Lest we ever think there’s anything they won’t use:

“This conflict is a long way from over,” Cheney said at a fundraising appearance for a GOP congressional candidate. “It’s going to be a battle that will last for a very long time. It is absolutely essential that we stay the course.”

Cheney’s visit to Tampa helped raise about $200,000 for the campaign of Gus Bilirakis, a state legislator who is running for the Tampa Bay area congressional seat his father, Michael, is vacating.

“Gus is going to remember that the first order of business is to protect the American people and to support the men and women who defend us in time of war,” Cheney told the audience at a $500-a-ticket fundraising reception. “There’s still hard work ahead in the war on terror.”

Now listen, I know liberal bloggers say “fuck” a lot and not all of us have immediately enlisted in the military in the past week like Jonah Goldberg has out of sheer admiration for the bravery of our fighting men and women and to teach those Democrats a thing or two about patriotism, but could we please redefine the standard of outrageousness to include more than my thinking Joe Lieberman is a douchebag?

They’re allowed to claim that the dangers they helped create justify keeping them in office so they can continue the good work, and the national pundit class is obsessed with this “battle for the soul of the Democratic party,” and right-wing bloggers are combing the DU comment threads looking for evidence of anti-Semitism they can then ascribe to the entirety of everybody who disagrees with them about tax policy.

And so Republicans can ask for an apology when Democrats point out what tragedy leeches they are. And so Republicans can cow Democratic candidates into demanding a reprieve from their own party showing any kind of balls at all. And so we all have to go out of our way to make sure everybody knows up front that our words really have no teeth to them, lest the political equivalent of Melanie Wilkes get offended by our coarse language and rude gestures, while the fucking world is burning down.

By the time we’re done qualifying, saying, “okay, not that I’m one of those Democrats, those leftists, those people, but,” by the time we’re done making sure we’ve prepped our audience properly for what we’re about to say, they’ve paid for their drinks, tipped their waitresses, and gone home thinking, fuck, man, at least the Republicans don’t keep me waiting.

We’re doing better at this. Like I keep saying, I love pushing the minimum wage as a divisive issue, as one that clearly demonstrates where we are and where they are, and as one that will actually, you know, do some good for the people we purport to represent. But we’re still a little too susceptible to demands for faux outrage, when they can pull shit like the above, and this:

Cheney also administered the re-enlistment oath to Cpl. Jerrod Fields, a 24-year-old Army gunner from Chicago who was determined to remain in the ranks after losing his left leg last year to a bomb blast in Iraq.

And the reaction is … crickets.