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Tilting at Windmills

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September 4, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RUDY!....Everything you need to know about Rudy Giuliani is right here. Honest, that's all there is to it.

Kevin Drum 5:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (34)

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OK, I give up. Why? Was he an unmitigated disaster for NYC? Or did NYC suck so much that he raised it UP to unmitigated disaster level?

Posted by: Swaggering Jingoistic RSM on September 4, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

With apologies to the Kaiser Chiefs:

Back in NYC
He was mayor, you see
When the Trade Centers blew
Rudy kept his cool

Now he's running for Prez,
at least that's what he says,
he'll be tough on Al Qaeda
while he's wearing a dress.

Rudy Rudy Rudy Rudy!

Anyone who wants to take this stub of a song parody and run with it, go right ahead. Borrow/steal as much as you want.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on September 4, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK
Drezner: What is astonishing is that, despite the fact that this collection of individuals would likely disagree about pretty much everything, there was an airtight consensus about one and only one point:

A Giuliani presidency would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States.

That is all.

GOP: Yeah, it might wreck the Republic, but it would sooooo piss the liberals off. Let's do it!

I think Giuliani gets the nomination. His party is running on pure bile at this point. They're not going to run anybody who's not a hater.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on September 4, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

"His party is running on pure bile at this point."

Unfortunately, there's a good bit of truth to this.

Posted by: hotrod on September 4, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Why????????????????????

Posted by: TruthPolitik on September 4, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

For those who will tell you that Rudy cleaned up crime from New York, it's worth repeating this:

During the same time period, the crime rate fell in cities with liberal mayors, too.

My guess as to the reasons the crime rate fell is pretty useless. The point is, whatever the reason, it was not Rudy.

Also, I want to know where all the homeless he "swept off the streets" ended up.

Posted by: thersites on September 4, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

I lived in NYC through Giuliani's rise to power and my guess is that these people are not commenting on how good a job he did as mayor but the fact that he has an authoritarian impulse that makes Cheney look reasonable. He would be like Bush with more of a Nixonian streak.

We can all debate how good Giuliani was-- in my view lots of cities improved dramatically in the 1990s. The crime policies that led to improvements started before Giuliani and Bratton deserves tremendous credit. The success under Bloomberg shows New Yorkers that they could have a good mayor without him being an a**hole.

Posted by: lerxst on September 4, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

He was mayor on 9/11! What else has to be said -- he is clearly the man for the job!

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on September 4, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Unmitigated disaster or not, I would have definitely cast my vote for a fellow hairless man, but for his taste for dresses.

Posted by: gregor on September 4, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

I lived in NYC through Giuliani's rise to power and my guess is that these people are not commenting on how good a job he did as mayor but the fact that he has an authoritarian impulse that makes Cheney look reasonable.

That, plus he's kind of crazy and mentally unstable.

Posted by: Stefan on September 4, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Drezner:

"Nobody I know would vote for him."

Posted by: rnc on September 4, 2007 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. In 2008, you are not going to be hearing the word "gravitas" from liberals any more.

Posted by: rnc on September 4, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: plus he's kind of crazy and mentally unstable

Ah, so you do think he'll get the Republican nomination.

Posted by: alex on September 4, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"A house of cards can stand for a long time in a glass cage. But not when exposed to the elements." - Z.globalguerrillas.typepad.com

Posted by: daCasacadian on September 4, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

he was the right mayor at the right time for the right city...but he'd be a disastrous president under most circumstances.

Posted by: Nathan on September 4, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, so you do think he'll get the Republican nomination.

That, plus he's corrupt, unethical, a flip-flopper, hates the Constitution, consorts with crooks, had multiple mistresses -- so yeah, as far as the Republicans go he's perfect!

Posted by: Stefan on September 4, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK
he was the right mayor at the right time for the right city...Nathan at 6:58 PM
One other thing, as mayor, he constantly embroiled the city in lawsuits that he lost.

...And it should distress many conservatives that Giuliani took umbrage at affronts to his dignity, perhaps most notoriously when he tried to stop city buses from carrying a New York magazine ad saying the publication was "possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn't taken credit for." The First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams notes in his book, "Speaking Freely," that "over 35 separate successful lawsuits were brought against the city under Giuliani's stewardship arising out of his insistence on doing the one thing that the First Amendment most clearly forbids: using the power of government to restrict or punish speech critical of government itself."....

While this author says 'distress many conservatives', he is thinking of the old, Goldwater conservatives. The modern bunch is thoroughly authoritarian. Guiliani's proto-fascism will appeal to them .... big time.

