Speaking to Invisible Obama last night, in a performance that seemed to have been written by Timothy Leary and performed by Cheech & Chong, Clint Eastwood was able to drive home to tens of millions of viewers the central message of this year's Republican National Convention: We Are Delusional and Detached from Reality. Vote for Us!
The footage of Eastwood rambling and mumbling to his "Harvey"—President Obama—will be played to audiences a hundred years from now as the Most Bizarre Convention Moment Ever. The people of the future will know nothing about Dirty Harry or Josey Wales or Million Dollar Baby. They will know about the night a crazy old man hijacked a national party's most important gathering so he could literally tell the president to go do something to himself (i.e. fuck himself). In those few moments (and these days, it only takes a few moments—see Anthony Weiner), he completely upended and redefined how he'll be remembered by younger and future generations.
A few years ago, at the annual National Board of Review film awards held at Tavern on the Green in New York, I was there to hand out one of the honors. When it came time for Eastwood to accept his, he went up to the microphone and growled to me in front of the audience, "If you ever show up at my house with that camera, I'll shoot you on sight." The audience laughed, I laughed, but the person who issued the threat wasn't laughing. That creeped me out a bit. I made sure never to go stand on Clint Eastwood's lawn.
But as I said, the best outcome from the incident last night was that it showed just how out of touch Republicans are these days. It's as if they want a divorce from us, the American mainstream, so they can go live in the land of legitimate rapes and ice caps that don't melt. Most Americans don't live there on Planet Koo-Koo, and I don't suspect many will be visiting there any time soon.
Thanks, Clint, you made our day!