Free Markets, Free People

Eastwood and Down

A man. A plan. A Super Bowl ad promoting the re-election of Barack Obama masquerading as a Clint Eastwood promotion for Chrysler.

I’m not sure what I’m more appalled by: the fact that Josey Wales is supporting crony capitalism, or the fact that the American taxpayers are funding a Super Bowl ad for the sitting president. How is this even possible?

I can understand that Clint Eastwood is just making a buck, and that perhaps he didn’t understand the ramifications of a bailed-out company spending $3 million per 30 seconds to send a special love note to its benefactor. But “Halftime in America”? Anyone even slightly cognizant of the 80’s would have to recognize the parallels to Reagan’s “Morning in America” campaign. Obama is half way through a potential two terms, thus this is his “halftime”. Ergo, supporting Obama in the next election equates to better times ahead.

In other words, we were fed blatant propaganda via our tax dollars.

Think about this for just a second. A company that was formerly held by a well-heeled hedge fund, and which was bailed out by the current administration, just spent gobs of money (that we provided it) to promote the re-election of its savior. On the most watched television event in the world. Starring one of the most respected actors in history. How is this not a disgusting display of crony capitalism?

Just to be clear, I’m not one to say that these sorts of ads should be illegal (although, I certainly question how — keeping in mind that money is fungible — taxpayer funds can be used to make this sort of ad). Let people say and pay for whatever message they want to broadcast. The more speech the better, IMHO.

My problem here is that we were milked by this company, and that we’re paying for the ads to glorify the guy who milked us.

A lot of fools decided to (sort of) camp out in various parks around the nation in order to protest this very behavior. Will any of them stand up and decry this ad? Of course not. Instead, the few of them who make it to the polls will vote to re-elect Obama, and therefor to further crony capitalism so that people better-connected than themselves can have worry-free employment at far greater than the market rate, and the national average.

We can have a country of laws, in which we are all treated equally with respect to individual rights protecting autonomy, or we can have a rule of man in which the favored make all of our decisions for us and reap the benefits of everyone’s effort. We are long down that second road.

I just hope that, unlike the Super Bowl, it is not the patriots who lose. I fear that there is no other possible outcome when we are forced to pay for the very propaganda that laces our wrists in chains.

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48 Responses to Eastwood and Down

  • Lying and stealing taxpayer money, business as usual for obama. He even stole, as you pointed out, from the dead, Reagan, which makes him eligible for a new epithet. Grave robber.

  • Fiat also got a hand out…but there ad was better.

  • At least Chrysler has not (so far) produced their Sparky Pinto version. All this other is just too 1984. Orwell would be afraid.

  • Wow, lighten up. It was a good fun ad, the GM bailout was a success (and will help Obama) and that’s reality. You’re in a weird bitter nether-world. Seriously, if this ad bothers you, you’ve lost perspective completely! Sheesh.

    • @scotterb “GM bailout was a success…”

      Not nearly so successful as the Messerschmidt collaboration with the Third Reich. Well, for a while…

      • @Ragspierre @scotterb Nah, here is the best advertisement for German cars… fast-forward to 4:20…

    • @scotterb:

      “U.S. taxpayers likely lost $1.3 billion in the government bailout of Chrysler, the Treasury Department announced Thursday.

      The government recently sold its remaining 6% stake in the company to Italian automaker Fiat. It wrapped up the 2009 bailout that was part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program six years early.”

      (a href=”” target=_blank”>link) Some success. As if that had anything to do with my post.

      • @MichaelJosephWade That’s how Erb defines success. Try and imagine what he thinks failure actually looks like.

        And Erb, ‘fun’? That’s what you thought that was?
        It would be so totally un-profound of me to say you are odd.

      • @MichaelJosephWade GM? Weren’t you talking about Chrysler, owned by the Italian company, Fiat?

        As for GM, it still owes 25 billion to taxpayers.

        Oh, and:

        “Treasury would have to sell its stock for GM at $53.98 to break even. As of Wednesday, GM’s stock was at $24.92.”

      • I think you’re missing the bigger point, but I won’t debate it here. I’ve made my own post on it:

        • @scotterb Scott you don’t HAVE a point. You confuse GM with Chrysler, you confuse Reagan with Obama, you praise policies that benefit a tiny fraction of American businessmen but destroy thousands of jobs and companies elsewhere and then you ripoff a QandO post for some piece of vanity at World in Motion-sickness.

        • @scotterb Yeah, the poor gigabillion American Automobile manufacturers. Shame Bush/Obama weren’t available to save Acme Buggy and Buckboard too.

        • @DocD @scotterb Dude! Don’t forget the “Princes Of Labor” who got pushed up the pay-back line BEFORE secured creditors.


        • @Ragspierre @scotterb Go read Smeagol’s puff-piece on the General Chrysler bailout. Seems he was unaware of any “union deals” to retain jobs. Be quick, before he deletes his own comment 😉

        • @DocD @scotterb I won’t give him the traffic.

