Sheblowsalot

When Emma Sullivan began the process of humiliating Sam Brownback and his staff — I wholeheartedly agree with the Jim Newell headline “Tweeting Teen Completes Total Victory over Crybaby Kansas Governor” — I immediately wondered what vapid Village idiot will be the first to use this as pretext to lecture teh kids about rudeness and manners blah blah blah. It’s Ruth Marcus.

Emma Sullivan, you’re lucky you’re not my daughter. (Dangerous sentence, I know: My daughters might agree.)

If you were my daughter, you’d be writing that letter apologizing to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for the smart­alecky, potty-mouthed tweet you wrote after meeting with him on a school field trip.

Also, that smartphone? The one you posed with, proudly displaying the tweet in which you announced that Brownback “sucked” and added the lovely hashtag #heblowsalot? Turned off until you learn to use it responsibly.

[….]

It is until we parents insist such language is not acceptable, explain that it is possible to disagree civilly — and insist on an apology when our children fall short.

If only we could disagree more civilly about the need to lie our way into unnecessary wars, to destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, to torture, to eulogize mass-murdering tyrants. What a wonderful world this would be.

Tell me again that I’m wrong to wish for a meteor or a revolution.

Update. Also too:

After Willie Horton ads, Swiftboating, GOP convention-goers waving purple band-aids to mock a veteran’s war wounds, birtherism, Ann Coulter saying the “only choice was whether to impeach or assassinate” President Clinton, Coulter claiming 9/11 widows were “enjoying their husband’s deaths,” Rush Limbaugh mocking Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease, ads falsely claiming Barack Obama favored “comprehensive sex education for Kindergartners,” Rand Paul supporters trying to stomp the head of a protester, ads claiming Kay Hagen was “godless,” Michelle Bachmann calling for an investigation of ‘un-American views” among the Congress, “If ballots don’t work, maybe bullets will,” “Obama hates white people,” ‘GET OFF MY PHONE YOU LITTLE PINHEAD!” “YOU LIE!”, wingnuts at FreeRepublic calling 11-year old Sasha Obama a “street whore” for wearing a peace sign on her t-shirt, outright lies about “death panels,” “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy,” cheering for executions, booing soldiers in war zones for being gay, comparing poor people to stray animals you shouldn’t feed, “’we’ve got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion,” supposed “Christians” suggesting that people pray for the President using Psalm 109:8 (“May his days be few; may another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow”) as a text, Limbaugh calling the First Lady “uppity,” and on and on and on, all without a single peep from the Right…They can take their whiny-ass bullshit about liberal “rudeness” and peddle it somewhere else. We ain’t buyin’ it here.

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159 replies
  1. 1
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Ruth Marcus #sheblowsalot

    Also, get off her lawn.

  2. 2
    Jenny says:

    What a perfect Vichy slob.

  3. 3
    Joseph Nobles says:

    So the problem isn’t really Emma Sullivan, but Emma Sullivan’s bad mom?

    Ruth Marcus, #sheblowsalot

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    If Emma Sullivan were my daughter, there’s not a chance in hell she’d have written an apology.

  5. 5
    Jay says:

    A few months ago, Cole wrote another post about aggrieved wingnuts. On a thread here, I praised Cole for the awsomeness of the title, and I think that in the Brownback case, it ought to be brought back, and/or hopefully made a category title here. The title of the post in question: “Don’t Sprain Your Arm Nailing Yourself To That Cross.”

    Bring it back! :-)

  6. 6
    Delia says:

    I’m sure Ruth Marcus’s daughters learned long ago that they’ve got to keep their true opinions well away from their prissy mom’s ears and eyes.

  7. 7
    khead says:

    Tell me again that I’m wrong to wish for a meteor or a revolution

    You’re only wrong for not wishing that the meteor would directly hit Ruth Marcus.

  8. 8
    burnspbesq says:

    Why do you have a problem with civility? Why is “you’re a scumsucking douchebag” preferable to “your ideas are bad for the country?”

  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Ruth Marcus, #sheblowsalot

    the temptation to send a really immature, profanity-laced e-mail to Ms Marcus is strong.

  10. 10
    scav says:

    Interesting ideal, raising doormats. Tricky bit is getting them to politely lie down and beg, no doubt.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    El Cid says:

    @Gin & Tonic: She didn’t apologize, openly refusing to do so.

    But in general I’m pretty horrified that you have teenagers who say crass and snotty things about politicians. That never used to happen. In my day, several thousand years ago in some nonexistent parallel universe, middle and high schoolers were known for their polite respect for elected officials and other government officials.

    The nerve.

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:

    Tell me again that I’m wrong to wish for a meteor or a revolution.

    You’re wrong to wish for a meteor or a revolution.

    We want a revolutionary meteor that emits radiation that only kills stupid people.

  14. 14
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Delia: Ruth doesn’t really understand how children work, does she? Not to put a lot of women down, but why do so many women not remember what childhood was like? As for the men, why do so many of them who do remember think that they can keep their kids from doing the same things by making enough rules? (I’m 42 with three kids.)

  15. 15
    zmullls says:

    I may be in the minority here, but I think she would have done well to give a short, limited, gracious apology.

    This is not to excuse the vacuousness of the Villager column quoted above, which is as sanctimonious as one expects. And it’s not to excuse the principal of the school who should have not been a little toady. And it’s not to excuse Brownback’s staff for trolling the internet and being major douches/dicks about it all. All that is true.

    She said something rude about the Governor to her friends, and she’s allowed. But it *was* rude, and also, it wasn’t *true*. She didn’t actually say anything to his face. And it’s simple politeness that when caught saying something rude about someone to have the grace to say, sorry. Even if he does suck.

