Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 14, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE WIND-UP CANDIDATE....More before-and-after comparisons. Here is James Fallows last night on Rudy Giuliani's performance after Bush's speech:

He looks like a man who is crazy. Making no clinical diagnosis here, just talking about his affect as it comes across on TV. I am sure this is partly just my unfamiliarity with his tic of stressing a point by opening his eyes so wide you can see the whites all the way around. He does that a lot, and at first glance it's odd. But beyond that is the eerie sense of how strongly he resembles the earlier, cockier G.W. Bush of two or three years ago.

OK, but in the fresh light of the morning we'll get a more nuanced take, right? Let's check in:

Impression the second time around....Mayor Giuliani, outrageously worse. Is this how he's been all along? To start with, he doesn't know anything. To be more precise: not a single sentence that he utters suggests any familiarity with what people have been saying and arguing — about terrorism, Iraq, the situation of the military, security trade-offs, etc — for the last few years. He's out of date in two ways: He displays the "fashionable in 2003 and 2004" assumption that if you say "nine-eleven, nine-eleven, nine-eleven!!" enough times, you end all debate about military policy. He displays the "fashionable about three weeks ago" assumption that if you say "General Petraeus, General Petraeus, General Petraeus" enough times, you've offered an Iraq policy. And through it all he seems totally self-confident. Hmm, have we seen anything like this combo before?

That's more like it. Aside from the bugeye thing, which makes Giuliani look just plain weird, I was struck, as I usually am, by how completely lacking in substance Giuliani is. He's literally a candidate built purely on attitude, like some hastily sketched-in part in a B movie. I'm surprised he's done even as well as he has so far, but there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer. He's doomed.

Kevin Drum 1:39 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (96)

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You wrote: "there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer. He's doomed."

You are forgetting one detail: he's a republican.

Posted by: cedichou on September 14, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Giuliani is doomed anyway. Sure, lierals wont' like him, but they aren't the ones voting in the primary. conservatives don't like him becasue he's not conservative. And since the extreme of each party tends to vote in the primaries and caucuses (cauci??) centrist or mdoerate candidates have no chance. kevin, you are preaching to the choir about giuliani, and to bring out this standard "he's crazy" talk that others blog about is doing a disservice. That he has no substance, now THAT is important to discuss.

Posted by: chris on September 14, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Anymore, the press probably expects GOP candidates to be lazy.

Posted by: CarlP on September 14, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

"He's doomed."

Either he is, or we are. Right now he is the number one choice for the GOP nomination in most polls of Republicans.

How much substance did George W. Bush have? The fact that he provided the diametric opposite of most of his 2000 campaign promises, didnt doom Bush in 2004.

Posted by: Catch22 on September 14, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, please. Rudy's a NY Republican, which doomed him with the GOP base from the outset. The legacy media has just been playing along with Rudy since he declared, probably because he has the best food and booze on his bus out of all of the candidates. Chickens will be home to roost soon. He was never viable.

Posted by: RichardB on September 14, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised he's done even as well as he has so far

Large chunk of the American people, circa 2000: We want a cowboy! Give us a cowboy!

Slightly smaller chunk of the American people, circa 2007: Huh. That didn't work out so well. Let's try this cowboy!

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

He's doomed?! Jesus, this guy is seeking the nomination of the same party that managed to get George Bush in the Oval Office, TWICE. The same people that put Inouye, DeLAy and Lott in Congress. The crowd with a crush on the empty suit Thompson. Giuliani fits in like a drunk in a bar.

Posted by: steve duncan on September 14, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

"...but there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer"

What press corps have you been reading!? I'm with cedichou - substance is meaningless - haircuts, cleavage, and funny names are far more significant.

Posted by: Barringer on September 14, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Not to pile on but...

there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer.

You're kidding, right?


.

Posted by: spork_incident on September 14, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Doomed? Ha!

Wait 'til after the Dem candidate gets swiftboated for a 8 or 10 months. Then we'll see who's doomed.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on September 14, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

... but there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer. He's doomed.

Insert George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and everyone said the same thing.

Juliana is a perfect candidate for the Pukes.

Posted by: Riesz Fischer on September 14, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

"To start with, he doesn't know anything. To be more precise: not a single sentence that he utters suggests any familiarity with what people have been saying and arguing — about terrorism, Iraq, the situation of the military, security trade-offs, etc — for the last few years."

WOW - sounds like they've found the perfect replacement for Bush!!

