The national debt-limit debate is getting ugly in Washington as both parties refuse to flinch despite facing a looming Aug. 2 deadline. How ugly? According to the Washington Post, House Republicans are finding inspiration in a scene from The Town, Ben Affleck’s movie about a close-knit crew of Boston bankrobbers. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) reportedly began his address to the House GOP leadership by showing the clip from the movie where Affleck asks Jeremy Renner’s character: “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.” After a brief pause, Renner replies, “Whose car are we gonna take?” Watch the scene.
After seeing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) reportedly stood up and announced, “I’m ready to drive the car.” I think we can assume that his enthusiastic response reflected his loyalty and a strict commitment to do whatever it takes to win this political battle — as opposed to putting a cap in the leg of the enemy, as Renner’s character goes on to do in the next scene.
I have to admit, I’m a little surprised and impressed by Rep. McCarthy. (Rahm Emanuel sends his regards, Congressman.) Older politicians might know nothing past Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, established power-brokers might have opted for a scene from The Godfather, and some misguided young turk might have tried to rally the troops with Gordon Gekko’s “Greed” speech. But this particular selection demonstrates taste, originality, and evidence that McCarthy has at least seen one film besides Braveheart since 1993.
In a statement, Affleck said, “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.” Company Men was last year’s independent film that focused on the recession and corporate downsizing.
I wonder how the Democrats will respond — cinematically speaking. Can they one-up the Republicans with another scene from the Affleck canon? His NSFW Boiler Room speech doesn’t really echo the Democratic Party’s values, and his job interview from Good Will Hunting would be effective only in lightening the mood in the room. Perhaps something from The Sum of All Fears or State of Play? More likely, it’ll just be the Pearl Harbor speech from Animal House. Personally, I’m a fan of the NSFW baseball speech from The Untouchables. Hey, after that Town clip, not responding with something as strong as this would be like bringing a knife to a gun fight.