It’s weird.

Chrysler aired a superbowl commercial last Sunday that, narrated by Clint Eastwood, goes on about it being “halftime in America.” The tone is optimistic, patriotic, impassioned. My initial response was: “I think Clint Eastwood and Chrysler just entered the presidential GOP race. Watch out, Romney.

But it seems that the GOP establishment hates the commercial for other reasons. Karl Rove got quite angry, claiming the ad offended him, it being too pro-Obama. 

I really didn’t see it as pro-Obama. Okay, there the “halftime” rhetoric, but isn’t Obama more in the 4th quarter, rapidly approaching the 2 minute warning? 

I understood the “halftime”  rhetoric as an optimistic sports-reference to the state of the American economy. Not exactly out of the recession, but hopefully out of the worst. Halfway through.

The ad is pretty middle-of-the-road, especially for a football audience. It’s part of an “American glory” narrative that Chrysler also uses for the Chrysler 500 or Dodge Ram trucks. The expressed patriotism refers back to a glory America once had, which is more akin to a conservative/GOP patriotism. Liberal/Democratic patriotism is more often referring to an “American potential for glory.” Plus, Clint Eastwood is an Eisenhower-Republican. But apparently, similar to Ronald Reagan, the Tea Party-driven GOP is now also more radical (for the lack of a better word, I didn’t want to use the ableist ‘insane’, though that was the first word that came to mind.) and right-wing than Dirty Harry. 

Katrina van den Heuvel from The Nation asked on twitter: “Does Karl Rove and other conservatives’ hissy fits about Chrysler ad mean that optimism + patriotic stance are now dirty liberal tactics?” I guess so. And that is really, really scary.

[Chrysler Superbowl Commercial | Clint Eastwood: Its Halftime in America (vua J5hadow)]