Are We That Thinned-Skinned?

Why Rahm Emanuel's use of the R-word isn't a firing offense


White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is notoriously profane and uncouth. So it's not surprising that The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Emanuel had referred to some congressional Democrats as "retarded" in a private meeting with strategists. This has sparked a national kerfuffle.

Who can quarrel about the word "retarded" in this context? It is obnoxious and unnecessary. We should do our best to avoid it. After all, our goal as Americans must be to offend the guilty (some congressional Democrats) without dragging the innocent (the mentally disabled) into the fray.

But what was even more disturbing than finding out that political hacks use demeaning references in private assemblies? It was watching those who usually complain about political correctness dig deep for some of their own artificial outrage and begin playacting the victim.

Do conservatives really believe that an impolite utterance in private should be a firing offense? To begin with, the word "retard," unlike many other purposefully disparaging words, has legitimate meanings beyond insult. An example? Rahm Emanuel has a severe case of ideological retardation.

What is this guy supposed to do now, anyway? Emanuel apologized to the mentally disabled. He sincerely apologized to the mentally disabled. He apologized to the head of the Special Olympics for his remark (and was rejected). He probably apologized to God himself—and the president, in return, almost surely forgave him.

Emanuel even joined a group whose sole mission is to eradicate the use of the word "retarded" from the English language.

Does intent matter? When a person uses the N-word, without a doubt, he has a very specific subset of the population in mind. He uses it to smear an entire race. When a person drops what henceforth will be known as the R-word—as many of us did regularly during childhood—there is no intent to denigrate those with disabilities.

Sarah Palin, whose youngest son has Down syndrome, asked the overwrought question "Are you capable of decency, Rahm Emanuel?" and demanded that the president fire Emanuel, as the word "retarded" is "a slur on all God's children with cognitive and developmental disabilities."

So dragging God's children with cognitive and developmental disabilities into a political tussle isn't that offensive?

Now, inevitably, someone will ask: What would happen to Karl Rove or another Republican if he made a similarly insensitive remark? I suspect it would look very much like the over-the-top reaction we're witnessing today.

Palin went on to write: "Every day they suffer its dehumanizing effects—mockery, stigma, ridicule. This is a word that is incredibly damaging—not only to the seven million people with intellectual disabilities in the United States, but also their friends, family and to all of us."

In truth, in nearly every way, the lives of the mentally disabled have improved vastly, from the care they receive to the quality of their lives to the respect they are given.

Though I've heard the R-word thrown around plenty (often, I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn, directed at me), I can't recall anyone's using it as a pejorative to describe a person who was actually disabled. Far from ridiculing the disabled, our culture has humanized them.    

Emanuel certainly deserves to be reprimanded. But if his offense is worthy of losing a job, you have to wonder whether we really are a nation of the perpetually offended.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his Web site at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.



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  1. It’s OK.

    So long as nobody minds me referring to Rahm Emanuel and his boss by the ‘a’ word.

    1. Well, I’m on the right and I like Palin as much as anyone, but I’m not giving up my right to refer to all people on the left as retarded, because that’s what they are.

      Not all retards are leftists, but all leftists are retards; leftards for short.

      1. Substitute the word “Republican” where you use the word “left” and Bob’s your uncle, a true-ism as sure as your original.

        1. I think this ‘r’ word and ‘n’ word stuff has gotten out of hand. Rahm should be able to call

          1. Having a little trouble with power outages from that ice storm we’re having, eh, Jimmy?

        2. Wow! I just found another retarded site to which to apply my AdBlock Plus filter. Thanks, retard!

    2. I’m sure the Republicans will love this ‘Unitard’ commercial:


  2. 1) I don’t like Rahm.
    2) I really, really don’t like our culture of p.c.
    3) I think that what Rahm said was funny.

    1. IMO, this isn’t about being PC… it’s about how liberals are supposedly against using hateful, denigrating language – then turn around and use hateful, denigrating language when it suits their needs.

      1. +1

          1. It can be about that. And it can just as easily be about how conservatives can be hypocrites in the exact opposite direction when it suits them.

            1. They were not being hypocrites. No conservative thought “oh no he said retarded” they said “ha ha he is in trouble” most people made fun of the fact he had to apologize to retarded lobbyists, but not to Democrats.

              No, that’s not hypocrisy, it’s schadenfreude.

              1. oh i don’t count Palin

      2. And all the liberals who gave Rahm a pass because it wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. If Karl Rove had done the same thing it would have been an above the fold headline for a week.

      3. Since when am I against using hateful, denigrating language?

        I’ll take a Rohm’s insensitivity to retardly-sensitive people to Palin’s utter hypocrisy on the matter any day.

