Other Ben Affleck movies John Boehener should show the GOP

House Republicans were shown a clip from "The Town" as a call for unity. It probably wasn't the best choice

Published July 27, 2011 4:01PM (EDT)

So the Washington Post revealed that John Boehner attempted to whip up support for his unloved deficit reduction plan by screening a scene from the Boston crime movie "The Town" for his conference on Tuesday. Though the Post didn't really explain the point of the scene very well:

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.

Yeah! Guys helping each other out! Unity! Here's the actual scene, though, with an important line that the Post weirdly left out:

"You can never ask me about it later and we're gonna hurt some people." And then Jeremy Renner is all blasé about it, when he says his car thing, which is why stunted adolescents think it is such a super-cool scene.

Here's the full version of the scene. After the car line, Affleck and Renner put on masks and brutally, graphically beat two other guys. And then shoot someone in the leg.

Pretty inspiring stuff! I'm ready to cut some spending. Who's with me?

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.

Giving his full-throated support for Boehner's plan, "to hurt some people."

Here's the thing: That is not even a very inspiring movie clip. What's wrong with Kurt Russell in "Miracle"? Or "Braveheart," if you want the messianic life-or-death thing?

This isn't even the best Ben Affleck movie to use to inspire Republicans to support a deficit-reduction plan no one likes. Here are my suggestions, for the next GOP leadership meeting:


Affleck's performance as a man who intends to have sex with the hero's ex-girlfriend "in a very uncomfortable place" has obvious parallels to Boehner's plan for America.


Would teach the GOP that people who extract oil from the Earth are the only people we can trust to save it. Affleck isn't really involved in the "Independence Day" rip-off presidential speech scene but it is vaguely about saving people from a disaster.

"Reindeer Games"

Another "Ben Affleck in a funny costume robbing people" film, and not a very good one. But this scene actually captures the GOP negotiation strategy pretty well:

"He's Just Not That Into You"

Because John Boehner needs to learn, sooner or later, that he shouldn't throw his life away trying to win the heart of Eric Cantor. Wise up, John, and live your life!

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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Debt Ceiling John Boehner R-ohio Republican Party The Town U.s. House Of Representatives