The Crying Game

A couple of days ago, an exhausted and emotional President Obama visited privately with some of his campaign workers and reportedly got pretty choked up. At one point, the president’s tears began to flow.

For some reason, the White House decided to release this rare footage, despite the fact that it was recorded at an event the media was not allowed to attend.

The reaction? Pundits across the globe praised the president’s candor, his show of genuine appreciation. In fact, President Obama’s crying video has gone viral, attracting more than 1.7 million hits on the campaign’s You Tube channel.

Now let’s compare this to the public reaction from just two years ago, when Republican House Speaker John Boehner cried while being interviewed on 60 Minutes about his new role as Speaker of the House…..well, you remember, right?

Here’s what Bill Maher had to say:

“Did you see the new speaker of the House John Boeher cry? He cries a lot. Mr. Boehner you’ve got to stop crying. For one, your tan is going to run. And what’s he going to do if he loses next time? Put on a Bjork record and cut himself?”

Over the last few days, media pundits and amateur pundits on Facebook have been telling us that it is time for cooperation. It is time for the GOP to brush off its brutal losses and begin working with the Democrats. To steal a phrase, It’s time to put people before politics.

For my part, I am trying. I really am. Check the letter I wrote to President Obama on the day after the election.

But it’s damn hard to accept the media’s blatant hypocrisy. Furthermore, why is it so bad for a man… a strong man, or any man for that matter– to cry? Is it a sign of weakness?

Both Obama and Boehner were captured in honest moments of raw emotional expression. The ability to appropriately express your emotion…whether it’s grief, joy or some hidden pain is generally a sign of good mental health. Do we really want our nation’s leaders bottling up their emotions?

Now, here’s a test. Watch this video and see if it makes you cry….even just a little. I dare ya.

My friends and family know that I cannot watch this scene without crying like a baby. If I were a Democrat, I suppose that would be an endearing quality. But if I am a Republican, I best prepare for some intense criticism.

It will be a lot easier for our nation to heal, if we can just move beyond some of the hypocrisy.

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My shirt looks good on you

You know a political nerve has been pinched when Rush Limbaugh apologizes for comments he made on his national radio show.

Rush’s outrageous comments about Sandra Fluke ignited a deafening outcry from women’s groups and reproductive rights advocates this week, and several of his advertisers are now distancing themselves.

Because this is a presidential election year; and because Rush is an unabashedly conservative pundit, his comments are being used by Democrats to underscore the notion that Republicans are waging a war against women.

Nothing like a bit of hypocrisy just a few days before Super Tuesday.

Check the cheering and applause that HBO talk show host Bill Maher received when he described Sarah Palin as a “dumb twat.”

A few nervous giggles, but applause nonetheless…

So, if a Republican commentator demeans women with vitriolic commentary we gather the pitchforks and demand his head on a stick.

But if a liberal commentator does the same thing, we laugh or just look the other way. Is that how it works?

Make no mistake, both Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher are pigs, and their outrageous comments should be condemned by everyone with a pulse, regardless of political affiliation.

California Governor Jerry Brown, a former presidential candidate, apologized for comments that were attributed to him and/or his staff, describing Republican opponent Meg Whitman as a whore during the gubernatorial campaign.

From my perspective, an apology doesn’t cut it.

George Will got it right when he said the word “inappropriate” is far too tame for describing Rush Limbaugh’s comments.

“Inappropriate is when you use your salad fork for your entrée,” Will quipped on ABC’s Good Morning America, saying Republicans are too tepid in their response and afraid of Limbaugh and his massive audience.

Violence against women begins when we give ourselves permission to demean them with our discourse.

As the father of two young men, I have an inherent obligation to speak out about the pervasive nature of gender violence and misogyny.

As an amateur pundit, I just wonder why it’s somehow funny when Bill Maher calls a woman a twat, yet outrageous when Rush Limbaugh infers that a woman is a slut.

Dean Scontras, the Republican who challenged Chellie Pingree in the 2010 First District Congressional race, is also bothered by the crystal-clear hypocrisy.

On his Facebook page, Scontras said that until those who sympathize with the left express equal outrage over Maher’s remarks about Palin, they should remain silent about Rush Limbaugh’s comments.

I disagree.

Although I despise the hypocrisy, remaining silent about Rush Limbaugh’s vile  commentary just because Bill Maher was equally (or arguably more) offensive, only serves to amplify and allow a very real war against women to fester – – if only beneath the surface.

Thus, it is now time for my own public apology.

Last week, I penned a post entitled I’m Done Sharing My Wife.

Although I am confident that people who know me understand the context of my satirical commentary, my words were immediately thrust onto the stage of public discourse via the power of the internet.

A very wise woman once told me that words are like toothpaste. Once you squeeze them out, it is virtually impossible to put them back in their container.

So, I will not edit or delete that post. I will leave it where it remains as a constant reminder of my own hypocrisy.

And, hopefully, my willingness to at least acknowledge my own boorish behavior will serve as an example for how not to behave.