        • @Ragspierre @DocD @scotterb As long as I was there, I figured I might as well get the full dose.

          Other Highlights –

          Obama, by a landslide.
          Iran, how attacking will only stop the inevitable government overthrow by the peace loving peoples of Iran coming, soon! soon! (Personally, I think probably not before they do some dumbass thing like threaten Israel or attack an American ship, so be prepared for it to be our fault, personally, here on QandO and not Obama’s or Iran’s. It’ll all work out the same way as us prolonging the Holocaust by entering World War II.)

        • @looker @Ragspierre @DocD I hope you enjoyed my reflection on John Cougar Mellencamp’s albums.

        • @scotterb @looker @Ragspierre “I hope you enjoyed my reflection on John Cougar Mellencamp’s albums”

          I have a policy of not drinking that much on a Monday evening.

        • @DocD @scotterb @Ragspierre What he said. It was enough to skim your political fantasies, I wasn’t going to head into the musicological ones.

      • @MichaelJosephWade

        I guess if you want to pretend their was no impact to taxpayers if they went under… Seems to me 50,000 ex-employees would easily soak up that much in a few years. That’s not to mention their suppliers, dealers, etc.

        But yeah, I forget letting them go under is suppose to be a panacea and don’t ever disagree with that.

        • @jpm100 @MichaelJosephWade Right, the whole thing would have closed down and there wouldn’t have been any kind of a chance for a more sound financial restructuring to come out of it. We were all eager to see them board and shutter the plants, sell the widows and invest in South American Zinc with the funds.

          Just like American Airlines will shutter their terminals, ground their planes and vanish from the skies.

          As opposed to not bailing them out so they can continue their past policies and force them to rethink their business models so they can be profitable.
          Noticed the success of the Chevy Volt recently? Sound like a sound, business based, rational business model decision to continue with that highly profitable line?

          So, no, false argument, they would not have closed up shop if they had ‘gone under’. They would have done what businesses are forced to do, reorganize, streamline, and rethink themselves.

        • @jpm100 @MichaelJosephWade But do note, once again framing the false argument – “He was not willing to allow – did not believe it was necessary to allow – the American automobile industry to collapse and disappear,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

          “Collapse, and disappear” – because you know that was the ONLY other option. The ONLY other option.
          Let’s keep an eye on American Airlines and see if it collapses and disappears without a government bailout.

        • @looker @MichaelJosephWade ,

          American Airlines is a taxi service and not a manufacturer.

          GM & Chrysler going under puts all their part suppliers under. Those plants grind to a halt if the parts aren’t there. So not only do you need to find the capital to restart the assembly plants, you have to resurrect the part makers as well. With the exception of standard bolts and some wires, all it takes is one part to no longer be available and you’re not building cars. Getting all that going again The bill is 10’s of billions of dollars if you’re lucky because after that much bankruptcy in the industry, its pay as you go. Who were all these investors standing in like with that money at the time? I’m a little sketchy on their names?

          Customers aren’t going to react the same way either. Not be a friggin longshot. An airline going bankrupt might create a slim chance you get stranded on a round trip. A new auto company if it fails to take hold can leave a $30,000 paperweight in your driveway. If you think a customer is going to react the same in that situation that’s bull.

        • @looker @MichaelJosephWade Also, the Volt serves the same purpose for GM that the Viper did for Chrysler in the 90’s. Nobody but people looking to criticize ever claimed the Volt was intended to be a core vehicle.

        • @looker @MichaelJosephWade

          “Let’s keep an eye on American Airlines and see if it collapses and disappears without a government bailout.”

          Again, equating a taxi service with heavy manufacture just boggles.

        • @jpm100 @MichaelJosephWade The point, which you have chosen to miss, is that it is a BUSINESS, not a government entity, about to undergo restructuring to handle it’s debt and loss and to try and re-invent itself to turn the debt into a profit without the company “going under” in the sense that Obama would have you believe, which is, it would completely cease to exist.

          No one would have asked them to go from making cars to growing shallots, they would still be making and selling cars.

          All that would have been asked of them is that they shed their less profitable portions, come up with a plan to convince investors and their debt holders to stay with them and allow them (nay, force them) to re-structue and re-plan in such a way that they might make a profit. This is a standard part of many bankruptcy filings.
          It was the point I was trying to make about American going chapter 13.

          The ‘industry’ is irrelevant to the concept since we’re only talking about the CONCEPT of how bankruptcy works, and how ‘going under’ does not HAVE to be the same, and given GM’s size would NOT have been the same, as ceasing to exist.

          The Volt and the Viper – what, to lose money? Vanity cars are for companies that can afford the losses without ‘borrowing’ money from me, you, and every other tax payer in the US.

        • @looker @jpm100 @MichaelJosephWade I dunno… the Chrysler Shallot sounds like it would be a winner in academic circles.

