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Rudy Giuliani: A Preliminary Autopsy

If you are at all susceptible to the politics bug, it is very hard to innoculate oneself in the middle of one of the most dizzying political seasons in recent memory.

But some things are predictable. A very, very long time ago, when former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had launched his GOP campaign for the Presidency, it seemed that he would be invincible. I have long argued, however, that the conservative "coalition" within the Republican Party had suffered a huge crack-up, undermined by its most virulent strains (of the neo- and, especially, theo- variety).

In this context, "[i]t bordered on science fiction to think that someone as liberal on as many issues as Rudy Giuliani could become the Republican nominee," as GOP consultant Nelson Warfield observes.

With Rudy's crushing defeat in the Florida primary (and his imminent endorsement of John McCain), Giuliani's campaign is now history.

Now, let me be clear about a few things: I'm not one of those libertarians who utterly despises "Ghouliani." True, he could be an awful political opportunist (Joe Biden's statement rings true: "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11"). He was petty and authoritarian, and he pissed me off a few hundred times while he was "America's Mayor." But for New Yorkers who lived through an era bookended by John Lindsay and David Dinkins, Rudy did a few things that led even the New York Times to endorse him in 1997 for a second term (so much for their inherent bias against him).

That said, his acceptance of the Bush administration's reckless policies assured that I could never cast my vote for a Giuliani presidency.

So much more 2008 political theater to come... stay tuned.

Cross-referenced at L&P.

Comments

Chris,

I would have never forgiven you for voting Republican.

Just kidding! ( :

It would take a lot for me to stop talking to you.

So Chris, who (if anyone) are you backing in the election?

From where I'm sitting (admittedly some distance away!!) none of them seem particularly appealing from a Randian perspective.

I gotta say, I didn't just despise Giuliani, I was terrified of him. Before the primary season started and he went in the tank, I was praying he'd meet the fate of Huey Long or George Wallace. If he'd been elected, I'd have wondered if this was how Germans felt in 1933.

The guy takes a view of executive power that makes the Bush/Cheney "unitary executive" pale in comparison. As the NYT article indicates, he's prone to abuses of power that make Nixon look positively Quakerish. And he had Podhoretz, a mouth-frothing neocon who prays for war with Iran, as his chief foreign policy adviser. This country really dodged a bullet.

Now my biggest fear is McCain will win and appoint him AG.

V, have no fear: I am so angry at the GOP that it might take me a generation to get over it. It would take a lot for me to stop talking to you.

Matthew, at this time, I am not supporting any of the major candidates for President, and, given the political and economic structures in the United States, I do not see how any candidate will make any fundamental difference. And that includes a guy who would never win: Ron Paul, with whom I have some agreement especially on foreign and monetary policy. I'll have more to say about the candidates and the campaign in the coming weeks and months.

As for Rudy: Kevin, I think you are right to be fearful, given the man's view of executive power and his connections to certain neocons. There are lots of things to fear in the upcoming election, however, that far transcend Rudy.

More to come!