The Excellent Foppery of the World: Clint Eastwood in Tampa

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BlaiseP

BlaiseP is the pseudonym of a peripatetic software contractor whose worldly goods can fit into an elderly Isuzu Rodeo. Bitter and recondite, he favors the long view of life, the chords of Steely Dan and Umphrey's McGee, the writings of William Vollman and Thomas Pynchon, the taste of red ale and his own gumbo. Having escaped after serving seven years of a lifetime sentence to confinement in hotel rooms, he currently resides in the wilds of Eau Claire County and contemplates the intersection of mixed SRID geometries in PostGIS.

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97 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Jesse Walker at Hit&Run called it the greatest speech in the history of political conventions.

    I don’t think he was being facetious.Report

  2. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    This was out of the park excellent, BP.Report

  3. Avatar Roger
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    says:

    Agreed completely. Clint was absolutely pathetic.Report

  4. Avatar CK MacLeod
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    says:

    Very nicely done, BP. You wear the failure of words quite well.

    The best tweet of a night of billions of ’em came from Jamelle Bouie: “This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama.” Sad-funny, and not just for Clint.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to CK MacLeod
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      says:

      Ow.Report

      • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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        says:

        Yeah, ow – I should say, I don’t mean it’s sad-funny just for Clint and the Rs. In fact, the seemingly random error becomes typical not just for the Romney campaign, but for the epoch as the campaign embodies it. So it’s very sad-funny for all of us. The R message, the message of R and R, is the ludicrous and insane notion that we can and should want to pretend that our Clint-nation can start all over again as a bunch of young singing cowboys looking for a break.Report

  5. Avatar Chris
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    says:

    I admit it was sad to watch, but the #Eastwooding trend that it spawned on Twitter made it worth it.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    I enjoyed it. He should have had someone tighten it up for him, or at least tell him that Romney’s a lawyer and “businessman” brings memories of He Who Must Not Be Named, but it was fun to see someone outside the narrow, God and family and third-grade civics band that defines convention speeches.(without going toKinder, Küche, Kirche).

    And it’s fun imagining the fainting couch the Republicans would be taking to if some Democratic speech called a sitting president “crazy” and implies he was telling their candidate to fuck himself.Report

  7. Avatar Kolohe
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    says:

    Yeah, it was Stockdale odd – it was beyond Stockdale odd, and I disagree strongly with Jesse Walker in his thinking this kind of thing resonates with people who haven’t already made of their minds.

    Still, the one redeeming feature is that Eastwood was all ‘WTF are we doing in Afghanistan?’ and he’s considered the crazy one.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kolohe
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      says:

      In-friggin’-deedy. I mean, what can you say… After all these years, what are we doing in Afghanistan? The Taliban just beheaded two minor children at last reporting, a six year old girl if they’ve got the facts right.

      Clint can ask what we’re doing in Afghanistan. I might respond to him, Clint, if you’re going to harangue a president in a empty chair, at least harangue the president who got us into that shithole. That guy decided he didn’t even want to come to your goddamn convention.Report

  8. Avatar NewDealer
    Ignored
    says:

    Now I want to see Hugh Laurie imitate Clint Eastwood as a Fop.

    No one does Fop better than Hugh LaurieReport

  9. Avatar Kimmi
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    says:

    Well, Clint certainly made my day. (this is not my catchphrase. and the marching orders aren’t mine).

    That speech transformed my husband into a hyper 12yearold. So many jokes, so little time.Report

  10. Avatar North
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    says:

    It was so… something… I didn’t know whether to be amused or horrified.Report

  11. Avatar Chris
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    says:

    It just occurred to me that Eastwood, an actor, wasn’t giving a speech, but acting as the typical Republican: old, white, suffering from a slight but easily observable dementia.

    I mean, just look at the people on this site who keep claiming that Obama is a radical, and you’ll know precisely the role Eastwood was acting last night.Report

  12. Avatar miguel cervantes
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    says:

    Well Clint has never cottoned to authority, even when he was nominally one, that was the point of the Dirty Harry films, in part, also the Rookie, in the line of Fire, et al, the riff on the clearly absurd trial of KSM in Manhattan was a case in point.Report

  13. Avatar miguel cervantes
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    says:

    Clint’s comparison was with Iraq, considered the bad war, instead of Afghanistan, the ‘graveyard of empires’Report

  14. Avatar George Turner
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    says:

    Everyone I watched it with was mesmerized, and obviously everyone here is still talking about it. Very few convention speakers can pull that off. Mark Steyn thought it was genius.