        • @looker @MichaelJosephWade

          GM & Chrysler turn over massive amounts of money to operate every day. If they don’t, in few days will be out of parts, and they don’t build cars. An American Airlines, spends big money when they buy planes to operate. But they don’t have to buy planes this week, or next. They can probably go months with minimal impact, possibly a year or two with a small impact.

          Saying all industries are alike is something I can try to disprove with anecdotes like above all day long, but I don’t have a smoking gun that can be communicated in a comment.

          Do you say one industry is like another because you have some personal experience with it? Or because you need it to be so to hold on to your point?

    • @scotterb Yeah the GM bailout was a success, lucky GM makes all those Chryslers Clint was advertizing. But the GM bailout was a success… if you are a select member of the Detroit industry (let’s call them the 1% for convenience). If on the other hand you’re an employee of a former subsidiary of GM, let’s say Saab, and GM is f***ing you six ways from Sunday by preventing its sale and forcing thousands of people into unemployment in a different country but hanging on to the technology licenses THEN the bailout doesn’t look so wonderful. What is Obama’s motto again? “Workers of the world unite, so long as you’ve paid your dues to the American Democratic Party political machine otherwise get stuffed you plebs”?

      You are as useful as tits on a bull sometimes Scott.

      • @DocD @scotterb Or Saturn…seeing a pattern? Make sure no one competes by making the sale of the brand impossible.

        The irony in professor brainless defending ‘poor GM’ is wildly humorous. Poor little GM, we’re all picking on them.

        • @looker @scotterb
          Wow, lighten up. It was a good fun war, the Libya bailout was a success (and will help Obama) and that’s reality. You’re in a weird bitter nether-world. Seriously, if this war bothers you, you’ve lost perspective completely! Sheesh.

        • @DocD @scotterb Lot’s of fun brewing over there! The Ayatollah proclaims all Jews must die to protect Islam, that a preemptive strike on them to prevent the preemptive strike Israel might launch on Iran is perfectly okay (I guess he never wonders why the Jews would launch a preemptive strike on Iran or even ponder what the word preemptive really means….but he’s a man of peace, being his countries leader in the Religion of Peace).

        • @looker @DocD @scotterb

          I like my Saturn Vue. It breaks more often than the Subaru’s and Toyota’s I have owned, but not as much as the Chevy Astro.

          But now it is an orphan, and I wonder when the part supply will run out.

        • @newshutz @looker @DocD @scotterb Aren’t you grateful you did not buy a new Saab…???

        • @newshutz @DocD @scotterb I love my Vue. I will run the puppy into the ground but so far it’s holding up great (2005), I no longer love GM, will not have it serviced by GM and will not buy another GM product in the foreseeable future.

          I couldn’t stop the bailout, I for damn sure don’t have to buy their vehicles.

  • That was advertizing autos? Isn’t Clint supposed to say “Bazinga” after pulling-off irony like that?.

  • Yeah, uh, Clint – you keepin up with Detroit’s half-time show?

    • @looker Be very careful to avoid the rush of U-Hauls converging on Detroit, filled with people just DYING to be part of that big boom gonin’ on…

      • Kinda funny for Dr. American Decline to be defending it don’t you think?

        Same guy that thinks we’re unexceptional, that we’re former slave holding imperialist bastards the world over is telling Michael to lighten up on it?

        I wonder why that would be, let me think……ah, yes….I’m thinking had this been the Bush administration Dr. Chuck would be on the other side of the fence.

  • I am new to livefyre and have a request. Please stop responding to erb, maybe he will go away, the rest of you make good points.

    • @willisforster Few people realize this, but the incredibly annoying Monty Python “deja vu” sketch is based on the Life of Scott.

    • @willisforster Erb has been kicked around on the internet for more than a decade. He started embarrassing himself on Usenet in the long ago time.

      He would just take silence as consent, and be encouraged.

      • @newshutz OK thanks, i am realy reluctant to suggest banning anybody because of my free speech beliefs. He is harmless, he seems to revel in earning contempt of strangers.

        • @willisforster @newshutz Actually, he thinks he’s getting the best of others on the Internet. That’s because the gap between how smart he thinks he is and his actual intelligence is bigger than any other person I’ve ever encountered in any venue.

          Given decades in the software industry, which has some pretty puffed up egos, that’s saying a lot. Those of us who have recruiting duties for developers sometimes talk about a condition known as ETD – ego-talent discrepancy.

  • And now the latest allegation – The ad wasn’t filmed in……


    Los Angeles, and New Orleans with file footage from Detroit.

    Damn this internet thingie……and you damn internet people with your realities!!!!!

    The dream! you’re shattering the dream!

  • Uhh… Eastwood wasnt’ just “making a buck.” All of his proceeds went to charity. And he said that this ad was not politically motivated at all.
    Is everything a Rorschach test to you?