Beware of Mavericks

They probably thought he was going to sit in the chair, not talk nasty to it…

Behind the scenes, Mr. Eastwood’s convention cameo was cleared by Mr. Romney’s top message mavens, Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, who drew up talking points that Mr. Eastwood included, in his own way. They gave him a time limit and flashed a blinking red light that told him his time was up. He ignored both. The actor’s decision to use a chair as a prop was last-minute, and his own.

“The prop person probably thought he was going to sit in it,” a baffled senior aide said on Thursday night.

Mr. Eastwood’s rambling and off-color appearance just moments before the biggest speech of Mr. Romney’s life instantly became a Twitter and cable-news sensation, which drowned out much of the usual postconvention analysis that his campaign had hoped to bask in.

What is this Republican crush on mavericks and elderly cowboy actors? It’s doubtful that anyone but political junkies and event planners will really follow this story. No one’s going to make a voting decision over it. Clint Eastwood did what really big actors do— put the spotlight on himself. And being an icon of the rule-breaking, independent man, he did it his way. Like the saying goes, he ‘created a distraction’, but the Republican party can’t accept his resignation, because he never worked for them to start with. He works for himself, that’s what mavericks do.

19 thoughts on “Beware of Mavericks

      1. No-just a $1 million contributor to a pro-Obama Superpac.Our nincompoop “governor” will manage to embarrass RI much worse than Eastwood may have to himself,although I thought some of his comments were funny.I’ve had it with people like Chris Matthews calling people “racist” for using the word “Chicago”-I lived there for 8 years and it’s a reference to corrupt politics-most of the corrupt pols there have been White.Matthew-another beauty-he”almost forgot Obama was Black” during a speech he liked.What do you think THAT means?It’s pretty nasty racist thinking from my perspective.

  1. Why the fixation with cowboy actors? Or tough-guys, like Chuck Norris(? the karate dude). These guys are the nerds that got stuffed into wastebaskets as kids. They desperately, desperately want to project themselves as Manly Men.

    (Cue Monty Python: “men, men, men, men….a ship all full of men.”

    The whole Iraq war was so a bunch of draft-dodgers could feel all tough and manly. Remember W’s “bring it on” quote? How incredibly immature was that? This from a guy who put on a flight suit and landed on a carrier. I mean, come on. Was that a grown man or a 10 year-old playing dress-up?

    1. Clint Eastwood was a Marine-Chuck Norris(are you confusing him with that A-hole rock and roll draft dodger Ted Nugent?) was a legitimate martial arts champion competitor-you have a real problem.I doubt you could cut it in the Marines-I was a Marine in 1965-66 and in the USAF from 1967-71.The Marine Corps training was insane but effective.You have a snotty attitude towards people who’ve done things you have never tried.
      Now for all I know you’re a tri-athlete and whatever-what I am referring to is the ability to enter into something that may scare you and stress you to the max subject yourself to abuse and know that there is no option to quit.
      I can’t necessarily disagree about iraq-Perle,Cheney,Wolfowitz etc may have fit that profile-Rumsfeld actually had been a Navy pilot-W was in the service but his records are about as spotty as Obama’s at Occidental.
      BTW I don’t think the military can do what they used to in the 60’s-if I told you I don’t think you’d believe it anyway.

    2. @klaus-When I am wrong I will correct myself-Eastwood actually was in the Army during the Korean War but never was deployed there.I must’ve been thinking of the film “Heartbreak Ridge”.The actor Scott Glenn is probably where the confusion lies-he was a Recon Marine in Vietnam-a close friend of mine was in his unit and says Glenn is one of the truly scariest people he ever met and also a real nice guy.He and Eastwood play similar roles.Never be too full of yourself to admit an error.

      1. Joe, I never questioned the prowess of either Eastwood or Norris. That’s totally beside the point. I know that Norris was a martial arts champion, but my beef is not with him or Clint; it’s with the people in the GOP who idolize them and try to emulate their tough-guy persona (whether real or not). If I recall, John Wayne never served, but that doesn’t make him less of a man.

