Yes, I did catch a bit of Clint Eastwood yelling at an empty chair. And that was just the strangest fucking thing I’ve seen since I don’t know when. To paraphrase The American Prospect’s Jamelle Bouie, this was the perfect metaphor for the modern Republican Party: an old white man yelling at an imaginary Barack Obama.
The whole thing was truly bizarre from start to finish. Why was Clint Eastwood even there? Mr. Beale wondered if the Democrats ever had a Hollywood celebrity speak at their convention, and I couldn’t think of one. I remember Tommy Lee Jones was involved in 2000, because he had been Al Gore’s college roommate. I don’t remember him having a prime time speech. But even so, the Republicans are always slamming Democrats for being “Hollywood,” right? So what the fuck was Clint Eastwood doing as a prime-time speaker last night, anyway?
As I’ve said a hundred, thousand times before: the problem with moderm Republicans is that no amount of political power will cure what ails them, which is that they have not come to grips with their complete lack of cultural relevance. Theirs is a psychological problem that won’t be fixed no matter how many branches of government they capture. They so desperately want to be the outsiders, the rebels, the cool kids with the cool music and the anti-establishment, revolutionary message. But being the party of the establishment is in their DNA. They are now and always have represented the status quo. It’s the definition of being a conservative. So until they come to grips with these conflicting desires, we’re going to see more bizarre stunts like last night’s.
And then, after Clint’s speech I saw, oddly, a TV spot for his new movie, Trouble With The Curve, where he plays a cranky old guy going senile who kicks a table to pieces and yells at things. I mean … wtf? Could this whole thing have been a stunt for his movie? Does this not tell us our unhealthy intersection of politics and entertainment has reached some kind of tipping point?
And finally, Mitt Romney got overshadowed by an old man yelling at a chair. And folks, that just says it all.
Would like to hear what everyone else thinks.