Okay, I admit it: I'm a weeper. I cry during abandoned dog commercials, the final scenes of "Field of Dreams" and "Marley and Me" and honestly, pretty much all other times. My kids laugh at my tendency to go to tears. But for as much as I cry, I do have the ability to hold it together in a professional setting. I have never once cried in an office or work setting.
But curiously, John Boehner feels no similar need to button up his emotionality and there are videos galore of him tearing up on the House floor. It's so ubiquitous that the progressive blogosphere even dubbed him "Cryin' John Boehner".
But now the traditional media is noticing it too...and they're beginning to wonder if Boehner is tough enough for the job:
I’m sure we’ll get used to having a speaker of the House who weeps a lot.
That would be John Boehner, the new guy.
“He is known to cry,” the outgoing speaker, Nancy Pelosi, told Deborah Solomon in The Times Magazine. “He cries sometimes when we’re having a debate on bills.”
Pelosi, of course, does not cry in public. We will stop here briefly to contemplate what would happen if she, or any female lawmaker, broke into loud, nose-running sobs while discussing Iraq troop funding or giving a TV interview.
O.K., moving forward.
Boehner is a gravel-voiced Ohioan who wears snazzy suits and hangs out a lot with lobbyists. One of the few cheery prospects the new year holds for Democrats is his upcoming demonization, since there is no such thing in 21st-century America as a loveable leader of the House of Representatives. Unless America is totally won over by the idea of a Sobbing Speaker.
Can you imagine the field day that the right wing noise machine would have had if Nancy Pelosi teared up as much John Boehner? The mind reels.
The most arresting moment came when Boehner told Stahl he can no longer make visits to schools, or even look at the little kids on the playground, because he immediately starts crying.
That had me alarmed. I thought there was going to be some terrible story about an ailing child that would then force me to have warm and sympathetic thoughts about John Boehner.
But no. The reason, Boehner finally choked out, was because “making sure these kids have a shot at the American dream, like I did, is important.”[..]
“I spent my whole life chasing (sob) the American dream,” he told the cameras. “Put myself through school, working every rotten job there was ...”
The American Dream has had such a bad year. During the campaign, it was tossed around by billionaire candidates who insisted on telling groups of underprivileged children that they, too, could someday own a mega-yacht or run a slimy but extremely profitable health care corporation.
Now, John Boehner is blaming the Dream for making him howl like an abandoned puppy.
Oh snap! Maddow also suggests that perhaps if Boehner changed his policies, he'd have less to cry about. And while some other sensitive men might defend Boehner, there is also a growing whisper that his tears may be symptomatic of a larger problem:
John Boehner’s latest public crying episode has gotten Capitol Hill talking, and some are speculating that there’s a simple explanation for the waterworks: He’s drunk. “For years, political professionals have quietly discussed Boehner’s drinking,” writes Matt Lewis of Politics Daily. “Some have told me off the record that his mannerisms remind them of that of an alcoholic.”[..]
So is the drinking to blame for the crying? Politico once noted that Boehner “cries more often later in the day,” and he often seems to slur his words right before such outbursts.
Well, he'd hardly be the first alcoholic in Congress, but I think there should simply be a rule: THERE'S NO CRYING IN POLITICS.