John Boehner Needs To “Adult Up”

By , December 18, 2010 11:33 pm

There’s nothing wrong with an adult having good cry. Sometimes you have to let it out. Maybe you’re at a wedding or a funeral. Maybe you’re watching a touching movie.

Or maybe your party just won the majority in a house of Congress.

When the Republicans won the House of Representatives, I said that not only was it fitting that Rep. John Boehner cried after an election season that was swept up with manning up, but he has every right to do it.

In last Sunday’s “60 Minutes” interview, though, the incoming House Speaker did more than just cry. He whimpered uncontrollably.. twice!

The next day on “The View,” Barbara Walters brought up the sexist double standard of this situation: If current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were a crier like Boehner, she would have been called weak. Walters said that Boehner’s “got a problem.” I agree. He can’t go into schools, because thinking about children having the opportunity to attain their dreams makes him cry? He can’t control himself when his wife talks about how proud she is of him? Is it too much to ask for the person who presides over a house of Congress and is second in line to the presidency during a historic economic crisis to be disciplined with his emotions?

I’m not saying Boehner needs to man up. This isn’t about being “man enough” for the job. This is about being an adult.

In addition to making tough decisions – like the issue of whether to raise the national debt limit that was mentioned in the “60 Minutes” piece – being an adult means having control. No one needs to be a robot, but mature adults don’t usually have spontaneous fits of rages. They don’t laugh uncontrollably at inappropriate moments. If they did, most people would call them immature. A political candidate who can’t control their anger or laughter would have a tough time getting elected.

You’d think the same would be true with crying, but not so when it comes to Boehner and Republicans. That’s another double standard here: A political one. Democrats have to prove how tough they are, while Republicans don’t. Vietnam War hero John Kerry tried proving how macho he was by going on a hunting excursion twelve days before the 2004 presidential election. Gail Collins writes about Democrats and Republicans, respectively, saying,

On the one hand, you have the folks who can’t afford tears because it makes them look weak, and on the other, the people who are presumed to be tough and hard-nosed, for whom crying is an attractive sign of complexity.

Yes, complexity, but not the type that some find attractive. Collins and others point out that Boehner’s tears over working-class Americans attaining prosperity runs counter to his voting record of giving less protection to struggling Americans while putting more power in the hands of the wealthy and powerful. Which could mean that the crying is an act, or maybe he’s disconnected from reality, or maybe as Timothy Egan asks,

Is Boehner crying because he escaped that fate? Or because of the person he has become — a politician whose votes show he couldn’t care less for the people he left behind?

It would be fascinating to find out why he cries so much. Assuming the tears are real, this powerful man has a need – a compulsion! – to cry about one of the ideas upon which this nation was built: social mobility. That idea allowed him to work his way through college by being a janitor and find success in business and politics. At the same time, he votes against those he says he wants to help. But my fascination ends when I remember Boehner is about to become the powerful Speaker of the House, yet he can’t control his emotions and behave like an adult.

Boehner needs to stop crying, put his votes where his sobs are and adult up!

See Also:
Man Up And Cry

One Response to “John Boehner Needs To “Adult Up””

  1. Bea says:

    Perhaps the crying is about some kind of emotional chaos or conflict in the man that needs to be resolved. Or, lack of self – esteem about not being good enough or worthy. A sense of emptiness?

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy