The Twilight of Guiliani

Those of us who have lived in the NYC area going back to his tenure knew Rudy Giuliani to be a petty, controlling narcissist all along, but when put on the spot to do so he could behave himself, as he did after 9/11 when the television cameras of the world were upon him. But lately he’s been letting his True Rudy flag fly.

His recent comment that he doesn’t know if the President loves America has brought on a lot of commentary about Giuliani’s sad self-destruction, It’s been a long time coming; he pretty much lost his post-9/11 glow among New Yorkers during the 2004 Republican convention. Rudy is erratic; even as mayor, he could be the soul of good sense one minute and a racist, bomb-throwing ferret-hating loon the next. He had a good run as “America’s Mayor,” but Rudy being Rudy, it wasn’t going to last forever.

The best commentary I’ve seen so far on Rudy’s latest episode of yelling at clouds is by Matt Taibbi. It begins:

Rudy Giuliani is giving me Soviet flashbacks.

With his bizarre foot-in-mouth rants about how Barack Obama doesn’t love “America” the way “we” do, Rudy — and other “They hate us!” exceptionalist ‘Muricans like Eric Erickson and Steve Forbes — are starting to remind me of the frightened, denial-sick communist die-hards I knew as a student in Russia.

Taibbi goes on to say that in 1990 he went to Leningrad to study, and so watched the Soviet Union in its death throes.  He observes that the Soviets had a strong sense of exceptionalism that clashed with, um, reality.

But the problem with exceptionalism is that it can turn unintentionally comic with the drop of a hat. You’re made to believe you’re at the center of an envious universe, but then the world changes just enough and suddenly you’re a punchline clinging to a lot of incoherent emotions. I watched this happen with my own eyes to a lot of people in the former Soviet Union.

And I feel like it’s happening here now, with Rudy and the rest of the exceptionalist die-hards. They’re hanging on to a conception of us that doesn’t really exist anymore, not realizing that “America” is now a deeply varied, rapidly-changing place, one incidentally that they spend a lot of their public lives declaring they can’t stand.

This was all on display this past week. Rudy’s bizarre, Internet-maelstrom-inspiring media tour began with remarks at a private dinner for Scott Walker. People focused on the insult to Obama, but just as interesting was the apostrophic address to a conspiratorial and exclusive you and me America of his imagination:

I do not believe — and I know this is a horrible thing to say — but I do not believe that the president loves America. . . He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.

Rudy was ripped by pretty much everyone to the left of James Dobson for these comments, with the White House snarkily commenting, “It was a horrible thing to say.”…

…Characteristically, and with a trial lawyer’s bravado, Rudy tried to talk his way out of the mess, rambling in self-defense to Bloomberg, CNN, Fox and anyone else who would listen. At each stop he doubled down on his remarks, concluding the tour with an incoherent rant to the New York Times in which he denied his comments about Obama were racist “since [Obama] was brought up by a white mother.”

God knows what that meant — reading this was like watching Mark Fuhrman undergo hypnosis therapy — but it was fascinating stuff.

This is my favorite part:

Conservative politicians like Rudy are a bizarre combination of constant, withering, redundant whining about Actual Current America, mixed with endless demands that we all stand up and profess our love for some other America, one that apparently doesn’t include a lot of the rest of us or the things about this country we like.

I feel sorry for Rudy that he can’t love this country the way it is. I love America even with assholes like him living in it. In fact, I’m immensely proud of our assholes; I think America has the best assholes in the world. I defy the Belgians or the Japanese to produce something like a Donald Trump. If that makes me an exceptionalist, I plead guilty.

You’ve got to admit he’s got a point about Donald Trump.

Update: Those coming here from Free Republic — haven’t heard from Freepers in awhile, I must say — please read the comment rules before commenting. I don’t approve comments that aren’t a lot more substantive than what any of you have produced so far. But since you’re Freepers you won’t read the post anyway so you won’t see this update. Anyway, long story short, please do hold your breath waiting for me to approve your comment. Seriously, please do. Please.

19 thoughts on “The Twilight of Guiliani

  1. The republicans are trotting out one a-hole after another this week, first it was Rudy, then Scott Walker, then D’Sousa, and now Erickson. If their intent is to drive the thoughtful people out of politics, they are succeeding. The vast majority of the comments on that Rolling Stone piece are horrible – they are throwing red meat to the lions now.

