Sitting back, enjoying the Superbowl, sometime before or after (I can’t remember which) Madonna’s awesome halftime show I got a slap in the face and a kick in the gut. The commercial starts and it is a well produced if obviously unsophisticated appeal to American Nationalism that you see in ads for domestic auto companies. There is something familiar about the voice and it is right there at the front of my brain but I still cannot put a face to it. Then the camera does and I am knocked on my ass.
My first reaction is “WTF Clint? You were the last one! You were the one celebrity we could count on to not sell out his artistic integrity to hawk a product.” Because make no mistake, that is what the commercial was. It was not some PSA encouraging us all to have faith that good days are ahead, even if that was the message used to sell the product. A product was being sold, that of the Chrysler Corp.
That said it was a moving bit of optimism. That old, anti-hero prince of celluloid delivered an oration that was straight out of a coach’s half time, locker room speech, and was delivered at precisely that moment. As Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichik sought to light a fire in their teams’ bellies, Clint went about doing it for the rest of us, cloaked though it was in the pall of mass marketing. He did so in his trademark, no bs, low key manner and with words that were utterly non-partisan. Unless, of course, you feel the need to make them so. Which is exactly what Karl Rove did.
It is apparently lost on Mr. Rove that Clint supported the guy that the President beat in 2008. I guess the need to trash your opponent at any chance trumps being civil to a lifelong Republican who, as Mr. Turley points out in his post was no fan of the bail out that you are railing against. I guess it also trumps common sense because Clint is way more popular with the Republican base than Karl is. That’s the Republican modus operandi these days it seems: cannibalism and self immolation.
Take Newt Gingrich’s horrifying call to use child labor to break the unions. Take Mitt Romney’s tone deaf handling of his own tax situation or his picking an already lost fight with Planned Parenthood at precisely the worst moment. Take Rick Santorum… well, take Rick Santorum being Rick Santorum. Really? In a time in this country when a majority of Americans support LGBTQ equality, you’re going to compare gay folks to people engaging in bestiality? It’s like they are trying to lose.
Mr. Eastwood’s words could be a rallying point for us all regardless of our religious persuasion, race, political identity, sexual identity or sexuality. For a moment let us forget the real reason for the TV spot and remember that he walked into our living rooms, looked right at us and told us the team could still win this. So of course the whining, petulant water boy that is Karl Rove had to tell the coach to shut up because the coach didn’t insist we change quarterback. I suspect that America’s reaction will be what any football team’s would be.