Hey, John Boehner: Quit Crying And Man Up
During an interview with Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes, future Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) broke down in tears multiple times. The Republican House leader is known to get emotional, crying most recently during election night in which Republicans took back control of the House and he learned he would become Speaker.
What makes this a tad bit ironic is that this past year Republican women such as Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell blatantly challenged the masculinity of Democratic male opponents. Quips like “man up,” “put your man pants on” and “politically impotent” have found there way into regular political discourse. And now, the future Speaker of the House cries more than a new born.
The act of crying isn’t really the issue here, but rather the emotional stability of Boehner. I would first like to say I think crying in politics is perfectly fine for men and women. In fact, I’m surprised politicians don’t cry more often in dealing with such heavy and important issues. While it is my opinion crying is acceptable on rare occasions when the emotion of a circumstance calls for it, there are some rather peculiar prompts in the Speaker’s case. I am not trying to pass judgment on what are cry-worthy prompts, but crying in a plea to support TARP or weeping to stop financial regulation seems a bit odd.
What set him off this time was a back and forth conversation on children being able to reach the “American Dream.” And there is no doubt regardless of political ideology, Boehner’s ascension to the highest political office in the House of Representatives is a story any person of any political bend could get emotional about. But Boehner and his party are unilaterally against social programs to aid in educational equity and vote overwhelmingly to cut social programs for the poor, most recently unemployment benefits. Crying one second because you fear children no longer have the chance to reach the “American Dream,” and in the next breath railing against legislation that would give affordable health care to all American children is well, odd and, dare I say, uncomfortably hypocritical.
So while I believe John Boehner’s tears aren’t of the crocodile kind, he should know shedding tears for bank bailouts doesn’t make him a gentle soul; it makes him a jerk that becomes worked up about paying billions to billionaires. His crying for Wall Street and not for those who responded to the horrors of 9/11 makes him inside and out, an authentic bucket boy for wealthy Americans. At least he’s man enough to show it. So cry on, John Boehner, just don’t cry for me.