    Brownback was right to apologize, whether he thought his staff did an idiotic thing and wanted to make it right, or whether he saw it becoming a ‘thing’ and needed to head it off.

    She could have said “I said something rude about the Governor, and it was meant to be private. I disagree with a lot of what he believes and I’m sorry I didn’t take the opportunity to say it to him personally” Or something.

    (Famous story about John Gielgud, having lunch with playwright Edward Knoblock, and saying “well there goes the second most boring man in London.” When Knoblock asked who the most boring man was, Gielgud said “Edward Knoblock, of course.” And then immediately said “Oh, not you of course, the *other* Edward Knoblock”. Sometimes an apology is in order….)

  16. 16
    DougJ says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I prefer almost anything to sanctimony. You’re such an interesting commenter in so many ways. Why do you have to be so sanctimonious? I almost feel like it’s an elaborate troll sometimes.

  17. 17
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    If Ruth Marcus were my mother, I’d run away from home.

  18. 18
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Why is “you’re a scumsucking douchebag” preferable to “your ideas are bad for the country?”

    I think the idea is that there are times when “your ideas are bad for the country” doesn’t have the force of language necessary to convey the depth of loathing for a particular person or idea.

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    If Ruth Marcus were my mother, I’d run away from home.

    I’d be a selfmade orphan.

  20. 20
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Because A) If you’re too polite, they walk all over you, and B) you’re gonna look at the majority of Republicans out there and tell me they deserve respect?

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    But OMG — she used a bad word!

  22. 22
    JD Rhoades says:

    After Willie Horton ads, Swiftboating, GOP convention-goers waving purple band-aids to mock a veteran’s war wounds, birtherism, Ann Coulter saying the “only choice was whether to impeach or assassinate” President Clinton, Coulter claiming 9/11 widows were “enjoying their husband’s deaths,” Rush Limbaugh mocking Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease, ads falsely claiming Barack Obama favored “comprehensive sex education for Kindergartners,” Rand Paul supporters trying to stomp the head of a protester, ads claiming Kay Hagen was “godless,” Michelle Bachmann calling for an investigation of ‘un-American views” among the Congress, “If ballots don’t work, maybe bullets will,” “Obama hates white people,” ‘GET OFF MY PHONE YOU LITTLE PINHEAD!” “YOU LIE!”, wingnuts at FreeRepublic calling 11-year old Sasha Obama a “street whore” for wearing a peace sign on her t-shirt, outright lies about “death panels,” “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy,” cheering for executions, booing soldiers in war zones for being gay, comparing poor people to stray animals you shouldn’t feed, “‘we’ve got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion,” supposed “Christians” suggesting that people pray for the President using Psalm 109:8 (“May his days be few; may another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow”) as a text, Limbaugh calling the First Lady “uppity,” and on and on and on, all without a single peep from the Right…They can take their whiny-ass bullshit about liberal “rudeness” and peddle it somewhere else. We ain’t buyin’ it here.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ruth Marcus: prime fodder for The Duck Pit.

    As are all vermin of the Village.

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    @TenguPhule: He didn’t suggest matricide.

  25. 25
    different-church-lady says:

    Emma Sullivan, you’re lucky you’re not my daughter.

    Everyone is lucky they’re not your daughter.

  26. 26
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Would a hand written note containing the words ‘Go fuck yourself’ be considered an apology?

  27. 27
    DougJ says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Also too, I think it’s important to distinguish between people who are scum-sucking douchebags and non-douchebags whose ideas happen to be bad for the country. I honestly think that’s an important distinction.

  28. 28
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Needless to say, if young Emma were my daughter, her Twitting access would be completely revoked unless and until she was prepared to twit an invitation to Ruth Marcus to please kindly go have sexual relations with herself and then, ideally, expire.

  29. 29
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    True story: I once served in-school suspension for saying “Rival High School Sucks!” out the window of a bus on the way to a playoff game. That was over 20 years ago. People really need to get over the hang-up about the word “suck.”

  30. 30
    catclub says:

    Do parents who pay for their children’s phones think about the consequences of that act? Marcus seems to be the kind that punishes for breaking unwritten rules. I would be very surprised if she has outlined proper use of tweets for her daughters and consequences if broken, but do something that turns out to get noticed and you get punished for it.

    Random parenting, probably worse then benign neglect.

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @Hunter Gathers: I believe it should be: “You are cordially invited to go fuck yourself. RSVP. “

  32. 32
    El Cid says:

    Maybe we should patrol the twitter posts of more young people to check for their degree of serious respectful comments regarding politicians.

  33. 33
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @zmullls:

    She said something rude about the Governor to her friends,

    to her friends; this girl had 60 twitter followers. I don’t twitter, and if I did I’d protect them so only people I wanted to see it could do so. But I’m not eighteen years old. Technically, you could argue that this girls privacy wasn’t invaded by the office of the governor of a state, but only because she was, like most people her age, a little bit heedless about the internets.

  34. 34
    eyelessgame says:

    Why is “you’re a scumsucking douchebag” preferable to “your ideas are bad for the country?”

    Whether it’s preferable or not depends on whether the target of the criticism is, in fact, only possessed of ideas that are bad for the country, or whether the target is also a scumsucking douchebag.

    You call things what they are.

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @El Cid: I know she refused to apologize, and I credited her with that in some thread the other day. She seems like a pretty cool girl, and her parents sound OK, too.

    I know back when I was her age, and some douchebag named Nixon was president, there’s no way I would have Tweeted something like that about him (mostly just because Twitter didn’t exist, but so what.)

