This Wednesday, Congressional leaders such as John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid convened at the Capitol Building in order to conduct business of the utmost importance – dedicating a statue to Winston Churchill.
In 2011, to mark the 70th anniversary of Churchill’s address to Congress in December of 1941 (after the bombing of Pearl Harbor), John Boehner passed a resolution to add a bust of “The British Bulldog” to the Capitol Building. The bust was donated by the Churchill Center.
Churchill was such an amazing figure in history that it wouldn’t be enough to simply give him a bust placed in the nation’s capitol; In order to really make the occasion special, John Boehner thought it fitting to invite Roger Daltrey to perform at the dedication ceremony – you know, the lead singer of Tho Who.
Why did Boehner choose Daltrey to pay tribute to Churchill? Perhaps because they are both British royalty…. Or more likely because John Boehner is a fanboy. Whatever the reason, the appearance of Daltrey was enough to allow Democrats and Republicans to drop their feuds and become bipartisan, for once.
During the ceremony, Boehner also expressed his intense crush on Winston Churchill. According to NPR, Boehner appeared to stifle back tears as he spoke on the importance of Churchill to the United States: “Growing up, he read our books. He revered Lincoln. He knew better than most Americans the trials of the Civil War. He even wrote in our magazines on everything from hospitality to food to our engines. You could say that he saw in America the very exceptionalism that we see today.”
Following his opening remarks for the ceremony, Boehner introduced Roger Daltrey to the crowd to play two songs. The first was Ben E. King’s, “Stand By Me,” a song Daltrey chose to represent the special relationship between the United States and Great Britain. The second was The Who’s hit, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” a choice which Daltrey stated, “…was very pertinent to the occasion. Isn’t it pretty obvious?”
While Daltrey may think his choice of songs was quite obvious, the purpose of the ceremony seems a bit perplexing. This year marks no significant anniversary of Churchill’s interactions with the United States, nor have any specific developments happened to strengthen the ties between Great Britain the United States. Not only that, but it would seem as if Congressional members and Secretary of State John Kerry would have more pressing issues to attend to than the dedication of a bust. Then again, maybe this private concert by one member of The Who was the spark needed to create a bipartisan legislature. After all, according to Senator Pat Leahy (D – Vt.), “It doesn’t get any better… I love that song but hearing it live in here — nothing could top that.”
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