Posted by: Mark-NC on September 14, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Readers of The Carpetbagger Report may recall a comment I left a few days ago noticed that Giuliani wasn't being treated well by the press (my hypothesis was/is that a biased right wing press is schilling for a right wing movement that has decided that Giuliani doesn't represent their preferred image of the Republican party).

This possibly accounts for why he didn't get a favorable turnaround on his day-after assessment from his night-of assessment, like Bush did.

Posted by: Swan on September 14, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Daniel Inouye has been a Democratic Senator from Hawaii for 45 years. Want to try for another name?

Posted by: hopeless pedant on September 14, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

"...there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer."

Dammit, first crack out of the box someone stole my thunder, then several more piled on, eventhough some said they didn't want to.
Kevin has a lot more confidence in the Media than the rest of us.

Posted by: Henk on September 14, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

That Giuliani has gotten as much mileage as he has as a politician (as a prosecuter he was pretty good) is due entirely to his tenure as NYC's mayor sharing the same good fortune as did Clinton's as president - the largest economic expansion in U.S. history since the Great Depression. The good economy had more to do with cleaning up and revitalizing NYC than did his law and order policies.

Posted by: JeffII on September 14, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Giuliani will be a much worse president than W. Bush. W. Bush does not know how to create a police state.

Posted by: Brojo on September 14, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Daniel Inouye has been a Democratic Senator from Hawaii for 45 years. Want to try for another name?

That made me jump also. I think he must have been thinking of Inhofe.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Daniel Inouye has been a Democratic Senator from Hawaii for 45 years. Want to try for another name?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damn! Duh! Meant Inhofe...............

Posted by: steve duncan on September 14, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

steve duncan:
"The same people that put(?INOUYE?), DeLAy and Lott in Congress."

When did the Medal of Honor recipient change parties?

Posted by: majarosh on September 14, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

If one envisages a GOP primary season with "Does he make the liberals foam at the mouth?" as the sole desideratum, Giuliani leads the pack.

And as he presently leads the polls, it's not illogical to infer that the GOP is in fact conducting its primary season with "Does he make the liberals foam at the mouth?" as the sole desideratum.

The first requirement of any theory is that it saves the phenomenon.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on September 14, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

What everybody else said. They'd just have to pick a different wind-up Republican. I do think Romney is the best at the routine.

Posted by: sniflheim on September 14, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Giulliani is of course desperate to move attention away from his positions on immigration, gay rights and abortion and towards those that might appeal to the bedwetting nutjobs that populate the so-called Republican "base". The apparent insanity of his rhetoric is merely an accurate reflection of the mental state of most of the cretins whose vote he desperately seeks. Of course, they're not going to give him a pass on the other stuff, so yeah, he's toast. If I had to make a bet at this point, I'd say Romney will be the nominee.

Posted by: jonas on September 14, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

one big difference between bush in 2000 and giuliani now: bush was the candidate of the republican establishment. he was their candidate because he appeared to be (and almost was) electable. giuliani doesn't have that level of support.

the press may or may not give him a pass but it won't matter. the man is a dufus (spelling?) and comes across as such. he's only viable at this point because the republican field is full of total mediocrities.

i get tired of people here who think republicans are election supermen who inevitably will crush any dem that runs against them. you want evidence that a dem can win? may i remind you of bill clinton?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on September 14, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

This may be your laziest post ever. Was there ever any question that Fallows would say nasty things about Giuliani? The only question was which nasty things. Fer chrissake, make up your own slander, don't outsource it to a hack!

Posted by: Shelby on September 14, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

"He's doomed."

Don't count on it, Kevin. I just recently sent Sullivan (who reprinted it) a copy of your confident statement on Feb. 6, 2003 that "If [WMD] aren't found in substantial and convincing quantities George Bush will be lucky to escape impeachment, let alone win reelection." Schiller was entirely correct: Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain. Particularly when they're opposed by a willfully brainless press.

Posted by: BruceMoomaw on September 14, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I have a friend who does the same eye-widening thing, and it's the creepiest thing about my friend. My friend happens to be from New York City, too. Maybe it's a cultural thing there, I don't know.

I like my friend, but that eye-widening thing is the kiss of death on media appearances. It's creepy.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on September 14, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

i get tired of people here who think republicans are election supermen who inevitably will crush any dem that runs against them.

