I wanted to think some on Clint Eastwood's cringe-inducing performance at the RNC before posting. I think Jamelle Bouie was on to something in noting that the performance offered a perfect representation of the Romney campaign -- an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama. But more than that it offers us a picture of the present Republican Party -- an old white man arguing with an adversary he lacks the ability to see.
To paraphrase a commenter from a few years back, in GOP eyes, Barack Obama is a spellbinding orator always in need of teleprompter; the disciple of a radical Christian preacher who reigns like a secular-atheist determined to bring about a new era of Islamo-fascism; an Ivy-league wimp hailing from the gutters of Chicago; a white culture-hating racist who is not really black, but half-white; an anti-military peacenik who pals around with terrorists, who insists on killing terrorists, who insists on bragging about killing terrorists; an avowed Marxist specializing in the shadow arts of crony-capitalism and Leninist theories of banker bail-outs.
They've never figured Obama out. They have no contact with people who like him, or remain utterly blind to people like him, even as people like him become America.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.
is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power