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Clint, Clinton, an Empty Chair, and the Two Conventions

Updated on January 14, 2013

There is no better example of the stark differences between the two parties than their conventions. And there is no better example of the above sentence than Clint Eastwood and Bill Clinton. Clint's Republicans have become a party of old white people (men, mostly) while Clinton's Democrats still have an appeal to young people of all races and genders. Clint and his party is desperate to define the President, after a summer of being defined by the President, and the best they can come up with is an empty chair. Clinton gave accusations of the Republican Party and Mitt Romney that stuck to the facts, and that will stick to Republicans.

When Clint Eastwood came plodding out onto the stage at the RNC, I was actually eager to hear what he had to say, not knowing that I would soon be flipping to "NCIS" (great show, by the way) as an excuse to not listen to Clint. It wasn't because of his criticisms of the President, which I had gotten used to that week. It was because of the chair. At first I thought nothing of it. Maybe he wanted to sit down. Clint has never needed to sit down in his life, but maybe he should have this time. When Clint started talking to the chair, I thought he had gone mad. When I realized that Clint was speaking to an invisible Obama, I started flipping channels. I got the joke, but it was not funny. It made Clint look senile.

After all, what are we supposed to think when an 82 year old man speaks to an empty chair? The crowd seemed to go along though, so that's okay. At least Clint wasn't alone in his delusions; the whole of the Republican party seems to have gone senile these days, for the simple reason that the Republican party has gotten old. And white, which is a bad combination, because old white people are an ever shrinking share of the population. Sure, the Republican party has its share of rising stars, many of whom are minorities, which the party was eager to show off. I wish those rising stars only the best of luck. But 86 percent of the Republican party is white, and it is mostly male, and increasingly old.

Compare this to the Democrats. As a party, things look a lot better for them in the long run, because minorities make up a large chunk of the Democratic coalition. Obama is still leading among Latinos and among women, and with both groups, he has reasons to boast of their support. African Americans support Obama by about 96 percent, and many other minority groups have little reason to love the Republicans. And of course, the Democrats have Bill Clinton. The man cannot be kept silent, ever, so the DNC decided to make him useful. As it turned out, Clinton delivered a powerful case for Obama's reelection, placed solid facts into his very specific speech, and fell in love with the crowd even as he swept them off their feet.

What more can we expect of Clinton? Like Clint, he gave an overlong speech. Unlike the Hollywood hero, Clinton gave a useful overlong speech, and he had the audience on their feet most of the time. Clint Eastwood offered the RNC an empty chair, no doubt to symbolize Obama's perceived lack of achievement. Clinton went ahead and sat in it.

The Republicans left themselves open and bare at the RNC. They had the best chance that they are going to get at defending their positions on Medicare and proposing new ideas to save the economy. They chose to waste this opportunity by going after Obama, and trying to tell us how he failed, an excuse which now rings hollow after the Democratic convention in Charlotte. Clinton spoke while the DNC was at the highlight of its show, and he slammed the Republicans hard where they should have been expecting it. Not only that, but fact-checkers (I have one below) are amazed at just how factual the former President was.

The Republican Party put forward an empty chair, and revealed their empty excuses. The Democratic Party was only too happy to fill the empty space.



FactCheck.org : Our Clinton Nightmare



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    • Nathan Orf profile image
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      Nathan Orf 4 years ago

      Ellieface,

      Thanks for dropping by!

      I agree with your assessment. Both parties are a huge disappointment to me. Like Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts said in the DNC, "Democrats need to get a backbone!" And Republicans need to find a soul.

    • Ellieface profile image

      Ellie 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Nathan!

      I was actually a little surprised and confused to see Clint Eastwood speaking at the RNC, due to the fact that I had always read that he considered himself more Libertarian than anything. I was rather disappointed to see him there, I guess.

      You are right about the Republican Party; it is mainly old white guys (who seem to be out of touch with the realities of today.) However, I don't really think the Democrats are much better, for they too seem to be about the same as the Republicans to me, anyway (minus all the old white guys, haha.) I am just so unsatisfied with our whole two party political system...uggggh.

      I did enjoy reading your hub, though! :)

    • Nathan Orf profile image
      Author

      Nathan Orf 4 years ago

      Thank you for the respect, William. I think we will just have to agree to disagree on this one. Thanks for commenting!

    • Nathan Orf profile image
      Author

      Nathan Orf 4 years ago

      ib radmasters,

      Nope. Sorry, that's not the end of the story, which will end only if Romney is elected. Obama did get much of what he wanted done, even when those policies were unpopular.

      The argument that "Obama failed" is an old, exhausted line that flies in the face of fact.

    • William Young profile image

      William Young 4 years ago from Eaglle Grove, Iowa

      Nathan, I respectfully disagree with you. Obama appointed an avowed communist and racist kook named Van Jones to be his "Green Jobs" Czar, he appointed John Holdren as his Science Czar, Holdren made the comment that it may be necessary to force women to have abortions and sterilize people if the population grows to what they view as unacceptable levels, and then you have Kathleen Sebellius, his health and human services director who thought that maybe just this once she could toss constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom out the window in her dealings with the Catholic Church. Add for good measure Obama's full support of ACORN, an organization that is so completely corrupt and out of control that it boggles the mind how they can continue to exist. 500 billion of tax payer dollars to a solar panel company that went bankrupt. And, Obamacare, which at first Obama said was a tax, then he said it wasn't a tax---and now the Supreme Court said it WAS a tax and Obama doesn't what to say. Let's get real here, please. There is nothing "moderate" about this president.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

      The bottom line is that Obama and the democrats Failed, end of story.

