I said this a little on Twitter last night, but here’s the thing about Eastwood and Rice at the Convention that’s important to not overlook. They were not about playing to the base. Nor were they really on stage, it didn’t seem to me, to appeal to potential voters.
I think they were a message to the base about what a viable future of the Republican party has to look like. You can be racist, but it has to be a la Archie Bunker, not “throw peanuts at a black person.” You can be an enormous cheerleader for war/war criminal, but it has to be based on policy not on religion. Plus, Rice and Eastwood are both pro-choice and pro-gay rights. And represent a kind of multicultural comfort with the nation as it is, not a nostalgia for how we imagine it was sixty years ago.
Someone was using old, familiar faces to make an argument for the fresh direction the Party has to take it if wants to survive.
That’s why I can’t really dog on Eastwood’s chair thing. I thought it was weird, but, on the other hand, when was the last time we saw a Republican modeling actual discussion with the President? That’s kind of refreshing. It might not have worked quite right, and it, I don’t think, caused anyone to decide they weren’t going to vote for Obama.
But I don’t think that was the point. I think it was a painful point delivered to the Republicans sitting there about the direction the Party needs to take, camouflaged as a piece of performance art about the direction voters need to take.