John Boehner, Cry Baby!

by Russell's Rants

Originally published December 16, 2010


The Speaker-designate of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, gets really emotional about one subject: himself. He doesn’t get worked up about the bad economy or income inequality. He gets a little passionate when he thinks that the Democrats are engaging in dirty tricks, like voting on an extension of tax benefits for only the middle class that they know will not survive a Republican filibuster in the Senate. And he does get a little more excited when railing against extending health care benefits to the uninsured. Remember his rant, “Hell no you can’t”? But these issues don’t bring him to tears.

Post-mid-term elections, Boehner has now publicly teared-up twice: the first time on election night in his victory speech when talking about, well, himself living the American dream. The second time on “60 Minutes” when talking about, yep, himself pulling himself up by his own bootstraps from a janitor to Speaker of the House.

Joy Behar had the best line, calling Boehner “The Weeper of the House.”

Some have wondered how Boehner can cry about his own hard-scrabble upbringing but then do everything he can to deny opportunities to the folks now occupying his former economic station.

Others have pointed to clues from his earlier bouts of public crying. Namely, back in 2007, when merely Minority Leader, he cried in the well of the House in support of an Iraq War funding bill when recalling the thousands who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Yet, in 2010 he twice voted against funding a program to care for the very workers who become ill responding to and cleaning up the remnants at Ground Zero.

My theory: he only has sympathy for himself.

Before he became Minority Leader, Boehner was most famous for distributing checks from tobacco industry lobbyist to fellow members on the House floor. And a friend with whom I work tells me that in the bad old days, Boehner was known in Republican circles for throwing the best parties – which I suppose may not be saying much.

When Diane Sawyer on ABC News asked him post-election whether he would participate in what had been dubbed the “Slurpee Summit” with President Obama, Boehner dismissively responded that he might attend, but would only drink merlot!

So what do we call someone who thinks himself above everyone else and only cares about himself — and his tan? That would be a narcissist. Nobody will be feeling anybody’s pain but their own for the next, and hopefully only, two years.