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Tilting at Windmills

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October 24, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RUDY AWAKENING....What would Rudy Giuliani be like as president? In our November issue, Rachel Morris looks for the answer by digging around in the nooks and crannies of his two terms as mayor of New York City. Here's an excerpt:

In 1996, Doug Criscitello, a former federal budget analyst, started work as the first director of the Independent Budget Office. Criscitello expected to put his auditors to work immediately, but then he received a surprising communication from the mayor's office. It was a memorandum informing him that all the IBO's requests for data had to be referred to City Hall — despite plain language in the city charter stating that the IBO could get information directly from municipal agencies. Puzzled, Criscitello contacted Giuliani's lawyers, who reaffirmed the message. "They weren't nasty about it. They were very matter-of-fact," said Criscitello. " 'Here's how we've decided to interpret the charter, and if you disagree there's a legal process you can go through and we can get a judge to rule on this.'" Eventually, the IBO sued the mayor's office for the data, and in 1998 a state judge ruled that City Hall had violated the city charter and ordered it to start cooperating. Meanwhile, Giuliani had bought two years of time.

Criscitello had run into what was becoming a signature feature of Giuliani's governing style. Chafing against the limits of his authority, Giuliani was taking an increasingly instrumentalist view of the law: it was only as good as how well it was enforced, and should be overstepped when doing so served his ends. His administration tussled in court not only with the IBO but also with numerous interest groups, the state comptroller, the public advocate, and the city council. "All of those were effectively cases that said, he's gone beyond the restraints on executive power," said Eric Lane, director of the 1989 charter commission and a law professor at Hofstra University. By 1999, the city council was forced to allocate money specifically for the purpose of suing City Hall, which had 685 lawyers on its payroll and had increased its legal budget by 41 percent since Giuliani took office.

....New York State's comptroller, H. Carl McCall, had a similar experience to Criscitello's when he tried to undertake routine audits of how well the city had provided services in areas ranging from restaurant inspections to policing. First, City Hall refused to provide the information. Then, in 1997, Giuliani booted McCall's auditors out of city agencies. McCall issued seventeen subpoenas in one month alone, all of which the mayor's office ignored. After two years, the state's highest court ordered his administration to turn over the information. By that time, however, Giuliani had already succeeded in the effort that mattered most to him: significantly delaying the comptroller's efforts. Not until 2000, for instance, would McCall be able to produce an audit of crime statistics, and when it finally appeared, the auditors noted that they were still unsure whether they had received all of the relevant material. As a "matter of policy," they wrote, City Hall had decided not to provide the customary document confirming that the data was accurate and complete.

Choosing the best presidential candidate among the 2008 contenders is a tough job. Picking the worst is easy. Rudy Giuliani is the guy you'd get if you put George Bush and Dick Cheney into a wine press and squeezed out their pure combined essence: unbounded arrogance and self-righteousness, a chip on his shoulder the size of a redwood, a studied contempt for anybody's opinion but his own, a vindictive streak a mile wide, and a devotion to secrecy and executive power unmatched in presidential history. He is a disaster waiting to happen.

Kevin Drum 1:51 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (78)

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if you put George Bush and Dick Cheney into a wine press

I'll pay to see that!

Posted by: craigie on October 24, 2007 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Well, all the tools are lying around now for america to become a genuine, modern fascist state. Now all you need is the right president. I see GOP may have found theirs.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on October 24, 2007 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Giuliani is worse than W. Bush because he will consciously use his law enforcement experience to expand state police power.

Posted by: Brojo on October 24, 2007 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

Despite all the alarm being registered around these parts, I think the chances of Guiliani getting to the oval office are quite small; the theocratic true believers won't nominate him (too much abortion-friendly baggage) and the general public wouldn't elect him if they did. This year, the democratic primaries are the totality of the race, by and large. The GOP nomination race is basically just a macabre sideshow.

Posted by: jimBOB on October 24, 2007 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

jimBOB,

Don't kid yourself. The GOP is working hard to do the all the things it needs to do to win the election, no matter who the nominee is. Indeed, apparently that ballot initiative in California to split up the state's electoral votes has new financers and is going to go forward. If that passes . . . well . . . it may not matter who the Republican or Democratic nominee is. There's a very strong chance that the election will be decided before the first ballot is cast.

Posted by: KC on October 24, 2007 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

I can think of 911 reasons why obscure facts like this don't matter.

