When Harry Met Chairry
“A man’s got to know his limitations.”
–Det. Harry Callahan
Here it is a few days later, and I still can’t get the strangest wrap-up to a political convention I’ve ever seen out of my mind. Sad as it was to watch such a great American icon turn into everyone’s drunken great-uncle, I went back and looked at the great Oscar-winning actor/director Clint Eastwood’s disjointed endorsement of Mitt Romney a couple more times. I still can’t watch it without cringing. And, I still can’t quite figure out what he was doing, though I’m pretty sure his weird act helped Obama far more than that guy who followed him to the podium.
People will be talking about this for years. It will be as big a footnote to Eastwood’s career as the great Westerns – the Spaghetti Westerns are always entertaining and Josey Wales and Unforgivenjust may be the best Westerns of them all – Million Dollar Baby, Dirty Harry, Grand Torino, Bird and the rest…(just as well, no one will remember the awful J. Edgar.)
Did he really accuse Obama of starting the Afghanistan War? Did he really call for bringing the troops home tomorrow …at the GOP convention of all places? (At least someone brought up Foreign Policy!) Did he really say “We don’t need lawyers in the White House” – to applause from a crowd there to cheer on the candidacy of a guy with a JD from Harvard? Did the mindless morally-self-righteous folks in the hall really cheer on that lower-case Bob Newhart routine where a guy told his imaginary president to “go fuck yourself” with President Harvey then telling Romney to do the same?
GOP Family (and other) Values
Speaking of the morally-self-righteous: how can the GOP continue to hammer away at Obama over his “debauched Hollywood cronies,” yet invite a guy to speak prime-time at their convention who has seven kids by five different women; has divorced twice; lived 13 years with a lover (Sandra Locke) who had two abortions and then a tubal ligation; had two kids by a different woman while living with Locke; who locked Locke out of the house, tapped her phone, set up a phony Directing deal to get out of Palimony — all while she suffered through two mastectomies; has famously had sex with dozens of Hollywood stars? An anti-war libertarian who supports Gay Marriage? Boggles the mind!
Like everything GOP these days, if you dig below the anti-gay, anti-women, anti-immigrant, racist rhetoric pandering to scared white folks (did you see that monochromatic crowd?) you’ll find it is really all about the money. Yep. Ideology be damned, the ol’ bounty hunter William Munny is in it for the tax breaks. (Alimony, Palimony and child support cost a bundle these days. And, just think how much the entire family saves on the equally cringe-worthy Mrs. Eastwood and Company un-reality TV show salaries?)
“When somebody doesn’t do the job, you gotta let ‘em go.” — Clint Eastwood
I can’t see it any way other than a huge boost to Obama. It’s all anyone is talking about and probably all most people will remember. No one is talking about the class bully’s devoid of any specifics, much less facts, acceptance speech.
What will be remembered from the 2012 GOP Convention is that it was the time when the GOP proudly gave up any dedication to truth (“We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers”); when the lickspittle sidekick blithely lied his way thru a speech – recycling the same lies that have been exposed over and over again – the one about Obama not keeping his promise to keep a GM plant open when it was closed under W. even garnered FOX News’ disapproval; when the GOP dropped all pretense and nominated Gordon Gekko – a job-cremating/debt -creating Hedge Funder, off-shore account tax cheat, life-long entitled chickenhawk.
In the end, Eastwood’s bizarre endorsement was the perfect summation of today’s GOP: a money-obsessed, incoherent, old white guy growling at an imaginary Obama.
MICHAEL DONNELLY spent part of a summer Lake Tahoe afternoon 41 years ago with Clint Eastwood and a couple of Clint’s buddies. He found Clint to be a funny, likeable and brilliant guy who fit in with and was gracious to people at the lake that day.
He can be reached at Pahtoo@aol.com