I guess there are some people like that here, but I think most of us are just still in shock that Bush was even a one-term prez, much less a two-timer. It's not so much thinking the Repubs are election supermen as being loath to underestimate a large portion of the citizenry's dumbassity.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Looking at this crowd of Republican candidates, I've concluded that there are no real top candidates. There are only candidates who have not yet been found out.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 14, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

I have a friend who does the same eye-widening thing, and it's the creepiest thing about my friend. My friend happens to be from New York City, too. Maybe it's a cultural thing there, I don't know.

It is not.

Posted by: Stefan on September 14, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

He's literally a candidate built purely on attitude, like some hastily sketched-in part in a B movie.

Isn't that a common political strategy? If you take a stand on issues, people on the other side of the issue will vote against you, so you try to present an "image." Same strategy used by John Kerry. His image: war hero. His policies: doubletalk.

Posted by: Luther on September 14, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

His policies: doubletalk.

You'd be pretty hard-pressed to substantiate that. What are you, 8?

Posted by: Swan on September 14, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Not too long ago you said the press was turning against Lieberman, and now you predict the press will turn on Giuliani... you have a lot of confidence in the press... where does that come from? I wish I could be so optimistic.

Posted by: Lee on September 14, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

"He's literally a candidate built purely on attitude, like some hastily sketched-in part in a B movie."

The absolutely favorite kind of candidate for the Merikan voting public. Bush the Lesser twice, even Clinton ("he feels your pain"), and of course that paragon of B movie actors, Saint Ronnie.

Don't misunderestimate the gullibility of voters.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 14, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

There are only candidates who have not yet been found out.

More specifically, there are only candidates who've been found out, but the MSM has not yet deigned to report it.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

It is not. Posted by: Stefan

You're an auslander and you live in Ft. Lee, so how do you know if all born and bred folks from the Five Boroughs aren't bug-eyed? Huh?

Posted by: JeffII on September 14, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

One would think that a pro-choice, thrice married, NY reppublican wouldn't stand a chance nationally, but don't shortchange republicans' desire to remain in power. If the base thinks he has the best chance to win, principles be damned, they're going to vote for him. Even his "illlegal immigration isn't a crime" statement hasn't hurt him in the polls.

In the general election, I don' think he stands a chance. I think the public sees him as to polarizing a character, and after 8 years of polarizing politics, we're all ready for a change.

Not only does Rudy know little about foreign policy minutae (c'mon, his foreign policy advisor is Norm Podhoretz!), his "my way or the highway" approach will never work in DC. He makes Dumbya look like a conciliator.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 14, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

A gentle reminder:

Your candidate is going to be Hillary, who has been known to look a little funny herself. Never mind her voice.

As far as "terrorism, Iraq, the situation of the military, security trade-offs, etc.", what's her position on these issues? Today, that is?

The Republican candidate just has to beat her, not FDR or JFK.

Posted by: harry on September 14, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal
"Don't misunderestimate the gullibility of voters"


Huh?????

Posted by: majarosh on September 14, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm surprised he's done even as well as he has so far, but there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer. "

GW Bush was elected on exactly the same basis... and continues to get a free pass to this day. The only way the MSM will report accurately on Guliani is if the bosses (THE money) allow it.

Posted by: Buford on September 14, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

On 9/11 Giuliani was there for photo-ops. We all could see that. What else did he do? Did he even do what one expects a mayor to do? I never saw or heard anything. All I know is some generic, 'he did a great job'.

None of the Republican candidates cares about the nation, they just want to fly in Air Force One and listen to 'Hail to the chief'. Otherwise they would have kept up with the nations problems, they would be informed, they would have some suggestions how to serve. They have none, no substance.

Posted by: Renee on September 14, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

harry,

A gentle reminder to you: Hillary was so thumping Rudy in the NY Senate polls that he dropped out. Remember?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 14, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Not to mention, after 8 years as a hounded First Lady, and 7 in the Senate, there is little dirty laundry rightards can come up with that hasn't already been spilled. Not so with Rudy. Expect some sordid details of his numerous affairs to be revealed if he is the GOP nominee. It will make Bill Clinton look like Sir Gareth (the chivalrous).

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 14, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

I still think the drag queen photos will be his undoing. It's not like he just did it once. He enjoys dressing up in women's clothing. If this was England, it wouldn't matter. But we're talking about the god-guts-n-guns crowd, who make up a big chunk of the GOP (and a sizeable number of Indies and even Democrats).

Posted by: Nail on September 14, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

"...there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer." Jeez, Kevin, where have you been for the last eight years?

