Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Eastwood, The Coda

Laurence Lewis at Daily Kos:

The saddest thing about Clint Eastwood's embarrassing performance at the Republican National Convention is that it seemed so out of character for a man who always has been more nuanced and complicated than his macho film persona would suggest. In fact, many of his films have been more nuanced and complicated than many realize, often demonstrating a sensitivity to cultural diversity that is anathema to most Republicans, once making the case for end of life choice, and once even revealing the pettiness and empty false mythology behind the violent Westerns that first made him famous.
Eastwood has come out in favor of gay marriage, but he supports a presidential candidate who would ban it, and spoke to the convention of a party that is openly bigoted against the LGBT community. Eastwood last winter cut an ad that expressed appreciation for the auto bailout that Mitt Romney opposed and President Obama created. Eastwood is an environmentalist in a party that sees nature as nothing but a commodity to be exploited and exhausted. Eastwood in his speech decried the ongoing war in Afghanistan, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the Republicans oppose even the limited withdrawal President Obama signed. Eastwood mocked liberal Hollywood, but has a history of working well with noted liberal activists such as Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Hillary Swank. He has been known as a man of dignity, unpretentious, widely respected, well-liked.
Clint Eastwood is 82 years old, but there is no evidence that his mental faculties have been suffering. He still directs substantial films, and he still demonstrates wisdom in his choices of films to direct. If there is any lesson to be drawn from his public self-immolation it is that even a nuanced and complicated and normally respectable man cannot stand in the GOP spotlight without being soiled by it. This was a self-inflicted disaster, and Eastwood has no one to blame but himself. It was, nevertheless, sad.

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