What Clint Eastwood Knows – Republicans Are The Party Of Empty Chairs (VIDEO)

Poor Mitt Romney. He gave what might be the most charismatic speech of his life Thursday night and he was upstaged by an old white man yelling at a chair. Depending on your perspective, Clint Eastwood’s performance was either humorous or sad or possibly both. But could it be that Eastwood was, in true artistic vision, telling the story of the modern Republican party, the party of old white men yelling at an empty chair?

Here’s the speech:

The Republican party comes to us from the perspective of an empty chair. At 82-years-old, Eastwood is a relic of Republicans of the days past, the days even before Ronald Reagan. His party had ideas not ideologues. When Nixon lied, he was held accountable. When Romney lies, the new Republican party lies right along with him.

The GOP is an empty chair. In the last 50 years, we have seen five Republican presidents, yet there is only one name positively uttered by anyone associated with the GOP. Republicans have no positive record. George W. Bush was an unmitigated disaster. George Sr. and Ford were unremarkable at best. Nixon was, well, Nixon. The singular Republican success story was, like Eastwood, an actor, a creator of fiction. Reagan, in looks and in style, portrayed the character of a President and his character has grown to mythical and wildly unreal proportions since leaving office. In real life, Reagan was no hero and he certainly wasn’t a conservative by today’s standards. Reagan raised taxes. He grew the government and he loved peace. The ghost of Ronald Reagan is only slightly more based in reality than their version of the holy ghost.

When a major political party has absolutely no history to back up its claim of competence, when the only living national figure they can safely drag out from Republican dry storage is Condoleezza Rice, a war hawk with some surprisingly progressive ideals, they have just two options, lie and deflect. And lie they do. The convention alone was an almost unprecedented display of unapologetic lies. Over the last 30 weeks, Romney has lied 533 times. Yes, someone actually counted them. For every lie told by a Democrat, Republicans lie three times.

Without a history, the lies have to be centered on something, someone, so they center them around the person they are trying to beat, President Barack Obama. Obama is neither a socialist nor a Kenyan nor a Muslim nor a fascist. He’s a pretty middle of the road American Christian. He’s a decent guy, the kind of neighbor you could trust to bring in the mail while you’re on vacation. You can differ with his views of government and governing, but his character is strong.

30% of Republicans believe that Obama is a Muslim. A quarter of Republicans believe Obama is literally the anti-Christ. They don’t believe he’s a flawed politician. They don’t even believe that he is corrupt. They don’t even believe he is human. They believe he is evil personified. Those Republicans would vote and cheer for screaming gremlins before they’d pull the lever for the black guy in the White House.

While Mitt Romney won’t say any of those things, his candidacy depends on letting people believe those things. What he will do is try to convince at least another 25% of Americans that it is Obama and not Congress is responsible for the fact that GITMO didn’t close. That it’s Obama that got us into the recession months before he took office. That it’s Obama who raised oil prices. That it’s Obama who caused the country’s credit downgrade. That it’s Obama who wants to end Medicare. That it’s Obama who got us into war. None of these are true, but Romney will say these things with a straight face. Media outlets might or might not do their jobs in fact checking but once the lie is out there, once it’s repeated enough times, it becomes fact.

Republicans can’t run against Barack Obama because all they have to offer is an empty chair. There is no actual modern GOP role model. Their policies, tax cuts, mass privatization, outsourcing (yes, Clinton does get some blame there) and endless wars, have been abject failures. They are what got us into this mess. Obama, on the other hand, has demonstrable achievements, despite non-stop obstructionism. Since the GOP can’t run on its record, since they are running as an empty chair, they can only run against an empty chair.

Clint Eastwood, the pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, anti-war Republican can’t be a fan of today’s Republican party. To paraphrase their fictional hero, the party left him a long time ago. Eastwood’s speech was largely a critique that could have come from the left. Eastwood told us the truth. He told us that the reason GITMO wasn’t closed is that no one wanted terrorists tried in their back yard. He told us that Afghanistan was a bad idea, even though it sounded like he was trying to pin it on Obama. It wasn’t an accident that Eastwood was yelling at a chair. He’s a movie director. He knows how to use fiction to make a point. He knows that in 2012, Republicans are running both to, and away from, an empty chair.

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