Ben Affleck Responds as House Republicans Forge Unity With Inappropriate Clip From The Town

If or when you ever think things are irretrievably toxic in Hollywood, at least keep in mind that its barons get things accomplished. (Even if those things occasionally mean Jack and Jill.) Not so much out in Washington, D.C., where the ongoing stalemate over the debt-ceiling increase has escalated to unprecedented levels of partisan brinksmanship. Now we're hearing about Hollywood actually influencing the rhetoric among House Republicans -- and not in a good way.

According to The Washington Post, a closed-door discussion Tuesday among House Republicans attempted to stir unity around Speaker John Boehner's debt-ceiling proposal. That proposal has since collapsed, but the efforts at unity seem to have worked thanks to a radically decontextualized citation from Ben Affleck's film The Town:

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the party's vote counter, began his talk by showing a clip from the movie, "The Town", trying to forge a sense of unity among the independent-minded caucus.

One character asks his friend: "I need your help. I can't tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later."

"Whose car are we gonna take," the character says.

After showing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), one of the most outspoken critics of leadership among the 87 freshmen, stood up to speak, according to GOP aides.

"I'm ready to drive the car," West replied, surprising many Republicans by giving his full-throated support for the plan.

As Talking Points Memo hastened to point out, the complete exchange from the film is a little more specific -- and a lot less magnanimous:

Doug MacRay: I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people.

James Coughlin: ...Whose car we takin'?

Yikes. Replying to a request for comment, Affleck responded from the set of his upcoming film Argo: "I don't know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation -- but if they're going to be watching movies, I think The Company Men is more appropriate."

Indeed, that film's glimpse at an American job market crushed by corporate greed and disloyalty is as relevant in the shadow of debt-ceiling talks at it was last fall. But what's most strange might be the implications of choosing a Ben Affleck film in the first place, particularly when the guy has spent the last year or so working on nonpartisan humanitarian efforts in Congo and East Africa with... Cindy McCain, the wife of ex-U.S. senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain. He's living proof that that the dreaded Hollywood elite and Washington's conservative old guard can not only share ideological common ground but also have the common sense to work together on matters that, important as they are, have a lot less than American insolvency at stake. Anyway, if not for McCain, where the hell would Sarah Palin and her Tea Party acolytes be right now? Probably not volunteering their readiness "to drive the car," and definitely not volunteering to drive it off a freaking cliff.

· House Republicans delay vote on Boehner debt plan [Washington Post]

· Reservoir Dogs, Hill Edition [TPM]



Comments

  • Mike says:

    Republicans are scary

  • Jeremy says:

    And Liberals are idiotic. "Let's spend more and more money with nothing to back it up!" Yup, seems like a good plan...

  • Vince says:

    Helloooo.
    It was a Republican president who started the two costly wars or have you forgotten that?

  • Vince says:

    In any case they better get off their fat cats asses and pass a good budget

  • Jack Kennedy says:

    repub president started two wars to clean up messes the democrat/liberal president refused to deal with and which allowed 3000 Americans to be killed by muslims

  • American says:

    OBAMA .............STOP SPENDING THE TAXPAYERS' MONEY!!!!!!!

  • Ryan says:

    Actually Jack, it was a terrorist organization called Al Qaeda not Muslims or the muslim religion. Also, Bush began the Iraq war which had ZERO ties to Al Qaeda or September 11th which has cost this country 3 trillion dollars. That money would have made a hell of a stimulus package in today's hard times.

  • Mike says:

    Jack you are sadly misinformed. Dubya started two wars so that he grab some free oil. The wars were also very good money earners for his pals working for the private military companies like Blackwater. Oh, and 9/11 happened on Bush's watch by the way. He was even notified that Osama Bin Laden had plans to attack inside the U.S. prior to 9/11 but he didn't do anything about it.
    P.S. Stop complaining about increases in taxes. Obama wants to tax people earning millions and billions of dollars. You know, the people who can actually afford to pay them. Not the middle class. The republicans would like the rich to pay no taxes while the average working joe has to shell out as much as possible. But that sounds fair right?

  • Mike says:

    Jack you are sadly misinformed. Dubya started two wars so that he grab some free oil. The wars were also very good money earners for his pals working for the private military companies like Blackwater. Oh, and 9/11 happened on Bush's watch by the way. He was even notified that Osama Bin Laden had plans to attack inside the U.S. prior to 9/11 but he didn't do anything about it.
    P.S. Stop complaining about increases in taxes. Obama wants to tax people earning millions and billions of dollars. You know, the people who can actually afford to pay them. Not the middle class. The republicans would like the rich to pay no taxes while the average working joe has to shell out as much as possible. But that sounds fair right?

