Gran Torino

One example of why this nation is in gridlock and its politics is driven by ideology rather than common sense is the criticism that Clint Eastwood is receiving from the right-wing and Fox News about his Superbowl commercial for Dodge called “It’s Half-Time in America.”

Commentators, pundits, strategists in the conservative movment are outraged that Eastwood was involved in a commercial that they view as a validation of President Obama’s bailout of the auto industry. You see the commercial shows a Detroit on the mend and workers getting back on their feet in a revived automobile industry.

Rather than seeing the commercial as a validation of the American spirit, the genius of American innovation, and the determination of working men and women throughout this country to preserve the American dream, the right took Eastwood to task for, in their view, giving Obama a free commercial during the most watched television show of the year.

There is one problem with the right-wing complainers. Eastwood is a self-defined Republican, a libertarian who never went to an Obama rally, never gave Obama a dime of his money and never ever endorsed Obama’s policies. What Eastwood did was participate in a commercial that reminded Americans that we can get back on track and be the economic powerhouse that we were before the meltdown.

Eastwood obviously knows something about Detroit, since he filmed the acclaimed movie Gran Torino ( as in the Ford Gran Torino) in Detroit. I am sure he saw the devastation that the city has endured as the automotive industry collapsed. What he now sees is a city on the mend and his commercial is a visual ode to that mending process.

Although Eastwood did not intend to make a political commentary, I will. History may likely show that one of the best policies advanced by the Obama administration was the bailout of the auto industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that were saved in Detroit and throughout the country. As a result of the bailout, Detroit is back, the automotive industry is back and so are the jobs.

If the right-wing wants to bash Obama do it over the Bush-Obama bailout of the banks and the unwillingness of both presidents to reject the ” To Big To Fail’ doctrine rather than embracing the conservative economic doctrine of “creative destruction” of poorly performing enterprises.

As for Clint Eastwood, congratulations on the best commercial during the Superbowl and for reminding viewers that America is not in decline but half-way toward the goal line of renewed prosperity.


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