  36. 36
    piratedan says:

    Naturally, I’d want my teenager to be respectful of people in positions of authority. Conversely, I’d like the people in positions of authority to be worthy of that respect. The inherent problem here appears to be that the majority of officeholders for that represent the Republican Party aren’t worthy of that respect.

  37. 37
    hhex65 says:

    @JD Rhoades: retweeted #sheblowsalot

  38. 38
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @JD Rhoades: Dude, that was righteous. And if you don’t post it to the WaPo’s comments section for Madam Blowsalot, I must might.

  39. 39
    Tehanu says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    @DougJ:

    Damn straight, both of you. My only complaint is that “douchebag” doesn’t really convey the depth of mental and moral sickness and hatefulness the righties display. And as for spending time on the Internet looking for comments: talk about wasting taxpayer money!

  40. 40
    Steve says:

    Maybe Ruth Marcus doesn’t understand what Twitter is. It’s not like the kid mouthed off to Brownback at a public event. This was the equivalent of her sitting around the house with a group of friends and saying, “You know, the governor really sucks.” Now it’s possible, and maybe even likely, that Ruth Marcus is a big enough scold that she would interrupt the conversation and say, “Young lady, you must show more respect towards those in authority” – but seriously, who does that?

  41. 41
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    I hate to point out the obvious here, something that I think many have missed, but this young women is not a child and she is of legal voting age. As such, she has as much right to express an opinion about an elected official as Ruth “this is proof there should be a test before having children” Marcus.

  42. 42
    catclub says:

    There is zero value in a forced apology. It is guaranteed to be insincere.

    Authoritarian parents would see value in forcing said apology. Teaches an interesting lesson.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    JCT says:

    @piratedan: Especially when the current holders of many of these positions debase the office. Our Gov. Brewer comes to mind.

    And I spent at least 2 hours of a plane flight today listening to two idiots behind me basically parrot Ruth Marcus. Torment. To bad I didn’t have JD Rhoades’ list in front of me — a nice dramatic reading would have been fun.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): My approach to raising kids has been to be a bad example. So far they seem to be on the straight and narrow!

  47. 47
    JD Rhoades says:

    @JCT:

    To bad I didn’t have JD Rhoade’s list in front of me—a nice dramatic reading would have been fun.

    I’m also available for children’s parties.

  48. 48
    Brian R. says:

    I think we’ve discovered a new trending tag on Twitter.

    #blowmeruthmarcus

  49. 49
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @JD Rhoades: That comment was awesome and I’m glad it got added to the post.
    What a horrible laundry list you typed out. I’d’ve thrown up halfway through it.

  50. 50
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @JCT:

    To bad I didn’t have JD Rhoades’ list in front of me—a nice dramatic reading would have been fun.

    Maybe John Lithgow?

  51. 51
    Ed Drone says:

    Dr. Mr. Brownshirtback;

    I apologize for not saying, “you suck!” to your face. Hiding it on Twitter was impolite. My mother always tells me to be honest with my feelings, and I let her down with my actions.

    Yours truly,

    Emma Sullivan

  52. 52
    piratedan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: he’s good….as evidenced by his dramatic “Gingrich press release” reading on The Daily Show or perhaps Lewis Black as an alternative?

  53. 53
    dead existentialist says:

    @JD Rhoades: That needs to be chiseled in a granite monument on the motherfucking Washington Mall.

    Kudos!

  54. 54
    Hunter Gathers says:

    #heblowsalot = un-civil language that should be frowned upon. Anyone using said language should be scolded and sent to bed without dessert. Offender is probably young enough to be brainwashed by liberal media to believe in racial equality, reproductive rights and economic justice.

    Calling the POTUS a traitor commiemuslimmarxistKenyansociamalist = civil language spoken by Real Americans in the Heartland. Anyone using said language will be the front runner in the GOP primary en-route to a multi-million dollar book deal and a gig on Fox News. Will also be in line to receive glowing endorsements from Chris Matthews, Richard Cohen, Ruth Marcus and get a free meal from the Applebee’s salad bar from David Brooks.

  55. 55
    JCT says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Good call — he would do it justice.

    It’s just always IOKIYAR, isn’t it?

    I love that the young woman didn’t knuckle under.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    William Shatner wouldn’t be a bad choice, either.

  57. 57
    JD Rhoades says:

    @piratedan:

    Lewis Black would work, but I’m going to nominate Henry Rollins. Because that would fucking ROCK.

  58. 58
    Donut says:

    @ burnspbesq @ comment 8:

    How do you feel about unicorns? Leprechauns? Gnomes?

  59. 59
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yes, shatner or lithgow. It is sad they don’t read balloon juice.

  60. 60
    LosGatosCA says:

    DougJ,

    Thanks for inadvertently solving a mystery for me. I was at Pac Bell Park for a Giant-Dodger game when Barry was hitting all those home runs 8-10 years ago. A gentleman sitting next to me and my business partner stands up at a lull in the action and yells ‘The Dodgers suck!!!.’ In reaction, a female usher runs right up to the end of the aisle and tells the gentleman he can’t say the Dodgers suck. In a major league stadium against your arch rival.

    The mystery solved is that undoubtedly this was Ruth Marcus moonlighting. Or her mental clone.

    Anyway, thereafter we would join this gentleman in yelling, at opportune times of a lull in the noise, ‘The Dodgers blow but they don’t suck!!’

  61. 61
    G says:

    this is a classic situation for a non apology apology.

    something like, I’m sorry the governor sucks, and even sorrier that rather than reduce his suckiness, he’s decided to attack a teenage girl, thereby increasing his suckitude on the suckiness meter.