        1. That’s because you’re a hateful prick, Chad.

          1. No, he’s a prickless hater. And a retard.

      4. The worlds biggest hypocrites have always been on the far left of the political bar.

      5. I give that a thumbs up. The left uses PC as a tool to garner votes. As we have seen lately from Reid and now Rahm their PC is merely pandering.

        The N-word simply means an ignorant person, and the R-word a person whose development is disabled. I give Reid and Rahm both high marks for developmental ignorance. Occasional slips of the tongue, are simply indications of deeper held beliefs.

        Both words have a history of being used to denigrate, dehumanize and express hatred. As one of my collegues remarked recently; “In the past politicians were regarded as statesmen. We can not see any semblance of such things in American Politicians.”

        1. Reid didn’t use the “N-word” – he used the word negro – and that is not the word which generally makes all the public hipocrites so hysterical.

      6. Exactly. It’s time for Republicans to back off on this, because it’s getting stupid, but if you live by the PC sword, you get to die by the PC sword.

        The other day on The View (no, I don’t watch), Joy Behar, in discussing the Tebow abortion commercial said that it was a stupid argument to say that Tebow’s mother made the right choice as proven by what her son has become, because he could just have easily grown up to be a murderer or rapist.

        Did you see a single word about that in the “mainstream” media? Did you hear an apology? Did you hear calls for her job? No, me neither. Now imagine this scenario:

        Barack Obama makes a commercial about growing up a bi-racial child from a broken home, and thanks the mentors who saw promise in him and helped him become the man he is today. Rush Limbaugh, in discussing the commercial, says that those mentors can’t say they made the right choice because Obama could have turned out to be a murderer or rapist. TOP STORY ON EVERY NEWS CHANNEL! CALLS FOR HIS HEAD! “HE HAS FINALLY GONE TOO FAR AND MUST BE FIRED”, SAY COMMUNITY LEADERS! “AN APOLOGY OR 12 MUST BE ISSUED!!!!!!”

        You know this is 100% true.

    2. 4. ???
      5. Profit!

    3. The funniest line came from Instapundit with a one line entry:

      Emmanuel Rahm calls democrats retarded, then apologizes to retards.

  3. Liberals are supposed to be averse to hateful language and stereotypes, but Rahm proves how two-faced a lot of his kind truly are.

    1. Liberals are for big government, not every person in favor of a big government is going to be PC…we are actually talking about this story man I feel like I am taking crazy pills sometimes…forgive me “mentally and chemically altered pills”

    2. Good point.

  4. Now you’re hackin’ on the man for telling the truth? C’mon now.

  5. This whole thing is fucking retarded.

    1. Everyone knows he’s an ass. The whole idea of politically correctness either in it’s original or literal form or its more colloquial form is repulsive. The towing the party lion form is just stupid. The social form has another term that has been around a lot longer, courtesy. I don’t care if Rahm stands in his office screaming retarded, monkey fucking, water headed, shit stain, drool bib wearing, mouth breather, helmet donning retard all fucking day long. But then again I wouldn’t put someone who does that in the position he’s in.

  6. Do conservatives really believe that an impolite utterance in private should be a firing offense?

    No, only when the person that says it is an obnoxious (at least in the eyes of Conservatives) politician, it would seem. Me, not being a conservative, do not agree with having the ballerina fired.

    1. Only if the utterer himself says impolite utterances should be a firing offense should it be a firing offense.

      If praising former KKK members should be a firing offense as it was with Lott, then Dodd should have been forced to step down long before he did for praising Byrd.

      1. You don’t understand. It’s the Republicans who are racists.

  7. Sarah Palin, whose youngest son has Down syndrome, … demanded that the president fire Emanuel, as the word “retarded” is “a slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities.”

    Isn’t “retarded” still the officially accepted term in journalism when referring to the mentally disabled? Has no bearing on Emanuel’s situation, but I’m pretty sure the AP still uses the term.

    1. I’m pretty sure the AP still uses the term

      I thought that was when AP was referring to Palin, not her son.

      1. They should have been referring to themselves.

    2. In recent years “retarded” has become politically incorrect. Ironically, I believe that it originated as a euphemism to replace the older medical/scientific terms (idiot, imbecile, and moron) which had themselves become impolite. So Rahm should have used one of the three old terms.

      This sort of thing happens with language over time. Originally “stink” was a neutral term, but came to mean a bad smell. “Odor” is still largely neutral but is on the cusp of becoming negative.

