Last night, I watched Clint Eastwood talk to an empty chair that stood in as President Obama. He asked a piece of furniture for explanations about his “failed” policies, then answered his own questions. This passed for humor with the convention audience as they laughed ‘til their faces turned red.
The entire time I couldn’t help but think Clint Eastwood showed his age—”Dirty Harry” had morphed into an angry old man, who looked disheveled and out-of-place. At times, I wondered if he knew where he was. And his stunt with that chair didn’t help. Instead, Eastwood came off as the mentally disturbed guy you see in parks, mumbling to himself and the birds.
I was sure an aide would come up and gently take Eastwood by the arm and guide him away from the podium. His stunt with the chair, however, was telling of the Romney-Ryan campaign and their supporters. Like Eastwood and the other speakers at the 2012 Republican National Convention, most Republicans continue to see things that aren’t there, like Romney’s credentials and his chances of becoming president.
They saw substance in a convention, where the speeches were hollow. None of the speakers gave real reasons for why Mitt Romney should be president (even Olympians at the convention struggled to make the case by recounting how the Republican presidential nominee saved the 2002 Olympic Games). Two nights ago, the Romney campaign played a video of former presidents George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush. They talked about their times as president and what it took to sit in the Oval Office. The video felt more like a tribute to Bush Sr.’s service in office instead of making the case for what Romney will do for Americans.
When Bush Jr. declared Mitt Romney the person to bring America around, Bush Sr. had that glazed look that Clint Eastwood had when he stared out at the convention audience. When it was his turn to speak, all elder Bush could say about why Romney should be president was that “he’s a good man.”
Clint Eastwood and the convention crowd were only able to see everything they thought President Obama did wrong with the economy—his “failed” stimulus plan; his failure to keep the GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, functioning; the deficit he caused along with a host of other things corrected by FactCheck.org.
I’ll bet the folks at that non-partisan, “consumer advocacy” nonprofit haven’t worked as hard as they did at the 2012 Republican National Convention. The most recent “false claims” and “misleading statements” was Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech that accused President Obama of “funneling money away from Medicare” to his health care law. According to FactCheck.org, “Medicare’s chief actuary says the law ‘substantially improves’ the system’s finances, and Ryan himself has embraced the same savings.”
Ryan slammed Obama for not acting on recommendations from the Simpson-Bowles bipartisan deficit commission. Washington Post Columnist Eugene Robinson explained why that comment was deceptive. “Ryan failed to mention that he was a member of the Simpson-Bowles commission,” Robinson wrote in his Thursday column. “He also failed to mention that he was part of a minority of panel members who flatly rejected the ‘urgent report’ he now blasts Obama for ignoring.”
Ryan didn’t act alone. The 2012 Republican National Convention organizers framed their theme “We Built It” around a Obama quote taken out of context. Rae Lynne Chornenky, president of the National Federation of Republican Women, is as delusional as Clint Eastwood. She accused Obama of doing nothing for the 850,000 women who she claimed lost their jobs during Obama’s presidency.
However, Chornenky forgot to update her statistics. Recent information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that jobs for women were 401,000 lower in July than when Obama took office. “That’s less than half the figure claimed by Chornenky,” FactCheck.org stated. “And her outdated percentage figure is now even more wildly off base.”
And just as off base is College Republican National Committee Chair Alex Schriver, who said “half my generation didn’t get up and go to a job this morning.” That statement was enough to make the fact-checkers do a double-take. “We’re not sure exactly what the 23-year-old Schriver meant by ‘my generation,’” they wrote, with good reason. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported nearly 64 percent of Schriver’s generation, which includes the 20- to 24-year-olds, had jobs as of last month.
“And when looking at those who are actually in the labor force — not in college or the military, for example — the percentage is far higher, almost 86 percent,” FactCheck.org added. “The labor force includes both those who have civilian jobs and those who say they want work and have looked for it in the last four weeks.”
But don’t try to correct Clint Eastwood and anyone else at the 2012 RNC. They’ll simply dismiss you the way everyone does Vermin Supreme, a protestor at the convention in Tampa. The giant boot he wears on his head makes him stand out at the major political events he gets around to, where he attempts to rally support for his presidential bid that’s been written off as bogus.
Tuesday, Supreme gave his own “keynote” speech to the only audience he had outside the Republican Party’s convention: the security force. His platform, according to various news reports, included “zombie preparedness; harnessing zombies for labor; research into time travel so we can go back in time and kill Hitler.” He even promised his supporters free ponies.
Call him what you like. At least he’s sane enough to not waste 10 minutes talking to an empty chair.
14 thoughts on “Clint Eastwood’s “Invisible Obama””
” Republicans continue to see things that aren’t there” made me laugh out loud. — A great analysis, Alan.
Thanks, James. I had to watch the Republican National Convention to see what solutions they were bringing to the table. Nothing.
Clint Eastwood’s brain is as empty as that chair!!
Good one, J 🙂 I was thinking the same thing.
Very well put. Poor Clint Eastwood. But then, much of our nation has become delusional!
Thanks, Joanne. That most of the country seems delusional is very scary.
great critique Alan! people like Eastwood are so privileged, short-sighted & ignorant that they literally can’t “see” marginalized people like Obama, and so, resort to projecting baseless stereotypes
Thanks, Lisa. What’s hilarious are people like Ann Romney who try to claim that they can relate to most Americans. I almost screamed when she mentioned that she and Mitt lived in a basement apartment, alluding that they had experienced struggles. I’m not buying it.
Let’s not be too hard on Clint here, he’s brilliant in his own right, a little ragged around the edges and doddering certainly, but here’s the deal, he did a fabulous job of characterizing the Republican Party. By the way, Alan, I salute you for sitting through the convention and for an astute analysis.
An excellent analysis, Alan.
Thanks, Ms. Nelson! 🙂
Thank you! The true insanity–the dollars spent for what amounted to nothing more than an embarrassing pep rally. Responsible spending? I think not.
I felt the same way, watching the RNC. I’m excited for the DNC that starts today. I’m sure they’ll do a better job of making the case for why their candidate should be president. I want to hear Michelle Obama’s speech and also that of the Mayor of San Antonio, who I keep hearing is a rising star in the Democratic party. They think he’ll have a moment much like Obama, when he spoke at the 2004 DNC. Thanks for visiting the blog, reading this article, and responding. I hope you’ll come back 🙂