  62. 62
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @piratedan: To be clear, he did that on the Colbert Report.

    A thing of beauty, and exactly what I was thinking of.

  63. 63
    JCT says:

    @LosGatosCA: Good Freaking Lord — she should go to a Yankees – Mets game some day. Every other word is “Sucks”. Her head would blow off.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Oh, if we could get Rickman to do it…

    He could choke it out like he did “By Grabthor’s Hammer…” through most of Galaxy Quest

  65. 65
  66. 66
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Jay:

    Okay, this one wins.

  67. 67
    khead says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Shatner. Definitely Shatner.

  68. 68
    El Cid says:

    We should train all young people to use insults from Johnson’s 1755 dictionary.

  69. 69
    AlladinsLamp says:

    Tell me again that I’m wrong to wish for a meteor or a revolution.

    I’m for hangings, live on CSPAN.

  70. 70
    patroclus says:

    If I were Ruth Marcus’ mother, I’d make her write a respectful apology to Emma Sullivan for her potty-mouthed disrespectful attitude as expressed in that column.

  71. 71
    sb says:

    @JD Rhoades: Will someone please put this on a stamp?

    Comment of the fucking year.

  72. 72
    Paul says:

    I’m not familiar with Ruth Marcus’s work but I think her thesis is buried near the end of the article and it’s a little more disturbing than “lectur(ing) teh kids about rudeness and manners:”

    “The parental role is to inculcate values of respect for authority….It’s not to stand up for your little darling no matter how much she mouths off.”

  73. 73
    maus says:

    I wish I got paid 90k a year to be a tone troll.

  74. 74
    West of the Cascades says:

    @burnspbesq: I believe the correct statement to most politicians with an “R” after their names is “your ideas are bad for the country, you scumsucking douchebag.”

    No reason it has to be one or the other when both are accurate.

  75. 75
    Cervantes says:

    From the op-ed by Ruth Marcus:

    The Constitution does not grant teenagers the fundamental right to have a cellphone or use foul language on it. The parental role is to inculcate values of respect for authority — even those you disagree with — and the importance of civil discourse.

    Marcus has a daughter named Emma, too. I bet she wishes she could trade places with the other Emma.

  76. 76
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Gin & Tonic: As a teenager, I protested Nixon coming to Spokane for the opening of Expo ’74. I proudly held a light green banner that said JAIL TO THE CHIEF! on it.

    More power to this young lady.

    ETA: Oh, and I skipped school to do it. :)

  77. 77
    Brian S says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Probably the only memorable scene from the movie “From the Hip” is a courtroom scene where Judd Nelson argues that his client should be allowed to refer to the opposing plaintiff as an asshole, because it’s the only word which fully describes the slime that person oozes. I think that gets at what you’re describing.

    I don’t recommend the movie.

  78. 78
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    All this is about the word “sucks”, ferfuckssake. Did Ms Marcus write a column when Mark Halperin– what are the odds they’re friends?– called Obama a dick on national television? Intended for a national audience, not a small group of friends and acquaintances.

  79. 79
    piratedan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: ty for the proper source, still it was “emotional” ;-)

  80. 80
    Rafer Janders says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Nice hypocrisy coming from someone who, last time I checked, started a conversation by calling another commenter “you ignorant ass.”

  81. 81
    Comrade Luke says:

    Given her stupidity she can’t be white, amirite?

  82. 82
    Ian says:

    @eyelessgame:

    Ruth Marcus is an insult to good dueschebags and dueschenozzles everywhere

  83. 83
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    Dusty, I don’t know why, but I keep wanting to fit that rant to the tune of ‘We didn’t start the fire’

    Always glad to see another Callahanian

  84. 84
    Redshift says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Exactly. “Foul language” and “potty-mouthed” for “sucks” and “blows”? Disrespectful and rude, sure, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone consider those to be cuss words.

  85. 85
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “The parental role is to inculcate values of respect for authority….It’s not to stand up for your little darling no matter how much she mouths off.”

    This just screams “be a good German” to me.

  86. 86
    Steve says:

    @LosGatosCA: When I was in college the coach himself once asked us to tone down the inappropriate yells. Of course we were saying worse things than “sucks” but hey.

  87. 87
    FlipYrWhig says:

    “With all the foul-mouthed tweeting and pepper-spraying incidents in the news, are we suffering from a crisis in civility? We’ll read your tweets. Coming up, we talk to that red-haired lady who we consider an ‘expert.’ Plus, more revelations from the trial of Guy Who May Be Involved With Missing White Girl. How you’re talking to your children about it on Twitter.”

  88. 88
    Donald G says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    William Shatner wouldn’t be a bad choice, either.

    How about BRIAN BLESSED!! in full-on barbarian warrior king mode? At full volume.

  89. 89
    ppcli says:

    @zmullls:

    But it was rude, and also, it wasn’t true. She didn’t actually say anything to his face. And it’s simple politeness that when caught saying something rude about someone to have the grace to say, sorry.

    a) It *is* true. Brownback is doing everything he can to make Kansas into a Fundamentalist Christian theocracy. And, as his actions proved here, until a pr advisor caught him, he is a small-minded petty bully. And there are many other respects in which it is absolutely correct to say of him “He sucks, and he blows a lot.”

    b) Are we really supposed to teach our children that if they see someone bullying smaller, weaker children, they shouldn’t march right up to that person and call him/her a bully and a jerk? Not for reasons of caution – the bully might turn on him/her and so better get an adult – but rather out of principle: Don’t be rude to people, and calling that bullying jerk a bully and a jerk would be rude? Not a lesson I want my child to absorb.

