Rachel Maddow gave us her thoughts on John Boehner's emotional outbursts and his propensity to break into tears at a moment's notice and I think she summed up the segment pretty well here.
MADDOW: So yes, John Boehner may cry while talking about all the awesome things he wants to do for children. And I think it is great that he allows himself to cry in public when he thinks about these things. But having a positive feeling is not the same as doing something positive. As humans we react to a politician crying about children's welfare because we instinctively think it implies strength of that politician's commitment to improve children's welfare. It doesn't always.
When the new Congress convenes and John Boehner is Speaker of the House, remember this. Just because he is crying about something doesn't mean he is going to fix that thing. Crying in public is neat. I am all in favor of crying in public. However, it's not the same thing as fixing the thing that makes you cry.
And here is the post she highlighted from Steve Benen with the Republicans' plan for cuts in discretionary spending.
Of course, John Thune has taken conservative adoration to heart, and is now apparently eyeing a possible presidential campaign in 2012. It's the kind of thing that leads to silly gestures like these.
Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (S.D.) plans to offer a resolution to cut discretionary spending to 2008 levels during the Senate GOP's closed-door meeting Tuesday.
The nonbinding resolution is part of a broad effort by GOP leaders to line up a series of votes for the Conference meeting to demonstrate that they are heeding the tea party movement's calls to restrict spending and reduce the federal debt.
"My resolution highlights the tremendous growth in non-security discretionary spending over the past two years and calls for returning to FY 2008 non-security discretionary spending levels," Thune said in a letter circulated to colleagues last week.
Now, Thune's resolution may very well be approved by his Republican colleagues, but it won't actually mean anything. If endorsed, we'll know what the Senate GOP caucus wants, but then again, we already knew this. It's not like the resolution is actual legislation.
As for the substance of this, the notion of cutting "discretionary spending to 2008 levels" may seem largely inoffensive. After all, the argument goes, 2008 wasn't that long ago. Much of the country would probably hear this and assume the cuts would be pretty manageable.
But like most debates, Republicans are counting on the public not looking too closely at the details. The NYT recently noted, "Independent analysts say that would require eliminating about $105 billion -- or more than 20 percent of spending by departments like Education, Transportation, Interior, Commerce and Energy -- a level of reductions that history suggests would be extremely hard to execute."
Bloomberg News added that such a budget plan would necessarily "slash spending for education, cancer research and aid to local police and firefighters."
We'd be talking about one-year cuts that would be nearly quadruple the largest discretionary cuts of the last generation.
If Thune thinks this would prove popular, and might even help make him president, he's been sipping too much tea.
It might not help Thune with his presidential bid to be talking about these kind of cuts, but it sure seems to be bringing crying Boehner to tears when he has to think about what they'd actually like to do to children and whether they have some hope of upward mobility following in Boehner's shoes, given their policies. Guilty conscience?