      1. This is true. In medical school the term ‘mental retardation’ was still used clinically (as of 10 years ago at least), but students were encouraged to use the abbreviation ‘MR’ to avoid offending laymen within earshot.

      2. That’s why it was funny when Moe called Curly a moron, and Curly said no, I’m an imbecile.

        1. NOW I get it!

      3. True, but some words go the other way to become acceptable: seems like everyone says “sucks” and “screwed” these days without it having the vulgar meaning.

        1. That depends on your social circle and age. I still wouldn’t use those words in conversation with Mom and Dad.

    3. There is a group called the ARC – “Alliance of Retarded Citizens.” It existed in Pennsylvania, at least. I think it was a charity or a school.

  8. OM, one needn’t be a stereotypical far-right winger to see the twofacedness of Rahm’s impolitic utterance.

  9. We can still make jokes about womens’ asses can’t we?

    1. yes, jokes about men are fine.

    2. Leave their husbabs out of this.

      1. Wokka< sup >2< / sup >

  10. Emanuel even joined a group whose sole mission is to eradicate the use of the word “retarded” from the English language.

    What a bunch of morons!

    1. So, when a guy is trying to control his tractor-trailer rig going downhill, he is supposed to use his “engine developmentally disadvanter brakes”?

  11. “Emanuel certainly deserves to be reprimanded. But if his offense is worthy of losing a job, you have to wonder whether we really are a nation of the perpetually offended.”

    Look, I had a friend lose his factory job a couple of years ago for using the n-word. So if you ask me, Rahm should lose his too.

  12. “Retarded” is probably one of the most commonly used words of my generation, after “dude” but ahead of “sweet.”

    Freaking out over usage of this word is almost as stupid as insisting that calling someone a pussy is misogynistic.

    1. I loved the South Park episode where they change the definition of “faggot” to mean Harley riders.

      1. Bike-curious was brilliant.

        1. Absolutely.

  13. Dude, calling Rahm out for “retarded” is totally gay.


  14. So this kike who’s working for a nigger used the word “retard” and this politically correct cunt from Alaska got offended?
    Well, I never!

    1. You talk like a fag.

      1. I like money…

  15. This article is profound.

    1. +1

  16. i have a feeling if i ever get the chance to rip off david harsanyi’s mask, i’m going to find cathy young underneath.

  17. This is just another non-story-story by the media. Who cares! And in other news- The United States is rocketing to bankruptcy. Time to hire some more government workers and pass health reform.

    1. We’re also building up forces around Iran.

      1. That’s not possible. I remember very clearly a year ago, Pelosi was saying that Iran was years and years away from building a nuke, and to say otherwise was just more Bushitler lies. So we’re years away from having to think about Iran. Anyone who says otherwise is a Halliburton.

  18. Thinned-Skinned

    This is offensive to thin people. And is also a trigger for people living with eating disorders.

    1. I keep getting called that; I’m like “God, I wish!

  19. Thinned-skinned or thin-skinned? Dictionary.reference.com says only the latter is an expression.

    1. The p.c. term is “thin of skin.”

      1. I thought it was “dermally impaired”.

        1. No, dermally differently-abled. “Impaired” makes it sound like a disability, when those who are dermally differently-abled can lead healthy productive lives as long as they receive the respect and consideration they deserve.

          And they don’t ever encounter rude, insensitive fucks like me.

  20. I no longer associate (and may never have, now that I think about it) the word ‘retarded’ with those who have legitimate mental disabilities. Instead, I use it to refer to those who have no excuse for their stupid thoughts or behaviors. I use it for those with no physiological problem and no psychological problem. And yet, for some reason, whether it’s laziness, cravenness or, just plain stupidity, are unable to make simple cause and effect connections.

    These are people who buy an expensive house. Have the house foreclosed upon when they can’t make payments but, are unable to make the connection between their spendthrift ways and their current financial situation. This is a retard.

    Another example would be a politician who proposes a bill that would collect and distribute a trillion dollars, and make rules and regulations regarding 1/6 of our economy. As a result, there are lobbyists everywhere throwing money around trying to influence the shape of that bill. But the Schumer retard is someone who is seemingly incapable of making the connection between his own power and willingness to wield it on behalf of donors, and the ubiquity of lobbyists.

    1. “I no longer associate (and may never have, now that I think about it) the word ‘nigger’ with those who have legitimate ethnic differences. Instead, I use it to refer to those who have no excuse for their stupid thoughts or behaviors.”

      1. I’m sorry Jimmy. I’m as annoyed with PC bullshit as the next guy, but the N word shall forever remain disgusting and unnecessary. In case you aren’t aware, real human beings were brutally murdered by ignorant mobs shouting the word nigger, and not that many years ago. You don’t get to redefine it so as to excuse your thinly veiled bigotry. Retard.

