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Eastwood shows how clever those GOP spin doctors are

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The best that can be said for Eastwood's speech is that while it was a disaster, it nowhere near as bad as the planned video of Donald Trump firing an Obama impersonator.

Showing the Trump video would have been an unsubtle dog whistle to the racism (Trump is an infamous birther) that is rarely beneath the surface of the GOP these days, especially after Romney's birther 'joke' a week ago. The 2012 RNC convention would have been remembered as the convention ruined by a racist conspiracy theory.

The RNC may have started looking for a replacement for the Trump spot after Salon's Alex Pareene ruined the surprise.  But losing Trump left them with a hole in their schedule.  Enter Eastwood.

The transcript of the Eastwood speech strongly suggests that the hole in the schedule was filled by replacing the Obama impersonator with an empty chair and calling Charlton Heston's agent to see if he would be willing to berate it. After discovering that Heston was unable to attend due to a bad case of being dead, Clint Eastwood stepped up to the plate.

The script is not that bad as a script, in fact it is exactly the sort of thing that a Democrat challenging Obama in a primary might say: unemployment is too high, the troops are still stuck in Afghanistan, the Guantanamo gulag is still open (though Republicans want it open), Obama has promised much but delivered little.

What killed the speech is that it was totally the wrong speech for Eastwood. An 82 year old is expected to be the wise elder statesman, not engage in bombastic personal attacks - that's Trump's shtick. The Eastwood we all remember is the one from the 1970s who said little and let his actions speak for him.

It isn't just Eastwood, it's the whole Republican party. This is not the GOP of Richard Nixon, it is a party of sad hacks trying to repeat their heyday with a remake of the Atwater/Nixon hits from the 1970s and 80s. The swiftboating of John Kerry in 2004 was really Willie Horton 3.  And then Romney tried it again with the birther fiasco.

So next time that Republican party spin doctors make what appears to be a mistake, can we at least concede the possibility that it is just a mistake, rather than some weird intentional jujitsu move? The Eastwood blunder shows just how clever those spin doctors really are, which is almost exactly as clever as their politicians, which is not very clever at all.

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