    • Nathan Orf profile image
      Author

      Nathan Orf 4 years ago

      Ronald Reagan did cut taxes, but when he saw the effect they had on the nations deficit, he raised them again. And by the time he left office, the country had an even bigger deficit, which caused the national debt to explode. George H.W Bush continued the policies of his predecessor, and by the time Clinton came along, the country was back in a recession.

      Bill Clinton was a tax and spend liberal. But not Obama. In fact, Obama has actually lowered taxes since he came into office, and even allowed the Bush tax cuts to continue. The truth is, Obama is not a leftist politician. He may be a liberal at heart, but if you look closely at his policies, they are pragmatic and moderate.

      Obama offered us the American Jobs Act, which would have created a million new jobs. It was backed up by the Simpson-Bowles Commission, which was bipartisan. The Republicans on that commission, and most of the other Republicans in the House, ended up blocking the plan. This was not a failure on the Presidents part. It was a failure on the House Republicans part, for failing to lead or even compromise.

    • William Young profile image

      William Young 4 years ago from Eaglle Grove, Iowa

      Junko,

      Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy before him cut taxes across the board, even for the richest 1% of Americans, yes even for those millionaires and billionaires. It creates jobs every time it's tried because when you lower the tax burden for corporations they have more capital to invest in research and development and develop new product lines which results in new jobs. Eric Cantor came to President Obama in the first month of his presidency with a proposal to cut taxes on small business owners by 20% and Obama flatly rejected the plan and said--"Elections have consequences, Eric. I won and you lost." Bill Clinton would have taken that deal in a second because he would have understood that it was good for the country, but as we know Barack Obama is way farther to the left than Bill Clinton.

    • junko profile image

      junko 4 years ago

      Taxes is by far the the biggest source of income for a Democratic Nation or Kingdom. Regardless of who wins Taxes will be paid by everybody again. The Government will use that monies to do what the Government has done with monies up until 2008 and the present Administration. This obstructionism must and will stop now or the nation will fail and we will lose All Rights, imagine that.

    • Nathan Orf profile image
      Author

      Nathan Orf 4 years ago

      junko,

      You are right. Mitt Romney being a good businessman is hardly a good reason for voting for him. Plenty of Presidents have been businessmen. Without exception, they managed to tank the economy. Herbert Hoover is a case in point.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • Nathan Orf profile image
      Author

      Nathan Orf 4 years ago

      I was a little disappointed with Obama's speech as well. He made no policy suggestions that I can assess when I go to vote, and sounded less hopeful than pleading.

      If I had to describe the DNC as a baseball game, I would put it like this; Michelle Obama hit her ball out of the park. Bill Clinton hit his ball out of the park. President Obama got to second base.

      However, raising taxes on the rich (or anyone, for that matter) does have a chance at creating jobs. It depends on where the money that comes out of those taxes is spent, how much of it is spent, and how it is spent. The Democrats want to spend on education, infrastructure, clean energy and everything else they spoke of this week.

    • Nathan Orf profile image
      Author

      Nathan Orf 4 years ago

      Justsilvie,

      I liked the "we are in it together" theme very much as well. It sure beats the "we built that" nonsense at the RNC. All in all, the Democrats had a more successful convention than the Republicans. They made sure their message hit home, while Republicans tried to hard to make us like Mitt.

    • junko profile image

      junko 4 years ago

      Nobody said taxing those that can afford the taxes will create jobs, but some people did say not taxing those that can afford would create jobs. Not too many.

    • William Young profile image

      William Young 4 years ago from Eaglle Grove, Iowa

      I will grant you, that the whole speaking to an empty chair thing was a little strange. I actually thought the highlight of Clint's Eastwood's appearance was when he ended by letting 20,000 people in the arena yell out his most famous movie line ever---"Make my day!" But waiting for President Obama to explain, in DETAIL, NOT PLATITUDES, how raising taxes on people making over $250,000 per year is going to create millions of jobs and grow the economy is the equivalent of talking to an empty chair. Can these rich people afford the tax increase? Of course they can, who are we kidding? they're rich, for crying out loud. Will it actually create jobs? Not a single one. Not a chance.

    • junko profile image

      junko 4 years ago

      Money is controlling. Mitt is supported, controlled, and managed by Capitalist. Capitalist don't understand politics as much as Capitalism. Mitt's handlers lack vision because the big money people are having a say how their money is spent. If Mitt and Ryan wins it would have to be by voter fraud.

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 4 years ago

      I liked the we are all in this together sentiment of the Democratic Convention and if the worst happens they might share a crumb or two.

      The current republican party makes me feel like they are a bunch of doomsday preppers and if the worst happens and I knock on their door I will catch them with a book in hand giving them direction on how to filet and cook your neighbor.