    Brownback is a small-minded, petty, vindictive tyrant in a teapot, and any rule that says that one should never say so publicly is a stupid rule.

  90. 90
    Gregory says:

    Can Marcus, a so-called “journalist” with an (admittedly, crappy) national publication, really be aware of the GOPAC memo written by current Republican frontrunner and then-speaker of the House Newt Gingrich fifteen sufferin’ years ago, in which he urged Republicans to always use words like “traitors” and “radical” when describing Democrats and their policies? The Republicans haven’t given a damn about “civility” in my memory, which goes back to Nixon, thank you very much.

    Republicans — and the so-called “liberal media” that enables them — only care about “civility” when Republicans get stung. They certainly don’t care that it’s pretty fucking uncivil to lie all the goddamn time, too.

  91. 91
    Donald G says:

    As militaristic libertarian science fiction author Robert Heinlein put it: “Freedom begins when you tell Mrs Grundy to go take a hike.” Perhaps every subsequent derisive reply to vinegar-souled scold Ruth Marcus should incorporate that quote somewhere in the text.

  92. 92
    Ruckus says:

    If I’m going have my life run by religious asshats, robbed by greedy selfish bastards, and scolded by pompous arrogant fuckwads, I’m sure as hell not going to go quietly into that shitty night.

    So, fuck you Ruth.

  93. 93
    eemom says:

    oh God. I’ve been working all evening and stopped by to unwind a bit before bed — did you HAVE to greet me with that insufferable twat?

  94. 94
    DougJ says:

    @eemom:

    I knew you’d dig it the most.

  95. 95
    Yutsano says:

    @DougJ: Just when you think you know a front pager…

  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    @eemom:
    You do have a fine way with the language.

  97. 97
    eemom says:

    I can’t stand Marcus. I can’t stand Kathleen Parker. I REALLY can’t stand MoDo and I can remotely abide Gail Collins only on those extremely rare occasions when she says something interesting enough to momentarily eclipse the blinding glare of her smirking teeth.

    Any op-ed starlets I have overlooked?

    ETA: oops, guess I forgot Anne Applebaum. Another distinguished fellow alum over whom brother Eli is cringing in his grave.

  98. 98
    Norwester says:

    Ruth’s basic grasp of logic is nonexistent. Some time back she was the “liberal” substitute for Mark Shields on the Lehrer news hour explaining how she favored impunity for the Bush Torturers, but she wasn’t “pro-torture”.

    So,torturing innocent folks who never had a trial =okay; laughing at sanctimonious dumbasses = uncivil and irresponsible. From a Coulter or Michael Savage I’d expect the kind of ethnic hatred and sadism that Marcus endorses, but I always scratch my head when it comes from a self-professed “liberal”.

  99. 99
    Scamp Dog says:

    Speaking of the eulogy for a mass-murdering tyrant, it notes that Chile has grown at twice the regional average for the past 15 years, and credits him for this performance.

    Later in the article, they mention that he stepped down, let’s see, 21 years ago…shame about the 6 year delay, huh? Is there anybody around who knows Chilean history well enough to find any other howlers? I’d love to see a thorough takedown of that nonsense.

  100. 100
    delphi_ote says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    to her friends; this girl had 60 twitter followers. I don’t twitter, and if I did I’d protect them so only people I wanted to see it could do so. But I’m not eighteen years old. Technically, you could argue that this girls privacy wasn’t invaded by the office of the governor of a state, but only because she was, like most people her age, a little bit heedless about the internets.

    If you don’t use Twitter, don’t try dictating to its users what the proper etiquette and social norms are. I promise that girl understands how Twitter works thousands of times better than you do. Just walk away.

  101. 101
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Gonna go w/ my favorite Zappa quote on this one…

    You can’t always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.

    Or sans a whipped cream filled giraffe, you simply end up calling someone “a scumsucking douchebag””

  102. 102
    joeyess says:

    I’m unfortunate enough to live in Kansas and I can vouch for the tweetingteen that Brownback does in fact suck. I also know for a fact that Brownback, who likens himself to a Kansas farm boy, and doesn’t know the business end of a pitchfork from the business end of the silver spoon that was shoved up his ass the day he was born. Brownback was born to a very wealthy, very heavily landed family that has done all of it’s “farming” in the manner of leasing out their land to ADM, Con-Agra and Monsanto. As to livestock, they employ the tried and true method of factory slaughterhouse methods and maximizing their profits by hiring undocumented workers, all the while threatening them with deportation. In short, he’s a lying fucking bastard that believes god has bestowed upon him his bounty because that’s what white folk like him deserve.

    Fuck Sam Brownback.

    Did ya hear that, governor?

    No?

    Here it is again:

    Fuck you.

  103. 103
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: That’s what I did too, and all three turned out pretty good despite my best efforts.

  104. 104
    opie_jeanne says:

    @JD Rhoades: I just re-posted it. I am in awe.

  105. 105
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @joeyess: Oh my – Ruth Marcus will keel over with the vapours!

    Good.

  106. 106
    MikeJ says:

    @opie_jeanne: I think it should run at least once a day. Or keep it pinned to the top.

  107. 107
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @eemom: Please. brother Eli whelped enough slave holders, fascists and reactionary arsewipes that it’s probably those of us who aren’t that make him cringe.

  108. 108
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Norwester:

    Thank you. I was just about to mention this fascist bitch’s views on torture — i.e. that it is “bad,” but no so bad that we should prosecute anyone for it or even subject anyone to the indignity of a formal inquiry into who ordered what. My suspicion is that Ruth Marcus keeps copies of the Abu Graib photos on her hard drive to masturbate to whenever Mr. Marcus has a headache (or has taken too much gin in an effort to drown the sorrows he must feel over being married to Axis Ruthie).