    Clint plans his spontaneous improvisations, from his mussed-up hair and shambling manner to Bob Newhart’s empty-chair routine from the Dean Martin show. Without those key elements, what Clint actually said would’ve been an obviously vicious attack, turning off most moderate viewers, yet everyone sat and hung on his every word, like watching a slow-motion train wreck that never quite derailed, just teetering right to the edge – and back, again and again. “Is Clint really that far gone?” Probably not. He’s made eight movies in the last five years, and even played a broken down old man to a tee.

    Without either the pointed lines or the manner of delivery that let him casually slip a knife in the ribs again and again, nobody would’ve paid attention. He woud’ve been yet another slick speaker droning the same lines about moms, families, and freedom that every other speaker hit, as if they were all auditioning for a role by reading the same lines from the same script.

    Instead, a day later, the top story on Google news is “Clint Eastwood speech with empty chair upstages Mitt Romney at GOP convention” along with 1,858 other news articles about his speech. That’s more than Marco Rubio got. Clint’s speech also picked up over 700,000 views on Youtube in 16 hours. Mitt Romney’s speech hasn’t garned a tenth of that. If there’s a liberal pundit who hasn’t seen Clint’s speech, another liberal pundit will make sure they do.Report

    • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to George Turner
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      says:

      And here we have the target audience.

      Bob Newhart reference (man, that Suzzanne Pleshette- va-va-VOOM!)- CHECK
      Dean Martin reference- (he was great, wasn’t he? Ring-a-ding!)- CHECK
      Mark (In your heart you know he’s white) Steyn loved it- CHECK

      Dirty Harry/ Josey Wales/ Man With No Name- Check, Check , and Check!

      Missing from the list-
      Nattering Nabobs of Negativism;
      Looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane, and smells like Cheetah
      Boy, the way Glenn Miller played…Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to George Turner
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      says:

      The word* is that now that it’s edited down to clips and excerpts, it’s absolutely devastating. Eastwood’s the only one I can think of who could have got away with this, and it looks like he did.

      – I wondered about when the — what do you want me to tell
      Romney? I
      can’t tell him to do that. I can’t tell him to do that to
      himself.
      (APPLAUSE)
      You’re crazy, you’re absolutely crazy. You’re getting as
      bad as
      Biden.
      (APPLAUSE)
      Of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the
      Democratic
      party.
      (LAUGHTER)
      Kind of a grin with a body behind it.

      [*HT: Jennifer Rubin]Report

      • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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        says:

        Jennifer Rubin

        As unbiased a source as we’ll find, what with Mr Eastwood’s mother having passed away.Report

        • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to MikeSchilling
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          says:

          Actually, I noticed it meself on talk radio. Eastwood’s takedown of Obama, Biden, Oprah [!] is even more hilarious w/o the hemming and hawing.

          I figgered somebody would take a gratuitous swipe at Jennifer Rubin but I felt obliged to give credit where it’s due.

          I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, what’s a movie tradesman doing out here? You know they are all left-wingers out there, left of Lenin. At least that’s what people think. But that’s not really the case. There’s a lot of conservative people, a lot of moderate people, Republicans, Democrats, in Hollywood. It’s just that the conservative people by the nature of the word itself play it a little more close to the vest. They don’t go around hot-dogging it. So, uh … But they’re there, believe me, they’re there. I just think, in fact, some of them around town, I saw Jon Voigt, a lot of people around here in town.

          Jon’s here, an Academy Award winner. A terrific guy. These people are all like-minded, like all of us.

          So I — so I’ve got Mr. Obama sitting here. And he’s — I just was going to ask him a couple of questions. But, you know, about, I remember three-and-a-half years ago, when Mr. Obama won the election. And though I wasn’t a big supporter, I was watching that night when he was having that thing and they were talking about hope and change and they were talking about, yes we can, and it was dark outdoors, and it was nice, and people were lighting candles. And they were saying, you know, I just thought, this is great. Everybody’s crying. Oprah was crying.