I suspect the GOP's deal with the Devil, er, the Religious Right, will continue to sink Giuliani's chances.

The Religious Right doesn't know (and if they did, wouldn't care) that Giuliani's entire education up to law school was at religious schools, or that he nearly joined the seminary on two separate occasions, or that he fought to remove city funds from art galleries that displayed impious works, etc. The Religious Right isn't looking for true men of faith, but men who use the bible to justify hatred of homosexuals.

Giuliani committed the unforgivable sin of not hating gay people enough -- you know, like Jesus would have wanted -- so they aren't going to vote for him.

Once again, the Religious Right is putting their overriding hatred of gays ahead of absolutely everything else, including what's good for their party, our country, and the planet (they have even attacked churches that preach that Christians should help save the planet from Global Warming).

The preachers doth protest too much, methinks.

Posted by: Augustus on October 24, 2007 at 3:33 AM | PERMALINK

I am afraid it will come down to Romney and Giuliani, both naggingly frightening potential nominees, both with suspect resumes. Yet voters are so sick of republicans, who, as writer
Matt Taibbi aptly describes in the lastest Rolling Stone as having "horrified the whole world through their insane invasion of Iraq, run up record deficits...punted the ethics issue... with a parade of staggering corruption indictments and turned their pompous emphasis on personal morality into a late-night punch line through their little-boy pages and anonymous bathroom sex..."

Ouch.

By the way Kevin, well written post. That final paragraph was delightfully scribed.

Posted by: consider wisely always on October 24, 2007 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

Don't kid yourself - if the mainstream media and our dishonest/dysfunctional election systems can fraudulently hoist an AWOL, alcoholic, cocaine-addict into the pResidency and then anoint him a "War President" - THEY CAN DO IT WITH RUDY TOO!

Posted by: littlebear on October 24, 2007 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy can be such a drag.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline on October 24, 2007 at 4:27 AM | PERMALINK

So, Kevin, are you _ever_ going to mention the James Watson Witch Hunt, or is it just too humiliating to think about?

Posted by: Steve Sailer on October 24, 2007 at 5:22 AM | PERMALINK

He's a disaster NOT waiting to happen.

Posted by: Kenji on October 24, 2007 at 5:22 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy will be a footnote in campaign history , nothing more . Same with Empty Suit Fred , Huckabee and the Holy Joes . Romney will be easily beaten by whoever lasts it out . Rudy's already starting to look like a slimeball , that won't float with most Americans .

Posted by: beastofbourbon on October 24, 2007 at 5:59 AM | PERMALINK

Excellent post, Kevin. Giuliani would truly consolidate and harden America's drift toward fascism. Men of small stature, like Giuliani, also often have very small characters, as well. Like Napoleon, this man is overbrimming with hubris and would lead America down paths we do not want to go.

I think Giuliani is unelectable - most Americans will not vote for a small, balding man with a lisp, a bad combover and a monstrous ego.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on October 24, 2007 at 5:59 AM | PERMALINK

By the way Kevin, well written post. That final paragraph was delightfully scribed.

I agree. Nice flow with a good, satisfying THUMP at the end.

Posted by: shortstop on October 24, 2007 at 6:51 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy Giuliani is the guy you'd get if you put George Bush and Dick Cheney into a wine press and squeezed out their pure combined essence: unbounded arrogance and self-righteousness, a chip on his shoulder the size of a redwood, a studied contempt for anybody's opinion but his own, a vindictive streak a mile wide, and a devotion to secrecy and executive power unmatched in presidential history. He is a disaster waiting to happen.

I smell Republican front-runner!

Posted by: jhe on October 24, 2007 at 6:51 AM | PERMALINK

What would Rudy be like if elected President, Dumb as Bush only worse.

Posted by: Al on October 24, 2007 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

It is a fact apparently only known to New Yorkers that on September 10, 2001, the two most unpopular things in the city were the World Trade Center towers and Rudolph Giuliani.

I'm surprised it took people so long to find out what a lump of shit he really is.

Posted by: jprichva on October 24, 2007 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

He's also afflicted with "tentative front-runner" disease. He is ignoring all previous moderate positions in an all-out effort to appeal to the hard-right base, resulting in exaggerated mouth-froth.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on October 24, 2007 at 7:58 AM | PERMALINK

Guiliani's a hater.