  109. 109
    Anne Laurie says:

    @catclub:

    Marcus seems to be the kind that punishes for breaking unwritten rules. I would be very surprised if she has outlined proper use of tweets for her daughters and consequences if broken, but do something that turns out to get noticed and you get punished for it.

    The most important rule in the Villager’s handbook is “Don’t Get Caught“. There are subsets to this — “Always Have A Lie Ready in Case You Do Get Caught”; “Telling the Truth is for Cowards” — but I’m sure from her body of work that Marcus, deliberately or not, made it clear to her daughters that “Don’t Get Caught” was the primary directive.

  110. 110
    Lojasmo says:

    @burnspbesq:

    In this case, it started a dialogue about first amendment rights, and Brownback had to eat crow, you insufferable scold.

  111. 111

    @El Cid:

    But in general I’m pretty horrified that you have teenagers who say crass and snotty things about politicians. That never used to happen. In my day, several thousand years ago in some nonexistent parallel universe, middle and high schoolers were known for their polite respect for elected officials and other government officials.

    Heh. I remember how much love and respect us young’uns gave LBJ and Nixon. Especially since they were routinely sending us on an “Asian Vacation” right after high school graduation if we didn’t immediately head off to college. Yeah, the good old days when we all respected our elders and worshipped politicians, douchebag or not.

  112. 112
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    @JD Rhoades: This was so excellent I tried to post it in comments on the WashPo article. But it appears their filters refused it, it does not appear in the comments.

    So I emailed it to: ruthmarcus@washpost.com,

    After all, the address is published there on the page, inviting comment, I would assume.

  113. 113

    Emma Sullivan, you’re lucky you’re not my daughter.

    Ruth, you’re lucky you’re not *my* daughter, you’d get a smack across the back of the head for writing such drivel for a living.

    And @JD Rhoades wins the internets for today, hell, rest of the week.

  114. 114
    David Lester Young says:

    Does the Governor have Murdoch powers that searches private Twitter accounts superseding a nations right to privacy. That the Governor did data mining like Facebook did that got them in hot water. So like Watergate, a governor and officials have the right without warrant to invade a person’s right to privacy. That our government like Red China censor our teenagers by intimidation, much like Nixon bullying.

  115. 115
    Kathy says:

    @LosGatosCA: As a resident of Phil (Dallas sucks)adelphia, all I can say is just wow, really, wow.

  116. 116
    azlib says:

    Emma Sullivan has a promising future career as a political operative. Brownback’s staff fell into the trap and she played them like a fiddle.

  117. 117
    DanielX says:

    @burnspbesq: You really have to ask? Then…refer to JDRhoades comment #22. I’ve had literally decades of listening to this shit from Republicans, starting with Newtthemonogamychallenged Gingrich in 1978, and continuing with every rightwing gasbag on talk radio, and the list goes on. That doesn’t even begin to cover the right wing blogs – where statements that anyone to the left of Genghis Khan should shot or hanged are about as common as morning coffee.

    Speaking for myself and no one else, I get just a wee bit tired of being admonished for being uncivil and – dare I use the dreaded word – shrill. It’s an enormous relief when someone delivers a well deserved FUCK YOU to a jerk like Brownback, whose reaction to a casual comment by a teenage girl only lends further weight to her comment.

    I have not noted that being civil and moderate in tone, in order to avoid pearl clutching and admonishment from the likes of Ruth Marcus, David Brooks, et al, has gained Democrats one…damned…thing. Perhaps – just perhaps – if someone occasionally said “you, sir/ma’am, are a goddamned liar”…a little respect might be gained, if nothing else.

  118. 118
    Keith says:

    If Ruth Marcus was my mother, she’d be on a fast track to a bad nursing home.

  119. 119
    Baud says:

    So I didn’t realize this until I read Marcus’s piece, but the Kansas “kid” is 18 years old. WTF? She can vote and join the military, but she can’t tweet???

  120. 120
    gelfling545 says:

    @opie_jeanne: My granddaughter is the child of an artist and a musician. I live in mortal fear that she will become a conservative republican/evangelical in sheer reaction.

  121. 121
    brantl says:

    @DougJ: No, it’s really him, just like that.

  122. 122
    Snowball says:

    @zmullls:

    She said something rude about the Governor to her friends, and she’s allowed. But it was rude, and also, it wasn’t true. She didn’t actually say anything to his face. And it’s simple politeness that when caught saying something rude about someone to have the grace to say, sorry. Even if he does suck.

    I guess what I don’t understand is why she should have to apologize when none of the people who have insulted President Obama has had to apologize? What about the people who keep insinuating that he wasn’t born here etc etc…Just as an example.

    Furthermore, I don’t recall Cheney apologizing to Pat Leahy for his Go XXXX yourself comment.

    What Ms. Sullivan did is pretty minor in comparison, won’t you agree? Furthermore, she didn’t even say it to the governor. She said it to her friends. Besides, if this is the precedent, do we really want our government to monitor what its people say about them?

    I still can’t believe that people who claim they are against big government (tea party) don’t have a problem when big government clamps down on free speech. Sobering hypocrisy. Just like Marcus article. Why didn’t Marcus address the rudeness by opponents to President Obama in her article?

  123. 123
    JD Rhoades says:

    Thanks for the kind words, y’all.

  124. 124
    Svensker says:

    @Redshift:

    “Foul language” and “potty-mouthed” for “sucks” and “blows”?

