The Tears of John Boehner Are Like Acid to Freedom


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:

NEXT: Risky Business

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  1. Think of the children! My children specifically!

  2. of blood. Blue is the color of — oh yeah, another kind of blood.

  3. That’s Gollum. And it’s a very bad analogy.

    That Boehner may turn out to be just another hack is a distinct possibility- but he is nothing like Tolkien’s possessed and pitiable villian/victim.

  4. No thanks. I watched those tears of freedom live. I just hope we can get spending levels back to 2008 when we were really on solid fiscal ground!

  5. You are such an embarrassing twit.

  6. Did I mention that John Boehner voted for TARP?

    Well he did!

    John Boehner voted for TARP! …and if the Republicans have a majority in the House because of the Tea Party, which came into existence in no small party because of TARP–then John Boehner has no business being their Speaker.

    If the Tea Party puts someone who voted for TARP into the Speaker’s chair, that would be a disgrace to the Tea Party. Utter disgrace.

    1. So…you’re saying he voted for TARP? Just bein’ clear…

    2. If the Tea Party puts someone who voted for TARP into the Speaker’s chair,

      The Tea Party doesn’t have one single solitary vote to cast for or against Boehner as the Speaker.

      I wouldn’t mind every single Republican who voted for TARP being turned out of office, needless to say. We’ve got a good start on turning out every single Democrat who did so.

      On to 2012, mon freres!

      1. It seems to me that if the “Tea Party” House contingent votes as a block then they could Block Boehner. RC, correct me where I am wrong here but this is the logic: 218 required for Speaker, 40 of the 60 new Rs are Tea Party (I realize the stretch here just go with it). Rs have 238 seats and Ds have 197 (again thus far, roughly) If the TPs vote as 40 against Boehner then 40 + 197 = 237. So it is theoreticaly possible NO?

        1. It doesn’t even have to be someone from the Tea Party they put into the Speaker’s chair.

          Isn’t there anybody else on the leadership track they could vote for who didn’t vote for TARP?

          Whoever that person is? He or she might have some support within the non-Tea Party Republican establishment too.

          It’s happened before. Gingrich wasn’t the establishment’s choice for speaker either. But backbenchers make the difference.

          They’re supposed to make the difference in the House.

          1. It technically doesn’t even need to be a member of Congress but that has never happened before…just sayin, I got some free time I could be Speaker.

      2. “The Tea Party doesn’t have one single solitary vote to cast for or against Boehner as the Speaker.”

        If John Boehner gets to be speaker becasue the Republicans won a majority in the House?

        The Republicans didn’t win that majority becasue of the policies John Boehner’s voted for–the Republicans won because of a movement that rose up in opposition to the policies John Boehner voted for!

        Talk about being co-opted?! First thing outta the gate!

        There’s a reason the Tea Party didn’t rise up from within the Republican Party. And John Boehner is one of those reasons! Why should he represent the Tea Party?! When the pressure was on, he supported everything the Tea Party is against.

        He has no business being Speaker.

        1. Yeah, but the Tea Party didn’t win the election; they just voted. And they’re going to find out just how little of a flying fuck their “representatives” care about that.

          1. A-yup! Welcome to Washington, Tea Partiers!

    3. Did I mention that John Boehner voted for TARP?

      yes you did.

      but you did not mention he cried in front of the house of representatives when he tried to sell it to his party and to congress in general.

      I hope during the house leadership elections every news channel shows that video over and over and over again.

  7. the ones who haven’t sold their souls — Show some pride and backbone, be fair but tough. Stop being a bunch of wussy, spineless twits. I know it’s hard to show pride about your TARP and corporate welfare voting record, but at least try to change. This message is for Democrats who haven’t sold their souls also.

    1. I’m not sure if anyone is out there in LeviathonLandia.

    2. You don’t even get close to a junior junior seat in Congress without selling your soul.

  8. Unless the tears are fake (such as Bill Clinton’s spontaneous tear at Ron Brown’s funeral) or fatuous, like Boehner’s.

    Nick, are you suggesting that Billy was not genuinely saddened by the death of his dear friend Ron Brown? I am shocked! Shocked!

  9. And then there’s his celebrated meltdown during the TARP vote, when he urged his fellow GOP[-]ers 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?

    Hey, Stuart Barney said (he said it!) that TARP was n-e-c-e-s-s-a-r-y otherwise the whole banking system (yeah, a few megabanks represent the whole now) would collapse and everybody would be holding empty piggy banks! Oh, the humanity!

    Man, Keynes may be dead but he sure continues to stink up the place!

  10. A Skyline opened down in N Fla when I lived there. The chili was pretty good on a hotdog with mustard and onions. They went out of business after a few months because only Buckeye expats would eat it on spaghetti with kidney beans

    1. I’m a Buckeye and I won’t eat Skyline at all. There’s better chili dogs to be found elsewhere and the chili spag doesn’t do it for me either. Seems to me like mostly the high school and college age kids like it.

  11. It seems to me the message is clear: Whenever Boehner cries, somebody’s about to get screwed.

    I already prepared my gold and silver chastity belt . . .

    1. With a hand-tooled leather cinturon.

  12. Nick, you should purchase a baton, because you are leading one hell of an awesome hate parade.

    1. Seriously. Boehner hasn’t even banged his giant joke gavel yet!

  13. Gillespie, your cynicism is delicious to me!

  14. How many states have primary elections that are for a T party? None.
    How many states had a T party label on the ballot next to a candidate in the general election? None.
    If the T party poopers want to do something they can follow state election laws and get their candidates names on primary and general election ballots with a big T next to the candidates names.
    How many T faction US house members will be co-opted by their “grateful” Republican masters in the very near future?
    a. 1 b. 10 c. all of them
    Sees All!
    Knows All!
    Doesn’t Think Much of Any of It!

