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November 15, 2007

A Giuliani Presidency

I'll join the chorus of folks arguing that the very sight of Barack Obama taking the oath of office would do more to restore America's good name in the world than any imaginable policy platform. Similarly, Hillary Clinton's ascension, which would be read as Bill Clinton's return, would, at the least, signal a return to a style of American leadership much of the world found steady and comforting, at least until Hillary goes hard at Iran.

I think some attention, however, should be paid to the downsides of a Giuliani ascension, which strike me as, if anything, more important than the upsides of an Obama presidency. The moment Giuliani wins, the newspaper's of the Arab world will be flooded with the translated quotations of Norman Podhoretz ("If we bomb the Iranians, as I hope and pray we will..."), Daniel Pipes ("The Palestinians are a miserable people...and they deserve to be."), and Giuliani's many other associated crackpots. It would be a catastrophe for our image, and cement every wavering Muslim's belief that America has durably embraced a hateful, imperialistic, anti-Arab foreign policy.

November 15, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Agreed, but surely you realize that potential Giuliani voters think downgrading the way we're viewed in the Arab world is a selling point.

Posted by: Nick | Nov 15, 2007 11:44:10 AM

Ezra, please stop using the MSM's two-horse-race frame. What about John Edwards?

Posted by: eriks | Nov 15, 2007 11:47:38 AM

if by any stroke of misfortune,giuliani would win the election, it would be hard to imagine what it would feel like the next morning....what the prospects would be for the future. very sorrowful to even contemplate this.
one would only wonder how it could all have gone so wrong.
may this not happen to us, and the rest of the world again.

Posted by: jacqueline | Nov 15, 2007 11:57:23 AM

No two horse frame -- I just don't think Edwards would have a uniquely large impact on global opinions. Same reason I didn't mention Romney.

Posted by: Ezra | Nov 15, 2007 11:58:17 AM

jacqueline--I agree...same feeling after Bush won the first time against Gore--something shifted out of gear then and we've been grinding the gears ever since.

Posted by: Texican | Nov 15, 2007 1:11:02 PM

the very sight of Barack Obama taking the oath of office would do more to restore America's good name in the world than any imaginable policy platform.

How much work is the word "imaginable" doing here? Surely a president elected on the basis of a policy platform like that of Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul would do more to restore our image than the mere sight of B.O.'s face.

Or is your point that such policy platforms are unimaginable, in the sense that candidates like D.K. and R.P. have no chance of being president?

Either way: I think a candidate could win with a sane, non-imperialist foreign policy, and I think that would do much, much more for America's image than just a black face and a Muslim name.

Posted by: Jason C. | Nov 15, 2007 2:49:38 PM

Well said, Nick. And it's not just an issue of the perception of "wavering Muslims": if Giuliani wins then it will be because a majority of Americans have decided to durably embrace a hateful, imperialistic, anti-Arab foreign policy.

Posted by: tps12 | Nov 15, 2007 3:36:12 PM

I'll join the chorus of folks arguing that the very sight of Barack Obama taking the oath of office would do more to restore America's good name in the world than any imaginable policy platform. Similarly, Hillary Clinton's ascension, which would be read as Bill Clinton's return, would, at the least, signal a return to a style of American leadership much of the world found steady and comforting, at least until Hillary goes hard at Iran.

I agree with Jason C. If you mean any imaginable policy platform espoused by a serious candidate, Obama would indeed be more effective. Or if you mean the just the stated platform itself, not its faithful or successful implementation, that too would be less effective than Obama. But 10 or 20 years down the road, President Obama with a Clintonian foreign policy would not be nearly as great as President Clinton with a Gravelian foreign policy.

Posted by: Cyrus | Nov 15, 2007 4:24:10 PM

Well said Ezra. I hadnt quite thought in that direction before. Good analysis overall as well. Many of the comments relate to how well they would implement their policies once in office, or other hopefullness. ..but as far as your point goes.. electinb b.Obama would be the clearest sign that we had turned away from the hate and fear that the shrub has plagued us with since 01.

Posted by: davidb | Nov 15, 2007 11:45:40 PM

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