        1. but the N word shall forever remain disgusting and unnecessary.

          Except, of course, when I use it to refer to Obama in what I think is a private conversation.

          1. Nah, still as disgusting as the Rev himself.

        2. Jimmy is actually closer to the truth than we’re admitting. I would venture that 99.9% of the time the word “nigger” is uttered is by one black person to another.* It no longer is a term used in the original sense. It’s the black community’s “dude”.

          *For references in popular culture, add some more 9’s after that decimal point.

  21. My only response to Sarah Palin is this: “Uh, you just called your son “retarded,” so…you’re a whore, bitch!”

    1. Fuck you, retard. You must be a faggot too because you don’t like hot chicks.

  22. I still think it’s funny that Johnny Knoxville’s The Ringer treated the mentally handicapped with more humanity than those precious, precious, “progressives”, Barrack Obama and Rahm Emanuel.

  23. I think Emanuel was referring to their ideas rather than the staff members themselves, not that it matters.

    But from what I’ve seen of how the President wants to run the government, I might have guessed that his staff was full of retards.

  24. This A-word is P-word.

    1. Also, I believe this shit is bananas.

      1. banananas yummmmmm

  25. Rahm Emanuel has a severe case of ideological retardation.

    Stop saying the word!!

  26. I am Spartacus a retard!

    1. I’m Brian! And my wife’s Brian too!

  27. Emanuel even joined a group whose sole mission is to eradicate the use of the word “retarded” from the English language.

    Good luck with that.

    Emanuel certainly deserves to be reprimanded.

    No he doesn’t. People complaing about this (I’m looking at you, Sarah) need to stop looking for reasons to be offended.

    1. Fuck that. Everytime some politician on the right side of the spectrum makes a verbal faux pas, the left goes apeshit. Turnabout is fair play.

      1. It doesn’t make it any less retarded.

      2. Agreed. I think that’s what a lot of people would want–an equal playing field. EIther everybody who makes such faux pas in public loses their jobs, or nobody does. (I’d opt for the latter–sticks and stones, etc.)

        1. BTW, my “agreed” above pertains to what Brandybuck said at 2:01, (*#$&$ nested comments…)

        2. I’m trying to decide where exactly I fall on this issue. It would be great to say “well then those not on the left should set an example by not over-reacting”, but it’s NEVER going to stop. Anyone on the right will be eternally pilloried by the left for something like praising Strom Thurmond, and the media will forever give a pass to things like Robert Byrd getting away with BEING AN ACTUAL KLANSMAN AND SAYING NIGGER ON TV IN LIKE 2003. This isn’t just noise that you can tune out, because Robert Byrd is still a goddamned Senator and Trent Lott is not. Things like that can end up making a big difference. It’s not a game of “names will never hurt me”.

  28. I wrote about Tim Shriver’s sensitivity about the use of “retard” a while back when he was angry at Tropic Thunder.

  29. Who can quarrel about the word “retarded” in this context? It is obnoxious and unnecessary. We should do our best to avoid it. After all, our goal as Americans must be to offend the guilty (some congressional Democrats) without dragging the innocent (the mentally disabled) into the fray.

    This is an idiotic statement. Oops, I said idiotic. In the early 20th century, idiot was the technical term for very severe mental retardation. We should also avoid using the terms moron, imbecile and cretin for that same reason.

    1. Thus the moran meme. The guy was just trying to be PC.

    2. Well, that certainly cuts down the word choices available for me to describe politicians.

      1. Be creative. I’ve always liked “genetically predisposed towards suboptimal cognition”.

  30. Is it OK to say “etardedray”?

    1. I just spell out the R-word quickly.

      They never get it.

      1. But they always want cake.


    1. The floodgates are now open for big corporations to call their ideological opponents “retards,” jeopardizing our very democracy.

  32. People complaing about this (I’m looking at you, Sarah) need to stop looking for reasons to be offended.

    As far as I am concerned they are welcome to be offended.

    Now, I try not to needlessly offend people out of self interest and community spirit and a belief in civility for it’s own sake.

    But I don’t believe that there is a right to not be offended, and I won’t allow myself to be bullied with my own sense of politeness.

    1. If you call someone retarded and they become offended because they believe it to be a slur against the mentally disabled, then you’ve successfully validated your assessment of that person.

  33. I agree with the article — it’s silly that this is considered a serious offense. I think the mock outrage is to call attention to the hypocrisy of the left who demands that everyone on the right who says anything even marginally offensive be run out of town.

