I just received the November issue of Reason magazine. I don’t know why, since I don’t subscribe to it. But the cover is stunning, and not in a good way. It’s a photograph of Rudy Giuliani with the blurb, “The Liberal Candidate: Is Rudy Giuliani a new Barry Goldwater or a new Bobby Kennedy?”
Um, Reason magazine? Are you people nuts?
The article, which is not yet online, is written by David Weigel. I’ve only skimmed the article, but Weigel seems to take the Giuliani-Bobby Kennedy comparison seriously. Among other things, Giuliani “considers the crusading Kennedy the model for how to use power.”
[Giuliani] will say and do anything he feels he needs to say and do to get power.
Newspapers write that he was “liberal” on social issues in his mayoral days, as if his positions on abortion and immigration were matters of conviction. Nonsense. He took the positions he needed to take to be elected in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. (Although to grant him a speck of humanity, I’d guess that his pro-gay rights views were more or less genuine: anyone living in the city gets to know many gay people.)
And now he is saying and doing whatever he needs to say and do to get millions of rightwing Americans to support him. He recently told a meeting of social conservatives that his reliance on God “is at the core of who I am”. As mayor he was known to attend mass almost never, he obviously cheated serially on the wife (wife No 2) he married in the Catholic church, and the only occasions on which I can remember him invoking God when he was mayor were the two times he was forced to say “so help me God” in taking the oath of office.
But forward he will charge, telling more lies with even more impunity. And immunity, because in a culture where a sense of history is largely limited to remembering certain stirring television images, he will for the most part get away with it, confident in the knowledge that the main thing most Americans will ever recall about him is the film clip of him running from the rubble of the World Trade Centre on September 11. A far smaller percentage will know that the reason he had run was because he had catastrophically decided to place his emergency command centre in the tower complex – the only building in New York that had previously been the target of a major terrorist attack.
Tomasky’s title: “This is one dangerous man: it’s George Bush with brains.”
Weigel admits that Giuliani is not a libertarian, but he seems to want to believe that Rudy would be sorta kinda libertarian in some ways — a “liberal” who will cut taxes and be tough on national security.
A few months ago there was a lot of nonsense scattered about the web about Giuliani’s “libertarianism,” but I had thought the libertarians had started to catch on to the Truth About Rudy. At least Lew Rockwell isn’t fooled —
After Giuliani spoke, the red-state fascists in the audience all started whooping up the bloodlust that the politicians have been encouraging for the last six years â€“ a mindless display of Nazi-like nationalism that would cause the founding fathers to shudder with fear of what we’ve become. These people are frantic about terrorism and extremism abroad, but they need to take a good hard look in the mirror.
Ye shall know the tree by its fruit.