Clint Eastwood’s short speech at the Republican National Convention is getting a lot of criticism for his seeming off-the-cuff and rambling conversation with President Obama represented by an empty chair. But Dirty Harry didn’t get to be Dirty Harry by being dumb Harry – the empty chair is an old actor’s trick. What he told us was about far more than what he said or the invisible politician to whom he said it.
A lot of people tuned in to watch Clint Eastwood who wouldn’t have tuned in to watch Mitt Romney, and they needed to hear a message that would resonate with them and maybe nudge them in the right direction. He delivered.
Inspector Harry Callahan made our day by telling us it’s OK to laugh at President Obama and Vice President Biden and their policies because they’re a joke – they’re men who don’t know their limitations whose policies, with 23 million Americans out of work, are a disgrace. Anyone who tells us we shouldn’t laugh at them can go do that thing he said was physically impossible to do because Dirty Harry has our back.
Who-would-it-be buzz was strong for a couple days when the Republican National Convention had a to-be-announced speaker on Thursday evening’s schedule just ahead of Mitt Romney’s speech. Possible candidates went from Nancy Reagan all the way to Bill Clinton making a surprise endorsement of Mitt Romney.
The conservative website The Daily Caller even ran a contest to name the mystery speaker with the winner receiving a pretty sweet FMK 9C1 American-made high capacity 9mm semi-automatic handgun for correctly guessing. Given who it turned out to be, it was a prophetic prize offering, albeit not quite the Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum revolver favored by Dirty Harry for its blow-your-head-clean-off capability.
It’s been 41 years since the original Dirty Harry, and 24 years since the last film in the series, The Dead Pool, so it’s not surprising that the rumpled old guy in an ill-fighting suit who slowly ambled to the podium in Tampa Bay looked a tad worn. In fact, he looked more like your grandfather than anyone who would ask a punk if he felt lucky. But when he got going, your grandfather was Dirty Harry and vice versa, which was the point.
Pops (my grandsons call me that) gives you wisdom you need to hear – tools you use to make your own decisions. Dad, on the other hand, like the Obama administration and its progressive minions, tells you what he thinks you need to do because he doesn’t trust you to make your own decisions.
So when an aging Dirty Harry tells you it's OK to mock Barack Obama and Joe Biden you’re free to speak what’s been on your mind and in your heart for a long time because that’s what a real man does.
He told you the basics: It hurts and it’s a disgrace when so many people are out of work; some ideas, like trying terrorists in New York City, are stupid and we should learn from the mistakes of others, like the Russians in Afghanistan.
He told us that President Obama is “crazy, you’re absolutely crazy. You’re getting as bad as Biden” who is “the intellect of the Democratic Party.” They’re people who can’t stand to be criticized – “I can’t tell (Romney) to do that to himself” – and who are “maybe not so nice guys, if you look some of the recent ads.”
He reminded us that it’s our country, not theirs, and the politicians work for us. When they don’t get the job done, “We got to let them go.”
And because he knows his people, he can say with absolute confidence, “I’m speaking out for everybody out there.”
Instead of genuflecting at the altar of obedience ordained by your "betters" in the media, the unions, Hollywood and the Democratic Party – Harry’s “left-wingers…left of Lenin” - you can laugh at President Obama because Dirty Harry said so. When that happens – when the pompous autocrats including the unctuous and self-impressed Roger Ebert - become the object of widespread ridicule it means they've lost their legitimacy, and their days are numbered.
Dirty Harry’s Gran Torino alter-ego, Walt Kowalski, would tell President Obama, “Get off my lawn!” because, as his Heartbreak Ridge alter-ego, Gunny Highway, would add, “With all due respect, sir, you're beginning to bore the hell out of me.”
With all due respect, Mr. President, you’ve been boring the hell out of us for a long, long time – we got to let you go.