Clint Eastwood claims his speech is Mission Accomplished and lists three goals he wanted to accomplish “That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who’s not doing a good job”. But on his first point he’s still got a long road to go with one of the big guns of the right-wing blogosphere, Instapundit. Prof. Glenn Reynolds, post speech, is still fairly busy blogging about raising Hollywood taxes as punishment for Hollywood’s massive and decades long support for the left. In fact he shows no sign of slacking off on his anti-Hollywood agenda pushing for a Hollywood tax increase, the one tax increase most likely to pass a GOP Congress as well as movie accounting reform, both issues that would hurt Eastwood’s professional colleagues and him personally in his career as a producer and director.
A tax increase message right now would muddle the GOP’s anti-tax credentials and not be good optics for the campaign. But raising the issue now sets a very different post-election battlefield. Democrats and their media allies will seek to put Republicans in a corner in order to force them to raise taxes. This is an old play, set many times in Washington DC. But Prof. Reynolds has set up a devastating attack line from the right. Any Republicans signing onto a grand tax compromise that doesn’t include Hollywood as a special subject is inevitably going to get asked “why are you protecting liberal Hollywood”? They will not have a credible answer. Even the most dense of GOP lawmakers will not step in the trap. Instead they will force the Democrats to explain why Hollywood doesn’t get to handle its fair share of the burden.
Eastwood may realize this and picked this time to shed his longtime dislike for directly getting into the political fray. But he and his allies are going to have to do a lot more to convince the rest of the conservative movement that Hollywood isn’t their enemy, and shouldn’t be treated as such.