After the shenanigans at the RNC prevented a Ron Paul nomination and the accompanying speaking spot he had rightfully earned, I figured there wasn’t much reason to tune into the rest of the Republican National Convention coverage. The remainder of the dog and pony show was surely destined to be a scripted borefest full of the standard 3 by 5 card of Republican Talking Points. We were sure to hear lots of talk about “American exceptionalism”, how Obama and Obama alone is destroying America, and of course how the only solution to all of our nations’ woes was electing this Romney fella.
And then, suddenly the interwebs were abuzz with chatter about this “old man rambling on the stage”. For a moment I thought “gosh golly gee, did they actually come to their senses and allow Ron Paul to speak???”. But alas, that was nothing more than a fleeting dream, as it seemed that all the hoopla was over the RNC’s “Surprise” guest speaker, “Dirty Harry” himself, Clint Eastwood. Now Clint Eastwood is not the typical neocon you would expect to find headlining the RNC. In an interview with the Daily Mail last year, Eastwood described his political views in a way that may lead some to believe he’s more of a libertarian than a strict Republican True Believer:
‘My dad was fiscally conservative and I was influenced by that. He didn’t believe in spending more than you had because it gets you into trouble. But he was also very understanding of other people’s feelings – religious or whatever – and letting people live the lives they wanted, so he was socially a liberal.
‘And I became more of a libertarian – let’s leave everybody alone, quit screwing with everybody and don’t over-regulate. It’s about giving people a chance to live by their own decisions. And today the liberals aren’t really liberal at all because they won’t leave people alone, and a lot of the conservatives have lost their way fiscally. That’s why the UK, America, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are all in a mess right now.
Let’s see: Don’t spend more than you take in, tolerate the beliefs of others, leaving other people alone…he certainly sounds libertarian to me. Still, from all the snippets from pundits on from both sides of the “aisle”, it sounded like the speech was a total disaster.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said that ““a great night for Mitt Romney just got sidetracked by Clint Eastwood.” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer called it “a horrible blunder.” Of course, any time the mainstream media pundits are all equally in fits over something, my interest is piqued. So I decided it was time to watch the speech for myself.
Yes, he stumbled over his words a bit and seemed a bit disjointed at times. Well there’s probably a good reason for that – unlike John Boehner’s “opinion” on voice votes, Eastwood’s speech was not scripted and not read off of a teleprompter. The Romney campaign so trusted that Mr. Eastwood would come out and give a rousing endorsement, it didn’t ask to vet the speech beforehand, as they insisted on doing to Ron Paul’s potential speech if they allowed it. And up until right before he went on stage when he asked for a chair, nobody had any idea what Eastwood was about to do.
Now, he certainly used the chair as a voice against Obama, but I found the use of an empty chair to signify the President to be perfect. Intended or not, an empty chair perfectly exemplifies the rotating cast of unprincipled pre-programmed robo-Presidents that are shoved down our throats every four years. For all intents and purposes, Eastwood was speaking to the men behind the empty chair.
Nobody will accuse Eastwood of displaying masterful oratory skills here. But let’s take a look at some of the substance of what he actually said. After acknowledging the 23 million unemployed in this country and a quip about Guantanamo, Eastwood went into previously uncharted territory at this year’s RNC by bringing up the nation’s (bipartisan) multiple ongoing wars.
I know you were against the war in Iraq, and that’s okay. But you thought the war in Afghanistan was OK. You know, I mean — you thought that was something worth doing. We didn’t check with the Russians to see how did it — they did there for 10 years.
I think you’ve mentioned something about having a target date for bringing everybody home. You gave that target date, and I think Mr. Romney asked the only sensible question, you know, he says, “Why are you giving the date out now? Why don’t you just bring them home tomorrow morning?
See, I never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to be the president, anyway. I think attorneys are so busy — you know they’re always taught to argue everything, and always weigh everything — weigh both sides…
I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen. Something that I think is very important. It is that, you, we — we own this country.
We — we own it. It is not you owning it, and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours.
And — so — they are just going to come around and beg for votes every few years. It is the same old deal. But I just think it is important that you realize , that you’re the best in the world. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or whether you’re libertarian or whatever, you are the best. And we should not ever forget that. And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.
We don’t have to be — what I’m saying, we do not have to be metal (ph) masochists and vote for somebody that we don’t really even want in office just because they seem to be nice guys or maybe not so nice guys, if you look at some of the recent ads going out there, I don’t know.
But OK. You want to make my day?
All right. I started, you finish it. Go ahead.AUDIENCE: Make my day
Thank you. Thank you very much.