A tidal-wave election that Republicans rode to victory in 2014 and the roaring success of American Sniper, a film that many liberals loathe -- yes, they're related, Rush Limbaugh pointed out to his radio listeners today.
Bad enough for Democrats to suffer epic losses in the midterms, but when their power and influence are on the wane in Hollywood too -- that's a problem.
Here's El Rushbo offering his take on why Americans have embraced American Sniper in the dead of winter like a new Star Wars release at the dawn of summer (audio) --
Anyway, American Sniper, the second big week and it's confounding everybody. And of course the left is now having concocted some of the most hateful stuff in order to tear it down, such as, yeah, near $200 million in just two weeks. And this is just, it's blowing everything out of the water! And so the left is coming along with (sarcastically), Well it's just America celebrating a psychopath murderer! (An apparent allusion to Bill Maher's scorn for the movie). There's nothing heroic about a psychopath murderer, and so forth.
And I'll tell you what it is, folks, I think the success of American Sniper, there's a whole lot of things rolled into it. I think people are going to this movie in the same way they showed up to vote in November. And I think the box office for American Sniper is an extension of the November elections. I think it is the American people continuing to express two things -- their utter outrage at what is happening in Washington and the inattention Washington is paying to the health and the goodness of the country.
And the second thing that they are doing is enforcing what they believe to be good, old tradition American values and everything wrapped up in it, and they want people to know that they are out there in huge numbers and that they are not going away.
How about that, Limbaugh and uber-Dem Howard Dean agree on something -- Limbaugh looks at people flocking to American Sniper and sees their "utter outrage" at Washington, and Howard Dean views the same audience as "very angry" denizens of the tea party. Difference being, Limbaugh knows justifiable anger when he sees it.
Daniel Greenfield at his blog Sultan Knish made a similar observation over the weekend in a post titled "The Hollywood Jihad Against American Sniper" --
The Iraq War already had an official narrative in Hollywood. It was bad and wrong. Its veterans were crippled, dysfunctional and dangerous. Before American Sniper, Warner Brothers had gone with anti-war flicks like Body of Lies and In the Valley of Elah. It had lost a fortune on Body of Lies; but losing money had never stopped Hollywood from making anti-war movies that no one wanted to watch. ...
Hollywood progressives are both threatened and angered by American Sniper. Between Lone Survivor, Unbroken and American Sniper, the patriotic war movie is back. Hollywood could only keep making anti-war movies no one would watch as long as that seemed to be the only way to tackle the subject. Now there's a clear model for making successful and respectful war movies based around the biographies and accounts of actual veterans.
One of my favorite scenes in American Sniper comes early in the film when Chris Kyle, still a boy, is admonished by his father for getting into a fight at school. But I was protecting my brother from a bully, Chris protests. Then it's OK, his dad tells him, because you were acting as a sheepdog against the wolf.
I was unfamiliar with the metaphor until reading an essay from retired Army colonel Dave Grossman nearly 10 years ago as quoted in Bill Whittle's great old blog Eject! Eject! Eject!
In the essay, a Vietnam veteran pointed out to Grossman that there three types of people in the world - wolves, sheep and sheepdogs. Grossman elaborated on the insight --
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking in the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed. ...
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. (emphasis added throughout). The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray himself white, and go "baa".
Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.
Those of us turning out for American Sniper are doing so, on some level, to thank the sheepdogs -- while the likes of Maher and Michael Moore have shown they can't distinguish them from wolves.
(Our condolences to Rush for the loss of his longtime confidant and chief of staff Christopher "Kit" Carson, who died this morning from brain cancer at age 56. As anyone listening today could tell, Rush has been devastated by the passing of his friend. Our condolences as well to Mr. Carson's loving family and many friends).