Looking back, not FORWARD
By now you’ve surely heard about, if not watched, Clint Eastwood’s tragic self-embarrassment at the Republican National Convention last night. It was painful to watch. “Cringe-inducing” comes to mind. As does somewhat guilty LOLing.
If you didn’t see it, here’s your chance:
The best response we saw came from Rachel Maddow. When MSNBC cut back to her after Eastwood’s “performance”, she was uncharacteristically speechless, stammering and clearly not processing what she had just seen. Much like the rest of us.
[Photo and graphic by Anne C. Savage.]
After I DID process it, which took a good night’s sleep, I realized what a perfect metaphor this was for the Republican Party and for the Romney/Ryan ticket.
I wasn’t the only one to think this. Here’s Jamelle Bouie:
This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama.
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) August 31, 2012
But it goes beyond just an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama. More importantly it shows how profoundly out of new ideas and vision the Republicans are at the moment. In their desperate longing for a new Ronald Reagan, they reached out to another conservative actor, a man that clearly has lost the thread. His intimation that President Obama was asking him to tell Mitt Romney to go fuck himself was less a laugh line than a reminder that the last Republican Vice President, Dick Cheney, actually told a member of Congress that same thing to his face and in public. As Eastwood mumbled through his bizarre performance, he seemed lost in the past, punching at ghosts.
It’s exactly like the Republican Party and the so-called “plans” of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Their campaign is full of hacks from the Bush administration. They’re being aided by none other than Karl Rove, aka “Bush’s Brain”. Their “plans” are merely a rehashing of the same tired approach Republicans have been inflicting on us for years, achieving the result of a crashed economy and ever-increasing national debt: Lower taxes for the wealthy. A tattered safety net for our country’s most desperate and vulnerable citizens. A never-ending push to transfer our nation’s wealth to the private sector to maximize profits for corporations. An incessant call to invade other countries.
None of this is new, none of this is forward-looking. It’s a rerun of the same failed policies that caused so many of the problems that we face today.
There’s nothing new under sun and the Republicans proved that last night by inviting Clint Eastwood to speak. In the process, they shot themselves in the foot. Normally the candidate-worship video is shown right before the candidate actually speaks. Instead, the Republicans showed the video before the major networks cut to the convention. Once the networks did begin their convention coverage, what America saw was a disheveled, sad looking man arguing with a chair. Marco Rubio could have got up and read the horoscopes on stage and nobody would have noticed — they were still trying to figure out what the hell they had just seen.
Of course, President Obama had the best response of the night to Eastwood’s performance art:
This seat's taken. http://t.co/tvHZDcfw, pic.twitter.com/jgGZTb02
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 31, 2012
There’s one party, the Democratic Party, that is looking FORWARD and wants to take our country there. There’s another that wants to “take our country BACK” — the Republicans. If they wanted to drive that point home to Americans with their convention, they couldn’t possibly have done it better than they did last night.