Dirty Harry and the icky id of today’s GOP


Who can blame Clint Eastwood for wanting to protect America from a punk tearing our precious Constitution in half. Next thing you know he’ll want to draw his decapitating finger accross Justice Robert’s throat for being the fifth vote to uphold Obamacare and validating the President’s treachery.

I wanted to post an image of the billboard that got my blood boiling for a good year every time I passed it along Interstate 35 on my way to the Twin Cities. It showed black hands on the constitution in the act of tearing it up. It replaced the one with George W Bush grinning with the question “Miss me yet!” I couldn’t find it on this google search of anti-Obama billboards but I was impressed with how many nasty ones have been put up around the nation.

They reminded me of the “impeach Earl Warren” Billboard I used to see everyday as my Mother drove me to the Holiday Inn in Topeka, Kansas where I took swim lessons in the motel swimming pool. When the hotel manager found some black kids taking lessons with me in their pool my swimming teacher, who happened to be our next door neighbor, was told they couldn’t stay. He built a pool in his tiny backyard and happily continued teaching black and white kids to swim.

Perhaps the reason I woke up thinking about all this was the blog post I read late last night showing clips of good old Dirty Harry dispatching some bad-ass black criminals back in the 1970’s. He offed three of them in one scene before the forth was given the chance to “make” Harry’s day. No wonder the GOP audience was thrilled to chant the famous line. That N in the White House who has been tearing up Fox News’ constitution deserves no less.

Andrew Sullivan who I read closely is a Brit twenty years my junior who didn’t grow up in the US. He knows our history but didn’t live it. I’ve read him religiously for six years. One of the issues I recall his posting about early on was whether science could verify or disprove that blacks had lower IQ’s than Whites. The most recent champion of this idea was the unpleasant Nobel Laureate William B. Shockley. I say unpleasant because he blamed his children’s lack of success on his wife’s inferior genetics.

Much of the post Civil Right’s Era has been consumed with liberals like me wringing their hands over the well documented gap between the educational achievement of black and white children. It has been a hard thought to entertain but the evidence was so rank and evident. I personally have doubted any genetic link but I’ve read all the often persuasive arguments in support of the damning contention.

It was interesting to see on Sullivan’s blog yesterday a link to a column about the latest research that undermines Shockley’s prejudice.

I suspect 80 year old Clint Eastwood watches too much Fox News as do waaaaay too many of the GOP’s delegates. The bile and simpleminded news farts of the Murdoch channel would unsettle any uncritical viewer. Its ironic that such a dyspeptic and unbalanced channel would spring up from the GOP’s old complaint that the 1970’s network and print media were too liberal. Now “conservatives” have a channel so off kilter that it makes any journalistic biases of the recent past pale in comparison. For instance Walter Cronkite’s public conclusion that Vietnam was the wrong war to be fighting now looks more like sanity rather than liberal partiality.

Clint Eastwood’s performance was pathetic. It was like a bad LSD flashback to the unregenerately racist 1970’s and it came from a man who, if his recent movie Gran Torino is any indication, should have known better. In the later movie a racist old fart like Eastwood goes after a bunch of white racist punks who are harrassing some minorities in his neighborhood. (I’ve never seen the movie)

The GOP is no longer the Party of Lincoln. Its a party deeply infected with the Dixiecrat ghosts of the Deep South who fled another Harry, Truman, in 1948. It took Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon thirty years to fully incorporate them into Ronald Reagan’s morning in America. They are no longer Dixiecrats, even if half of Mississippi’s Republicans want miscegenation made illegal again. The convention delegates listened respectfully to Condoleeza Rice as she reminded them how one of her friends was blown to smithereens by white racists in Birmingham, Alabama, and disagreed with them about immigration and still gave her a rousing ovation. All these folks are far removed from the Days of Jim Crow. But, as with Clint Eastwood, their id comes from an earlier era and all it takes is something like FOX News to make it itch. FOX is sort of our time’s Birth of a Nation only its spewing its biases 24-7.