I was watching Clint Eastwood’s train wreck last night, as it was happening and I had the same reaction that everyone else had; What the fuck? He looked like a crazy person. And as the cameras panned the crowd, I could see that some of them were running through the same what-the-fuck cycle I was running through.
And when I woke up this morning, and saw the #eastwooded memes, I laughed (a lot). But I also felt bad because he’s old, and maybe not as sharp as he once was. But the memes kept on coming, and I kept on laughing and feeling a little bad for him.
I’ve watched the speech two more times throughout the day, and a couple of things that didn’t occur to me last night (probably because I was dazed and confused) finally dawned on me. The first thing that I thought of is, why did he even agree to do the speech? He was eviscerated by the right for doing the “It’s half time in America” commercial for Chrysler. His party of patriots went thermonuclear on his ass, for having the gaul to be proud that an American company came back from the brink of disaster. His party is so fucking blinded by their own meanness, that they can’t even take pride in America anymore. Why the fuck would you want to have anything to do with these people anymore? And how do you not assess the situation exactly as I just did? So then I thought that maybe he truly believes that Mitt Romney is the right person to lead this country, despite their disagreement on the Chrysler situation. Remember, Romney wouldn’t have done anything to save them. But if that’s the case, why didn’t Eastwood just say that? Why didn’t he talk about being proud of Chrysler for coming back, while disagreeing (in hindsight, of course) with Mitt Romney about the handling of that one issue. He could have then gone on to talk about the issues in which he agrees with Romney and, I don’t know, maybe talked about why the views they share are better for the country.
That would have been a great speech. It would have been great for Eastwood, in repairing the ill will that republicans had for him, and it would have been great for Romney. But Clint decided to go mean. He decided that saying mean things about (or in his mind, to) Barack Obama. And if you watch the speech, he sounded lucid enough until he got mean. Once he got mean, he sounded like an addled brain old man.
I honestly believe that meanness has a corrosive effect on the soul. And that corrosive effect is what’s wrong with the republican party. That meanness is what makes them incapable of taking pride in goddamned anything about America anymore. They couldn’t take pride in the fact that we, before any European country much older than us, raced through enough racial issues that we elected a black president. I’m not saying that they should have embraced Obama. But they should have taken pride in that American accomplishment. I’ve never heard a republican espouse pride in America for that. They didn’t allow themselves to be proud of America when Osama Bin Laden was finally killed by an American bullet. And they refused to be proud when an American car company came back from nearly total oblivion to thrive.
Meanness is the thing that is corroding the republican party. Their whole convention was centered around being mean to the other guy, rather than praising their guy. Why? Because even they know they have nothing praiseworthy left anymore. Meanness causes blindness. Republicans should have figured out that they needed to completely revamp the party platform after the 2008 ass kicking. But they didn’t, because they’re blinded by meanness. They walked away from that election, thinking they lost because their nominee wasn’t conservative enough. Never mind the fact that there’s nothing conservative left about the republican party. They’ve lost conservatism because of their mean blindness. And I’m sad to say that the ass kicking that Romney is going to get in November, won’t lead them to reassess either. They’re just going to repeat the 2008 mantra of not having a conservative enough candidate.
I don’t feel bad for Clint Eastwood anymore. He’s just fucking mean, and he’s getting what he deserves. Part of me thinks that the GOP was still pissed at him when they booked him to speak. Think about it, the executive producer for the convention got that fucking empty chair for him. They knew what he was going to do. And no sane person could possibly think that was going to go over well. Maybe they wanted him to go out there and look like a jackass, as payback for “half time in America”. Maybe he got outmeaned.