          I was even crying. And then finally — I haven’t cried that hard since I found out that there’s 23 million unemployed people in this country.

          Now that is something to cry for because that is a disgrace, a national disgrace, and we haven’t done enough, obviously — this administration hasn’t done enough to cure that. Whatever interest they have is not strong enough, and I think possibly now it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problem.

          So, so, Mr. President, how do you, how do you handle, how do you handle promises that you’ve made when you were running for election and how do you handle, how do you handle it?

          I mean, what do you say to people? Do you just — you know — I know — people were wondering. You don’t? You don’t handle it.Report

  15. Avatar wardsmith
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    says:

    My understanding is the original plan was for Bobby Jindal to be in the slot that Eastwood had to take because Jindal was doing his job (what a concept) instead of playing politics as usual. Obama wouldn’t understand that, what with all the cabinet meetings and meetings with his jobs council joint chiefs of staff and… everyone else he is ignoring while playing campaigner in chief.

    He’s had his four years, he gives a good campaign speech (that others wrote for him) but he can’t lead his way out of a wet paper bag. He won the election in 2008, but he didn’t know what to do once he wasn’t out on a campaign trail. His state of the union speeches sounded like campaign speeches, long on rhetoric, short on results. He can’t win a fair election now, he’d better be hoping for an unfair one, with lots of illegal immigrants getting told by INS agents that they have to put an X by his name or they’re going to be sent home. Some conspiracists would claim that his chess moves in that direction, starting with his Aug 2011 directives to INS and continuing with his Dream Act by fiat were to meet that end, but I find that specious. He won’t use INS agents in the voting booth.Report

    • Avatar ktward in reply to wardsmith
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      says:

      He can’t win a fair election now, he’d better be hoping for an unfair one, with lots of illegal immigrants getting told by INS agents that they have to put an X by his name or they’re going to be sent home.

      Because, as we all know, undocumented workers are notorious for carrying the necessary docs to register to vote in the first place. Assuming a great bloc of these folks pulled off such a scam, surely all the GOP-led Voter ID laws have shut that potential down. Right? I’m thinking that must be what you mean when you state, “He won’t use INS agents in the voting booth.”

      So, if not explained by some CT theory, how exactly is it that you see Obama might win this election unfairly? I’m unclear on that. I mean, you’ve already stated he can’t win it fairly so I am, indeed, clear on that point.Report

      • Avatar wardsmith in reply to ktward
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        says:

        What docs Kt? Most states require next to nothing, even the states that passed voter id laws were immediately sued by the Obama administration. Study the map, study the fact that even when the laws are passed, they aren’t implemented. Count the states that effectively require nothing at all then get back to me.Report

        • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to wardsmith
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          says:

          Ah, go back to that old conservative canard – ‘if a Democrat won, it was stolen.’ It lets you ignore the actual results of the election and treat the Democratic part as illegitimate.Report

        • Avatar ktward in reply to wardsmith
          Ignored
          says:

          What I’m asking, wardsmith, is what it is that you believe might hand this election to Obama, given that you’re convinced he can’t possibly win it fairly and you’ve, I think, conceded that he won’t try to win from votes somehow or other induced by the INS which is, apparently, a CT making the rounds. (Crikey, there’s a new one every day.)

          Are you simply asserting, generally, that if Obama wins it’s due to just some kind of built-in but otherwise generic voter fraud problem?

          Help me here. I’m trying to understand how it is that you can state with any certainty that the only way that Obama can win is unfairly, as in illegally.

          An instructive op-ed:

          The reason voter impersonation fraud is so rare is that it is an incredibly stupid and inefficient way to rig an election. Shepherding hordes of fraudsters from one polling place to the next to vote in other people’s names would take a lot of time and effort and expose them to trouble with the law with little potential payoff. Successful fraud is usually perpetrated at the wholesale, rather than retail, level.
          […]
          The greatest irony of the new crop of voter ID laws is that they do nothing to combat the more frequent problem of absentee ballot fraud.

