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October 30, 2007

Against Giuliani

"Hillary and Obama are kind of debating whether to invite [Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] to the inauguration or the inaugural ball," says Rudy Giuliani. Andrew's right. This guy is out of his goddamn mind.

You know, a few years ago, Sally Quinn wrote an article explaining why elite Washington had united against Bill Clinton. In it, David Broder famously said that, "He came in here and he trashed the place, and it's not his place." He got a lot of flack for that comment. But it gets at an important truth: That the media does, indeed, come together to repel perceived threats. In Clinton's case, it was a gauche striver. He was a threat to DC's prestige, or vision of itself. Not the greatest danger in the world, but the media was quite effective in kneecapping him.

So what of Rudy? Rudy, after all, is a danger to the world. Every reporter in this town knows that he's become a pandering lunatic. Why doesn't Time have cover stories asking "Is hGiulianie out of his #($*^ mind!?" Why aren't the Sunday shows filled with horrified reporters agreeing to disagree about much of the race, but uniting against the apocalyptic stupidity on evidence in the Giuliani campaign? Why aren't the various horserace reporters fitting every successive foreign policy pronouncement into an overarching narrative of Giuliani's crazed belligerence, "which is causing serious doubts about his campaign among some in the GOP?"

There is precedent for all this. And in Giuliani's case, the threat has the added benefit of being true. You don't need to make anything up, invent any scandals, concoct any problems. You just have to honestly evaluate the words coming out of Giuliani's mouth, the rhetoric coming out of his campaign, and the advisers circling the candidate. It's all there. There's no blowjob, I know, but there's a real threat, and the media should, in its role as guardian of some minimal level of competency within the political process, be pointing out that this man is dangerous, his statements scary, his campaign unsettling, and his advisers insane. His is not a normal candidacy, and so long as the reporters continue treating it as the equivalent of Hillary Clinton's campaign rather than Pat Buchanan's, we're in trouble.

October 30, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

"Hillary and Obama are kind of debating whether to invite [Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] to the inauguration or the inaugural ball,"

Do US voters want to see a guy who uses such smears in political discourse as a president? I hope NOT.

Even Bush largely kept away from this mudslining, leaving it to his supporters instead. Giuliani not only has less class than Bush, he is even dumber (yeah, sounds unbelievable, I know..).
:-|

Posted by: Gray | Oct 30, 2007 10:12:23 AM

Also, as I note on my blog, HE WAS MARRIED TO HIS COUSIN!! FOR 14 YEARS!!!! C'mon! That should be enough to get anyone disqualified. For anything, really, much less the presidency. I have no idea why the Romney campaign isn't running endless "Do you know that Rudy Giuliani was married to his cousin?!?!?" ads nonstop in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Posted by: Dave J. | Oct 30, 2007 10:16:18 AM

Why doesn't Time have cover stories asking "Is hGiulianie out of his #($*^ mind!?"

A TPM reader makes the point that the Dem candidates haven't targetted GOPpers in the same way the GOP candidates have focused on Clinton (and to a lesser extent Obama and Edwards).

Of course, the media will only discuss the idea that Giuliani is a crazy fascist with a team of crazy warmongering advisors if a Democrat says it. Otherwise, it's not a 'campaign issue'.

And then, if a Dem candidate does mention it, the preliminary will be a long discussion on whether Rudy's obvious craziness ought to be a campaign issue: that is, whether the Dems are opening themselves up to accusations of 'being soft on national security' by doing so, along with various tangents on whether Hillary can say this, because she has girl cooties.

In summary:

1. If no Dem candidate mentions that Giuliani is a crazy, substance-free authoritarian whose campaign is based upon smears, petty insults and bullshit, it's not a 'campaign issue'.

2. If a Dem candidate mentions it, it's bad for the Democrats, because it raises questions of whether they're 'serious on national security', 'an area where they're historically weak' (TM every fucking Village idiot).

Welcome to American politics, 2007.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Oct 30, 2007 10:20:16 AM

The problem, though, is that while Rudy Guiliani's pronouncements are certainly insane in real-world terms, they aren't terribly outside the realm of what is considered sane within the media discourse on foreign policy. On the right, hawkish wing, of course. But not outside the talk show/op-ed columnist circuit realm of "reasonable" policies.

Posted by: rufustfyrfly | Oct 30, 2007 10:21:07 AM

Buchanan wants to re-argue our entry into World War II. Giuliani wants to actually start World War III, and, for extra bonus craziness, call it World War IV.

Compared to Giuliani, Pat Buchanan is a combination of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Pericles.

As to the larger question, you never, ever are dinged for unseriousness or place-trashing if you advocate invading or engaging in large-scale bombing other countries. Them's the rules, buddy. If you don't like it, you know how to find Canada, what with your fancy knowledge of geography and your love of socialism.

Posted by: Elvis Elvisberg | Oct 30, 2007 10:22:23 AM

Do you think we'll get to see Timmy Russert flashing his "Rudy" pin about town any time soon ?

For those of you outside the NYC Metro area, hold on to your hats, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Rudy has the potential to make The Chimp look like a statesman.

Posted by: mickey g | Oct 30, 2007 10:23:22 AM

"Also, as I note on my blog, HE WAS MARRIED TO HIS COUSIN!!"

SHOCKING! Didn't such a story ruin Jerry Lee Lewis' carreer only recently?
:D

Posted by: Gray | Oct 30, 2007 10:23:26 AM

I don't think they actually do perceive Giuliani as nuts. They think that wanting to nuke Iran, repeal the Bill of Rights and establish military hegemony over the earth are perfectly legitimate goals that deserve respectful consideration.

