Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:23 PM
DonViejo (7,900 posts)
Is John Boehner hitting the bottle?
His drinking has long been a subject of speculation -- more so now with the House barreling towards its next crisis
BY KEVIN GRAY, THE FIX
Five days before Christmas, House Speaker John Boehner stood before the Republican-controlled Congress—his Plan B alternative for avoiding the fiscal cliff defeated by lack of votes from his own party, a public humiliation and repudiation of the Speaker’s authority, rare in House history. Choking back tears, Boehner faced his colleagues and surrendered himself to a Higher Authority: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” Boehner intoned.
The Serenity Prayer was an odd choice for a guy whose drinking had drawn years of public and private scrutiny (there’s even a blog called DrunkBoehner dedicated to chronicling his meltdowns).
For Boehner watchers—and sympathizers—it was a hushed “Amen Brother” moment. The Ohio kid who had grown up in his father’s bar, an admitted chain smoker (Camel Ultra Lights), a suspected tanning-bed addict (he insists his orange countenance, the butt of media jokes, is from golfing and mowing the lawn), a guy who tips back the merlot and is a frequent crier, seemed to have come full circle in his personal narrative of struggle, redemption and self-awareness. To any 12-step member, Boehner’s Serenity Prayer moment suggested more than a passing familiarity with the program. (The media didn’t dwell on this inference.)
The fiscal cliff negotiations were never going to go Boehner’s way and neither were the Republican newcomers who put up the most resistance. An old-school party leader, he had performed in the time-honored manner, offering compromises and cutting deals behind closed doors. But even the whiff of raising taxes was too much for the Tea Party-backed ideologues, those meddlesome freshmen from the class of 2010, whom Boehner had done his best to appease, cajole and discipline. A week after his desperate prayer, the 63-year-old Speaker was forced to stand by as a final budget deal was dictated not by the House, but by Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell. Boehner dutifully voted in favor, while most other Republicans, including Boehner’s no. 2, Eric Cantor of Virginia, widely viewed as scheming for Boehner’s job, and Whip Kevin McCarthy, a leader of the conservative Young Guns, voted no. Following the Plan B embarrassment, this was surely a bitter chaser for the veteran lawmaker to swallow. Somewhere in between, Politico reported that Boehner had turned on the old barroom charm, jabbing a finger at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and said, “Go fuck yourself.”
11 replies, 1738 views
Is John Boehner hitting the bottle? (Original post)
Response to DonViejo (Original post)
Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:29 PM
Journeyman (9,870 posts)
1. Boehner's too careful for that. He knows if he hits the bottle, it may break. . .
so he just sucks from it as it sucks from him.
Boehner's not one to sit and ponder the imponderable. The glass is never half empty or half full for him. He just tips the bottle and considers his philosophy complete.
Response to DonViejo (Original post)
Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:21 PM
jmowreader (26,898 posts)
10. There are two ways to look at that serenity prayer
The first is the obvious one: that Mr. Boehner has publicly announced he has entered at least one twelve-step program - AA and Nicotine Anonymous would be the obvious choices.
The other is that he's finally admitted he has no power over the teabaggers. I think this is the more likely one; Boehner loves his cigarettes and bourbon a bit too much to give either up, but he really doesn't have any control over his caucus.