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.

What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

President Barack Obama is on a roll. After nearly four years of “evolving” on the issue of gay marriage, he finally caught up to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

As expected, there has been much media hoopla about Mr. Obama’s sudden profile of “courage” regarding this very controversial social issue.

But is all the praise deserved?

Not quite,  . . . at least according to some observers who say that Obama is still dancing around the issue.

For starters, The Atlantic reminds us of what Cheney said in 2009 on the issue of gay marriage:

“Well, I think that freedom means freedom for everyone,” Cheney said. “. . . I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute that governs this, I don’t support . . .  It has always been a state issue, and I think that’s the way it ought to be handled today, that is on a state-by-state basis.”

So why exactly did Mr. Obama wait three years to say the very same things that Dick Cheney said in a July 2009 interview?

Is he worried about his upcoming election? Did he have an epiphany? Was it the result of a recent referendum in North Carolina?

Not exactly.

Obama got put into a box by his No. 2.

A few days ago, Vice President Joe Biden had a stunning moment of clarity that apparently caused lots of hand wringing in the Oval Office.

Biden made it abundantly clear that he supports gay marriage. For nearly 48 hours, the media was talking more about Biden than Obama.

That will just not do.

So, the prez called his buddies at ABC and cautiously waded into the pool, offering some rather tepid remarks about an issue that should be at the forefront of his party’s platform.

The folks over at Gawker were not so impressed, describing the president’s remarks as “Barack Obama’s Bullsit Gay Marriage Announcement.”

” . . .[Obama] now believes that gay couples should be able to marry. He doesn’t believe they have a right to do so. This is like saying that black children and white children ought to attend the same schools, but if the people of Alabama reject that notion—what are you gonna do?”

Gawker correctly reminds us why the president’s words were so lame and pathetic:

” . . . before Roe v. Wade, abortion was a state-by-state issue, too. So was slavery. There are 44 states in which gay men and women are currently barred from marrying one another. Obama’s position is that, while he would have voted the other way, those 44 states are perfectly within their rights to arbitrarily restrict the access of certain individuals to marriage rights based solely on their sexual orientation.”

If our president had real courage or anything remotely resembling integrity, here is what he should have said:

“Gay people have the right to get married just the same as atheists, heterosexuals or any other consenting adult. Marriage is a deeply personal issue, and our government should acknowledge and respect the decisions of all marriages without deference to religion, gender, sexual orientation or race.

“I will make it a central point of my second term to ensure that every gay person has the same rights as every other American. I will take this message to each and every one of our 50 states and sell it door-to-door if I have to. It is just the right thing to do, and anyone who values liberty and personal freedom ought to be standing proudly with me on this issue. Period.”

Well, we can hope for change, right?

Yeah, don’t hold your breath looking for real leadership from either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney on this issue.

Oh yeah, one more thing: Which president signed the Defense of Marriage Act and deployed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

Yup, Mr. Clinton knew how to get re-elected.