          Report

          • Avatar wardsmith in reply to ktward
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            says:

            Well there’s Florida for instance. Everyone thinks illegal aliens are hiding under rocks, terrified they’ll be caught and deported. The reality is the more they live their lives like normal Americans including registering to vote (showing a driver’s license, which states are not allowed to mark to say this person can’t vote). The longer they are here, the more the “get away with” the higher the probability that they will never have to leave. For all the “you can’t prove it has happened” argument from the DNC (irrespective of the no one is allowed to look argument), the question on a lot of people’s minds is why they fight so vigorously against these laws if they’re not beneficiaries? Where there’s smoke there’s fire.

            I wish we had better immigration laws, it is a certainty that Republicans are fighting opening the floodgates to Hispanic immigration because the demographics are horribly against them. If 70% and more of this constituency automatically votes for your opposition, why would you encourage even more of them to come here?

            Both parties are highly flawed and statist in their own ways. At the moment the more flawed party is the Democratic because of fiscal irresponsibility (yes the Republicans did too and rightfully lost power because of it, now it is the Democrat’s turn). I’d love to have a viable 3rd party to vote for but them’s the breaks. Even if a viable party were to win 90% of the vote the Electoral college could ignore them and vote their party preference anyway and there’s really no law against it.Report

            • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to wardsmith
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              says:

              The Bush Justice Department had eight years to look into it, with six years of having a friendly Congress, and they didn’t find anything. So, please, don’t give me this whiny “we aren’t allowed to find the dirty illegals voting” BS.

              I’m against voter ID because there’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud and the laws passed in the last few years are aimed at limiting the vote of legal voters who simply don’t have the “right” papers.Report

            • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to wardsmith
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              says:

              This one isn’t a big issue for me, but B-1 Bob Dornan might have been torpedoed by illegals in 1996.

              http://soundpolitics.com/archives/003321.html

              Since Florida 2000 indeed came down to mere hundreds of votes, the state indeed has a legitimate interest in verifying voter eligibility*.

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pa-voter-id-law-gets-approval-of-state-judge/2012/08/15/8b7fef94-e6ec-11e1-8f62-58260e3940a0_story.html

              You just can’t make it a poll tax or an undue burden [say, traveling 200+ miles].

              http://www.volokh.com/2012/08/30/d-c-court-rules-against-texas-voter-id-law/
              ____
              quote—*In Pennsylvania, the voter ID requirement is a “reasonable, non-discriminatory, non-severe burden when viewed in the broader context of the widespread use of photo ID in daily life,” Simpson wrote in his opinion. “The Commonwealth’s asserted interest in protecting public confidence in elections is a relevant and legitimate state interest sufficiently weighty to justify the burden.”Report

              • Avatar James H. in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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                says:

                B-1 Bob likely was, but only because the demographics of his district were changing sufficiently to make it possible for that to make the difference. And they kept changing so that by the next election, the Dem incumbent (Sanchez, was it?) could win easily without shenanigans.

                It’s a weird case. Dornan surely was robbed, but almost certainly only of what would have been his last term anyway.Report

            • Avatar James H. in reply to wardsmith
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              says:

              The more they live like regular Americans, the more I’d be inclined to let them vote. They’re invested, they’re stakeholders. Hell, if we’re not going to be smart enough to just give them citizenship, we could at least let them vote.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to wardsmith
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              says:

              “For all the “you can’t prove it has happened” argument from the DNC (irrespective of the no one is allowed to look argument), the question on a lot of people’s minds is why they fight so vigorously against these laws if they’re not beneficiaries?”

              By that same logic, can we assume that Republicans fight so fiercely for these laws not because of a desire to uphold election standards, but because they’d benefit electorally from their enacting?Report

              • Avatar James H. in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Here’s why I, a non-Democrat, oppose these laws: they’re infringing on a sacred democratic right without any evidence that there is any real problem being solved by them. You’re fairly conservative, aren’t you Ward? Is it really conservative to pass unnecessary laws to “solve” a largely imaginary probkem* that infringe on constitutional rights?