    I am old enough to remember when saying “suck” was considered way more shocking and crude than saying “fuck” in polite society. I guess because it was agreed that most people did indeed fuck, but no one wanted to admit that “nice” people did indeed suck.

  125. 125
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    So Ms. Sullivlan’s coarse language is a worse offense than Gov. Brownback’s, his staff’s and the principal’s bullying, intimidation, spying, tattling and spinelessness? Ruth Marcus is a worthless small minded person.

  126. 126
    kd bart says:

    @JD Rhoades

    You could’ve added making fun of Chelsea Clinton’s looks as a teenager.

  127. 127
    Lex says:

    @JD Rhoades: As the Quakers say, friend speaks my mind.

  128. 128
    Lex says:

    Crotchety? Try dangerously, cluelessly out of touch. If my 13-year-old daughter had Sam Brownback for a governor and tweeted that about him, I’d be taking her out for ice cream.

    Interesting, too, how you’re more worried about the rhetoric of a high-school student than, say, the Vice President of the United States on the floor of the Senate or the most-listened-to anal pustule on talk radio. Their language isn’t just uncivil, it’s borderline eliminationist. And yet, for some reason, that doesn’t seem to give you the vapors the way this young lady did.

    I understand the need for civility, Ruth. The problem is that the Sam Brownbacks of the world don’t. They can be civil in their interpersonal dealings when they believe it’s in their best interests (i.e., to political donors and other supporters), but their policies lack any shred of humanity, let alone civility. In my 35 years of following politics, I have found way too often that pleas for civility are usually the last refuge of someone who’s about to get hit with the chair (Southern pro-wrestling reference) and who desperately deserves it.

    Don’t be that guy. Keep your eye on the ball. Because Brownback really does blow a lot., and it’s the job of journalists to point that out.

  129. 129
    GregB says:

    When disgusting rightwing cretins like Limbaugh and Coulter vent their rotted spleens, the wingnuts cheer them on for being politically incorrect and telling it like it is.

    When a bright guy like Barney Frank tells Bill O’Reilly to politely shut the fuck up the pearl clutchers run around screaming about incivility in politics….

    Fuck Sam Brownshirt.

  130. 130
    ET says:

    Too bad Ruth Marcus hasn’t learned to us the op-ed responsibly.

  131. 131

    […] night, I had no net connection so I missed this brilliant rant. After Willie Horton ads, Swiftboating, GOP convention-goers waving purple band-aids to mock a […]

  132. 132
    debbie says:

    Again, where is her complaint about the U. of Texas chick tweeting her friends not to shoot Obama just so he can remain the worst president ever?

  133. 133
    Cacti says:

    Sounds like an op-ed from someone with a long history of boot-licking those in power.

    She has the courtier’s sense of exaggerated outrage that a peasant should speak thusly to the king.

  134. 134
    Niques says:

    @JD Rhoades: I would like to see your comment not only narrated, but produced as a video – with the quotes being footage of the speakers themselves (“You LIE!”). Awesome.

  135. 135
    g says:

    Way to totally miss the point, Ruth.

  136. 136
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @delphi_ote:

    If you don’t use Twitter, don’t try dictating to its users what the proper etiquette and social norms are. I promise that girl understands how Twitter works thousands of times better than you do. Just walk away.

    Aren’t you an oddly bombastic little person.

  137. 137
    Karounie says:

    I went to Yale with Ruth Marcus. Public chants to the effect that “_insert-rival-residence-hall-here_ sucks” were ubiquitous (And don’t forget Harvard!) I remember sitting in the stands at a televised football game and yelling “Durfee Sucks!” over and over while stamping rhythmically until the marching band joined in (this particular hall had a many year tradition of sucking.)

    This was not particularly frowned upon by the “authorities.” Rather there was a sense that we were subject to few if any limits because we would soon _be_ the authorities.

    A few years into my time there a group of student pranksters dropped butyric acid from the ceiling of a dining hall all over students eating there. There was kind of a furor when these guys were expelled (later allowed to return) because that kind of behavior had been serenely tolerated before. The administration was like, “This is really over the line.” and the students were like, “What line? We didn’t know there was a line!”

    Of course Marcus probably did editorialize for expulsion in that case in the college paper, but I don’t remember her (or anyone) complaining about a culture of potty mouthed foul language amongst her fellow 18 year olds.

  138. 138
    rb says:

    @JD Rhoades: Right on, JDR. Right fucking on.

  139. 139
    roshan says:

    The Tennessee Tea Party desperately needs Mother Marcus to discipline them for their juvenile ways of tweeting:
    __

    The Tennessean reported Monday that the Tennessee Tea Party tweeted “Good riddance you perverted sodomite POS!!” at around noon, with a link to a http://www.theblaze.com/storie.....tire/story on Glenn Beck’s the Blaze, about Barney Frank’s announcement that he will not seek re-election next year.

  140. 140
    eemom says:

    @Karounie:

    SHE went to Yale too? That I did not know. What year?

    Ugh. So far my known contemporaries include Wolf (’84), Applebaum (’85), David Frum (’83). I know there are others but I am blocking them out at the moment.

    On the bright side, there is David Hyde-Pierce (’81).

    @TheMightyTrowel:

    brother Eli whelped enough slave holders, fascists and reactionary arsewipes that it’s probably those of us who aren’t that make him cringe.

    I guess….but wasn’t he himself just a humble guy with “nine bales of goods”?

  141. 141
    eemom says:

    @Karounie:

    Wright bites.

