We might have finally discovered something that politicians are worse at than budgeting: regulating emotions.
What is in the water in Washington, DC that is causing these adults to constantly melt down in public?
First there was President Biden’s now-former chief of staff Ron Klain.
The man who has been accused of being the brains behind the Biden operation is moving on from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue… well, maybe.
Klain delivered a mawkish farewell address in the White House East Room, with his 80-year-old boss proudly looking on a few feet behind him.
To say Ron got choked up would be an understatement. He gushed over the Biden family and the administration’s accomplishments. He even heaped praise on Joe Biden’s parenting skills.
“I just want to say this one thing today: I learned everything I know about how to be a good father from Joe Biden,” the overwhelmed 61-year-old wept.
“He’s the best father I know and the best role model I know and along the way he’s taught me a thing or two about politics and policy as well,” Klain told the crowd.
Let me make something clear: I am not suggesting that crying in public is a bad thing. On the contrary, an honest display of emotions, when the moment warrants it, can be moving and powerful.
But Ron Klain is resigning from a position, not shipping his firstborn off to war.
Another important factor to keep in mind? There is a good chance that Klain is leaving his current position to serve on Joe Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign. If that is the case, then this isn’t even goodbye: it is see you later.
Then again, at least Ron was getting misty-eyed about his own job. Former speaker of the House John Boehner, who famously became verklempt on just about every possible occasion, recently broke down while unveiling a portrait of Nancy Pelosi. It would seem that these strange public displays of emotion are bipartisan.
Klain’s speech might have raised eyebrows, but I don’t think anyone doubted his sincerity. These did not seem like crocodile tears. After all, what are the chances that Ron Klain is both a talented tweeter AND a world-class actor?
The same can not be said for members of the Squad.
This week, the House passed a resolution to remove Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee due to her long history of antisemitic remarks. Her defenders in the Democrat Party hurled predictable accusations at the GOP, accusing Republicans of being racist and misogynistic.
Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib took to the floor to voice her opposition to the decision. And by “voice,” I mean scream.
“To Congresswoman Omar, I am so sorry, sis!” she cried.
When Tlaib was alerted for the second time that her time had expired, the representative shouted through tears, “Our country is failing you today through this chamber! You belong on that committee!”
Tlaib’s tantrum was one of many that day. The craziest part about the political histrionics delivered by the progressive performance artists in Congress is that they are no longer a rare occurrence. They are a ploy to get attention, or more specifically a ploy to get views. The cringe-inducing gesticulation and petulant shouting might be ridiculous, but it doesn’t matter. Their Razzie-deserving tirades will go viral on TikTok and Twitter and rile up their perpetually offended fanbases. In other words, mission accomplished.
Perhaps in some cases, like Klain’s, being part of the beltway bubble is so all-consuming that leaving feels like the end of the world…even if you’re not really leaving in the first place. The pomp and circumstance of DC causes people to abandon perspective and romanticize their role in our democracy. A resignation that at most companies would warrant a few nice words and a Carvel cake takes on a whole new level of importance when you’re dealing with bloviated Ivy League know-it-alls.
Whatever the explanation is, it wouldn’t hurt the leaders in Washington to tamp down the tears and melodrama a few notches.