In baseball, ties go to the runner.
GOP nominations go to the hater.

That's Nixon's legacy. (And that avuncular act that Reagan used to pull doesn't gainsay his massive resentments.)

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on October 24, 2007 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

didn't lou reed write a song about him being an asshole... 20 yrs ago?

Posted by: andyvillager on October 24, 2007 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

"He is a disaster waiting to happen."

—Kevin Drum 1:51 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Which is exactly the reason he'll be elected. America deserves no more than Rudy. We elected Bush twice. For those deeds we're a trillion dollars poorer, our military is decimated and in disarray, the judicial system is packed with hacks and Bircher ideologues, the 4th Amendment is nullified for years to come (maybe forever?), the nations of the world think we're dangerous nuts and xenophobes and after what will be eight years we're no closer to weening ourselves off foreign energy sources than when Clinton left office. America invited disaster into their homes twice. A third time with Rudy Giuliani is more than plausible, it's likely.
Can he beat Hillary? Sure he can. I watched a clip of Iowa voters interviewed after the winger debate. Frank Luntz questioned a room full of randomly picked voters. Since Hillary was such a focal point of the debate Luntz questioned these people on their opinions of her. Communist! Socialist! We can't afford 4-8 more years like we suffered under Bill Clinton! (Yeah, those were such miserable years of deprivation and struggle). These people reeked of hatred and disdain for her. Once Rudy is nominated the Mighty Wurlitzer will further transform Hillary into Regan & Goneril. The American public can be depended on for a national Pavlonian response at the polls in their turning away from Hillary. And Rudy has a trump card. His default mode will be killing and torturing Muslims, Arabs and other members of the menacing brown hordes out to kill us all. Americans love killing and torturing any human being that isn't white and English speaking. Democrats just can't match the promises of death, destruction and incoherent policies offered by Republicans and so fervently desired by the electorate.

Posted by: steve duncan on October 24, 2007 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

I'd be willing to bet that Rudy's run is in no small measure thanks to the ways in which Bush and Cheney have extended executive power. Rudy must be drooling over the precedents for executive authority Bush et al have created and dying to extend them further.

Posted by: Colin on October 24, 2007 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Aside from the fact that most Americans are getting worn out from the fear-mongering and lying, the biggest storm cloud out there for the GOP will be the economy. If we're not in a full recession by next year, it will be a miracle. Chances are the Democratic nominee will win easily. The big money is already placing their bets there.

Rudolf! What a despicable and freaky man, and an easy candidate to beat desite the huge megaphones out there helpfully suggesting he'll make the trains run on time. If we can't beat him, we're too far gone as a republic. He's the test we should pass with flying colors. If not, it's only because the republic died and we didn't know it.

Posted by: walt on October 24, 2007 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

"Rudy Giuliani is the guy you'd get if you put George Bush and Dick Cheney into a wine press and squeezed out their pure combined essence: unbounded arrogance and self-righteousness, a chip on his shoulder the size of a redwood, a studied contempt for anybody's opinion but his own, a vindictive streak a mile wide, and a devotion to secrecy and executive power unmatched in presidential history. He is"...gonna be the best damn President ever, ever, ever! That is, if wut ur saying's true. It takes a big, patriotic shoulder to carry a chip the size of a redwood.

Posted by: bipartisan hack on October 24, 2007 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Combined Pure Essence of Bush-Cheney. Secretive about how he spends taxpayer money. Next you'll tell us Rudy is a member of the supply-side silly school! Oh wait, he is. Great post Kevin!

Posted by: pgl on October 24, 2007 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

The same media that convinced America that Bush is a regular guy is still on the job. While they haven't been at work greasing the skids for a particular candidate like they did for Bush, they are still promoting the underlying narratives that Republicans are good on national security and the economy. Combined with continuing Democratic fecklessness, Rudy's chances aren't as bad as they should be.

Kevin and Josh in particular are doing a great job showing what a disaster Rudy would be. In a normal universe he would be polling below Tancredo. Unfortunately, we live in a universe that consider s Matt Drudge a serious media gatekeeper.

Posted by: jimbo on October 24, 2007 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Giuliani is a prick and and asshole. Before he became a politician he made his name as an anti-Mafia prosecutor. As far as I'm concerned, someone who supports George W. Bush and the Iraq War has no moral authority to criticize the Mafia. Bush has caused far more deaths than the Mob ever has.

