Clint Eastwood is now on record, denying there were political motives behind his “Halftime in America” Super Bowl ad for the U.S. auto industry. Regardless, the ad went viral, largely because the “two teams” metaphor is perfect for the upcoming election. Most commentators have largely focused on what the two teams have done domestically, but it’s the foreign policy parallels that are most striking. War is most certainly not a game, but sometimes the symbolism fits: when it was halftime in the Iraq War, Harry Reid literally forfeited the game.
It was just under five years ago that Senator Reid held a press conference to announce, “Now I believe, myself, that Secretary of State, the Secretary of defense – and you have to make your decision as to what the president knows – that this war is lost. And that the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday. ” When the Bush Administration was trying to regroup and find a way to secure victory, Senator Reid and the major players in the Democratic Party were throwing in the towel. If Eli Manning took career advice from Senator Reid, the Giants would have packed it in after their second regular season loss to the Washington Redskins!
The Democrat Party’s quarterback, Nancy Pelosi, is no different. In 2005 Pelosi held her own press conference and declared, “The war in Afghanistan is over.” Oddly enough, the very same Democratic Party now frames President Obama’s handling of both wars in terms of a “win” for the administration! Perhaps Tom Coughlin should have interrupted Madonna’s halftime show to announce that the Giants were boarding the plane early and heading back to New York.
As voters go to the booths in a matter of months, they should remember Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl commercial. If the Iranian nuclear crisis were to explode – literally – within the next four years (or within the next few months, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has predicted), do we really want a team on the field that tries to quit with every shift of momentum? It isn’t halftime in America, Mr. Eastwood. It’s just time to put the quitters on the bench.