    As for the mentally retarded, I’m with them, I would be upset if I was compared to a Democrat, too.

    1. Agreed Henry,
      All of the mentally disadvantaged people I know, are honest and sincere people. I would trust them with much more responsibility than I am willing to give a Dem or Rep.

  34. Classic. I think the bigger issue is that politicians don’t publicly call each other denigrating names enough. I’m not sure you can say enough bad things about most of them. “Retarded” probably falls short of being offensive enough.

    I’m sure David’s right, if a Republocrat had said it, the Demopublicans would be up in arms. But the worst part of the story is the we now have a powerful government official working with a group to censor speech. Great news for us all.

    1. I think the bigger issue is that politicians don’t publicly call each other denigrating names enough.

      We’re on the same page, Big Chief.

      Low lifes insulate themselves from us, even having others screen their mail, making it impossible for us to tell them what they are. Sure be nice if what needs done gets done, even if it’s by them.

      Besides these Republocrats and Demopublicans steal our freedoms fast enough on their individual own, last thing we need is them getting along and making it a group effort, speaking bluntly can help keep them separated on cooperation and at each other’s throats. Right where we want them, since we can’t do the right thing and put a restraining order on them so they’d be arrested if they got closer than 1,000 miles from Washington.

  35. I used to love the name calling the 3 Stooges threw at each other, like idiot and moron. I thought they were just insults until I read they were actual terms used to describe the IQ levels of the mentally disabled. From Wiki:

    Idiot: 0-25 IQ
    Imbecile: 26-50 IQ
    Moron: 51-70 IQ

    1. I guess the terms ARE incorrect when describing politicians.

      What are the names for those in negative numbers?

      1. -25 to 0 Republican
        -50 to -25 Democrat
        -75 to -50 Congressman

  36. This whole “kerfuffle” is retarded.

    And this article contradicts itself. You spend the 90% of it saying that use of the word retard
    1. isn’t denegrating to actually retarded people (and if it were would they really know the difference or care?)
    2. has actually helped retards get better treatment

    and then you end with “Emanuel certainly deserves to be reprimanded.” WTF? No he doesn’t.

  37. When a person uses the N-word, without a doubt, he has a very specific subset of the population in mind. He uses it to smear an entire race.

    No doubt whatsoever.

    1. I respectfully disagree.

      Black man:




        1. Nope, you are wrong. Black men using the word is a cultural effort to take the word and make it a point of in-your-face pride against a white society that sees them as expendable. White people using the word is nothing less than more of the bigotry that black men are reacting against. People were murdered to chorus’ of “nigger”, in my lifetime. You don’t get to redefine it to pretend it doesn’t mean you are a bigot. You are.

          1. Then you must be damned old – even older than I.

            1. We’re talking the sixties here kiddo. If that’s old to you, then you need to talk less and listen more.

  38. Didn’t Obama take over 90% of the Retards’ vote? and ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?

  39. “You don’t call retarded people retards. You call your friends retards, when they’re doing something retarded”

  40. eradicating the word retarded IS FUCKING RETARDED!

  41. There are 10,000 other reasons to have this fucking retard mopping up piss in the unemployment line. First, he’s a low-life criminal fuck.

  42. Well David, I’m afraid you lead a sheltered life. My son is mentally and physically handicapped and has lots of friends with intellectual disabilities. (The Intellectual Disabilities Agency bowling league met last night.) If you think that none of them has had the term “retarded” directed at them as an insult I have two words for you: High School. They get it all the time and they get it from “gifted” kids like the sleazeball Rahm as much as anyone.

    Now I fully agree that people are making way too much of this, but people who work with the mentally handicapped want to stop the use of the perfectly good word “retarded” precisely because it is used as an insult exactly the way Rahm (and apparently many of your commenters and associates) use it. To use it in this way is a clear and deliberate insult to the mentally handicapped and to pretend otherwise is delusional.

    1. So you’re pro-censorship then?

      1. Yes, pro self censorship. There isn’t any government agency controlling the use of “spic,” “kike,” or “nigger.” But their use has been greatly decreased in my lifetime because of social norms. They were used commonly when I was young and their use was justified in almost identical terms to those used above to justify the use of “retarded” as an insult.

    2. As a person that suffers from medically diagnosed delusions, I find your use of the term delusional to denigrate mentally healthy people to be incredibly and intentionally hurtful.

    3. Pay attention. Whatever word is adopted as the next term will inevitably get used to insult and denigrate others. Why? Because people are assholes. Changing the word just gives the sensitivity-chanllenged among us just one more word to use to insult the rest of you.