Posted by: Linda on September 14, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Giuliani ... He's doomed.

—Kevin Drum

Are you kidding? A crazy, out of date, totally self-confident, bugeyed, lacking in substance, built purely on attitude, pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidate?

WE'RE doomed!

Posted by: Econobuzz on September 14, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

The Press will most certainly give him a pass if he appears, even remotely, to be the preferred primary winner. The Press would love nothing more than to have a Giuliani/Clinton campaign, or the "Subway Battle" as Chris Matthews so often refers to it.

Posted by: Fred F. on September 14, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Expect some sordid details of his numerous affairs to be revealed if he is the GOP nominee. It will make Bill Clinton look like Sir Gareth (the chivalrous). Posted by: MeLoseBrain?

Clinton can at least be genuinely personable and charming. So what does it say about a woman who would have a dalliance with Rudy? He's ugly and over-the-top. Trumps at least rich.

Posted by: JeffII on September 14, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

He's ugly and over-the-top.

You mean the comb-over?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 14, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, we have a funny looking narcissist that thinks talking about his 15 minutes of glory enough times will make people overlook what he offers today... well, no major party would nominate a guy like that, would they.

Posted by: minion on September 14, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno. Some women go for that murine visage.

Kidding! Paging Mr. Mowver. Mr. Co Mowver!

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer.

!!!!! And what, exactly, in the history of the past six years would give Kevin this idea?

Drum doesn't usually say egregiously stupid things, but when he does they can be real doozies.

Posted by: Peter Prinicple on September 14, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer

Honey, where have you been the last seven years?

Posted by: Juanita de Talmas on September 14, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Some of you are comparing him to GWB as if the current President is an utter and total unmitigated disaster.

Posted by: gregor on September 14, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

This is what passes as intelligent political commentary?

Posted by: majarosh on September 14, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

No, loving a man for his looks is so shallow.

Wrapping your arms around Guiliani...it's that , what you are really wrapping your arms around is the power, the power of the mayor of the greatest city in the world, the great City of New York.

So imagine wrapping yourself around the power of the President of the United States. It is just so exciting. Who cares about looks. I have 4 blue dresses in my closet, and Rudy can wear any one he wants.

Posted by: Judi G. on September 14, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

If he's doomed, then are the Republicans in general? I mean, who else do they really have - Fred T. is not all that great really despite the hype, Newt won't really get in, Mitt has some problems... Does this mean Hillary/Obama in '08?

Posted by: Neil B. on September 14, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

***

Posted by: mhr on September 14, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Giuliani is clearly making a fool of himself emulating the Bush tack of mentioning 9/11 every other sentence, but as a New Yorker who's observed him for the last twenty years going back to his days as the US Attorney for the Southern District, Giuliani is quite a bit different from Bush. I was never a big Giuliani fan and especially detested his arrogant manner, but Rudy is way smarter than Bush, and he can manage a big Administrative operation and get things done relatively competently. The current NYC Mayor Bloomberg is better at managing than Rudy was, but compared to Bush, Giuliani would be a huge step up in both intelligence and managerial competence. But that is probably true of every presidential candidate in both parties.

That's a bit of good news I guess--no matter who is elected in 2008, he or she can't be a bad as Bush.

Posted by: Bob C on September 14, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Most of what you say, mhr, is true - but the canards about "socialism" are stupid. Real socialism means the government actually owns the means of production. Having national health care (which we don't even have, alone among modern industrialized nations), social security/welfare, environmental responsibility, rules about what business can do, public education etc. are "socialism", no matter how many idiot limbiciles keep saying so. Not only that, we do have to live here, unfortunately considering who's been in charge for the past eight years.

tyranno-g.

Posted by: Neil B. on September 14, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

OOps I meant to say "are not socialism" - typo. Please don't tell me it was a Freudian slip...

Posted by: Neil B. on September 14, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK
... no major party would nominate a guy like that... minion at 3:58 PM. Your candidate ...has been known to look a little funny herself. Never mind her voice....harry at 3:14 PM
Real men, Republican manly men just love Rudy , they love him alllll over. Posted by: Mike on September 14, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK
Of course Giuliani is crazy....meathead republican at 4:18 PM
No shit, Sherlock. When did your mommy tell you? Posted by: Mike on September 14, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Of course Giuliani is crazy. All Republicans are crazy, or unlettered or uninformed and certainly ignorant and racist and sexist and homophobic and religious fanatics and with a definite tendency to be capitalists. Liberals are intelligent, well-read, compassionate and tolerant and inclusive, lovers of diversity, non-judgmental, love peace and have a definite preference for socialism- only they don't ever want to live there. They are not crazy.
Posted by: mhr

It's good to see you've finally come to your senses.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 14, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if he's as ignorant as he seems, or if the know-nothing bellicosity is a studied pose. One thing is for sure--he's running as an authoritarian quasi-fascist. I think a fair fraction the Republican base share that worldview.