Giuliani also criticizes Iran for helping insurgents who are "killing American troops" in Iraq. Hello? The U.S. started the war by invading Iraq without justification. It's horrible to say, but Iraqis are justified in killing American troops. By Giuliani's logic, the American colonists who killed British troops during the Revolutionary War were "murderers." Give me a break!

Posted by: Lee on October 24, 2007 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy thinks he's God and the GOP has a serious daddy complex. Their shocktroops want someone they can look up to and know he'll be kicking ass, no matter what it takes. Romney can jabber about how he wants TWO Guantanamos, but under Rudy's watch cops sodomized a man with a broom handle. Abortion or not, that's the kind of thing that gets the GOP hot. My only question is whether all this Hillary hysteria will truly bring the base to the polls. It may be time for Obama to stop being nice and step-up.

Posted by: JZ on October 24, 2007 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

didn't lou reed write a song about him being an asshole... 20 yrs ago?

He refers to Rudy in "Sick of You," a pretty funny song from the great New York. That was even before Rudy was mayor.

Posted by: shortstop on October 24, 2007 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

So, Kevin, are you _ever_ going to mention the James Watson Witch Hunt, or is it just too humiliating to think about?
Posted by: Steve Sailer

Kevin, doesn't Steve have your e-mail address? Or does he think you left out of your lengthy depiction of Rudy's more endearing qualities that he would be openly racist if he thought that could garner more Republican votes?

Does he want to meet at the Eagle pub?

Posted by: TJM on October 24, 2007 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Worse than Duncan Hunter? Alan Keyes?
I'll have to sit down and think about that.

Posted by: reino on October 24, 2007 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Giuliani's Texas Connection......... VP choice: Get a rope!!!!!!!!!!!

Gov. Perry Endorses Giuliani - why?

Not that this is earth shattering news or anything...but here in Texas, it just sounds kinda weird!

here

Posted by: avahome on October 24, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

[IP check reveals a candidate troll. Content deleted.]

Posted by: redhawkone on October 24, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Bush has been in office almost 7 years and he hasn't done these things either.

Let's see he Never worked a day for aliving, Never managed a government budget.. never dealt with law enforcement nor military needs, nor Security ( Illegal Phone tapping does not count) and Financial and campaign illegal contributions do not qualify...

Posted by: Zit on October 24, 2007 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

He refers to Rudy in "Sick of You," a pretty funny song from the great New York.

I second shortstop's admiration of this fine album. You can't beat two guitars, bass, drum.

Posted by: Gregory on October 24, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Rudy Giuliani is the guy you'd get if you put George Bush and Dick Cheney into a wine press and squeezed out their pure combined essence: unbounded arrogance and self-righteousness, a chip on his shoulder the size of a redwood, a studied contempt for anybody's opinion but his own, a vindictive streak a mile wide, and a devotion to secrecy and executive power unmatched in presidential history. He is"...gonna be the best damn President ever, ever, ever! That is, if wut ur saying's true. It takes a big, patriotic shoulder to carry a chip the size of a redwood.


There is something surreally familiar about this halfwit. It lacks the organic stupidity of Jay. Leaves me thinking it is wither Nathan or Brian. I'm going with Brian. Anyone else have any thoughts on the identity of this new pixel-waster?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 24, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Definitely brian. He's a partisan hack all right. I can't say about the bi part, because people's personal lives are their own business.

Posted by: express written consent on October 24, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Worse than Duncan Hunter? Alan Keyes?
I'll have to sit down and think about that

One must take the product of the magnitude of the harm, and the probability of it happening.

The risk of a President Hunter or President Keys asymptotically approaches zero, so the magnitude of the harm is irrelevant.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on October 24, 2007 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

I agree that a Giuliani presidency would probably move the US to a genuinely fascist government. Unfortunately, I think he has has a decent chance of winning the general election if nominated(possibly even better than his chances of winning the nomination). The reason for my fear is simple: the MSM.

Even twenty years ago, I would not have worried much that Rudy could succeed. The press's coverage of Rudy would have adequately conveyed to the public the overwhelming assholery of his political and personal character. Rudy would likely have been an imploded bad joke by now. But the current state of the press, dominated by RNC talking points and Kool Kids narratives, is abominable.