  • Marco says:

    John McCain is still a U.S. Senator.

  • j'ACCUSE! says:

    Tie this post in with something about Sarah Palin, Brooklyn Decker, the teabaggers (oops, Tea Party members), Oprah and...oh....Bop Decameron and you've got yourself a four quadrant recipe for more comments like these! Do it dude!

  • J K says:

    One is reminded of the use of the ultimate bitter critique of America that is Bruce Springsteen's Born In The USA to rouse crowds for Ronald Raygun's campaign back in the day.
    Folks read the constitution the same way. They call the words, but have no insight. The letter of the law and not the spirit, but only when the letter serves as a loophole for their interests-- the spirit invoked when they can't find the words to justify what they want.
    But to pretend that either party is superior is to miss the point that they work for the same corporate donors, and are essentially unemployed people as they produce nothing and have the sole job of getting re-elected and having their pockets lined for future campaigns. The grand theatricality of their symbolic stunt gestures only function to produce an Oz-like facade to reaffirm the apparent relevance of their empowered vainglory...
    I wish there were more focus on the idea that it isn't a cultural debate about TO SPEND or NOT TO SPEND. But rather an essential argument about the allocation of already existing government resources. To pretend that basic social safety nets are a massive drain that will apocalyptically drown the country's kittens while ignoring the vast, untenable machinery of the post-WWII Military-Industrial Complex (a complex that, paradoxically, still disregards and degrades actual serving members of the military) seems as idiotic as any other turning of a blind eye.
    Ultimately, it's just a question of choosing welfare and subsidies for private corporate entities or welfare and support for individual citizens. There is no button marked PURE FREE MARKET to press to vote for zero government support for anyone. Sorry, market-worshipping Libertarians, there's no way to express anarchic intent inside a fixed system of leeches who must continue to justify their own existence.
    Besides, in all the Ayn Radian personal elitism bullshit being floated on the Right, all I can see are a whole slew of folks demanding absolute accountability for everyone but themselves, for whom they reserve an endless supply of excusatory rehab psychobabble.
    And really, I suppose there is nothing more American than that brand of selective individualism. Individualism while ordering with no individuals to be found when the check comes. Not to mention who will clean that mounting pile of dishes.
    And so it goes. Next, we'll see the newest point-missing re-appropriation of the film Network, with everyone going: "See, [our party] is mad as Hell, and [our party] is not going to take this anymore."
    I'm sure Paddy could use a nice roll in the grave.

  • j'ACCUSE! says:

    tl;dr
    Really people, this is a comment section, not the Roman fucking Forum. Save the speeches for a hall of parliament.

  • J K says:

    Why, you're right... let me try again. This post totes rocks, dude! Do it!
    That better?
    Why would you bother just to post a circumscribing negative rather than taking the time to have anything to say? You chime in to let me (excuse me, all of us "people") know the rules of what kind of comment is allowed: apparently a presumptuously self-important "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" with a selection of buzzwords that has no actual content.
    Why review someone's comment rather than engage or respond to it?
    Christ, web2.0 makes people petulant. It's no wonder the whole culture finally just boiled down to the "like" button pressed by ignorant consumers of manufactured sound-bytes sitting back with a smug grin as if they've just made the most profound contribution while the world burns down outside their gated community.
    Do you really think yourself high and mighty for condemning someone's comment for containing TOO MUCH content expressed with TOO MUCH of an attempt to be persuasive? You really took me down a peg. Ouch. Burn, dude!
    Reminds me of the entitled middle school cheerleader that uses her vicious cutting comments to enforce what's allowed to be discussed at the lunch table she rules over. This vice-grip and attitude all presented to cover for the fact that most of what might be said is over her head.
    I'm pretty sure the comments section of a post about a highly absurd political debacle containing an even more absurd story of a clueless appropriation of the comments of a sociopathic criminal depicted in a violent crime film used to rouse a party known for their sanctimonious moralizing in a kind of frat-boy like call for solidarity is EXACTLY where you might find long political screeds.
    You didn't have to read my comment. And if anything, condemn it for being somewhat unfocused and clunky as a half-assed blob of prose. Or better yet, respond to the content with, you know, ANYTHING of your own.
    But, no, one of the thousand adolescent iterations of "you're inappropriate" will do.
    Really, that's not nearly engaged enough to warrant the moniker "J'ACCUSE!"
    This kind of "but, you can't say that" or "you're inappropriate," a codified eye-rolling passed off as real engagement is the reason for the Left's disastrous cultural decline into pointless lifestyle decadence in this country.
    Calling those who take a position an imposition is not a position.
    And yes, it's important enough to write about it. In any empire or any forum.

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