  2. Bernie’s been rehabilitated! He’s devoted his life to prison reform and sentencing reform. He gained a new understanding about the injustices inherent in our criminal justice system and he’s working hard for a better America.
    I also think he’s been granted expert status as a FOX News panelist on criminal justice issues.

  3. Giuliani’s statement is your basic Ann Coulter 101. Say anything that’s totally outrageous and it doesn’t matter how it goes down..You’re guaranteed to get exposure and that’s all that they really want.. Plus it provides an opening for every moron to pile on without having to bear any responsibility for perpetuating the outrageous stupidity. Seems Scott Walker and Darryl Issa don’t know if Obama loves America.
    Personally, I would venture a guess that Obama loves America only because there is no way possible I could know what’s in his heart, but him being the President of the United States would kinda sway me to think he must have some degree of affection for America. And we could safely call that love.

  4. Wow! Bernie never ceases to amaze me. He lead me to believe he turned over a new leaf.Last I heard was that he claimed he got his head right and was on the straight and narrow path to becoming an upstanding citizen. But according to Steve’s link it seems Bernie is still up to his old tricks. His pursuit of Mammon will be his undoing.

  5. Now, I feel bad for not having enough money to support your writings…Maha, your words are like a good message, relaxing and does a lot of good for the, ummm, grey matter…If we could just convince the gop fuck heads to increase SSDI instead of terrorizing us old folks, well, things could be much different…

  6. Rudy DOES love this country in a different way than President Obama.

    Rudy is the son of a mobster thug.
    One who went to jail under an alias – but then, when called by the draft board for duty in WWII, quickly told them that he was a felon and was using an alias, and was excused from serving his country.

    Rudy, himself, also used any and every means possible to dodge service in the Vietnam War.

    Obama’s grandfather served for years in the European campaign in WWII.
    I’m sure that, if called as a young man, President Obama would have done the “right thing” – unlike chickenhawks like Rudy, Cheney, etc…

    So, Rudy is right – Obama and his family love America differently from him and his draft-dodging kin.

  7. Why do monkeys fling feces anyway?
    I once worked in a geri-psych unit and we had this little old woman who came from a nursing home for probably disruptive behavior. She couldn’t have weighed more than 90 lbs. and was quite a handful. She used a walker and one time when she was feeling good, every time she passed the nursing station she would throw a turd into the station. Don’t know how long she had been saving them but I couldn’t help but laugh even though it made the other nurses very upset.

  8. When I was growing up, not being egalitarian was okay, even “realistic.” Then came the ’60’s and ’70’s and — away from my family — I became a convinced egalitarian. Now, confronted with Rudy and O’Reilly, the wiser course seems to indicate that yes, there are a lot of truly revolting jerks around and we idealists may have to just get used to the fact that no, America has not been spared a full quota of arrogant, self-serving clowns who should be living apart, in special care centers, with no microphones or cameras. This may mean losing an entire political party. But think of the gains in sanity, decency, and optimism!

  9. I have or had an uncle( don’t know if he’s still alive) who did a stretch in Sing Sing. I wonder whether knew Giuliani’s father. You never know, they might have worked together in the prison laundry.

  10. “Why do monkeys fling feces ……”
    Fun, I suppose. The big silverback gorilla at the San Diego zoo seemed to really get a kick out of it.

  11. I forgot Turd Blossom’s name..Boy that’s an extremely frustrating experience when you just can’t recall the simplest of details such as a name..Ed Meese keeping popping into my mind when I try to recall Turd Blossom’s real name. There must be some sort of similarity in my pattern recognition to place Meese in Turd Blossom’s place.
    I don’t know if that is a normal part of aging, or weather paying the piper for my prolonged drug usage over the years is come due.

  12. I began donating to Housing Works shorting after they won one of their lawsuits against Rudy Giuliani. They sued him multiple times over such things as not being getting a signed contract for a project they won the bidding process for, there was a suit concerning something they said about him. As mayor, he had more lawsuits begun against him that the City had to defend than any other mayor, I believe. He loved to sue people/organizations and the City/RG more often than not lost.

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