opined that everyone needs to step back and reconsider the language that they choose to use.
The chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez has been swearing a lot lately.
Gone is Michelle Obama’s advice for handling the opposition.
The best Democratic line of the last campaign, and words we should all live by. This is about more than crass language. In times of tension do you keep your standards or do you drop them?
The Washington Post asked Perez about his potty mouth and he pointed out correctly that Republicans have tolerated far worse from Donald Trump. So two wrongs make a right and the race is on to the bottom, or whatever is below the bottom.
At this point you may be swearing in rebuttal. Party chairmen are supposed to be extreme. This conveys urgency, it excites the crowd. Plus Donald Trump never paid a price. Essentially this is good politics.
Is it really? If you oppose a president for his coarseness, why would you imitate it? Donald Trump’s primary opponents tried and failed at this.
Also for a party with a message problem, there is something exhausting about the overuse of the manure-spreader. It suggests a reliance on shock rather than strength of an argument. The outburst is supposed to be spontaneous, but comes across as thoroughly calculated.
A pointed word now and again can be effective, as Bernie Sanders proved when he said… but it was the prior restraint, not just the word, that made people take notice.