    4. Gee, I remember common words being high school insults if used in certain tones of voice: like “Jesus lover,” “Protestant, ” Catholics” (depending on which side you were on), “Girl or Boy Scout.” along with more routine stuff like “suck job” and “sissy boy,” not to mention “skank.”

    5. Jeez, dude, don’t be such a fag.

    6. Thank You Bob –
      This is not about censorship. This is about hate speech. Which does seem to be prevalent on this blog.

      If a thinking person would stop the next time they used some of these words and looked at their own thinking process, they might be humbled by the conclusion that they come from a place of insecurity that causes them to denigrate others to build themselves up.

      1. Agreed. It’s hard enough to convince people to pay any attention to libertarian ideas without having to defend the kinds of bigoted comments seen in this forum. There is nothing wrong with having a little sympathy now and then and censoring your own speech. Would you use the word “fuck” in front of your sweet little old grandmother? Same thing. I’m guilty of using “retard” from time to time (see one of my previous comments above) but I will think about it next time I find that word trying to come out of my mouth. Yes, some people are too sensitive, but some others aren’t sensitive enough.

      2. Mechanic: We found the problem, your timing was too R word.

        American Girl: My timing was recalled?

        Mechanic: No, it was R word, you know.

        American Girl: Red?

        Mechanic: No, your timing was …a little behind.

        American Girl: Behind what? You hid it?

        Mechanic: You aren’t getting this are you?

        American Girl: What’s R word?

        Mechanic: Retarded.

        American Girl: That was uncalled for! I know I’m slow but that was hate speech!

        Mechanic: ??

        1. Okay, that’s funny.

  43. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

    But I’d still do Palin. Just sayin…

    1. Sadly, PC took that old “momily” of “sticks and stones” and turned it on its side. Their version is more like this: “If you hurt me with words, I’ll break your bones with sticks and stones.”

    2. Seen McCain’s daughter?

      That girl ever decides to start jogging she’s going to have some serious black eyes.

      Lord have mercy. Her real mother had to have been a prize winning milk cow.

  44. Didn’t Levi Johnson accuse Sarah Palin of calling her own baby retared, “Hey, give me my retarded baby!” LOL. If only that were true, I might vote for her.

    Anyway, it’s all about calling the libs out on their hypocrisy. We get it already.

  45. republicans are acting all retarded because they are mad that democrats get away with the PC hypocracy and the media loves this type of issue because it helps them avoid covering the fact that Kurt Haskell has helped confirm massive US government lies surrounding the probable false flag terror attack known as the “underwear bomber” incident.


    1. Whatevs.

      1. Oh, and FTR, Lew Rockwell’s sources censor comments. Just sayin’…

  46. As much as I despise the Rahm Emanuel, I am more distressed to learn of yet another Word that Cannot Speak Its Name.

    One of the unattractive features of modern life is the way every “oppressed group” feels compelled to select one Word that must be banned. It is as if one does not achieve full oppressed minority status unless one has identified its Unmentionable Word.

    1. OK, we better have an important meeting soon before it’s too late and we can’t understand each other, because I see some serious communication problems on the horizon given the limited number of letters in the alphabet as the list of banned words grows we’re going to run short of letters so will require a numeric system so when one for example says “H word Y7 word D99 word” it can be understood they said “How you doing?” That seems awkward, how about H Y7 D99 -words… hmm, no, what if we need to communicate numbers in a sentence.

      Surely the difficulty is obvious, this is all going to become extremely problematic very quickly.

      Maybe we should just all STFU and not speak at all. Besides, isn’t that a goal of the PC crowd any way to stifle free speech.

  47. ?verb (used with object)
    1. to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.

    God damn it I have to deal with the same P.C. shit everytime I say “faggot” or “that’s gay”. “That’s offensive to gay people!” Faggot means a bundle of sticks and Gay means blissful/happy. I’m a homosexual god damn it! People should be not only able to but ENCOURAGED to use language, regardless of it’s context.

    Actually, there was a quote I read awhile back,

    Something along the lines of: “If you can’t say fuck, you can’t say fuck the government”.

    Not exactly related but I think it’s fitting in the same spirit of P.C. censorship.

    Also, Rahm Emanuel is a faggot douchebag retard.

    1. Also, Rahm Emanuel is a faggot douchebag retard n-word.


      1. FTR, I know he’s not actually black.

        1. There are white n-words too.

  48. I agree. As a white person, I can’t say the N-word. And yet, because I live in the inner-city, I hear it used all day, every day.

    1. “Fee Fie Foe Figger! Boy, I hate a nigger!”

