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The Empty Chair vs. The Empty Suit

Clint Eastwood should have used his time at the Republican Convention in Tampa to reach into his impressive library of filmography to define for America what is really at stake in 2012.

I must compliment Clint Eastwood. He did a terrific job. He gave us confidence. He raised the nation’s hopes at a time when we needed to be inspired. Thank you Clint for reminding us all that we are as Americans.

Sorry…I wasn’t talking about his performance at the Republican National Convention. I was talking about his appearance in Chrysler’s halftime in America ad during the Super Bowl!

Remember that? Remember the spot where he proclaimed America’s comeback? When he reminded us how Americans always rally after times of trial and unite as one? Cause that’s what we do! Remember when he talked about Motor City’s rebirth? How America’s manufacturing engines are roaring back to life?

Well guess what Clint…Mitt Romney didn’t build that. “Let Detroit go bankrupt.” That was the Romney Plan for American auto manufacturing and a million jobs that depend on it. We all know the story by now. It was Obama’s decisive leadership that saved the American automobile industry and brought its engines roaring back to life.

But what of that crazy other Clint Eastwood performance…the one that has America scratching its head at why the ever-so-scripted, stale and wooden Mitt Romney would allow his big night on America’s stage to become so tainted?
I have some ideas on how Mr. Eastwood would have better served America during his rambling 15 minutes in Tampa.

I know it’s a popular thing on the right wing fringe to disrespect the Commander in Chief. Rather than join in with that lot, Clint could have reached into his impressive library of filmography and used selected works from his long career to define for America what is really at stake in 2012.

For example, Mr. Eastwood could have done an exposé on the corrupting influence of money in politics. He could have, and somebody in Tampa certainly should have, called out the likes of Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers, and the biggest Million Dollar Baby of them all, Donald Trump, who are trying to buy an election in order to line their own pockets through more tax cuts for millionaires. But cleaning up America’s out of control campaign finance system under Citizens United is evidently not part of the GOP platform.

For A Few Dollars More, he could have detailed what Mitt Romney is hiding by refusing to meet the standard of his father George by releasing more than one year of tax returns so the voters can get a thorough understanding of why this multi-millionaire candidate stashes his money in the Cayman Islands while campaigning under the banner “Believe in America.”

Not that we need any more reminders, but he could have spoken of True Crime and led America in a discussion of the Bush years, where lobbyists wrote legislation and went to jail for bribing Administration officials, the cover of a CIA agent was purposely illegally blown by the Vice President’s staff, intelligence was falsified to lie America into a war of choice in Iraq, scientific reports were altered to ignore facts and reflect right wing orthodoxy, US attorneys across the nation were fired for being insufficiently loyal to the right wing political machine and Federal funds were used to pay journalists to say nice things about Republicans. Whew! Did you get all that?

Thankfully, many Americans still seem to reject a return to the scandals, the lack of intellectual curiosity, and the devotion to extreme right wing orthodoxy of the Bush years. Mr. Eastwood could have talked about how far America has come since those eight disastrous years. But it’s clear that George W. Bush remains Unforgiven by the American people. Polls still show that many Americans haven’t forgotten the mess he left, so perhaps it was a good idea that his name was barely mentioned in Tampa.

When Mitt Romney says he’s going to restore America, you better think twice about what state he wants to restore us to, because another topic Mr. Eastwood could have addressed is Absolute Power, and what the GOP will do if they gain control of all three branches of the Federal government.

Do we really want the Todd Akin / Pat Robertson vision of the world to become reality…where big government is bad except for when it comes time to regulate the health care choices of women, the voting rights of minorities, the marriage rights of couples and the private lives of every citizen?

School lunches are Socialism but its ok to insert government into Americans’ private lives! Under this extreme right wing vision for America, the Federal government is puritanized, our private lives are regulated by Biblical dictates and the GOP is The Enforcer. You didn’t hear that in Clint’s speech though did you?

Finally, what about the future of the once-grand Republican Party? I couldn’t help but notice the number of times I read in news reports or heard on television during the convention how Mitt Romney is, in the minds of many Republicans, a placeholder. Mitt Romney was constantly eclipsed by young up and comers – Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Paul Ryan.

It should come as no surprise that a man who has failed, over 6 years running for president, to define himself to Americans is being merely tolerated as his party’s nominee for President of the United States while the party he now leads looks by him to those standing in the wings. Grover Norquist said recently, “We don’t need a President, all we need is someone to sign the bills.” Rick Perry said he would certainly entertain the idea of running for president again, “in 2016.”

Chris Christie barely mentioned the name Romney in his keynote speech. And you could almost hear Marco Rubio, in his introduction of Romney, utter the words, “I accept your nomination.”

Perhaps this wouldn’t be the case if Romney wasn’t so unknown and disliked by those whose votes he seeks. But that’s what happens when you have no core. That’s what happens when your beliefs and positions change with the wind in order to win election.

The only definition most of us have of Mitt Romney is that of an entitled rich white guy with a nice family and an elevator for his cars who pals around with Donald Trump. Rather than an empty chair, he’s an empty suit…not because he hasn’t accomplished things, clearly he has.

But his inability to talk to us like a human being means most of us don’t know about the things he’s done in his life. He banked on Americans’ disillusionment with the economy as his entre into the White House, but so far it’s not working out that way. It may be too late for this man who’s been running for president for the last 6 years to finally reveal his true self to America.

He changes his mind on the issues almost every day and his Vice Presidential nominee’s acceptance speech was so full of lies it was unbelievable. Romney has flip-flopped so often, will it make a difference if and when he finally does take a position on the issues and tells us what he will do as president?

I don’t think it will. And perhaps when all is said and done, Clint Eastwood can come back with his empty chair for the closing act, and interview The Changeling who tried and failed to win the presidency Any Which Way You Can.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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