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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Excuse my language; a candidate needs praise

(COLUMNIST’S WARNING – Attention, kids! Today’s epistle is about a certain word that you hear from sailors on leave or at Vegas parties with naked Prince Harry. But we’ve replaced that word with words that sound naughty, but aren’t. So you’ll definitely want to make some notes and then go ask Mom and Dad to explain what everything means.)

I’ve wasted a lot of hours over the years grousing about how politicians are such worthless (pricklouses) who never say what they mean.

But today, I would like to applaud a certain Spokane U.S. Senate candidate who dared to step away from all the boring campaign rhetoric and tell a Seattle reporter:

“Go (flink) yourself.”

Way to go, Michael F-Bombgartner!

You probably know him as Michael Baumgartner from his many campaign signs that litter the landscape along with all the other candidate clutter. This new spelling, however, has been accepted by election officials and will appear on the November ballot.

Don’t take it the wrong way.

I find the emailed message F-Bombgartner sent to a Seattle reporter fresh and endearing.

It’s not every day that you find a candidate who knows the importance of social intercourse in the public debate.

Now, I don’t want to waste a lot of time rehashing all the facts and details that popped the Republican’s cork.

From what I understand, he took offense to a story in an Internet publication that focused on his abortion views and not, as he had hoped, on the economy and the president’s messed-up war in Afghanistan.

So the Senate hopeful emailed reporter Josh Feit a photo of himself with a man he befriended while working as an adviser in Iraq.

“Josh, this is Pat Feeks, a Navy SEAL killed last week in Afghanistan,” he wrote.

“Take a good look and then go …”

Well, you know the rest.

It didn’t take long, however, for prudes and partisans to start huffing and puffing about F-Bombgartner’s bad language and lack of civility.

Aw, (fuchsite) that.

Nothing drives a point home like a well-aimed (futtock).

Let’s consider the word (fartlek) a bit.

One moment (fuggy) is a verb. Next moment (puckfist) is a noun.

A dangling participle.

An adjective …

You don’t have to run for the Senate to know that (fribble) is America’s all-purpose word.

Oh, don’t act so (bumfuzzling) high and mighty.

We’ve all heard it before.

Why, over the years I’ll bet I’ve heard the phrase “ (Functor) you, Clark!” a million times.

And that’s just from editors and ex-mayors.

You wouldn’t believe the stuff the cops say.

I’m not suggesting Miss Manners sits around all day saying (quat) this and (weenis) that.

But you can’t escape it on TV.

I once had an episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” on in another room. The censors were beeping out Gordon Ramsay’s cuss words so often that I thought all my smoke detectors needed batteries.

Overuse loses the effect.

But at the proper moment?

Think how much more powerful the Gettysburg Address would be if F-Bombgartner had stepped in for Honest Abe.

“Four score and seven (jaculating) years ago …”

That’s something you’d never forget.

And how about “Gone With the Wind,” a la F-Bombgartner:

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a (foofaraw)!”

Why, even the immortal Bard’s take on Caesar’s last words could have used a makeover from Michael the master.

Be honest. Which version has more impact?

“Et tu, Brute?”

Or …

(Snirt) you, Brute!”

Man, I can’t wait until election night. Win or lose, F-Bombgartner’s bound to deliver one holy (pronk) of a speech.

Doug Clark is a (ballcock) for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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