Friday, August 31, 2012

The left's response to Clint: true colors revealed

The jokes--from the left, right, and center--were rampant on social media and in twitter. Hell, they still are. And some of them are damn funny. I heard about this tweet on a messageboard:
The Eastwood speech is a perfect representation of the current republican party. A confused old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama.
And in all honesty, it made me laugh. I know it's not true, but I also know that many people think it is, and in that regard it's a well-delivered quip. Quite clever. The left-leaning World of Punditry is all over Eastwood like white on rice, as well. Witness the byline to the ramblings of noted propagandist Michael Moore at the Daily Beast:
The Hollywood legend growling at an empty chair will live on in infamy as the moment when a crazy old man hijacked a national party’s most important gathering to tell off the president. Michael Moore on the creepiness of crazy Clint.
"Crazy old man." Got that? About an iconic Hollywood figure on a major media source, the Newsweek-backed Daily Beast. Here's a piece from Talking Points Memo by Benjy Sarlin (who used to work for the Daily Beast, oddly enough). Note carefully the terminology being employed:
Clint Eastwood opened up the primetime portion of the Republican convention with a rambling, mumbling and often incoherent address next to an empty chair that was meant to represent President Obama. 
A creaky Eastwood began by defending Hollywood’s notorious liberal reputation to the crowd, claiming that there were in fact many independents and Republicans in show business.
"Rambling," "mumbling," "incoherent," and "creaky." And a side note to Mr. Sarlin: "primetime" starts at 8:00, not 10:00, so Eastwood hardly "opened up the primetime portion." One would think a working journalist would know such things, as would editors at a major online publication. But I digress. The point here is that TPM did not call Eastwood a "crazy old man." Instead, it opted for the above terminology. Now, if I were to simply list those adjectives, what's the first type of person that comes to mind? Be honest, you know what it is. An old guy or gal, right? How about if I said "inarticulate, dirty, and nappy-headed"?

Remember Biden's comments in 2007, with regard to then-Senator Obama?
I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man.
He caught some flak for that, for the implication that Obama was an atypical African-American--for that's in truth what Biden meant--since he was "articulate, bright, and clean."

Then, just recently, there was the kerfuffle over Romney's use of the word "angry" in reference to the Obama campaign. MSNBC contributor TourĂ© (what's with the one name? Is this Brazilian soccer?) argued that the words "anger" and "angry" were "racial coding," that they represented an attempt by Romney to "niggerize" the President. And though TourĂ© ultimately apologized, his views were accepted--by and large--by the mainstream media as worthy of consideration, if not wholly accurate.

And let's not forget the so-called "war on women" supposedly being waged by the GOP, wherein people like Sandra Fluke have been "dehumanized" by attacks and insults hurled at them by critics on the right. That's an accepted reality in punditry land, too.

The upshot of all of this is a particular self-congratulatory mindset that exists on the left, wherein they are the only ones--ideologically--who care about human dignity, who worry about minorities and protected groups, their feelings and the way they are treated by the hate-mongers on the right. Romney's joke about his birth certificate was no joke at all in their minds. It was implied racism. Really, there are no jokes in their minds, when it comes to who people are, where they are from, what religion they practice, what sex they are, who they sleep with, what color their skin is, how they dress, or...how old they are?

All stop.

Apparently, age-related jokes are now allowed, don't cross any lines, don't dehumanize their targets, don't deprive the elderly of their human dignity, or anything of the sort. Well, I should qualify that: they are allowed when the target is a conservative or a republican. But wait, you say? Not all of the comments about Eastwood mention his age, explicitly refer to him as "an old man" or the like. Well, if "angry" is racial coding, what exactly is "incoherent, mumbling, and creaky"?

Personally, I enjoyed Eastwood's speech. I thought he did indeed stumble a few times, but overall he gave me quite a few chuckles and offered quite a few zingers. And I don't have a serious problem with some of the jokes being made at his expense. Ten will get you twenty, he doesn't have a problem with them either. But the nature of these jokes from the left reveals some serious truth: they like to mount the high horse of moral outrage when it suits their agenda; they like to pretend they are more caring than their political foes, when it comes to people and their feelings. But at the end of the day, they're absolute hypocrites, more than willing to engage in racist, sexist, and ageist attacks and jokes given the opportunity. True colors shining through.

Cheers, all.

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