Leave aside the fact that the MSM has largely drawn a curtain across Rudy's personal life (which they would have used to sink a Democrat by now), and look at the Rudy narrative, which bears little contradictory reporting. He is America's mayor since 9/11, he is expert on foreign policy and terrorism, and he is socially moderate. They ignore that 9/11 was made worse by previous years of horrid decisions by Rudy (some clearly for his personal aggrandizement), that his foreign policy expertise is limited to rude behavior directed at Arafat and others unpopular with Rudy-favored constituencies, that he is surrounded with batshit crazy foreign policy advisors, or that his social moderation is neither dear to his heart, central to his campaign, or likely to guide his presidency. Countless clear and politically relevant lies by Rudy (he spent as much time at Ground Zero as rescue workers, officials that opposed construction of the command center in the WTC actualy supported it) may be widely known in the blogosphere, but are ignored by the MSM (whose time is spent analyzing Hillary's baseball allegiances and laugh).

It is the Rudy the Social Moderate narrative that is most dangerous, since it may sway independent voters, soured by the domination of the Rethugs by the religious right. But Rudy is rapidly flip-floping on as many of these issues as he can. And if he has not quite flip-flopped with the breathtaking brazenness of Romney, it similarly suggests that many of these shed positions were originally taken only to grease elections in relatively liberal electorates. Rudy does not care about these issues, is not campaigning on them, and has often stated explicitly (as in the case of judicial appointments) that he would govern in a manner directly opposite to his stated convictions. Nonetheless, the MSM narrative would have him as the brave moderate running a Republican campaign based on pro-choice, tolerance for gays, gun control, and liberalized immigration. Ignored is that fact that he is running from those positions as fast as he can. Can a press that gave us two terms of Boy George bring us Il Duce? Quite possibly it can.

Posted by: Marlowe on October 24, 2007 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Can a press that gave us two terms of Boy George bring us Il Duce? Quite possibly it can.

It certainly has to try.

The only way to shed their complicity in a disaster -- Bush -- is to perpetrate an utter catastrophe -- Giuliani.

Flucht nach Vorne.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on October 24, 2007 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

"a candidate troll"? What, is the Scaife Counter Blogging Project holding auditions?

Posted by: Gregory on October 24, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

True as all of this is, I fear that it won't resonate with low-information voters. For them, we have to dig a bit deeper, and sell Rudy as the overcompensating sissy that he so screamingly is. You just know that he is the way he is now because when he was a lisping little boy he had his glasses broken and his lunch money stolen too many times during recess. If we can get that image through to people, we might head him off. Otherwise, I'm not so sure.

Posted by: CJColucci on October 24, 2007 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy is poised to become the next President.

All that the bloggers find loathsome about him is unknown to everyone except to the political junkies. And as we have seen during the past seven years, such information has no effect on the electorate at large, even if the consequences are catastrophic.

Posted by: gregor on October 24, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Kevin, you're almost starting to sound like a native New Yorker. We got a nice close look at Hizzoner's personality, and the general consensus was "what a schmuck".

The problem for you, though, is that we knew all this, and we re-elected him anyway. For those of us who remember New York in the late 80s, the fact that he was a competent schmuck outweighed considerations of personality.

This dynamic is still working against you. Rudy is not leading the Republican field because he gives them the warm and fuzzies. He's leading because people trust him to help clean up the mess our country is in. Obama is benefiting from the same desire on the part of Democrats, though obviously each side has very different beliefs about how to go about fixing things.

You are absolutely convinced that Rudy's policies are wrong, destructive and evil, but a large portion of the country (myself included) isn't so convinced. The fact that we disagree with you doesn't make us nuts, it just means we disagree with you.

Plus, at the risk of coming off as a bit concern trollish, you're not going to add to the number of your supporters if you continue to rant like Peggy Noonan on the subject of the Clintons. You have a lot of (to me) novel and persuasive arguments on topics like healthcare, but on the subject of Giuliani, you've only succeeded in convincing me that you really don't like him.

Posted by: heedless on October 24, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy may be vile and despicable from the top of his bald head to the bottom of his tiny cloven hooves, but the media seems to be protecting him. There has not been one tough question posed to the little thug and for some reason the other GOP candidates aren't bringing up the man's lack of character. The pundits conveniently just don't seem to remember Rudy and his philandering, or his thuggery, or Abner Louima and 'Giuliani Time'.