        My point is that the GOP honchos–Bush and Cheney and Rove and Romney–used their connections or other means avoid the draft in the 60s, but now they want to be Manly Men. I don’t walk around trying to prove my manhood by advocating that we send someone else’s children off to war to show how tough we are. Or by demanding that we torture people. I don’t feel the need to prove my manhood in any way,

        All I can say is that I get the impression that I’m some sort of dirty hippy of the sort that probably called you names back in the day. which is why you say I have a snotty attitude. (Really? Am I 12 years old?) Sorry, that’s a misconception.

        You confuse my criticism of policy with a criticism of those carrying it out. The GOP is a party of and for wealthy people–and I mean Robber-Baron, mansions in Newport wealthy, not $200k/year–and I really don’t like to see them grind people into the dirt to enhance their wealth and status. Bush and Cheney were oilmen; who benefited from Iraq? The oil companies. Who benefited from the Bush Administration? They very, very wealthy.

        What riles me is the abuse of power by the powerful to maintain their power and remain above the law. Yes, I have a problem with them. Now you’re going to throw Whitehouse and Chafee’s kids at me, or Ted Kennedy. They broke the law, they should be (or have been in Ted’s case) punished. But so did Bush, so did Cheney, so did the bankers who caused the financial mess we’re in, but they walk away scot-free. Sorry, that’s wrong, and that’s the sort of injustice that really angers me.

        And yes, as it happens, I am a pretty decent athlete and have been since high school. As for the Marines, I think you’re wrong, but there’s no way to settle that argument. I didn’t go that route, but I don’t disparage those who did.

  2. Cheney was another chickenhawk who avoided service but was glad to look tough and shoot helpless animals, approve torture. Since 2000, the Republicans have gradually been taken over by crazies. Too bad, because we really need two party competition in our legislature and many of our cities and towns.

    1. I think Cheney shot one of his hunting companions-the “helpless animals” were pretty safe.
      I don’t hunt,but unless one is a vegetarian,they shouldn’t complain too much.

  3. That whole Clint Eastwood…..speech(?) was very strange. It was so incoherent and rambling and I still am not sure what happened. I couldn’t figure out if he has had a really rapid descent into ancient-old-age or it was just a badly played script. I am not sure it helped the GOP, but then the GOP has been getting progressively more weird so who knows?

    BTW, I think the GOP would like to think of themselves as outrageously independent and strong (cowboy reference) but I found it *very* ironic that the audience frothed over Romney’s promise to literally make it all better and take care of them. What happened to the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” premise they go on and on about? Am I the only person who saw this very bizarre discrepancy?

    Very strange. And sad.

  4. It was very strange and very sad. I still can’t figure out if he’s getting senile or it was just a poorly played script. Really, the GOP is imploding under their total shift into the lunacy zone. It’s too bad Eastwood got sucked into the undertow.

    BTW, did anyone else notice the wild discrepancy between the GOP’s mantra of independence and the audience frothing over Romney’s promise to make it all better and take care of them?