  49. “He probably apologized to God himself?and the president, in return, almost surely forgave him.” I am not the president of the US. You would already have had public health care if I was. 😉

  50. “Emanuel even joined a group whose sole mission is to eradicate the use of the word “retarded” from the English language.” What could they call the group or put in their mission statement without the use of the word that may not be spoken?

  51. Even if Rahm Emanuel lived a life completely consistent with the values he claims and never uttered a word of offense to anyone, anywhere he’d still be a retard.

    1. the guy’s pretty retarded.

  52. It was said in privacy and ,obviously, one of the offended parties in the room blew the whistle on Emanuel. Another thin-skinned politically correct Democrat asshole.
    ANY Republican says that and his career is over as the remark is the lead story on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times and the lot until he/she is fired.
    Leave Emanuel alone and be consistent in the future with the other party. I am certain that worse language is used behind closed doors by folks in both tents as well as business every day.

    1. Good luck with that…. we see exactly how reticent the Dems have been to flog republicans over sexual peccadilloes in the wake of the Clinton mess. We have been told that the reason for this is that hypocrisy is the real crime being exposed. (which conveniently exempts Democrats from “moral failing” assaults) This is of course ridiculous, as we didn’t see the women’s rights crowd jumping on Clinton for the hypocrisy of harassing an intern, or any number of house Dems for getting in bed with big business and taking various levels of payoffs – and on and on. No, PC is just a tool for flogging your enemy, and is only reported if you happen to agree with who the enemy is.

  53. “Are We That Thinned-Skinned?”

    In a word, YES.

  54. I think it is ironic that Emanuel compared a cohort of Democrats to the mentally handicapped and then felt compelled to apologize to the mentally handicapped for making the comparison. I guess being compared to a congressional Democrat is a pretty big insult these days.

  55. It’s “thin-skinned,” not “thinned-skinned.”

    1. And making that mistake is pretty retarded.

  56. No using the R word is not a firing offense. But someone in a position like RE should know this is a sensitive word for handicapped individuals where it is frequently misused. I am a fiscal conservative and socially moderate. We need to lighten up tackle the really troubling issues in our country.

  57. It’s retarded to oppose leftist PC, then get all huhu and try to impose your own PC-ness on a PRIVATE conversation.

    I oppose what Rahm does, but not what he said here.

  58. Still, it was an obnoxious and unnecessary thing to say.

    You obviously don’t hang out on Hit & Run very much.

  59. I’m disable. I’m not offended, but it’s politics. The president should fire Rahm because of advices and blunders.

  60. G word B word T word

    Sorry, some times I forget we Americans are the most fragile and easily broken people on Earth, possibly in the U word.

    1. Gaywad, Butt-pirate, and Tard?

      And Uranus?

      Sometimes I wonder whether we’re using the same words.

  61. These events are, far more often than in years past, merely opportunities for ethical contortionists like palin to squeeze political mileage out of people who can’t speak for themselves. I asked my retarded sister what she thought of all this, after I discussed it with her and her response was characteristic of an adult, responsible human being. She said “I call myself retarded-I’m not ashamed of the word. It’s not my fault I’m the way I am.” She’s fully aware Emmanuel wasn’t talking about her or people like her. She gets it. Not so the folks who “represent” the retarded and other developmentally disabled. As someone who has worked with them, I can attest to the fact that, for most, their world does not revolve around such things and is far simpler, less complicated than ours. I mention this because it has been overwhelmingly my experience that a significant number of those working with these folks have demonstrated repeatedly their willingness and enthusiasm for using the disabled as a tool for advancing their own agendas, be they personal or political, shamelessly crowing about how loving and considerate they are to “them”, often in spite of evidence to the contrary. It goes without saying that the disabled are often used in political infighting within the support structures in which they reside, a fact which escapes scrutiny because agencies caring for them are largely private, lamentably. I hold that it doesn’t take a major intellect to understand that, as goes the local, so goes the national. It should come as no surprise things are as they are.
    Which brings me to the nature of the comment itself. How on earth did this privately uttered comment get out?
    Since Mr. Emmanuel is recognized to be abrupt and uncouth, whose responsibility is it really to spank him? Certainly not palin, whose agenda should be apparent to anyone outside a baby carriage or judge’s chambers…

  62. Rahm’s whole “foul- mouthed tough guy” act is an attempt to belie his dancing boy past, He’d shit his tights if anyone ever confronted him with violence.

    1. Mr Rahm would appreciate it if you didn’t call his danceskins “tights.” He much prefers people call them his unitard or leotard.

