Monday, December 13, 2010

Leslie Stahl Introduces America To John Boehner, A Kind Of Pathetic Character For Such A Big Job


I hope you got a chance to watch 60 Minutes last night. I watched the Boehner segment (below) here in Marrakech! There were a lot of interesting aspects to consider and I was excited to see how they would use the Blue America anti-Boehner ads they had asked us for. They sort of passed by quickly. But the segment was more important than that. And it wasn't just about how Boehner can't stop crying at the drop of a hanky. What a wuss! But what I didn't expect was to see what a shallow little nothing he is-- so filled with self-satisfied bitterness and unrequited anger-- I mean how angry would you be if you grew up in a house with 11 brothers and sisters and there was only one bathroom-- and you had to go to mass every single day! But that still isn't the main point. What I took away from the interview was how every faux-tough question was met with a scripted and trite talking point. Even Leslie Stahl couldn't help but notice.

And it goes beyond "What you see is what you get," "This is not going to be about me," and the exhausted Beltwayism "I'm comfortable in my own skin," although he certainly reminds the discerning viewer of a snake who could easily shed his skin in a self-serving pinch.

And then there's the classic right-wing aphorism: "Washington does not have a revenue problem; Washington has a spending problem"-- with a dramatic emphasis, when delivered, on the word "spending." I wonder if Grover came up with this one himself or if it was a staffer who thought it up and focus-group-tested it. But what really rubs is his overused fallback, "I am not going to compromise on my principles" in the hair-splitting and tedious "debate" over the difference between "compromise" and finding common ground. It's a shame CBS didn't show the famous video of Boehner tap-dancing around the time he was caught handing out tobacco bribes on the House floor. He may not have been compromising his principles, but what he did was far more egregious than what they're lynching Charlie Rangel for... FAR MORE EGREGIOUS. Even if it is the ultimate in DC common ground.

Here, watch the Speaker-apparent trying to change the subject when confronted with the indisputable fact that he was handing out lobbyist bribes to Republican congressmen on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. It's going to be-- if you'll forgive the Boenher-headed cliche-- a long two years.

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At 4:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting Howie. I missed the segment on 60 minutes.
Hell, it made me cry too.

At 5:39 AM, Anonymous Virgil_Starkwell said...

Congressman Boehner tans in a man-thong. Also,he smokes two packs of Virginia Slims Menthol a day.

At 5:41 AM, Anonymous Mark Scarbrough said...

It was ghastly. And I don't know if it was the editing--it's hard to tell--but the thing just seemed so damn scripted. Yes, his talking points, as you rightly point out. But even her questions--and even the order in which they were asked. I wonder how much the writers on both sides were in cahoots. I know nothing about Stahl's politics, but I do know how these "interviews" work.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Kay Dennison said...

Why do I want to say "the envelope please'?

Oh hell!!! I went to mass every morning before school, too -- it was part and parcel of going to Catholic school. It wasn't a big deal. Anyone who whines about it is is a wimp.

We also went to confession every week and the nuns rapped our knuckles for infractions. It's just how it was growing up in the 50s! I think it's tacky that he even brings it up! And Leslie played to it.

And yeah, all of us poor kids had chores that varied according to how big our families were as well as our age. Somewhere that disappeared when someone somewhere decided that a work ethic was child abuse. I grew up in a working class neighborhood, too, and I know it made me stronger.

If Boehner whined and cried like that when he was a kid, I'll bet he got his butt kicked regularly. That crap was a no-no especially for guys. Being the tomboy I was back then, I would have done it!!!

At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Pursang said...

I'm betting that Stahl got the questions she'd be asking from Boehner's staff about an hour before the interview.

What a hack, what a poor excuse for a journalist. People used to be afraid to see someone from 60 Minutes coming towards them. Now they're just another video "People Magazine".


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