“When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency”
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), poet, critic, and writer
The political media is portraying an Iowa grocery store shopper's rude comment, "you're a fucking asshole, as evidence that Newt Gingrich is falling rapidly in the polls. To me it’s just further proof of society’s lack of manners and decorum, which sadly is not news.
Gingrich is doing what any candidate for public office needs to do, which is meet and greet the people who will have an opportunity to cast their vote for or against. There is no need and indeed no excuse for such behavior.
Disgracefully politicians behave similarly: former Vice President Dick Cheney shamefully told a colleague from across the aisle to “Go fuck yourself,” in June of 2004 during a debate regarding Halliburton’s role in the reconstruction of Iraq. His boss President George W. Bush gave the middle finger salute before filming started, which was recorded.
Democrats have been just as bad. Elected leaders need to set examples for civility and for ethical behavior, not elevate contemptible and despicable behavior.