The Republican Right objects to claims that they are nothing more than obstructionists who want to deny President Barack Obama a second term no matter how much damage they cause the country in the process, but their reaction to last week's Clint Eastwood/Detroit commercial during the Super Bowl pretty much shows the claims are largely true.
The commercial was all the talk last week. Eastwood walking through the streets of Detroit, saying "The fog of division, discord and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead." But as a nation we rallied together, he said, "Because that's what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can't find a way, then we'll make one."
OK, I admit it, I'm a longtime Eastwood fan, although I didn't really care for the two or three movies he made where he had a pet orangutan, Clyde I think his name was. To me the commercial was inspiring in the theme of achieving the American dream that no one short of Eastwood could have pulled off.
Some Republicans, however, ripped in to the commercial and Eastwood, saying he sold out and was pandering a partisan political message designed to boost Obama. What?
Karl Rove, who made his name under President George Bush, said it was an example of "using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising," and that Chrysler had benefited from government money "that they'll never pay back."
Beyond the obvious falsehood in that statement - Chrysler has already paid back much of the bailout money given to it - Rove has apparently forgotten that the auto bailout was something that occurred under Bush. So if we are celebrating a victory in returning to prosperity, shouldn't it be the Republicans patting themselves on the back for being responsible for bringing that about?
Can't do that though. Rove and his tea party minions have solidly established the auto bailout as one of the evil socialist, government-take-all initiatives of the Obama administration. It's a major talking point in their criticisms, even though it is historically inaccurate. Never-the-less, they can't very well come out and support the success of the bailout that started under their Republican president's watch, so the only course they are left with is condemning the Democratic president that kept the bailout going.
The whole thing reminds me of Michelle Bachmann and her touting during her brief run for president how wonderful she was for fighting against the increase in the debt ceiling and her frequent misstatements about how raising it was like "writing a blank check" for Obama.
The statement illustrates her total lack of understanding of that whole issue, and highlights just how dangerous she and her ilk would be if they ever got into a position where they could actually influence decisions.
It's admirable to take a stand against deficit spending. It is admirable to demand government only spend what it brings in. But it is reprehensible to suggest that an accounting maneuver designed to allow you to pay bills that have already come due is somehow akin to "writing a blank check."
But this is what the Republican right has come to. Nothing that anyone else does is good. The only good ideas are their ideas. If it looks like we're on the road to recovery, well, that's in spite of Democrats, Obama and centrist Republicans rather than because of them.
I don't agree with a lot of what Obama does. And I'm certainly not convinced he deserves a second term. But this constant attack on America and all things American by the Republican Right is really hurting our ability to come together and move forward as one nation.
When you attack a commercial that celebrates our collective emergence from bad times into better times, and highlights our ability to come together to surmount any challenge, it pretty much proves beyond a doubt what your true motivations are.