Posted by: Chrissy on October 24, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

I thought we'd already covered this. The answer to "What would a Giuliani presidency be like?" is "An unmitigated disaster."

Posted by: jMe on October 24, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Most people believe that Rudy governed very well as a mayor. Kevin's post assumes that he would use the same governing techniques if he were President. But, it's equally likely that he would use a different approach to fit a different position.

By the way, is it better to have a President with no executive experience at all? Someone like McCain, Hillary, Obama, Thompson, or Edwards? I'd prefer an experienced, effective manager.

It reminds me of the old joke:

"Can you play the violin?"

"I don't know. I never tried."

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 24, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

This is of a piece with that earlier story about Rudy answering his cell phone in the middle of speeches. He is constantly emphasizing to everyone that he is by far the most important person in the room, and he will do whatever he damn well pleases.

Posted by: Boots Day on October 24, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal's criterion for the presidency would exclude Jefferson, Lincoln, Johnson, Truman, Nixon...

And include Clinton and Carter.

So it's no criterion at all.

Special pleading, plain and simple

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on October 24, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Plus, at the risk of coming off as a bit concern trollish

Too late.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is benefiting from the same desire on the part of Democrats, though obviously each side has very different beliefs about how to go about fixing things.

Actually, I'd say that each side has very different ideas about what things need fixing. All the things I think need desperately to be undone are top of the list of things Rudy would do even more of.

Posted by: DrBB on October 24, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

All the things I think need desperately to be undone are top of the list of things Rudy would do even more of.

Line of the week. Perfection.

Posted by: shortstop on October 24, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK
.... on the subject of Giuliani, you've only succeeded in convincing me that you really don't like him. heedless at 12:38 PM
People dislike thugs? Imagine that. Tsk!
....it's equally likely that he would use a different approach to fit a different position.....ex-lax at 12:41 PM
Yes, indeed, one could assume that because he demanded illegal policies and procedures when there was no reason aside from his own ego, he will change completely as president. Such a display of faith is touching but completely unjustified. Il Duce was an extremist when it came to dealing with criticism or oversight. The people who claim that Il Duce was competent deliberately have to ignore his shoddy leadership record.

...It may be that Rudolph Giuliani never has a reflective moment. He just likes to push people around. He’s pretty indiscriminate about it. One day it’s an indisputably worthy target, like violent criminals, the next day it’s jaywalkers. One moment it’s the organized thugs at the Fulton Fish Market, the next it’s cab drivers and food vendors.
Mark Green, Carl McCall, New York magazine — they’ve all been targets. Mr. Giuliani shut down an entire neighborhood in Harlem and buzzed its residents with police helicopters because he didn’t like Khallid Muhammad. Solid citizens trying to exercise their right to protest peacefully have been fought at every conceivable turn. Many gave up, their protests succumbing to fear or exhaustion.
Civil rights? Civil liberties? Forget about it. When the Mayor gets it in his head to give somebody a hard time — frequently through his enforcers in the Police Department — the niceties of the First Amendment and other constitutional protections get very short shrift...

Posted by: Mike on October 24, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's post assumes that he would use the same governing techniques if he were President. But, it's equally likely that he would use a different approach to fit a different position.

Ah, now that's the kind of intellectual dishonesty we've come to know and loathe from "ex-liberal"! Predictrably, he abandons the pretense of good faith commenting when one of his own oxes is being gored.

And by the way, "ex-liberal", your boy Bush had "executive experience" and proved -- once again -- to be a fuckup of the first order.

Posted by: Gregory on October 24, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

**

Posted by: mhr on October 24, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Davis X. Machina: Ex-liberal's criterion for the presidency would exclude Jefferson, Lincoln, Johnson, Truman, Nixon...

Although VP is not an executive position, presumably a Veep would learn quite a bit about governing from working with the President. Most voters consider VP to be sufficient background to qualify as a possible President.

In recent elections, voters seem to prefer candidates with executive (or VP) experience. Bush 43, Clinton, Bush 41, Reagan, Carter, Nixon and Johnson all had such experience when they were elected. Kerry, Gore, Dole and Goldwater did not. You have to go all the way back to JFK to find someone with only legislative experience elected President.

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 24, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

...read the book The Prince of the City. It was written by Democrat Fred Siegel, who knows New York well. New York City was a cesspool after decades of mismanagement by liberal mayors...

