In one of the most shameless displays of political narcissism in recent memory, presumptive Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) choked up on Election Night when it became clear that he was gonna get to bang the big gavel come January 2011. Of course he started crying! His longtime goal of "chasing the American Dream" (i.e. securing a big boy chair in Congress) has been realized like Gollum finally getting his bony paws on the one ring to rule them all. It's powerful stuff, getting misty when you're describing just how great it is to get where you're goin' to, especially when the destination is Washington, D.C. (gotta love how Boehner implies sacrifice on his part to enter Congress, where he's been hanging out since the early '90s). He wasn't bawling when he described how shitty the past decade has been for regular Americans, that's for sure. And he somehow failed to apologize for the GOP majority's huge role in killing the budget as we know it back when President Bush was, well, president.
Take a look. For those who still have jobs and better things to do, note that the wee-wee eyes start around 3.30 minutes in.
I like lachrymosity (lachrymoseness?)—crying!—in politicians, especially men. I got no problem with that. Shows they've got feelings and aren't embarrassed by 'em.
Unless the tears are fake (such as Bill Clinton's spontaneous tear at Ron Brown's funeral) or fatuous, like Boehner's. Compare his victory speech with Florida's Marco Rubio, the Senate-elect son of Castro-era refugees from Cuba. Rubio masterfully—and with muy emotion—depicted his victory as the fulfillment of his father's dreams and himself as an agent of the future. In short, it wasn't about him or his petty ambition. It was about something much greater and grander than that. That's the stuff of tears, friends, where you recognize the people on whose shoulders you stand and promise to pay it forward to the next generation. It may all be bullshit, but roses never smelled so sweet.
Election Night was not, of course, the first time Boehner went dewy. He did so in 2007, when he was going on about the Iraq War and the troops and defending the Constitution and talking about HR 2206, a supplemental spending bill that threw more money at defense (among other things). Great stuff, going on about the Constitution while abusing supplemental legislation rules (which are looser than regular ones) to pay for a war that had been going on for four years (gosh Rep. Boehner, why did the GOP keep Iraq War funding out of the normal appropriations process for so long?). So here he is, choking up as he honors under-equipped troops he helped dispatch to distant lands to die while…protecting the homeland? And as long as you're thinking about the Constitution, how's that actual declaration of war coming, Speaker? Maybe that can be job number one, right after cutting funding for NPR and declaring Juan Williams commentator laureate or something symbolical-like.
And then there's his celebrated meltdown during the TARP vote, when he urged his fellow GOPpers to vote for the shit sandwich that was TARP. Because, you know, the whole economy would get flushed down the toilet if Congress didn't enact a bill in, what, 72 hours? Come on, Hank Paulson said so and he was even smarter than Timmy Geithner wasn't he? TARP was the fiscal equivalent of The Patriot Act and had to get rushed through a hysterical legislature if it was going to get passed at all. Jeebus H. Christ, we're all just so lucky the economy survived that first no vote! But there's Boehner, a mix of Capt. Queeg and a used-car salesman, pushing for action action action and even stooping to red-faced tears to close the deal:
I've eaten servings of Skyline Chili (make mine a 5-way) that inspire more tears and more patriotism. And fewer trips to the bathroom.
It seems to me the message is clear: Whenever Boehner cries, somebody's about to get screwed. And it ain't Boehner, the No Child Left Behind advocate whose pathetic Pledge to America pledged only to spend about a plugged nickel less than the Democrats. Which reminds me of 3 Reasons This Election Didn't Change a Thing: