Sunday, February 12, 2012

Halftime and Hyperbole

Joke Line gets it right.

They almost lost everything," Clint Eastwood growled in the best ad of the Super Bowl, a celebration of Chrysler's resurrection. "But we all pulled together. Now Motor City is fighting again." Any normal person watching this ad had to be thrilled--Eastwood's voice, the rousing script, the fighting spirit: "This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do, the world's going to hear the roar of our engines." But somehow, Karl Rove was "offended." The master Republican strategist saw the ad as a Chicago-style payback from Chrysler to Barack Obama for bailing out the company. Now, Rove is not a stupid man. He is a relentless partisan, but usually a clever one. And yet he managed to denigrate an American icon (Eastwood) known for his flinty integrity, expressing opinions most people would consider patriotic. How could he get it so wrong? The answer relates directly to the Republicans' muddled and inept campaign this year.

Rove lives in the hermetically sealed world of GOP fantasy. He's integral to the relentless pounding of wing-nut talk-show spin. In that world, Obama is the Antichrist--a combination of cynical Chicago pol, socialist, naf and teleprompter-reading tool of unseen forces (and maybe even, who knows, a secret Muslim immigrant). In that world, the notion that the auto bailout, or any Obama policy, actually worked is insidious. In that world, the notion that the government might organize us to "pull together" for the common good is a threat to individual liberty.

[...] But there is a paranoid edge to the Republican fantasy. [...]

Ya think? Much more.

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