The Corner

Voinovich’s Tears

Kathryn, Hugh Hewitt played the actual tape for me on his radio show last night. There he was, Sen. George Voinovich, the Republican from Ohio, choking back tears and then weeping as he spoke against John Bolton in the well of the Senate. I have to tell you, my first response was that he has gone totally crackers. The rhetoric he used was, quite simply, bananas. I mean, he fears for the lives of his grandchildren if Bolton is confirmed?

But then, I remembered — and we should all remember and keep posting the fact that — George Voinovich was fined $1,500 by the Federal Aviation Administration when he was governor of Ohio for insisting on his personal plane taking off even though the FAA had declared a no-fly zone at the Cleveland Airport because President Clinton was in town. “Shoot us down!” he screamed at an air-traffic controller. Then he spent six months fighting the FAA fine on the grounds that — well, he didn’t have any grounds. There are numerous interpretations of the incident. 1) He’s a jerk. 2) He’s a loon. 3) He’s a jerk and a loon. 4) He’s a loon and a jerk. 5) He’s a jerky loon. 6) He’s a loony jerk.

For the record, I go with the simple “jerk.” And I hope his press secretary calls me to complain about this, which press secretaries of hotheaded, self-indulgent, loudmouth senators often do because their hotheaded, self-indulgent, loudmouth bosses insist they do so. Oh, how I hope.

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