The Bizarre Republican Freakout Over the Clint Eastwood Superbowl Ad

I watched the Super Bowl online and considered myself lucky, because I was -- for the most part -- spared the commercials. But the commercials are us, and the unfortunate part of opting out is that you often find yourself left out. So here I am, catching up with the flap over the Clint Eastwood commercial.


I just watched the ad seconds ago, after reading about the Republican freak-out, which I have to say is bizarre. This is the exact sort of gauzy nationalism (to paraphrase Jonathan Chait) that corporations have put out for years and Republicans have, themselves, often alluded to. This is the America of their imaginations and to see them lambasting it, evidently for name-checking Detroit and softly alluding to the bail-out, really displays a party that actually isn't.

When Republicans line up against Clint Eastwood and cars, one has to ask, "What could they possibly be for?" Child labor?  Charters for blah people? Midnight Basketball?

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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