Posted by: Matt on September 14, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK
One would think that a pro-choice, thrice married, NY reppublican wouldn't stand a chance nationally,

Well, IIRC, his first marriage was to a cousin - that's gotta count for somethin'.

Posted by: kenga on September 14, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Matt:
"I think a fair fraction the Republican base share that worldview."

Huh?????

Posted by: majarosh on September 14, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

One thing is for sure--he's running as an authoritarian quasi-fascist. I think a fair fraction the Republican base share that worldview.

Agreed. And to many of them, the Epic Battle Between God's Own Christians and the Savage Brown Heretics takes precedence over insignificant stuff like serial adultery and a drag habit.

We can laugh about Rudy's 9/11 fixation being very 2003, but there are quite a few people out there who can't get enough of it even now. They think Iraq is but one piece of a glorious theological war. And they're looking for someone who shares Bush's authoritarian streak and shoot-first-don't-ask-questions-later approach to foreign policy.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't that difficult. Someone get on the phone to George Schultz and ask him who he and his friends are appointing president this time.

Posted by: bigcat on September 14, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy Guiliani: exchanging a Texas idiot for a New York idiot

Posted by: doc on September 14, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

We can laugh about Rudy's 9/11 fixation being very 2003, but there are quite a few people out there who can't get enough of it even now. Posted by: shortstop

Supposedly, the dead enders comprise a bit less than 30% of people polled. There is no way to know what percentage of these people actually vote. And since it's a pretty good guess that next to none of them actually live in the Tri-State area, but are spread pretty much throughout Jesusland, I'm not sure they are a statistically significant minority even with respect to the Electoral College.

Further, I don't think Rudy could get elected dog catcher in NYC or just across the river in Jersey (he won't get a single primary vote above 125th St. or in the Bronx). In fact, he better hope that Bloomberg doesn't decide to belatedly enter the race as he'll take pretty much what little support Rudy has left in the city.

Posted by: JeffII on September 14, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

That's a bit of good news I guess--no matter who is elected in 2008, he or she can't be a bad as Bush." Posted by: Bob C on September 14, 2007 at 4:27 PM

Please, lets not let our standards and hopes slip that low.

We need someone in the Oval Office who can not only exceed the dirt-high bar that the Shrub has set for all future presidents but who is capable of fixing his many and horrific mistakes and deliberate mis-doings. We need someone bright and thoughtful enough to re-right this country back on its proper keel. We need an advocate of human compassion to spearhead the US operating and representing ourselves once more like a country with a constitution that we honestly believe is more than just a piece of paper.
Whomever next steps into the White House not only assumes the domestic and foreign duties that this president has let slide or degraded, but he or she also assumes a rabidly divided political nation, federal agencies that have been gutted by loyal cronies, and a painfully divided Congress that is content to chew on each other's backs, as well as needing to repair laws and budgets that Bush has whacked into ineffectual ether. The White House, our government, our country, and our reputation is a mess, plus there is the matter of a war going on.

If a less than exemplary person steps into the shoes Bush leaves behind and does nothing to clean up the mess, then Bush and all he did will stand as if we allowed it. Which in total honesty, we have.

It must be a candidate that not only knows the White House process and the norms it had BEFORE Bush, to repair the extensive damage Bush and Co have done, but need to be able to resume normal national domestic operations (like addressing the difficult questions such as health care that Bush has been able to ignore for two terms while playing War) and also realign the US foreign relations, plus take care of the war.

I don't envy the next POTUS, his or her job has been made doubly hard by this administrations consistent screwing around. And how many things have gone critical, due to being left to drift for 8 years, both nationally and globally.

I don't like Hil but she does have a good idea of what we were pre-Bush and may put us back to some semblance of sanity post-Bush, will probably do foreign relations the way Bill did, and can pump some revitalization back into domestic issues.

