I am I Said, to No One There
When I heard that Clint Eastwood was going to be the “Mystery Speaker” at the RNC tonight (and not Hologram Reagan!) I was prepared to be disappointed. After all, Eastwood is a Republican, but he never struck me as being that guy. You know, the kind of guy who would fit in with all the lying and dog-whistling nonsense we’ve been getting from this convention, let alone this campaign. But from the moment he gave a shout-out to Jon Voight, one couldn’t help but suspect it was going to go downhill—and it sure did.
If the Romney folks weren’t just the least bit nervous when an empty chair was put on the stage, it looks like they became that way after about a minute:
On a night where virtually every moment was scripted, Eastwood was among the only speakers not reading from a teleprompter as he spoke.
Maybe they should have been just a little concerned a little bit sooner, hm?
It’s not that the RNC audience seemed particularly put off—he got some good applause lines at President Obama and Vice-President Biden’s expense, however unseemly they were—but as a home viewer, he seemed to be stuttering and awkward, mean-spirited and not especially winning. As he talked….to an empty chair. A Fauxbama, if you will. Arguably, despite being bizarre as all hell, this was where Eastwood really uncorked the id of the entire convention and really let a make-believe president have a stern, fatherly, old man to younger man talking to—you know, the kind he wouldn’t give to his face.
It’s tempting to blame this on age—but chalking this up to senility actually just makes everything sadder and ageist and I think is just really wrong. It seems this shambles has more to do with needing a bigfoot celebrity to range across the stage and shout out a nice catch phrase (did anyone else wince their dimples off when he got the crowd to say “Make my day”? Feh.) Because otherwise, they really just had some really boring speakers, Marco Rubio (who wasn’t horrible, in comparison, I guess) and then Mitt Romney himself—who I do believe did break Paul Ryan’s land-speed lying record. With any luck, many great run-downs of the many,many Romney lies will take their place alongside the staggering Ryan ones on the morrow.—If!
Only if anyone can talk about anything but Eastwood and the chair. Because I know my fellow citizens. Gaspers like accusing Obama of sending jobs to China and the gobsmacking Reagan-echoing of “Are you better off?” (four years ago, the stock market fucking took sick and nearly died, Mitt, taking gas prices down with it—WTF?) and of course, the ever-present “apologizing” fib, will probably not get properly challenged except in the blogosphere if there is some celebrity drama to be discussed.
(Yes, I know I led off with Eastwood. But you know what I mean.)