    1. Don’t forget there is the Boston Tea Party, a split from the Libertarian Party. So, some states DID have real Tea Party candidates.

      1. Boston (MA?) Tea Party? Have they run a candidate for mayor recently?
        Split from the Boston Librarian Party?
        Must have been the great Dewey Decimal System Schism!
        I’ll bet there were at least ten of ’em!

      2. ??? for Joe M.
        Just found a reference to a Boston Tea Party on a site called independentpoliticalreport.com.

        “I would say this was a good year for the BTP,” says BTP National Committee Chair Darryl W. Perry. “Even though we didn’t have any of our own candidates, I believe the ones we endorsed did a fantastic job. If nothing else, the BTP name and message was spread to new people.”
        So Darryl the Chair sez they had no candidates.
        Which BTP are u talking about? And which states had “real” T Party candidates besides Fla.

    2. Actually, one of the FL cabinet guys had TEA next to his name. I think I either voted for him or the NPA guy below him.

      1. The Official General Election Sample Ballot from Lake County, Florida shows Ira Chester as the TEA candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture.
        Running against REP, DEM and NPA candidates.
        I wonder how he did? I can’t find results.
        The Florida Department of State, Division of Elections website shows results of the April 24, 2010 primaries. Four contests.
        Republican, Democrat, Libertarian and a NonPartisan Primary.
        No Tea Party primary. How did Ira get on the ballot?
        Where is the National Tea Party Headquarters that can provide us all with information about State and local ballots that list their candidates as T Party and not running as Republicans?

  15. Anybody this nuts, has to have some major skeletons in the closet.

    I’m guessing we are no more than 9 months away from hearing about a fantastic scandal.

    1. Sex scandals are par for the course for Republican Speakers. Gingrich, Livingston, etc. Well, except for Coach Hastert I guess:

      Hastert never says why Republicans thought he was the “only one” who could lead them. Presumably, we are supposed to believe it was because of his experience and skill. But at the same time the Republican conference was selecting a speaker, the House was voting on articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. For most of 1998, newspapers and television newscasts had been filled with politicians involved in sex scandals or alleged scandals; Clinton, Gingrich, and Livingston were just the most notable. Hastert admits that voters were growing weary of it all and that it hurt his party. He just doesn’t seem to have considered the possibility that his peers elected him because they considered him the House Republican least likely to be having sex.

      Hastert writes that one of his fellow coaches would tell players with injured fingers or feet to “spit on it and rub it.” If Hastert had offered that same advice to some of his fellow congressmen, he might never have become speaker. (The future speaker showed he was a politician, not a lover, at heart with the way he asked his then-girlfriend to marry him: “Well, people think we ought to get married.”)

  16. Drunks tend to get weepy.

  17. John Boner is the Jimmy Swaggart of politics. They say people get the government they deserve. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that if the likes of Boehner and all the other venal, self serving pieces of shit who make up the ruling class are the best this country has to offer any lingering hope of anything ever improving is baseless.

  18. The most dangerous place to be in Washington is between John Boner and a box of Kleenex.

  19. How fast we can start in on the Repubs once they gained the majority. No mercy.

  20. I trust Boehner about as far as I can throw him, but Rubio. Gets. It. Watch for him in 2016.

  21. I love that picture of Obama furtively biting into a peach in the middle of a grocery store fruit section. Doesn’t he know “sampling” is frowned upon?

  22. 5-ways are disgusting. 3-ways are the way to go. I make my own Skyline chili recipe since all you can get in Texas is the canned crap from Kroger.

  23. ### 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.

    Ok, that was funny.

  24. So here’s a little thing people like me in recovery learn: unrecoverd alcoholics are often quite grandiose, and prone to a wee bit of emotionalism, especially if we think people are watching. Bonus points if we think a LOT of people are watching.

    Now, I of course as a person in recovery cannot say that someone else is an alcoholic. It’s not my place to label anyone but me.

    I’m just going off of one of those ‘worst kept secrets in DC’ and extrapolating a tad.


  25. Gillespie,

    again with the “election didn’t change a thing BS”?

    Teaparty guys contested in primaries, beat the establishment candidates and won several seats to the House and Senate – not to speak of State level offices.

    You bitch and moan about gay marriage or pot leagalization. For you nothing changed, but for most Americans things have changed.

    1. Fuckin’ subtext! How does it work?!

    2. Spending will rise, entitlements will persist, Congress will continue to be a bunch of corrupt assholes concerned mainly with lining their pockets, and Tea Partiers will wonder how this could have happened when their team won this time.

      Nobody wins elections except the politicians. Get used to it.

  26. “Rubio masterfully – and with muy emotion…”

    I think you just said “with very emotion”. Mucho would probably be better. I’d ask Old Mexican, but he’s getting fitted for his chastity belt.

    1. con mucha emocion. accento sobre la “o” en emocion.

  27. Nice a Boehner hit piece that points out his flaws out to tea pirates.

    I hope we get more of these as we get closer to house leadership elections.

    He should not be house speaker.

  28. Boehner finally realized the American Dream, getting the fuck out of Ohio permanently.

  29. Brutal hits by the Jacket.

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