Saturday, January 8, 2011

House Speaker Boehner - Why He Won't Quit Smoking

In a January, 2011 AP article posted on Yahoo News, new Speaker of the House John Boehner (Rep., Ohio) says that he smokes cigarettes.

"'It's a bad habit.' He says a lot of people tell him to quit, but 'I am who I am.'"

Like Rep. Boehner, a lot of people use this excuse to rationalize not having to do the heavy lifting to improve themselves or change a negative behavior pattern.

I now have Type 2 diabetes because of my obesity, but I'm not going to try losing weight because I am who I am.

I often say hurtful things to my family, but I can't help it because I am who I am. 

I collect child pornography, but so what? I am who I am.

Well, when I contrast this excuse with people who do the hard things to deal with their addictions and change their behavior, if I'm to be honest I have to say: it is what it is - a pathetic sign of personal weakness.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength . (Permission to use photo purchased from


michael cardus said...

My concern is not that he smokes it is this "I am what I am" belief he has. Do we really want a speaker of the house he believes that things situations behaviors cannot change. A speaker whose epistemology is "I am what I am"?
Think about the implications this has in politics?

Anonymous said...

I think comparing smoking to not dealing with Diabetes, hurting one's family and child pornography is a real stretch. I do not support Mr. Boehner politically but attacking him for his excuse (yes, classic rationalization it is) is I think dirty pool. This is private issue.