While it’s impossible to know, some are beginning to speculate that Boehner’s penchant for turning on the waterworks might have some connection to his consumption of wine. Liberal MSNBC host Ed Shultz, half-jokingly, called Boehner a “cheap drunk” the other day, Capitol Hill aides of both parties are wondering, and there’s even a web page devoted to it.
For years, political professionals have quietly discussed Boehner’s drinking. Some have told me off the record that his mannerisms remind them of that of an alcoholic. So far, most of the public speculation having to do with the connection between drinking and Boehner’s crying has come from the left. In addition to Ed Shultz, liberal talk show host Randi Rhodes recently implied Boehner’s crying was due to his drinking. But the speculation is becoming more widespread. Earlier this year, Joe Scarborough noted of Boehner that “by 5 or 6 o’clock at night, you can see him at bars.
Well, that is the traditional time, Joe. It’s called the cocktail hour. And drinking in bars?! Sinful! I guess Boehner would feel more comfortable drinking behind closed doors, with the puritanical hypocrites. Probably not. And Randi Rhodes calling someone a drunk? Talk about people who live in glass houses.
So is drinking the issue — and why might a person struggling with drinking be more prone to weeping in public?
Really? Is that the important question? I’m not too crazy about the recent spate of conservative histrionics but you’d think that liberal progressives would be a bit more accepting of a man’s emotional openness. I mean, aren’t we supposed to be overcoming our gender stereotypes? Maybe all the conservative rhetoric about the nanny-ness of liberals is not so far off. Time to stop playing to the namby-pambies in the Democratic party and let adults decide for themselves if, and how much, they should drink.
As for blaming this new political emotionalism on alcohol consumption, tell that to Winston Churchill or John F. Kennedy, neither man likely to refuse a drink and neither man prone to silliness. In fact, I thought that cigars and whiskey were the main staples of a political diet (which, I guess, is one reasons why I am a frustrated amateur pundit). Besides, Glenn Beck will break down at the drop of a tricorn hat and he’s a teetotaler.
It’s bad enough that the neo-cons resort to this type of sensationalist rumor mongering, and I can understand the liberal media’s frustration with that, but this kind of foolishness can eclipse any credibility they might have. No longer will serious people swallow any story at Fox News without a liberal dosing of salt because of this penchant for reporting on sensationalist non-news stories.
For his part, though, Boehner — who was described in one profile as “a heavy-smoking, hard-drinking former linebacker” — has made no secret of his affection for merlot, and those familiar with Capitol Hill know he frequents The Capitol Hill Club, as well as a favorite Italian restaurant on Capitol Hill, where he is frequently spotted sipping vino.
Good for him. I’m not likely to vote for Boehner but I probably would enjoy sharing a meal with him (but sorry, no Merlot, please). Dinner without wine is no dinner at all (unless it’s brats or BBQ and then beer is essential). I myself enjoy at least two glasses of wine with my evening meals and maybe a cocktail before and/or after. And then I might smoke a nice big cigar.
I know this admission will horrify some of you, but I can’t remember the last time I cried, drove off a bridge, beat my wife or flew a plane into a mountainside. My blood work just came back and my liver functions are all A-OK, thank you very much.
C’mon liberals. For folks who are always crowing about a personal right to privacy , it’s time to pull your noses out of peoples lives and let them eat, drink and smoke what they want. Just like you want for your selves. And as for you conservatives out there, I meant just that: whatever they want, even if it’s not made by your friends over at Phillip Morris or Bacardi.
The first vice we should worry about is our unhealthy addiction to hypocrisy.