                * Look up the record. Very few voter fraud allegations have successfully been demonstrated in court.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to James H.
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                says:

                Generally speaking, I’d rather have people who shouldn’t be allowed to vote end up voting than people who should be allowed to vote being denied. But that’s just me.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Hey, I’m for mandatory voting like they do in the fascist republic of Australia (:P), but I’d be for that even if it led to Democrat’s losing. At the end of the day though, the idea a couple hundred illegal immigrants might end up voting in scattered polling place doesn’t upset me as much as the idea that thousands, if not tens of thousands of actual legal voters will have a tougher time voting.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                Makes those “Vote or Die” shirts take on a whole new meaning…Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to James H.
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                says:

                Look up the record. Very few voter fraud allegations have successfully been demonstrated in court
                It doesn’t happen (even though you concede Dornan and the 500+ illegal votes) because the bar for proving voter fraud in court is simply too high and the ACLU and all the rest have a field day with it.

                I think it is easier in this country to prove slander than voter fraud and we all know how many successful slander cases are prosecuted in this country. Therefore there is no such thing as slander by that logic since the last successful case IIRC was Carol Burnett.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to wardsmith
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                says:

                You don’t need someone to die to put up a stop sign. Voter ID is leagal and reasonable.

                BTW, this article says the PA law was triggered by some precincts voting at the 100% level, which of course is bloody unlikely.

                I have no idea who’s right here, but there is more than one side to the story. As usual.

                http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/07/10/philly-voter-fraud-allegations-race-voter-id/

                The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson gets on his favorite hobbyhorse today when he claims again in his column that voter ID laws are nothing more than a manifestation of racism. But in doing so, he demonstrates either his ignorance or his partisanship.

                Robinson and other liberals have long alleged that Republican support for laws intended to curb voter fraud are simply a way of suppressing the black vote for Democrats. To back this up, he seized on a statement made by Mike Turzai, the Republican Majority Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, in which he said this about the state voter ID law passed by the GOP last year: “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania — done.”

                Robinson represents this comment as giving away the game in which suppression of the black vote will steal Pennsylvania for the GOP as many inner city blacks don’t have driver’s licenses or a photo ID to present at the polls.

                Robinson doesn’t mention that any voter can get a free photo ID from the state if they ask for one. But his recitation of statistics about those who don’t already have proof of identity leaves out a far more significant number that influenced the Pennsylvania legislature to pass the bill: 100 percent. That’s the percentage of registered voters who voted at a number of Philadelphia voter precincts in the last several elections.

                Indeed, as Republicans in the state capital pointed out during the debate about the voter ID law, in many parts of Philadelphia, a Democratic stronghold, voter turnout in contested elections routinely exceeds 100 percent of registered voters. But because the Democrats control the local elections board that supervises voting in the city, there is no accountability for this obvious fraud. If it is enforced, the voter ID law may make this rather flagrant method of cheating a bit more difficult this year.

                That’s the problem with the complaints made by Robinson and Attorney General Eric Holder and the rest of the liberal establishment about voter ID laws. They keep telling us there is no such thing as election fraud in the United States, a point Robinson makes again today in his column. But in Pennsylvania, to seize on the example Robinson thinks is so damning, the Democrats and the unions have always been able to manufacture as many votes as they need to swing a state that otherwise leans to the Republicans. That’s what Turzai was alluding to when he said the voter ID law he helped pass would help Mitt Romney.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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                says:

                “BTW, this article says the PA law was triggered by some precincts voting at the 100% level…”

                What’s that you say? They’re ALL voting? Get me the governor…Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to wardsmith
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                says:

                Yes, I realize it’s not like the old days where you can point at the non-white person and a jury will find them guilty. You actually have to have proof.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                Failure to present a government-issued ID card that certifies citizenship and eligibility to vote isn’t “proof”?Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to James H.
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                says:

                Oh, Good Lord. The Voter ID laws will make it more difficult for eligible poor people and minorities to vote, as the lady from South Carolina acknowledges. Do you need to go any further than that to see why Democrats oppose and Republicans favor them?Report

              • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to James H.
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                says:

                Even as a liberal, I can support voter ID in principle, since it does seem a good idea to ensure that the actual registered voter is voting.