  142. 142
    eemom says:

    Yale’s roots can be traced back to the 1640s, when colonial clergymen led an effort to establish a college in New Haven to preserve the tradition of European liberal education in the New World. This vision was fulfilled in 1701, when the charter was granted for a school “wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences [and] through the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for Publick employment both in Church and Civil State.” In 1718 the school was renamed “Yale College” in gratitude to the Welsh merchant Elihu Yale, who had donated the proceeds from the sale of nine bales of goods together with 417 books and a portrait of King George I.

  143. 143
    slippy says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    Coulter saying the “only choice was whether to impeach or assassinate” President Clinton

    Someone please help me out here. Why isn’t this harridan in supermax? Openly threatening to murder the President is a crime. I’m quite sure of it. Voter fraud (ironically Coulter is one of the FEW actual documented cases of such a thing) is ALSO a crime.

    Maybe I’m getting everything wrong. I should just put a confederate flag on my pickup truck, install a gun rack, register Republican, then I can do whatever the hell I want. Apparently all that’s required to break every law in existence with violent impunity is that one is a conservative.

    Of course, I’d rather choke to death on my own vomit than even pretend to be a conservative.

  144. 144
    Catsy says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    If Emma Sullivan were my daughter, there’s not a chance in hell she’d have written an apology.

    Ditto that. If it had been my kid, I’d be kvelling, posting links to all my friends, and marching on the principal’s office to inform them that my child would not be writing any such apology and reminding the principal about the limits of their authority.

  145. 145
    Catsy says:

    @burnspbesq: Help me out here. Has there been a single B-J thread in which you haven’t acted like a reflexively-contrarian concern troll? And if so, link?

  146. 146
    Karounie says:

    eemom – Wright does indeed bite big time. I think Marcus was class of ’80. That year produced a whole passel of WaPo and WaPo-ish types including Jackson Diehl and Steve Mufson.

  147. 147
    karen marie says:

    From Glenn Greenwald:

    In August, 2010, Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs condemned liberal critics of the President, saying: ”I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested.” Marcus not only wrote how much she agreed with Gibbs’ outburst, but added some bitter little insults of her own: “The complainers from the left are, in some combination, myopic, forgetful and deranged.” … notice how, in Marcus’ mind, it’s fine for government officials and media personalities to use the most inflammatory, insulting language aimed at citizens (get drug tested, you deranged losers), but it’s time for a stern civility sermon (and a humble apology) when it’s the other way around. The only question at this point is whether Marcus — who is married to an actual censor, Jon Leibowitz, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission — is driven more by drooling authoritarianism or gross hypocrisy. The Washington Post Op-Ed page is truly the belly of the beast of America’s rotted media discourse.

    Ha!

  148. 148
    Bulworth says:

    @JD Rhoades: That’s just gold.

  149. 149
    The Spy Who Loved Me says:

    Emma was perfectly within her rights to say Brownbeck sucked. So was Mark Halperin when he called Obama a dick.

    Free speech bitches!

  150. 150
  151. 151
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Also, when the Republicans lie without consequence, that’s completely uncivil too. I’d rather hear the truth laced with profanity than be lied to with a smug and pompous attitude.

  152. 152
    Neldob says:

    I’m so glad she didn’t say “it wasn’t meant to be factual”.

  153. 153
    Kyle says:

    @JD Rhoades: A thousand times win! Your my new facebook status.

  154. 154
    henqiguai says:

    @gelfling545 (#120):

    My granddaughter is the child of an artist and a musician. I live in mortal fear that she will become a conservative republican/evangelical in sheer reaction.

    Our eldest daughter exhibited a fondness for ham, shrimp, and lobster at an early age. We encouraged her to eat as much as possible, as a preemptive inoculation against any thoughts of adopting Islam (yes, to the humor-challenged, it was a joke; but there was a tinge of concern in the background ’cause, ya’ know, kids these days…)

  155. 155
    JR in WV says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    Dude, don’t hold back so! Tell us how you REALLY feel, why don’t you!

    I’m so tired of polite technical criticism when what is deserved is the blowtorch of scathing flames!

    These people are trying to destroy our country, our way of life, and turn all that is good about democracy into a commercial enterprise run to take from the weak and give to the strong. They deserve the meteor of teh stupid!

  156. 156

    @JD Rhoades: Yeah, but, let’s be honest, Dusty – you *wish* you were that girl’s dad so you could write the best faux apology ever, don’t you?

    “I should not have used the word ‘sucks’, and that was wrong and I’m sorry. While (X, Y, Z, W, and, W’s best friends, T and F) are all true, to describe this as the governor ‘sucking’ is vulgar and uncouth. And the hashtag also included a vulgarity, which I deeply regret, but #HesDamagingTheVeryFabricOfTheNationWithHisDastardlyDeedsInWaysThatWillReverberateForFiveOrMoreGenerations was too hard to type. But that’s no excuse for the use of the shorter, overly coarse, hashtag.”

  157. 157
    EIGRP says:

    I think she should have written the apology letter. Something like:

    Dear Governor,

    I’m sorry you’re a dbag.

    Emma

  158. 158
    Erich says:

    If Ruth Marcus were Emma’s mother, she would have every right to make her write an apology. Emma’s principal is not her mother, and his direction for her to apologize to another public employee for something she said is a violation of her First Amendment rights.

    Ms. Marcus’ article has zero relevance to this situation,and is nothing more than an unsolicited testimonial to her parenting values.

  159. 159
    Pat Day says:

    @JD Rhoades: jdrhoads: Excellent comment. This should serve as the standard “cut and paste comment” for any comment or email sent in by any of our conservatard “friends” when they complain about how they are treated by someone of the Liberal bent. Ruth Marcus probably needs to sleep with one eye open against the possibility that her children secretly desire to smother her in her sleep.

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