Scandal on Capitol Hill: He’s Conservative! He’s Orange! And He Cries!


What grave danger to America is our leftist media warning us about now? Why, John Boehner, of course.  Our new Speaker of the House.  He smokes! His skin is orange! And he cries!

An orange man who smokes and cries may well be controversial.  One suspects that the true source of most of the media’s discomfort with him is that he is a Republican, and a conservative one at that.  Some journalists on the Left are trying hard to sniff out genuine, smoky, sinful scandal.  One blog asked this gripping question:  “John Boehner’s crying:  Is he drinking too much?”

When Mr. Boehner speaks publicly of the honor bestowed on him, he frequently cries.  This has created a firestorm of controversy.  Even though, as Speaker, he has yet to do anything a rational person might consider controversial.

The Dayton Daily News, Boehner’s hometown paper, notes that “to be fair, it merely supplanted the ridicule he underwent when the American public first noticed that his skin is a peculiar shade of orange.”  Add to that the fact that the Nanny State has declared Americans who smoke so dangerous to the general public that they might as well be terrorists, and we’re headed into battle territory now.

Poppycock, we may say.  Horsefeathers.  As the Daily News inquires, “what’s so bad about men crying? It is, supposedly, what women have been trying to get us to do for years.”

D.L. Stewart, author of the article, notes that he “wasn’t always a weeper,” but that he “discovered the joy of crying at my daughter’s wedding and the tears have been flowing regularly ever since.”  He pronounces it “too bad the American public seems more interested in John Boehner’s tear production than they do in his political actions.”  It is, he says, “a crying shame.”

And indeed it is. God gave men the ability to cry the same as He did women.  They may do it less often than we do, which is probably a good thing because we count on them to be strong when we are weak (even if we won’t admit it).  But if they hadn’t been meant to cry at all, they would not have functioning tear-ducts.

Leonor Vivanco, on the Redeye Blog, offers a clarification on the matter. “Of late, it’s been the moist eye that the public seems to accept most when it comes to crying…”  She quotes a 2007 Penn State University study that says “It’s tears of anger or self-pity that can cause people to react negatively” to tears.  And that seems to be true not only when they’re generated by men, but also by women.

Mr. Boehner, it must be stated, was not seeking pity.  He was deeply happy and moved to see his many years of hard work and personal sacrifice result in one of the highest offices in the land.  Were his tears a sign of weakness, or of strength? Perhaps he’s merely comfortable enough in his own skin – however orange it may be – not to worry about how his show of emotion might be perceived.  And instead of an ominous portent, that may be a very good thing.

Men have, to a large degree, become obsessed with whether they are manly enough to pass muster.  Human beings’ emotions are going to come out somehow, either appropriately or inappropriately.  Most men are quite manly enough, thank you very much.  A lack of masculinity isn’t anything they need to worry about.

We’ve got real issues to deal with in 2011.  Serious ones.  If the worst thing we had to worry about was an orange House Speaker who smoked and got choked-up once in a while, it would be morning in America again for sure.