Let's not settle for a candidate that isn't as bad as Bush. Let's vote in a candidate that makes Bush look like the moronic cowboy he really is in retrospect.

Posted by: Zit on September 14, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kenga: married to his cousin? Hell, that's just the gop's new Southern Strategy!

Posted by: Northzax on September 14, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Just to clarify, JeffII, I don't actually think Rudy's going to get too far. I just wanted to point out that his brand of cowboying, authoritarianism and holy-war foreign policy appeals to a not-insignificant number of people--a hell of a lot more people than it should after the ample evidence of Bush's disastrous thinking.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

You're an auslander and you live in Ft. Lee, so how do you know if all born and bred folks from the Five Boroughs aren't bug-eyed? Huh?

Where on earth is this Ft. Lee thing coming from? I do not know and have never lived in Ft. Lee or anywhere in Jersey. This is heresy.

Posted by: Stefan on September 14, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Just to clarify, JeffII, I don't actually think Rudy's going to get too far. I just wanted to point out that his brand of cowboying, authoritarianism and holy-war foreign policy appeals to a not-insignificant number of people--a hell of a lot more people than it should after the ample evidence of Bush's disastrous thinking. Posted by: shortstop

The "some of the people all of the time" constituency.

Posted by: JeffII on September 14, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't read the comments but if it hasn't been mentioned, Rudy's lisp tops of the whole weird act. It seems like he's always saying "I thaved the thity on 9-11 from the terroriths and tho what if I marry my mithtrethes".

Posted by: Chrissy on September 14, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Where on earth is this Ft. Lee thing coming from? I do not know and have never lived in Ft. Lee or anywhere in Jersey. This is heresy. Posted by: Stefan

Okay. Have it your way Mr. Massapequa.

Posted by: JeffII on September 14, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

As a Little League shortstop and #1 fan of Pee Wee Reese over 50 years ago, I have a friendly question for my fellow shortstop.
Where do the issues of security, terrorism and unstable energy supplies fall for the politically astute progressive voters? I'm not being a doofus, just curious. Sincerely-

Posted by: majarosh on September 14, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

... there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer. He's doomed.

—Kevin Drum

Give me a break. Chris Matthews -- not that he's a legitimate part of the "press" -- has his tongue so far up Giuliani's ass that he's tasting last night's pizza.

Posted by: Econobuzz on September 14, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Give me a break. Chris Matthews -- not that he's a legitimate part of the "press" -- has his tongue so far up Giuliani's ass that he's tasting last night's pizza. Posted by: Econobuzz

Whoa, dude! And I was going to order one tonight. A pizza that is.

Posted by: JeffII on September 14, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

You are underestimating the mayor. Yes, he's heard too much applause and is used to only favorable press but he's a much tougher man than anyone gives him credit for. He's like the student who pulls an all nighter after sleeping threw the whole school year. As 911 showed, when the chips are down he comes up big.

Posted by: aline on September 14, 2007 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

You are underestimating the mayor. ... As 911 showed, when the chips are down he comes up big.

Posted by: aline

Strongly agree that that is indeed the perception.

And he is widely perceived to be able to beat Hillary. True or not, if that perception is widespread, he could beat and divorce his CURRENT wife, move in with a gay guy, hire an illegal, and still get the nomination -- if he's willing to bomb Iran.

Posted by: Econobuzz on September 14, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm surprised he's done even as well as he has so far, but there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer. He's doomed."

Hehehehehehee. Oh yeah, there's no way the press would let an ignormous get away with faking it just because he's a likeable guy. That'd be unthinkable. Thanks, Kevin, I needed a good laugh.

Posted by: Rick Taylor on September 14, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Mike at $:38

I don't think Rudy will get the nomination. I do not support Rudy, but I do think he has 40 IQ points on the swell fella the Iowa teacher's unions offerred us last time. Every time that guy was asked a question from civil rights to car seats for toddlers he began,... well, when I was in Viet Nam... so in that sense I do have more faith in Repub primary voters.

Posted by: minion on September 14, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Every time that guy was asked a question from civil rights to car seats for toddlers he began,... well, when I was in Viet Nam... so in that sense I do have more faith in Repub primary voters.

Two words and one initial: George. W. Bush.

And by the way, why do we never hear Bush talk about what he did in Viet Nam?....Oh, yeah. Right.