                Except that in order to actually be of use, voter ID needs to be accompanied by universal ID, meaning we need to make damn sure that every last breathing voter is provided with an ID; the Republicans, generally speaking, fight this tooth and nail. Witness the resistance to motor voter laws, same day registration, etc.

                It seems odd, doesn’t it, that banks and retailers have invested massive amounts of money devising clever ways to get these same people- poor, without proper identification, driver’s licenses, etc- to participate fully in the precess of buying stuff thru Paypal, prepaid phone and debit cards, and other devices.

                It demonstrates to me that when there is a strong desire to get these people to engage in a process, it happens….but getting these people to engage in the voting process? Nope, nu-uh, its always like pulling teeth.

                I honestly, truly believe that the Republicans simply want to depress turnout among these people. It doesn’t have jack to do with the sanctity of the vote or anything else.Report

            • Avatar ktward in reply to wardsmith
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              says:

              … it is a certainty that Republicans are fighting opening the floodgates to Hispanic immigration because the demographics are horribly against them. If 70% and more of this constituency automatically votes for your opposition, why would you encourage even more of them to come here?

              When did this conversation become about legal immigration or CIR? I must’ve missed the memo that Dems were trying to open any immigration floodgates, Hispanic or otherwise. Aren’t illegal border crossings down under Obama? (Since those seem to be the illegals you’re worried about.)

              Anyhoo, back on topic.

              That May article seems a little old, especially given all the understandable hullabaloo over Gov. Scott’s purging of voter rolls. But here’s how it winds up:

              Nearly 1,600 of the [2600 potential] voters identified up until now reside in Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populous county, which includes the city of Miami.

              If these illegal voters are in fact Latino, as seems to be your concern, it’s worth noting that out of the more heavily Latino-populated places in the 48, that’s the one spot where they really really like the GOP. ! So if Mitt wins FL, maybe we should do some investigating?

              With precious little to show for it, GWB’s admin already did their level best in rooting around for voter fraud. Rather infamously, iirc, so I’m convinced that the GOP’s interests in this matter have already been well served.

              That said, the Republican Party is hardly pretending anymore that Voter ID laws and the purging of voter rolls isn’t anything but part of a greater election strategy, so I’m not sure why anyone feels compelled to argue otherwise.

              Meanwhile, the rest of us–including some local, vocal GOP elected officials–are concerned that these Voter ID laws will disenfranchise wide swaths of perfectly legitimate voters. US citizens, not illegal immigrants.Report

              • Avatar ktward in reply to ktward
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                says:

                See, this is what happens when I have to walk away for what I think is just a handful of minutes but really turns out to be an hour … everyone else beats me to the punch. Report

              • Avatar ktward in reply to ktward
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                says:

                [she says while chuckling]Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to ktward
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                says:

                I don’t see how voter ID laws would affect poor, minorities, or immigrants because they don’t seem to have any problem buying beer and cigarettes, which requires a photo ID. I would think choosing the leader of the free world (with a vast nuclear arsenal at his command) would at least require as much verification of identity as buying a pack of Camels.

                What it will hopefully do is keep dead people from voting, which has been a serious and ongoing problem. In the 2000 Missouri Senate race dead people made up such a high percentage of the electorate that one of their own beat John Ashcroft, who was the only candidate in the race who was still breathing.

                Lyndon Johnson used to tell a story about his time starting out in Texas, working for a local politician. Along with the candidate, he and the other staffers were going through a cemetery writing down names from the tombstones, and one guy hit a particularly weathered one, couldn’t make out the name, and gave up in loud disgust. The candidate, who was leading the scavenging effort, hollered “No! You go back and get that name! That man’s got as much of a right to vote as anybody in here!”Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Voting is a right that should have as few restrictions as possible. Buying beer isn’t a right, so if the state government wanted you to pull in your birth certificate, great. Also, many of the people without ID’s are old people who never had a photo ID and aren’t buying beer or cigarettes, despite them being shifty lazy minorities getting a 40 and pack of Virginia Slims as you so slyly alluded too.

                And dead people voting hasn’t actually been a problem in decades since the death of political machines and sane bipartisan regulations that were passed about securing the vote.Report

              • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Yeah, but I recall seeing an episode of the Simpsons where Homer tried to vote Democratic, but the electronic voting machine changed his vote to Republican.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                No, dead people still vote. NPR reports that 1.8 million dead people are still registered to vote, nationwide. And vote they do.

