Boehner’s self-control, and his Propositionalism

In the ceremonial transfer of the gavel from the outgoing to the incoming Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi showed the gracious and charming side of her personality, so unlike the relentless leftist fanatic we normally see, her gaze blank and pitiless as the sun. I anxiously watched John Boehner, concerned that he might start crying, but he admirably kept control over his Inner Weeper. It occurred to me that he had gone through several rehearsals of this event, to learn how to avoid crying, and also that someone must have told him that under no circumstances must he use the phrase, “the American Dream,” which sets off an uncontrolled cataract of flowing tear ducts and twitching facial muscles (see below).

His speech was pure Boehner: modest and straightforward, with an undercurrent of manly strength. He recognized and did not cover over the bitter divisions between the parties, but also spoke of allowing more of a voice to the Minority in the coming Congress than has been the custom for many years.

There was just one false note from my point of view. Near the end, Boehner said, echoing the neoconservative philosophy, “America is more than a country, it is an idea.”

It would have been better if he had said, “America is more than an idea, it is a country.” When the day comes that a Speaker of the House speaks such words, we will know that America is no longer under the rule of liberalism and liberal conservatism, but traditionalism.

* * *

Note on Boehner’s crying (drafted on December 17 but not posted)

Last night, after the subject had come up in the media, I spent an hour looking for videos of Boehner crying. I’ve never had such a frustrating search on the Web for something. There were many links, but none that were videos that actually showed him crying, except for one, his interview with Leslie Stahl on Sixty Minutes. He was ridiculous. I’ve never seen anything like it. This was not a man getting a little emotional, this was a man completely losing control of himself in public, and apparently it happens every time the subject of children or of making good and of living “the American Dream” comes up. For example, he says that he no longer makes appearances at schools, because the sight of all those children makes him too emotional. That is just strange.

Also, being elected to Congress and becoming the Speaker of the House is NOT the American dream. The American Dream means making money and making a good life for oneself and one’s family. It does not mean having a government job and being paid by the taxpayers. Not that there’s anything dishonorable about being a congressman and Speaker. But that is not the American Dream. And it shows a disturbing misunderstanding on Boehner’s part that he thinks it is.

However, it turns out that he has in fact lived the “American Dream,” in the sense that he came from a very modest background and was successful in business before he was elected to Congress. Here is his bio in Wikipedia:

Boehner was born in Reading, Ohio, the son of Mary Anne (née Hall) and Earl Henry Boehner, the second of twelve children in a German-Irish family. He grew up in modest circumstances, having shared one bathroom with his eleven siblings in a two-bedroom house in Cincinnati. His parents slept on a pull-out couch. He started working at his family’s bar at age 8, a business founded by their grandfather Andy Boehner in 1938. He has lived in Southwest Ohio his entire life. All but two of his siblings still live within a few miles of each other, two are unemployed and most of the others have blue-collar jobs.

He graduated from Cincinnati Moeller High School in 1968, when U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was at its peak. Boehner enlisted in the United States Navy but was discharged honorably after eight weeks, because of a bad back . He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Xavier University in Cincinnati in 1977, becoming the first person in his family to attend college, taking seven years as he held several jobs to pay for his education.

Shortly after his graduation in 1977, Boehner accepted a position with Nucite Sales, a small sales business in the packaging and plastics industry. He was steadily promoted and eventually became president of the firm, resigning in 1990 when he was elected to Congress.

Another thing I noticed. In looking for YouTubes of Boehner crying, I kept coming upon discussions about the subject at liberal sites, and you couldn’t get at any facts or even sane commentary because it was nothing but hatred: he’s a Republican, therefore he’s evil and sinister, and his crying is either part of some conspiracy, or an involuntary expression of his secret guilt over what an monstrous s.o.b. he is for trying to starve poor people to death. For the liberal commenters, such considerations defined the entire discussion on the subject of Boehner’s crying. Liberals are simply unable to talk about an interesting human phenomenon—in this case, a public man who has this odd and disconcerting habit of weeping uncontrollably at certain moments—as a human phenomenon, if the man in question happens to be a Republican.

[end of note]

- end of initial entry -

Richard S. writes:

Above all this man must never let one critical word from statists and their media henchmen, or the desire for a kind word from those same enemies of liberty divert him from the job at hand, which is to stop them dead.

January 6

Monte F. writes:

I grew up in Vandalia, Ohio, ten miles north of Dayton, Ohio. There is no doubt that Mr. Boehner’s crying is an emotional response to the absolute rage that the people feel towards this president. This president’s mentality is so foreign to the majority of people that live in this area of Ohio that he can’t help but cry out for the people’s support to help undo all the damage that continues to be done by liberals and so-called conservatives. Let’s pray he quits crying and gets to work!

LA replies:

I don’t know that what you are saying is literally true. :-) But it is a witty idea, leading to a practical conclusion.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 05, 2011 08:11 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):