Clint Eastwood's novel speech to the Republican National Convention this year was far more effective, I believe, than he ever dreamed. Not only is there a proliferation of empty chair avatars in the social media, but there is this story out of Texas, where Obama is so identified with an empty chair, that a man was accused of hate speech for hanging a chair on a tree.
A Texas man who hung a chair from a tree on his front lawn — in an apparent rebuff of President Obama and nod to Clint Eastwood — has taken down the display after offended locals associated it with the lynching of blacks. Austin homeowner Bud Johnson, 73, said he removed the stupefying sight Thursday because of a misconception.
“I decided to make the change because some people are stupid,” Johnson told an Austin American-Statesman columnist. Eastwood made the empty chair a political prop during a Republican National Convention speech last month, when the “Dirty Harry” star scolded an invisible Obama symbolized by a stool.
The Texas incident follows another display of an empty chair hung from a tree in Centreville, Va., earlier this week. A photo of the chair posted online included a “Nobama” sign.
I don't believe this man was suggesting that Obama be "lynched", but it certainly illustrates just how pervasive the meme of "Obama as empty chair" has become, if depicting a chair in a less that flattering fashion, or one perceived as threatening, is taken as a criticism of President Obama himself.
Another historic first for Obama! The first African-American president to be associated with an empty chair! And here you thought all along he was just an empty suit!
Cross posted at Say Anything