Mar 29, 2011
In the last two years or so, Wall Street has flicked off the American people because we on Main St. didn’t pay attention. We assumed there were regulators. We assumed they were not just a different color of fox in the henhouse. We assumed they were doing their job and would be held accountable if Wall Street was not held accountable.
In that vein shall we assume John Boehner's tears are merely quirky, no cause for alarm? Is anyone looking into it? When Ed Muskie broke down, for a reason, he was finished.
How many times have disasters occurred because American citizens did not pay attention to obvious threats? Oh, tsk, tsk, tut, tut, that would be alarmist. Paranoid. Sissified. Odd. That might get us kicked out of the country club or our labor union.
Hitler, institutional racism in the South, de facto racism throughout the nation, the lies and horror involved in the Vietnam War, Watergate, global warming, the WMD issue in Iraq, Enron, Florida election fraud, a Clinton balanced budget brought to ruin in eight years by the George W. Bush administration, while Republicans make hay on the illusion of O.D.I. (Obama did it)—need I go on? One menace after another has become a catastrophe because we were too slow, too embarrassed to act in its early stages.
Our watchdogs were asleep at the wheel, or sleeping with the enemy, or merely castrated. When hints leaked out, we told ourselves it just could not be that bad, that outrageous—you must be on crack. How could a sane person believe the Watergate Wonderland could be true? This centrist, Godly nation could not crown a child as psychologically weird as Richard Nixon, could not write or act in such a bad soap opera. This isn’t Hollywood. This is America, Eisenhower’s America, the America of good haircuts and shined shoes.
Now we have a Speaker of the House who cannot speak about His America or The American Dream without tearing up or actually falling into heaving sobs. Such a recurrent loss of emotional control is not normal, and it is not just quaint. When a dam breaks, some kind of big water has been pushing at its walls. So Boehner's tears are troubling, and yes, Virginia, normality exists, even if its boundaries are cultural and fluid over time and place.
I don't take pleasure in picking on another man's weakness or flaw or neurosis. I start to feel bad for Boehner until I remember how chary he is about charity, how withholding in every commodity but tears. Add to this the power of his position as Speaker, plus of course his potential power as the person third in line for the Presidency, honorifics he has accepted without hesitation as far as I know—unless he stopped to weep for a minute.
I assume that Mr. Boehner will not do the honorable thing, which is to acknowledge that he has acted out the Peter Principle and accepted promotion to a position beyond his level of competency. So why isn’t everyone shouting that he needs constant monitoring by a panel of shrinks until he develops the character, the integrity, and enough true love of his nation to step down. Why do I seem to be the only one seriously worried about the mental health of the Speaker of the House? What if Obama wept? Pelosi? Harry Reid? Joe Biden? Or, speaking of emotional control, what if a Democrat had yelled "Liar" at a Republican President in the midst of a formal address?
But if a Republican weeps often and much, it's all good. That's just who the guy is. I guess it's rugged individualism run amok.
Listen here, I’m all for men weeping; as a Limbophobe, as one whom Big Loud Limbo would label Commie Lib, I’m for crashing through a lot of gender barricades. But if the Righties are going to argue from the self-made man podium, the tough guy on horseback, with a gun, who says screw-the-poor, the let-there-be-rats-at-Walter-Reed-Hospital, the I-never-met-a-war-I-didn’t-like ideology--those Righties . . . then they should turn in their sob buttons and act as if they can muster the self-control to run their new business without breaking down (double or triple entendre intended).
Otherwise, send 'em back to their country clubs. Hand the gavel to those girly, generous, sensitive, labor-respecting Democrats. Get those right-wing, frat-boy fingers off all important buttons before they create another economic or battlefield crisis, to which they, in their halls of privilege, are immune.