I find it hard to believe that mhr reads books, but oh well...You blithering idiot, the decrease in crime rate had more to do with liberal social programs, like lead abatement, than any "Julie-Annie Time" policies. He was in the right place at the right time. Period.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 24, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

All the things I think need desperately to be undone are top of the list of things Rudy would do even more of.
Line of the week. Perfection. (Shortstop)

I'll second that. But I'd say that (allowing for a small amount of hyperbole) this essentially reaffirms that DrBB's opposition to Rudy (Like Kevin's and Obama's) is political. They want to move the country in different directions.

It's a long way from "I disagree with him" to "unbounded arrogance and self-righteousness, a chip on his shoulder the size of a redwood, a studied contempt for anybody's opinion but his own, a vindictive streak a mile wide, and a devotion to secrecy and executive power unmatched in presidential history".

If you are right that Rudy is a unique threat to the republic (and I don't think you are) you really need to make a more convincing argument. "Extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence" applies to politics as much as it does to science. So far all I've seen is standard issue partisanship.

For comparison's sake consider this from a book review's paraphrase of Peggy Noonan:

Noonan concludes that not only is the First Lady unworthy to be a senator, but she is fundamentally dangerous. Noonan believes that, although the Clintons have shown no consistent loyalty to any political philosophy, party, person, or ideology, their impulses, assumptions, and beliefs belong to the left-liberal wing. They endorse a kind of paternalism that assumes ordinary citizens must be led and guided by those who know best--the Clintons and their friends.

Noonan wasn't particularly persuasive then, and Kevin isn't particularly persuasive now.

Posted by: heedless on October 24, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

What Blue Girl said. We have to say this over and over again, until it penetrates, but during that same time period, crime also decreased in cities with liberal mayors.

Posted by: thersites on October 24, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Gore had no VP experience?

Posted by: fljim on October 24, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Jimmy Breslin summed him up perfectly:
"A small man in search of a balcony"

Posted by: downtown on October 24, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

The above in ref. to ex lib's post

Posted by: fljim on October 24, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Most people believe that Rudy governed very well as a mayor.

Oh here we go, the "some people say" line. Straight out of the Fake News playbook. Steve Douchey would be so proud of you, ExLax

Posted by: Paul Raven on October 24, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

My God your fears of this man who will destroy Hillary in any debate and win the Presidency is palpable. He is exactly what we need in todays world, a strong decisive leader with experience in a crisis. We know his character well and look forward to the strength he will bring to the office.
All Hillary has and the Democrats really are looking for is to get her husband another 4 year in the office.
She is a lightweight and everyone knows it. What we do not know is what the Lady really stands for other then Socialized Medicine.

Posted by: Jacomo on October 24, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

As someone above said, Giuliani "has a decent chance of winning the general election if nominated(possibly even better than his chances of winning the nomination). The reason for my fear is simple: the MSM." The same reasoning applies to any other Republican, except perhaps McCain. But why is this true? Reporters are knowledgeable and usually decent people, any effort by editors to slant coverage should quickly elicit screams of outrage, and yet we have seen, throughout the Bush years, virtually nothing but extreme bias and incuriosity from the MSM. A real puzzle. Any ideas?

Posted by: keith on October 24, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

giuliani: narcissistic personality disorder
numero uno.

giuliani: NPD textbook example of the century.

giuliani: that dude gives new meaning to the
term "nut-job-head-case"

kevin's take on giuliani: far,far too con-
servative(no pun intended).

Posted by: wschneid25 on October 24, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

executive (or VP) experience.

The Vice President is not a member of the Executive Branch.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on October 24, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, current-doofus: Although VP is not an executive position . . .

ex-liberal channels Dick Cheney.

Davis X. Machina does too.

Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution begs to differ.

Dick's dark force must be strong today.

Posted by: anonymous on October 24, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

"Extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence" applies to politics as much as it does to science.

If only it had been applied to Iraq

Posted by: ckelly on October 24, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK
...your fears of this man who will destroy Hillary in any debate and win the Presidency is palpable.... Jacomo at 3:17 PM
Actually, Giuliani will make a fool of himself outside his circle of rightist extremists. His warmongering insanity, lack of policy specificity and knowledge will make him look like the dangerous loon he is.
Although VP is not an executive position,...In recent elections, voters seem to prefer candidates with executive (or VP) experience....ex-lax at 1:54 PM
The number of New York city mayors who have gained higher office is scant although a number have tried. As for which branch of government the VP is in, check oout the constitution. Posted by: Mike on October 24, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Read Richard Cohen's recent editorial about Rudy, it's great and a good put-down.