  5. @klaus-you weren’t very clear is all I can say.I feel trapped between the Democrats who’ve mostly gone crazy left wing-oppressive gun control;open borders;higher taxes on those(you are correct-not VERY rich people making $200K);a health care bill that no one seems to understand in terms of its generalized effects,etc and a GOP which caters to the very wealthy Wall Streeters and that crew.
    I therefore am unaffiliated.I would like to vote for Brendan Doherty but I can’t,I will vote in the Democratic primary because there are no Republicans running for state rep in my district and Ray Hull does a great job.
    The thing about the Marine Corps circa 1965 isn’t relating to athletic ability-it’s what they did to your head.A good number of people just caved in emotionally.It was a mix of physical stress,abuse(getting the snot beaten out of you),and unremitting mental pressure-a “break down to build up”technique.
    I think you’re probably a little young to be one of those hippies-most of them were busy getting high anyway.
    It’s illustrative that with a war going on -one which needs to end now-the four candidates haven’t got a day in uniform among them,The first time in 77 years.Allen West mentioned that.Now maybe you can’t stand Rep.West-I like him even if he throws some verbal bombs-but he certainly served this country well in the Army.
    By “snotty” I am referring to a certain “talking down”quality which you need to lose.I really don’t need things explained to me about what i can observe for myself.If you were a medical professional explaining a disease I’d shut up and listen and maybe ask some questions,but we are discussing what’s going on in front of us and since neither of us probably wastes time watching Maury Povitch or some similar mind numbing crap I’d say we’re probably both reasonably well informed-maybe you’re more knowledgeable about economics and me about immigration,but there’s no need to get pedantic.
    I notice that with Rachel Maddow and her acolytes on MSNBC-it’s like they think they’re teaching a class.
    OK,gotta go read(actually re-read)a Lovecraft story set in providence and improve my mnd.

  6. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward-I read it maybe 40 years or more ago when I had no knowledge of Providence-what a difference when one’s lived here for 28 years.

  7. klaus-if I had to pick a Republican I like a great deal besides Doherty(who I worked with on occasions and know for about 26 years) i’d say Scott Brown and Alan Simpson-of course the latter is retired-Simpson told Grover Norquist to piss off,which I got a kick out of-Norquist is offensive with his pledge that ties legislators’ hands.
    I can be honest and say I was embarrassed by Sharron Angle,Christine O’Donnell,and now this Aiken cretin presenting themselves as conservative-they’re off the edge.

  8. And I said…”These guys are the nerds that got stuffed into wastebaskets as kids…”

    That is not clear. The “these guys” were supposed to be the current batch of GOP politicians, not Clint or Norris. But my own sentence structure contradicted what I was trying to say.

    OK, I’ll apologize for seeming snotty, and try to lose it. Trying to be both brief and pleasant, or brief and anything can be difficult.

    Yes, I’m aware that the Marines is more than athletic ability. But this is an impossible argument. You’re entitled to your opinion, and neither of us will ever know.

    And I also think some parts of your depiction of Dems is a bit over-the-top. Again, this isn’t the party of George McGovern. Obama has not raised taxes; Romney, if he carries out the Ryan budget, will raise them on most people making LESS than $200,000, and cut them a lot for those making more.

    But I believe taxes do need to be raised on people making more than $250,000. By cutting these taxes, at both state and national levels. we’ve cut deeply into our education system, our infrastructure, and our economy. In other words, we’ve assisted the very wealthy in maintaining their position.

    Money is power, and we’re seeing that in the post-Citizens United elections. Of the top 9 givers to super-PACs, 5 are on the conservative side, three on the liberal, and one Libertarian (and George Soros is not on the list). And the second highest-giver on the conservative side has given more than the 3 liberal donors together. And the 3rd conservative is only $700,000 short of the combined liberal total.

    And here’s a coincidence: I just finished re-reading Charles Dexter Ward. Terrific. It was much better this time, when I knew more about Providence.

  9. That is really bizarre-I don’t know what caused me to digress into what I was reading in the middle of a political exchange,particularly when it’s not a political book in any way.
    Of course they just had the Lovecraft convention here.
    Lovecraft’s friend and contemporary,Clark Ashton Smith was a far better writer and much more mentally balanced also.These two and Robert Bloch played literary games -like depicting each other under thinly veiled alter egos in some of their stories.

  10. FWIW I’d really like to have the “problem”of making 200K+ a year-my wife and I combined have a 5 figure income,not even close to 6,but also very few expenses.
    We never went in over our heads,without having to be miserly.
    I wonder how many people overextend themselves to impress others when they may not really want what they’re spending on that much.

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