THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Tom Alderman Headshot

John Boehner: Tears, Cheers and Jeers

Posted: Updated:

CHEERS to Ohio Congressman John Boehner for being able to cry in public when he talks about his hard-scrabble-to-Speaker life story. It's kind of real and brave. When's the last time your TV showed you a major public office holder EVER showing this much emotion - and so often. Okay, maybe 1972 was the last time but more on that in a few seconds.

JEERS to John Boehner for crying so often. Isn't it the same story with the same tears EVERY time? At what point do you become inoculated. After you've heard the same joke or sad story for the fifth time, don't your reactions tend to wane just a tad? The question for the House Speaker-Designate and third in presidential succession might be: 'Aside from sobbing at the same thing over and over, what other emotions do you NOT have control over?'

CHEERS to America's TV personalities. Boehner's tears are manna from the Great Gag God. Joy Behar's 'Weeper of the House' is a keeper. CNN's Anderson Cooper's objections to Joy's objections were heart-felt. Good TV.

JEERS to TV newsies. The last time you covered a major politician crying was the 1972 presidential primary when Sen. Edmund Muskie apparently teared up during an outdoor campaign event. I say 'apparently' because we really didn't know from your coverage whether it really was a tear or a snowflake melting down his cheek. His big sell at the time was his calm and contained image. We do know your blanket coverage of the solo tear sank the poor guy's campaign and gave us George McGovern who gave us Richard Nixon's second term. See how a little bitty tear can let you down - if you're a Democrat?

CHEERS to Ohioans for re-electing John Boehner for the last 19 years to Congress. Surly, he's done this before but you don't seem to mind the vociferous sobbing, or his seeming use of a tanning gel that turns his face orange from time-to-time.

JEERS to political pundits on the left and the right for your various interpretations of Boehner's bawling. Sometimes reality is hard to find when everything could be real.

And finally, CHEERS to John Boehner for giving us the men-who cry as a conversation igniter as we gather together for the holiday season. "Hey, how about that John Boehner, huh? You believe that guy?" Do we? It actually doesn't matter whether Boehner's boohooing is real or not, does it? The great thing about our practical realpolitik is we're each entitled to our own perceptions. Reality is just another TV show.