By now most political junkies are aware of Clint Eastwood's bizarre, rambling RNC speech last night. If you didn't see it, it must be watched to be believed:
Yes, that is Clint Eastwood incoherently dressing down President Obama in an empty chair, attacking him for not closing Gitmo, and praising him for opposing invading Iraq, but attacking him for supporting being in Afghanistan. Yes, at a Republican convention.
Personally, I feel little more than sadness at the spectacle. Sadness at the mouthbreathing racists who cheered at the line "We own this country!" Sadness at the declining faculties of an American screen legend. Sadness at the way Mr. Eastwood was allowed to embarrass himself to a national audience by a bunch of Republican operatives who took a gamble and clearly screwed up without vetting the speech.
As an introduction to Mr. Romney for undecided middle-of-the-road voters it was a disaster that totally distracted from the candidate's big rollout. For but the older, almost entirely white and predominantly base that Romney is also trying to gin up, the speech was a big hit. Really. If there's any doubt, look no further than the always reliable Republican base thermometer Free Republic.
SAR knows what this election is about for the Republican base:
I wept. “We” own this country. Anglo saxon Patriots OWN this country. If you disagree, I hope you like the taste of steel.
Yep. That's the Republican heart and soul for you.
Well I sure liked it. Eastwood ad-libbed for ten minutes, no script, no notes, no teleprompter. What is he now, 80?
I liked it too.
I flipped over to PMSNBC and Rachel Madcow looked like she had been kicked in her testicles.
She was gagging and frothing at the mouth. Hehe..
Lots of Freepers just loved that "joke." So funny!
There were a lot of references to the comedic stylings of Jimmy Stewart (no spring chickens, the GOP base.) AaroninCarolina says:
He reminded me of Jimmy Stewart when he did comedy (if you’re old enough to remember him). Especially the way he stammered for comedic effect.
I don't think that was comedic effect. OriginalBuckeye thinks the media is weird for reacting to the speech the way a normal person would:
I thought he was terrific. He still has a twinkle in his eye. Unfortunately I had on NBC because the audio wasn't working on FoxNews. Angria Mitchell was weird. She pronounced the speech ‘strange. He was talking to an empty chair?’. I find her strange. I suspect most people who were watching NBC know their bias. I turned it off immediately and went to another TV where the audio on FoxNews was working.
Eastwood was great. He’s 82 years old now and that is exactly how he talks now. To hell with anyone that makes fun of him.
SarahBarracuda loved it almost as much as s/he loves the Queen of Wasilla:
For an 82 year old man he looked damn good. I enjoyed his speech, he’s not a politician, he didn’t go looking at a teleprompter to tell him what to say, he spoke from the heart, and cracked some jokes, it was entertaining, and he also made a lot of valid points. I hope I look that good at 82 years young.
bscso thinks it's a generational gap. He may actually be right:
Let me tell you something. I’m a member of a seniors organization. I’m one of the youngest at almost 69 (on Sept. 13). I can’t count how many of us are “off” (by your standards) when we speak, but what we say can be taken to the bank. You don’t want to listen, fine. But we have a lot to say, and Eastwood said a lot tonight. You simply have to have an adult ear to listen.
A few freepers were nervous, but most thought Eastwood did a great job.
I strongly suspect most of the Republican base would agree. We do live in very different worlds, them and us, and all the bipartisan fetishist handwringing in the world won't change that.