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Politics: Why the kooky Eastwood speech is good for the GOP

Published by: Robert Laurie on Friday August 31st, 2012

Robert Laurie

By ROBERT LAURIE – In the long run, Eastwood’s address will be remembered for its points

If there’s a “water cooler moment” from the GOP convention, we all know what it is.  Clint Eastwood’s speech is the kind of political event so odd, that you can’t help but spend several hours dissecting it. All day, the left-wing corners of the ‘net have been abuzz with speculation and Monday morning quarterbacking. Confused liberals are yakking back and forth, trying desperately to figure out what happened last night, and how they should feel about it.

Meanwhile, the conservatives are all smiles.  Honestly.  I’ve yet to meet anyone right-of-center who didn’t like that speech. The reason?

While the left writes it off as the inane ramblings of old coot trying to keep people off his political lawn, the rest of us know something they don’t.  There were solid bullet points in that speech and, although they may have been delivered oddly, they’re the kind of ideas that tend to stick.

Sure. He was talking to an empty chair.  No, that’s not the kind of thing you normally see at a convention.  Our side seemed kind of charmed by its strangeness.  Their side, which usually claims to love bizarre performance art, is ridiculing it. Either way, there’s no doubt it’s going to be remembered – forever. 

Days, weeks, and months from now, as the memory of all the standard “blue suit, red tie” speeches drifts away, people will still be talking about Eastwood’s wacky turn at the podium.

When they do, they’ll be forced to bring up the points he was making.  Again, and again, and again.  If they want to talk about the crazy bits, they’ll be forced to talk about the salient stuff as well.

Let me tell you, ALL the salient stuff is damaging to the Democrats in very real ways.  For example, if you want give an account of Eastwood’s rambling, jumbled story about crying at the emotion of Obama’s Hyde Park victory rally, you’re going to have to mention that he said he hasn’t “cried that hard since I found out that there is 23 million unemployed people in this country.”   

If you’re talking about some of his failed jokes, odds are you’ll mention a couple of the successful ones, like the “Biden is the intellect of the Democratic party” line, or the suggestion that “I think if you just step aside and Mr. Romney can kind of take over, you can maybe still use a plane. Though, maybe a smaller one. Not that big gas guzzler you are going around to colleges and talking about student loans and stuff like that.”

More importantly, when progressives mock this old, out-of-touch, fuddy duddy, they’ll be forced to remind people of perhaps the most important thing Eastwood brought up. “We own this country. It is not you owning it, and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours.”

“And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.”

It’s been almost four years and, even by his own estimation, Barack Obama has not done the job.  If the convention had a theme, it might have been this: “You don’t have to hate Barack Obama, you don’t even have to dislike him, but you do have to ask yourself if he’s capable of leading the country where it needs to go.”

Long after the fumbled words and the miscues have faded away, we’ll still remember Eastwood’s take on this premise.

“We do not have to be masochists and vote for somebody that we don’t really even want in office just because they seem to be nice guys.”

So please, liberals, keep talking about Eastwood, so we can keep reminding you what his speech was really about.