Feature:Opinion

The tears of a clown

Yesterday, Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison started crying during Republican Congressman Peter King’s hearing on Muslim radicalism. Ellison was describing the death of Mohammad Salam Hamdani, a Muslim killed on 9/11, when his voice began to crack. I was watching the hearing at home, and I instantly felt sorry for the guy. Here he was defending his faith and those who hold it, and it was overwhelming.

Then, I thought: this dude is faking it. For one thing, the sequence seemed off. When people cry, the process is pretty much the same. They feel an emotion, their eyes well up with tears, their voice gets pitchy and begins to weaken, their face reddens, and then the tears begin flowing. Sometimes a person’s upper body trembles.

But with Ellison, the sequence went like this: his voice started cracking, kept cracking, cracked some more, cameramen from a thousand different liberal newspapers took pictures, his voice got louder, then cracked, then got louder. Close your eyes and listen: it is your little brother imitating a gusher from TV or a movie, or mocking your sister who was bawling over a boyfriend.

I wasn’t going to say anything about this, because it’s a delicate topic. More, I believe there is nothing wrong with a man crying — I have had plenty of Boehnerite geysers myself. In fact, my point is that it would have been better had Ellison genuinely lost it. It would have initiated him into the brotherhood of those of us capable of genuine meltdowns. But still, the thing was too touchy to say anything about.

But then I tuned into Chris Plante’s radio show, and was amazed to hear Plante reading an email saying exactly what I was thinking. It was from a cop — and cops are often pretty good readers of body language. The officer made the same points that I had thought about. When a suspect is ready to lose it, he said, there is a very distinct series of things that happen — as I described above. The officer’s verdict? Ellison’s performance was bogus, the kind of thing you hear from a millionaire trying to escape a speeding ticket.

Unsurprisingly, the media made Ellison’s “breakdown” page one. He was above the fold in The Washington Post, in a picture showing him wiping a dry face with his hand. And once again, I was amazed at the iniquitous lengths that liberals will go to get their way. They will abandon their posts as government officials and flee to another state rather than stay and vote. They will — as William Saletan has revealed in a series of recent articles in Slate — fight any and all restrictions on abortion, including outright infanticide, even if doing so may hurt their demonic cause. And they will fake cry in order to elevate emotion over facts and intellect on an issue that is important to our survival as a nation.

For shame, congressman. Leave the bawling to us real men.

Mark Judge is the author of A Tremor of Bliss: Sex, Catholicism, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.