Thursday, December 16, 2010

It is to Weep

John Boehner's Crying: Is He Drinking Too Much? That's the provocative leading question that serves as the title of Matt Lewis's column today on the Politics Daily website. The piece spends several hundred scattershot words probing the lachrymose tendencies of His Orangeness, the soon-to-be Speaker of the House, before arriving at the answer: Maybe. Or maybe not. But probably not.

Before we get to that "definitive" conclusion, however, we get plenty of juicy supposition, speculation, and even self-incriminating testimony such as this:
When President Obama mentioned that he ran into Rep. Boehner at a holiday party last year drinking eggnog, Boehner responded, "I was drinking wine." And when recently asked about attending a "Slurpee summit with the president," Boehner quipped, "How about a glass of merlot?"
Merlot is the name of a wine-producing grape (unfairly maligned in a memorable scene in the memorable film Sideways) and it is usually capitalized. Interestingly, it is also the custom to capitalize "Speaker of the House"--and even just "Speaker"--even though "senator" traditionally is only given the capital treatment when it precedes a name, and "president of the United States" is still the subject of vigorous "to capitalize or not to capitalize" debate.

By the way, as it happens, I have some firsthand experience regarding the relationship between drinking wine and crying. Just this morning, my doctor advised me that my efforts at moderation have paid off, as it appears the activity of my liver enzymes has returned to acceptable levels, and I won't need any further testing for several months--which I took as a green light to lubricate my way through the upcoming holiday season. I was so grateful on hearing the news, I wept.

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For more on "the Weeper of the House" and clips of crying men in movies, there is this timely summary from The Atlantic.