  63. It goes without saying that the disabled are often used in political infighting within the support structures in which they reside, a fact which escapes scrutiny because agencies caring for them are largely private, lamentably.

    Why is that lamentable?

  64. Nice article except one sentence that jarred me because I expect everything I read at reason.com to be reasonable. Here’s the sentence:

    Do conservatives really believe that an impolite utterance in private should be a firing offense?

    Why not also ask, “Do Alaskans really believe that an impolite utterance in private should be a firing offense?” or even “Do women really believe….”

    It could be that most conservatives actually do believe that there is a grounds for firing, but this article doesn’t even suggest that that’s the case.

  65. I’ve used the R word a time or two in my time, e.g., “you f—ing r—–,” but I’ve never, that I can recall, thought of the person so-labeled as being literally mentally handicapped, any more than, when I call him a dick, or a bastard, I’m thinking he’s a penis or a cop or fatherless. All these words mean the same thing, in this context, which is fool, moron, jerk, ass, selfish bastard, evil dick, butthole, hog, idiot, son of a bitch, slowpoke, crybaby, tattletale, bully, weakling, coward, traitor, slut, unwashed, poverty stricken, a bad student, a bad friend, bad at Super Mario Bros., bad at lying, good at lying, stupid, greedy, parsimonious, gloating, fawning, lazy, unimaginative, untalented, unlikable, a horror, a disaster, a travesty, hated by God, hated by all men. So take it easy everyone, if you find these things offensive what isn’t offensive

  66. So it’s okay to refer to female Americans as bitches, whores, sluts, etc. on prime time TV, in film, song lyrics, literature and every other method of communication. Yet the delicate sensibilities of certain public figures are assaulted at the use of this generic term (retard) to describe a group targeted by the speaker as ineffective? Amazing how those with an agenda can fabricate self-righteous indignation to create something out of nothing to draw attention to themselves. Anyone listening to that repulsive windbag Rush over these many years can distinguish a true mean-spirited bigot from a tone-deaf fool. The one using a public forum to demean others certainly deserves a public reaction. The other; just ignore and it goes away, offending no one outside the intended audience.

    1. If I wanted to, I could criticize Rush — mostly about how he often jumps to conclusions concerning liberals’ intentions. The popular image of him, however, if very different from the reality. I think this ought to be recognized, if not out of fairness to Rush, then because of his potential to be a good influence on the average conservative.

      He actually spends very little of his time making the sorts of inflammatory comments that make the news, and when he does, those remarks almost always (and every time I have looked into it) sound far worse as isolated quotes than they do with enough context to show what he was talking about when he said it. This should not be too surprising since he speaks extemporaneously on the radio for three hours each day. Sometimes, the real meaning of the quotes (as opposed to the meaning that is alleged by critics) is obvious even without that context, as in the case of his “I want [Obama] to fail” comment.

      While speaking with people behaving fairly and reasonably, including liberals, he is fair and reasonable in return. He lacks the determined anger of the many other conservative talk show hosts who have imitated him. More than most conservatives (though not quite enough, in my opinion), he is a genuine advocate of liberty and the rule of law. It would be a positive development if more conservatives were to emulate him in these qualities (particularly the conservative contingent of the “ALL CAPS” people).

  67. I think a lot of the conservatives are just making a point of the absurdity by being absurd — just imagine now what the left would be demanding and the outrage should Bush, Cheney or any other had said exactly the same thing… of course its all the height of absurdity, but did you ever write such an editorial like this about the feigned outrage of the media and commentators of the left in dozens of ximilar incidents?

  68. Due to the snowfall, my drive to work today was retarded.

  69. These are people who buy an expensive house. Have the house foreclosed upon when they can’t make payments but, are unable to make the connection between their spendthrift ways and their current financial situation. This is a retard.

  70. Since when is “retarded” on the liberals banned word list? I was not aware of this. As soon as school children start to make fun of others by calling them “mentally disabled”, then the liberals will say that the term “mentally disabled” is no longer nice, and it to will be added to the liberals banned word list. I say fuck them, say what you want. Somebody is offended? So what. I’m offended that you are offended.

  71. The funniest line came from Instapundit with a one line entry:

    Emmanuel Rahm calls democrats retarded, then apologizes to retards.

    As well he should!

  72. I’m sure conservatives will like this Unitard commercial:


  73. Anybody with half a brain knows this is a non-story spun for purely partisan reasons and gobbled up by the DC press because … they are f…ing retards.

  74. bestpriceforsales equus 3100 It is a nifty little gadget to impress your friends with your knowledge of Automotive codes. But, not worth anything more than those little gizmos at Brookstone.

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