Posted by: Stefan on September 14, 2007 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

GWB was elected as the candidate that promised a more humble America that wouldn't throw our weight around internationally. I was a rabid neocon back then, and we all supported McCain. Also, check out this link; I don't think we could have predicted who and what Bush would become:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvVilAlCBYc

Posted by: minion on September 14, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Okay. Have it your way Mr. Massapequa.

Since when can a commenter get away with this sort of talk?

Where's the moderator?

Posted by: frankly0 on September 14, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Since when can a commenter get away with this sort of talk? Where's the moderator? Posted by: frankly0

Oh! So you like it rough, do you?

How about this, Shoreham? Ronkonkoma? Hauppauge? Had enough? Bay Shore. Islip.

And there's plenty more where that came from.

I need to go shower.

Posted by: JeffII on September 14, 2007 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK
there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer.

I'm not the first to say this, but...

Where were you during the 2000 election?

Posted by: scarshapedstar on September 14, 2007 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Eventually the rest of the country will know what New York, New Jersey, Connecticut knew: On September 10 2001, Guiliani could not have been elected dog catcher.

And they will also find out that when Hillary Clinton ran for Senate the first time, Rudy (who was supposed to run) bowed out. Hmmm.

And, finally, no one would have paid much heed to Rudy on September 11 if George Bush had not gotten on a plane and been out of sight of the American people for most of the day.

Posted by: mkolb on September 14, 2007 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Jane Hamsher said it well a few months ago:

"The modern GOP has become the party of men who hate women and the women who love them, and there are many ways to show your bona fides on the mysogyny front. Like, say, calling a press conference to announce your divorce from a woman you haven't told yet. Rudy's many marriages and the kids who won't talk to him only burnish his image as a controlling, paternalistic, patronizing bastard, the kind that wingnuts yearn for..."

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 15, 2007 at 4:53 AM | PERMALINK

Jeez, I liked watching Ron Paul on Fox news debate - Ron's take on Bush's Neo GOP - sort of the last best hope for a dying party.

Also I see Chuck Hagel, who is leaving the Republican Party for same reason many Republican voters are cutting up their cards - lack of anything recognizable these days in old GOP.

Maher: Isn’t it a dirty trick, sort of, on the American people when you send a military man out there to basically do a political sell job?

Hagel: Well it’s not only a dirty trick, uh, but it’s dishonest, it’s hypocritical, it’s dangerous and irresponsible. The fact is this is not Patreaus’ policy, it’s Bush’s polic. Uh, and the military, and it’s certainly very clear in the constitution, is there subservient to the elected public officials of this country and I think we all agree on that. Certainly the military does. But to put our military in a position that this administration has put ‘em in is just wrong and it’s dangerous and of course it’s obvious what they’re doing, very transparent. The military, that institution, our armed forces has the highest job approval, trust, credibility rating of any institution in America. And it should. These are remarkable people.

Hagel goes on to say the Party will reorientation itself - self correct - but I don't see it.

I think Murdock, Bush and a select few greedy individuals have so corrupted the Party, so contorted and twisted the Party – so that the wild eyed, completely lacking in substance Giuliani styled Repug candidates are now built purely on attitude and nothing else matters.

I mean, when staunchly conservative people like Warner and Hagel leave the party because they can no longer identify with it - I'd say the GOP cannot ignore the obvious.

Posted by: Me_again on September 15, 2007 at 5:30 AM | PERMALINK

"I'm surprised he's done even as well as he has so far, but there's no way the press is going to give him a pass on his pull-the-string-and-hear-a-buzzword candidacy for much longer. He's doomed."

Are you KIDDING? Bush is STILL getting away with it. The stenographers in the press most certainly are not going to call bullshit on crazy Rudy.

Posted by: Helena Montana on September 15, 2007 at 7:35 AM | PERMALINK
….Every time that guy was asked a question from civil rights to car seats ... well, when I was in Viet Nam...minion at 8:24 PM
Straw men you attack are so much better than the men of straw you defend: Messrs 9-11 and 9-11. Got a question? 9-11 9-11. Question a policy? 9-11 9-11. In NYC, Benito Giuliani was a thug. That is attitude that gives the boyz and girrlz of the Republican Party The Big O. Posted by: Mike on September 15, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

kevin,
I luv ya man, but seriously, I almost wish Giuliani wins the whole damn thing.

Maybe that will wake you up (and a whole bunch of other folks) to the fact that substance or lack thereof doesn't mean a goddamn thing.

Seriously, your misunderstanding of the media is your biggest blind spot.

Posted by: mario on September 18, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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