Posted by: Cervantes | Oct 30, 2007 10:23:28 AM

Thanks. My view is that it's time to bring the F-word out of cold storage, y'know, Fascist, with a capital 'F'.

Posted by: MattF | Oct 30, 2007 10:23:46 AM

I'm sure if approached on the subject, Giuliani would just use the Coulter-Beck Gambit: "I was only kidding! It was just a joke! You people really need to use your brains when listening to me..." etc. etc.

Hate-inspired Insanity. IOKIYAR.

Posted by: LittlePig | Oct 30, 2007 10:24:09 AM

oh noes!

Buchanan wants to re-argue our entry into World War II. Giuliani wants to actually start World War III, and, for extra bonus craziness, call it World War IV.

Compared to Giuliani, Pat Buchanan is a combination of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Pericles.

As to the larger question, you never, ever are dinged for unseriousness or place-trashing if you advocate invading or engaging in large-scale bombing other countries. Them's the rules, buddy. If you don't like it, you know how to find Canada, what with your fancy knowledge of geography and your love of socialism.

Posted by: Elvis Elvisberg | Oct 30, 2007 10:24:13 AM

End italics!

Hmm, I'm surprised that typepad doesn't close tags automagically...

Posted by: Gray | Oct 30, 2007 10:24:21 AM

Rudy Giuliani's entire candidacy is premised on the lie that he was America's Mayor on 9/11. He makes a fortune on the speaking circuit from it. So if any candidate feels the need to invite Bin Laden to his inauguration, it's Rudy.

He's using the Rovian tactic of accusing his opponents of having the very weaknesses which Rudy himself has. Very transparent.

Posted by: Discussed Ed | Oct 30, 2007 10:24:33 AM

Ugh, tried to fix the open ital tag, accomplished nothing. Sorry for breaking your blog, Ezra.

Posted by: Elvis Elvisberg | Oct 30, 2007 10:25:03 AM

I am not at all surprised by Rudy's statement.

It is also unsurprising that none of the Democratic politicians came out and said that it is quit touching to see Rudy take time off from activities to devise plans to send more of our kids to die in Iraq and to spend this time in examining the guest list of the Hillary Clinton White House.

Posted by: gregor | Oct 30, 2007 10:25:11 AM

Why are all the comments in italics all of a sudden?

Maybe I just fixed it with a tag?

Posted by: Cervantes | Oct 30, 2007 10:25:54 AM

Every reporter in this town knows that he's become a pandering lunatic.

Now that's really amusing as we watch Hillary, Obama and Edwards give away free ________________(fill in with expensive give-a-way du jour).

List to choose from:

Free healthcare
Free childcare
Free College
Free citizenship for illegal aliens
Guaranteed time off work
Guaranteed wage


On top of that, both Hillary and Obama went to Southern Churches and adopted fake Southern accents. I'd say the pandering, Ezra, is everywhere, even in your blind spot (Democrats).

Posted by: El Viajero | Oct 30, 2007 10:26:56 AM

I'm not sure you want the elite press to say these things about Giuliani -- as I explain here, that might be what gets him elected.

Posted by: Steve M. | Oct 30, 2007 10:27:38 AM

"Ugh, tried to fix the open ital tag, accomplished nothing."

{/i}
Of course, you have to use the arrow tags instead. however, almost all other blogging software closes tags automatically after every posting. :-/

Posted by: Gray | Oct 30, 2007 10:28:07 AM

"both Hillary and Obama went to Southern Churches and adopted fake Southern accents"

hmm, what kind of accent do the folks speak in Little Rock, Arkansas?
8-/

Posted by: Gray | Oct 30, 2007 10:29:56 AM

Clinton's big sin is that he saw the other side of Rock Creek.

Posted by: Roxanne | Oct 30, 2007 10:36:20 AM

A TPM reader makes the point that the Dem candidates haven't targetted GOPpers in the same way the GOP candidates have focused on Clinton (and to a lesser extent Obama and Edwards).

I don't see why that's confusing... the GOP has a more open field. Cutting an ad saying how you're the "best candidate to beat Giuliani" is a waste of hundreds of thousands of dollars if Romney becomes the nominee.

The appropriate Democratic message right now is "Jesus Christ, all of those guys are morons" and I think they're doing a decent job of that.

Personally, I think it's a good idea for the Democrats to hold their ammo on any particular candidate until it's too late for the Republicans to retract their standard-bearer. Contrary to Ezra, I'm giddy over the idea of Giuliani becoming the nominee... Hillary's attack campaign on him will be a three-month-long version of Sunday's Patriots game.

Posted by: August J. Pollak | Oct 30, 2007 10:37:44 AM

Those "accents" may not be "fake". Having lived north, east, north east, west, mid west, and south I find my southern accent comes and goes. It's not fake. I've even been asked if I come from a particular southern state. It's not always deliberate.

Posted by: Candymarl | Oct 30, 2007 10:39:37 AM

ElV, None of your dishonest statements in any way detracts from the fact that Rudy Giuliani is out of his mind. Why are you supporting candidates who are out of their mind? Do you endorse his insane stateements? I certainly don't want my children exposed to people who froth at the mouth andclaim that presidential candidates will invite Osama bin Laden to the inauguration. Why is it that these are the sorts of people you wish to associate yourself with?

Are all Republicans supportive of this sort of immoral dishonesty? Doesn't that place them at odds with mainstream Americans who do not believe such things? Why are Republicans pandering to their extremist, violent fringe?

Posted by: Tyro | Oct 30, 2007 10:39:50 AM

Speaking of pandering, why did Bush give Corporate America huge frickin' tax breaks in a time of war?

Posted by: Phoenix Woman | Oct 30, 2007 10:40:23 AM

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