                Michigan had 1,375 dead people vote in 2008 and 2010.

                South Caronlina had 900 dead people voting.

                In just the Bay area of California 232 dead people voted in 2008, some of them more than once (which is a double no-no because no dead person should cast more ballots than other dead people).

                In New York 2,600 dead people voted in 2006, out of 77,000 dead people still registered, which is actually a shockingly low 3.3% turnout rate, indicating that most dead people don’t actually care about the future.

                Voting is a right that should have as few restrictions as possible.

                And the meaning and purpose of the vote should be protected from being cancelled out by fake or ineligible voters. Suppose Mitt Romney wins because of a million votes cast by Republicans who don’t actually exist except in the fevered imaginations of scheming fraudsters. Would you be content with the results?

                The concept is that each person eligible to vote (We don’t allow votes from Charles Manson or the entire countries of Pakistan or India) gets to cast one and only one vote, and each of those votes is counted exactly once. We shouldn’t have people voting three and four times, or sending in hundreds and hundreds of absentee ballots with names like Donald Duck.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to wardsmith
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      says:

      Ward-

      If this is an “unfair race” with ineligible voters participating, why is the assumption that the advantage necessarily goes to Obama?Report

      • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        Kazzy, the meme is that the illegals have the most to be thankful for from the Democratic party and most to fear from the GOP. I believe even the most partisan can see reality bears this out. Now whether illegals /really/ get to vote remains to be seen, like a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear, if no one investigates and follows up then quite truthfully (although not truly) that tree can be said not to have fallen.Report

        • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to wardsmith
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          says:

          “Even if there’s no evidence, it still might’ve happened because BAIS!”Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to wardsmith
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          says:

          While I have seen lax standards in terms of verifying identity, I have never seen anyone get to vote who isn’t on the rolls. So these “illegals” would have had to register, often far in advance, in order to be able to vote AND have those registrations go through. If the notion is that folks are just walking up and voting without their names on the rolls… well, anyone can abuse that, no?Report

        • Avatar ktward in reply to wardsmith
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          says:

          Ah. I think this might answer my query above. So, what you’re saying is, if Obama wins we’d better take a trip to the woods and check out the fallen trees, as it were.

          Perhaps I’m nuance-challenged, but I don’t see any useful distinction between your tip-toeing around that particular CT and just embracing the CT.

          It occurs to me that if “illegals”, in cahoots with the Dems of course, were inclined to coordinate the casting illegal ballots en masse, it would’ve been just as likely in ’08 or even ’10 as in ’12. But oddly, it seems to just be ’12 you’re concerned with.Report

  16. Avatar ktward
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    says:

    For familial reasons, I’ve been plunged deep into the world of the 75+ crowd.

    In a nutshell: to attempt to disabuse them of *any* of their long-held notions is simply futile. Setting aside the folly of his Palin pick (perhaps more accurately, the folly of his advisors), McCain was just too dang old to consider for POTUS. Period.

    Like Blaise–lovely post, btw–I don’t possess the heart to rip our old folks to shreds even when they might prove an easy target.

    That said, I’m sure Eastwood’s RNC speech appealed in a serious way to loyal Republican voters, Obama haters, and old white peeps. (In a Venn, lots of overlap here.) So I’ve no doubt that Eastwood didn’t hurt Romney, but unlike Jesse Walker I don’t see how Eastwood actually helped Romney. As in, seduced or secured votes that weren’t already Romney’s to begin with.Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to ktward
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      says:

      Thx for the link:

      “In short: A widely beloved figure came onstage, offered a politically popular critique of the other party’s candidate, put it in transpartisan terms that are more likely to appeal to undecided voters, and did it in a way that guaranteed we will remember it. He was human, eccentric, funny, weird, relatable. Maybe I would have preferred a performance of Eastwood’s anti-government monologue from The Outlaw Josey Wales, but I’m not the target audience. I say the speech helps Romney.”Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to ktward
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      says:

      “So I’ve no doubt that Eastwood didn’t hurt Romney, but unlike Jesse Walker I don’t see how Eastwood actually helped Romney. As in, seduced or secured votes that weren’t already Romney’s to begin with.”

