A friend asked me if I thought Clint Eastwood was being disrespectful of the office of the President and if he (Eastwood) was sinking to the level of leftist tactics.
In the spirit of the moment, here’s my answer:
Eastwood’s tactic was deliberately understated. Think how much worse it would have been if, say, he had Biden there to answer in person, or Obama without a teleprompter.
Or, put another way, if this administration is afraid of the jibes from an octogenarian actor, how will it handle the ploys and attacks of Putin face-to-face?
Or, put yet another way, maybe Eastwood should have had George W. Bush in the chair holding an Obama puppet, or an empty Obama suit, since he, not Obama, seems to be responsible for everything that happened in the last four years.
Sure it's a bit disrespectful, but political humor always is. Compared to Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, etc., it was weak beer.
And you'll notice that, in fact, Eastwood was not disrespectful of the office at all, but of the occupant. Indeed, his humor was predicated on respect for the office and on the shocking difference in this case between the office and the office holder, whose meager achievements were notably unworthy of the office he holds and of the chair he occupies. One expects more, much more, from the person in that high office. Maybe we’d all be better off if, instead of occupying Wall Street, someone competent would have being occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Eastwood was just employing an old vaudeville tactic with his empty chair. It's been done exactly this way for many decades. The tactic is vaudevillian, not leftist.
It’s in keeping with the comfort Tim Pawlenty offered to Obama the other night: It’s OK; lots of people fail at their first job.