Posted by: Neil B. on October 24, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

DNA experiments at CUNY have revealed that Rudy is a direct descendant of Caligula.

Posted by: Luther on October 24, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, is it better to have a President with no executive experience at all? Someone like McCain, Hillary, Obama, Thompson, or Edwards? I'd prefer an experienced, effective manager.

Hm. Reminds me of the excuses people came up with for supporting GW Bush. How'd that turn out for ya? Interestingly, this excuse only comes up when it favors the Republican running; never when it favors the Democrat.

The presidency is not really a managerial position in the traditional sense. The job of the president is to negotiate agreements with foreign entities, command the military, and badger the congress into passing the legislation he wants.

Insofar as it is managerial, the job of the president is to appoint qualified people to the various positions throughout the government. All Senators hire and command a significant staff. Bush, notoriously, surrounded himself with Iran-Contra-era criminals and embittered refugees from the Nixon administration. Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Obama generally have avoided surrounding themselves with such unsavory characters.

Posted by: Tyro on October 24, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

What was that rule called, the one about whoever first evokes Nazis in a debate loses? I think we need a new one, and I'll modestly call it "Jeff's Rule":

Whoever first screeches "Socialism!" or "Socialist!" or my favorite, "Socialized medicine!" loses.

Just that simple.

Posted by: jprichva on October 24, 2007 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

jprichva: What was that rule called, the one about whoever first evokes Nazis in a debate loses?

Godwin's Law. Although it just says that someone will eventually scream Nazi, not that they automatically loose.

I think we need a new one, and I'll modestly call it "Jeff's Rule"

I like it (and your modesty).

Whoever first screeches "Socialism!" or "Socialist!" or my favorite, "Socialized medicine!" loses.

Or we could just ridicule them by using the same tactic. For example:

Jacomo: What we do not know is what the Lady really stands for other then Socialized Medicine.

Giuliani? What we do not know is what the Gentlemen really stands for other then Fascism.

Oh, hold it, that's pretty close to the truth.

Posted by: alex on October 25, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Giuliani = Il Duce. And don't call that an ethnic slur.

Posted by: JM917 on October 25, 2007 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

i sort of agree with steve duncan above that because Giuliani would be a disaster is exactly why he has every chance of winning. the country knew exactly what it was doing electing bush/cheney twice -- this is a reactionary period and millions and millions of voters want a vicious person to lead the tribe. the possibility of some fundamentalists staying home in a swing state or two is the best hope of defeating Giuliani. complicated narratives critiquing Giuliani's management of NYC will not play / be played on the television news. the simplest, often simplistic, message e.g. 'crime went down on his watch' will stick in people's minds. the election is going to be very close. i sure hope someone somewhere is thinking about how to defeat him NOW, not just dismissing him, saying he'll never win because he is too crazy.

Posted by: norbert on October 26, 2007 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

Although I had told myself no commenting in political blogs any more, I had to break my silence for this one.

Firstly, what is wrong with socialised medicine? I'm a Brit, which means under the NHS I get to pick any GP I want, all my treatment is paid for by the state and that all works out cheaper than the US pays for its healthcare (WHO rankings, 1997). True, the NHS is far from perfect but it's certainly better than the healthcare my American girlfriend gets. Despite having insurance she is told by the insurance company which podiatrist she has to see (she has a medical condition with her feet and ankles, since the company she works for changed insurance she has not been able to go to her favoured doctor) and she has to pay for the operations herself. Plus she can't get free birth control. Wow, way to go America. As far as I can tell a medical insurance company takes money to tell you where to find a doctor who you then pay for yourself.

Although, to be fair, I am rooting for Rudy to win. It only took Bush eight years to turn the US from the world heavyweight to a laughing stock. Plus your economy is in the toilet, your currency is plumetting and to top it all off you're arguing over whether the "world's richest country" should pay for the treatment of its sick people. Elect Rudy and America will just seal its decline, which can only be good for the rest of the world, no? If nothing else it will give us at least four years of entertainment.

But yeah, I'll be sorry for all you guys stuck in there with him.

Posted by: Boy on October 26, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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