      I dunno about the first part, though I certainly agree that Jesse’s assessment is off.

      Best I can tell, all anyone is talking about today is Eastwood, and – despite what Jess (and maybe Tom?) suggests – he’s being treated as a laughingstock. Whether or not he should be is an open question, but as bad as I think Romney’s played his hand thus far, he hasn’t played it so baldy that jokes about his opening act upstaging his message of the night is a good thing.

      I think in order to think this helped Mitt, you really have to have zero confidence in his ability to connect with people when he’s the main story.Report

  17. Avatar Will Truman
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    says:

    My understanding is the original plan was for Bobby Jindal to be in the slot that Eastwood had to take because Jindal was doing his job (what a concept) instead of playing politics as usual.

    That would make sense. Having Eastwood speak didn’t strike me as particularly odd. Having him speak when he did strikes me as odd.

    Can you point me to a source?Report

  18. Avatar James H.
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    says:

    Lovely post, Blaise. A most human and gentle response to Eastwood’s unfortunate moment. I’ve avoided the reading/listening to discussion of it because I expected too much mockery of the man. Thanks for giving us a nice antidote to that.Report

  19. Avatar Michael Drew
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    says:

    I heard it on the radio. I had no idea how lost I actually was in real time.

    In all honesty, he made a sharp & valid point here and there, on foreign policy mainly, but none of which managed to make it not as embarrassing as everyone is saying it was. (Though I only knew how bad once I’d seen it on delay).Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Drew
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      says:

      Bill Maher says Clint’s performance was great.

      http://www.politico.com/blogs/click/2012/09/bill-maher-eastwood-killed-it-134038.html?hp=r1

      “As a performer, as a stand-up comedian for 30 years who knows how hard it is to get laughs, excuse me, he went up there … without a net, on a tightrope. There was no teleprompter. He did a bit with just an empty chair and killed,” Maher said. “He committed to it, it was consistent and it worked.”

      “People have been saying for years: these conventions are too scripted, they’re too slick, they’re too overproduced,” he added. “A guy who went up there who wasn’t slick … and killed with the crowd? I gotta give him props for that.”

      Clint’s performance is now past 2 million views on Youtube. I watched some old Bob Newhart/Dean Martin routines (I couldn’t find Newhart’s empty chair bit online), and Clint did a pretty flawless Newhart role, understated, bumbling, unsure, and devastatingly funny. Probably the main problem was the audio cutting out when Clint would turn his head, which should’ve been expected for an actor used to having an overhead boom mic.

      That brings up an obvious suggestion. People at conventions look so wooden and scripted in part because they’re stuck to the mic on the podium instead of able to move around and turn their heads naturally, like a stage performer does. (The other reason they look wooden and scripted is that they’re wooden and scripted.)Report

      • Avatar Fnord in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        It’s in the news. Of course people are watching.

        I think the “talk to an empty chair” is unfair. He did, actually, make that part work, more or less.

        Unfortunately, it had plenty of other problems. While the jokes themselves are largely delivered well, comparing much of Eastwood’s speech to Newhart is a demonstration of the difference between a bumbling, naturalistic style, with appropriate use of disfluencies, and actually failing to speak fluently.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Fnord
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          says:

          And that’s why Clint is a much greater actor than Newhart. You still don’t realize he was acting, which is the mark of great acting. With Newhart it was obvious.Report

          • Avatar Michelle in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            You still don’t realize he was acting? Talk about putting a positive, partisan spin on things. Wow. Although I guess I’m not completely surprised.

            Romney’s people, on the other hand, we’re crapping all over themselves trying to avoid blame for the Eastwood fiasco. And Ann Romney, on the morning news shows, was tactful but clearly displeased with the performance, understanding full well what a major distraction it was to Romney’s latest repackaging of himself.Report

          • Avatar Fnord in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            If Eastwood was acting the part of an idiot because he thinks Romney would be a terrible president and wants to embarrass him, he’s a dramatic genius.Report

  20. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Do you feel lucky, punk?Report

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