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Clint Eastwood's speech was pretty amazing, not so much for what he said, but for how enthusiastically he was cheered for it. His speech combined a sad, offensive half of a ventriloquist act with rambling mutterings that could be taken as insults on Romney almost as often as on Obama. But choosing to end with "Go ahead, make my day", which was always the bon phrase delivered right before he shot the hell out of some criminal punk, and the cheers that he received for it, was truly amazing. Mark it for the history books, as the end of an era. An era where delivering justice at gunpoint, where social issues could be resolved by punitive justice with extreme prejudice, where good, decent, godfearing Americans could titillate themselves with fear-based fantasies of revenge.

"Go ahead, make my day" was targeted at President Obama, as a usurper, a threat, a criminal. The fantasy that those at the RNC committee participated so enthusiastically in is that they were the ones holding the gun, empowered to deal with a terrible threat. "You own this country", Clint said, and they cheered, because that's what they believe, that they're entitled to America, in a way that others aren't, namely those who support a liberal vision for America, an America where Obama is president.

Clint's empty chair debate with "Mr. Obama" included him twice suggesting that Obama had said to go f*** someone - very classy, Clint. The audience greeted both instances with raucous cheers, because that's the caricature they believe that they're campaigning against - a rude, offensive punk, who needs to get shot down.

Clint did successfully embody a core narrative for many supporting Romney 2012, based less on what he said, and more on the character he represents - a hardened gunslinger, with justice on his side. The Clint character doesn't need anything from government but the 2nd amendment, compensation for ammunition, and a hefty legal team to keep him out of jail. The Clint character stands tall and shoots true - no worries about health care, abortion, gay rights, immigrants, just justice flowing unbounded from his gun. The contrast between that character, and the offensive maunderings of a man talking to an empty chair at the RNC convention may seem strange to outsiders, but not to those who were there, wrapped up in their fantasy.

Update, here's a transcript from Fox:

Another amazing bit was Clint's apparent attempt to reposition the Republican party as antiwar - he actually got cheers for critiquing the ongoing presence in Afghanistan, as if that was some cockamamie liberal idea, that no conservative would support.

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