Posted by: Mike on September 4, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Well...he did get rid of those pesky homeless windshield squeegee "terrorists"

Posted by: mrwatson on September 4, 2007 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

He put the NYC command center in the WTC complex against the advice of everyone with a brain. I won't go into all the details, but you don't put an emergency command center in a susceptible place. It's emergency preparedness 101. The WTC had already been attacked. If you are a Fortune 500 company and need an off site base in case of emergency, you don't do what Rudy did. Other people here have mentioned things which make Rudy unfit for higher office. Do we really need an unstable fascist as president? Hell, one is enough.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on September 4, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

My guess as to the reasons the crime rate fell is pretty useless. The point is, whatever the reason, it was not Rudy.

Demographics. Fewer single, young men. Plus an upsurge in the economy.

rnc, Giuliani has all the gravitas of a rabid terrier.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 4, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Snicker-Snack, here is a link to a post about the crime rate in NYC that references a neuro study that ties that reduction to lead abatement in the inner city.

I have some training in neurosciences, and the study referenced is solid.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 4, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

The recent profile in teh New Yorker is a good summation: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/08/20/070820fa_fact_boyer/

Posted by: Henry on September 4, 2007 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

No irony in using the word "teh"; just bad typing.

Posted by: Henry on September 4, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

cheers, Blue.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 4, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

trend was set before he even started...

Posted by: mrwatson on September 4, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

rnc, Giuliani has all the gravitas of a rabid terrier.

Doesn't matter. He just has to have more than any of the Democratic candidates. Not hard.

Posted by: rnc on September 4, 2007 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy is a vain, arrogant, egotistical, son-of-a-bitch.

And those are his good qualities.

Posted by: AndrewBW on September 4, 2007 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Today Rudy made his biggest boo-boo.

The man who touts himself as knowing it all about NATIONAL security comes out for LOCALIZING Homeland Security.

Rudy thus would put Homeland Security on the same level as your local state highway patrol.

Obviously now, Rudy doesn't know near as much about NATIONAL security as he and his speechwriters would have us think.

Get on it, folks.

Posted by: bigbooboo on September 4, 2007 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

From an older TPM Cafe link, these two paragraphs caught my eye:

In the Daily News, the New Republic, and on cable and network TV, I insisted it had come to this because racial “Rainbow” and welfare-state politics were imploding nationwide, not just in New York and not only thanks to racists, Ronald Reagan, or robber barons. One didn’t have to share all of Giuliani’s “colorblind,” “law-and-order,” and free-market presumptions to want big shifts in liberal Democratic paradigms and to see that some of those shifts would require a political battering ram, not a scalpel.

I spent a lot of time with Giuliani during the 1993 campaign and his first year in City Hall, and while a dozen of my columns criticized him sharply for presuming far too much, I defended most of his record to the end of his tenure. He forced New York, that great capital of “root cause” explanations for every social problem, to get real about remedies that work, at least for now, in the world as we know it. Some of these turned out to be preconditions for progress of any kind: I saw Al Sharpton blink as I told him in a debate that twice as many New Yorkers had been felled by police bullets during David Dinkins’ four-year mayoralty as during Giuliani’s then-seven years and that the drop in all murders meant that at least two thousand black and Hispanic New Yorkers who’d have been dead were up and walking around.

I'd really like some further examination of these claims.

Posted by: Brian on September 4, 2007 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

Small men with small penises, like Mr. Giuliani, are always trying to prove their manliness -- which causes them to do incredibly stupid and brash things. Please refer to Napoleon Bonaparte for more details....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 4, 2007 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

I almost hurt myself laughing at the first post-link link from TPM elections, the first 2 posts.

Click Kevin's link then "For some answers from New Yorkers, click here" in their link.

Brian, when you're on the right side, you might enjoy the company of an over-bearing, fascist-inclined, ego-maniac. Personally, I've had enough of that sort of damage.

Posted by: notthere on September 5, 2007 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

And let's not forget, bsbg, the very real demographic impact of Roe, and increased access to family planning and education in the late 70s.

So this is how the two parties break down. One is running three candidates who are, if not beloved, then at least respected, by their current and former constituents. Senator Clinton is well liked in the large diverse state she represents, Senator Obama is well liked in the large, diverse state he represents, Senator Edwards is liked and respected in the state he represented, despite being in the minority party there. None were managers, but all would win those offices again, if the election was today. Meanwhile, the other party is running two experienced managers, should be an easy decision, management experience is good, except that the people who experienced their management would never rehire them.

Posted by: Northzax on September 5, 2007 at 7:41 AM | PERMALINK

That, plus he's corrupt, unethical, a flip-flopper, hates the Constitution, consorts with crooks, had multiple mistresses -- so yeah, as far as the Republicans go he's perfect!

Don't forget that he also married his cousin, which speaks to the average Republican primary voter more than Fred driving a pick-up.

Posted by: Disputo on September 5, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

The success under Bloomberg shows New Yorkers that they could have a good mayor without him being an a**hole.

Which has come as quite a surprise to most NYers.

Posted by: Disputo on September 5, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK
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