OxBlog

Sunday, March 11, 2007

# Posted 9:59 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THE CASE AGAINST GIULIANI: Just because I'm pro-McCain doesn't mean I'm anti-Giuliani. But OxFriend Jim Sleeper covered Giuliani very closely during Rudy's time as mayor and is very much anti-Giuliani. Jim writes over at TPM Cafe that:
Giuliani’s methods and motives suggest he couldn’t carry his skills and experience to the White House without damaging this country. Two problems run deeper than the current likely “horse race” liabilities, such as his social views and family history.

The first serious problem is structural and political: A man who fought the inherent limits of his mayoral office as fanatically as Giuliani would construe presidential prerogatives so broadly he’d make George Bush’s notions of “unitary” executive power seem soft.
That analogy strikes me as a bit off base. Rough-and-tumble municipal politics isn't the same thing as compromising civil rights in the name of national security. And given how uncompromising this administration has been on such issues, I find it hard to imagine that Rudy could take a much harder line.

If Jim wanted to persuade me of his point, the best evidence he could provide would be statements from Rudy to the effect that this administration's wire-tapping and FISA-dodging were only the beginning of how President Giuliani would deal with the problem.

Moving on, Jim's second point is that:
What drove [Giuliani] as mayor was a zealot’s graceless division of everyone into friend or foe and his snarling, sometimes histrionic, vilifications of the foes. Those are operatic emotions, beneath the civic dignity of a great city and its chief magistrate.
That reminds me of something one of my staunchly Republican colleagues recently said. If Giuliani wants to win the nomination, he has to develop a more comforting, Reagan-esque demeanor rather than the pit-bull attitude he's often been known for.

But Jim is focused on Rudy's ability to be president, not to win the nomination. And on that front, I don't find his abrasiveness all that troubling. If President Giuliani were as effective a policymaker as Mayor Giuliani, being abrasive wouldn't really matter. To put it differently, if the war in Iraq had been immaculately planned, would anyone still care about whether it was undiplomatic for Bush to label America's enemies an "axis of evil"?

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Yes, because the Axis of Evil comment had very negative effects in Iran.

Thankfully Giuliani will never get through the primaries.
 
This city was a mess when Rudy arrived. His abrasiveness was necessary to deal with the lazy thugs who occupied nearly every city department since the Mayor "Linsley" (as Mike Quill use to call him) days. There was a steady drip of the life out of this city that began to be clamped under Mayor Koch. Unfortunately, Dinkins happened and the outflow of city life began anew.

Are the memories of some so short they don't recall not being able to see a single square inch of the metal of the outside (or for that matter, the inside) of a subway car because of the amount of graffiti? And have they forgotten the trash that lined the Van Wyck Experssway on the way into the city from JFK (the gateway to the USA and for many the first impression of America)? Now, you can actually see the shiny metal skin of those cars and the green, clean landscaped embankments of the expressway.

Yeah, he's abrasive but he makes those who work for him accountable; something sorely needed in Washington.

That said, I do think 9/11 mollified his abrasiveness to a certain extent. It changed most of us.
 
The fall in crime began under Dinkins, as did the massive program of police hiring that expanded the NYPD to 40,000+. Most cops will tell you this because they despise Giuliani, as do most city firefighters.
 
Don’t forget how Giuliani started to get a bit psycho by the end of his term, prior to 9/11.
Remember the whole jaywalking incident – where he wanted cops to clamp down on all those crazy pedestrians? While Giuliani did a lot of good for this city (I still remember the days of kids getting mugged on Broadway and 79th) Bloomberg is the true model for a great mayor. Even though he is in the middle of his second term, he has not burnt out. Rather, he continues to plan for the city’s future. See for example:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycha/html/newsletter/mar07_mayor_mess.html
 
the link is:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycha/html/newsletter/mar07_mayor_mess.html
 
And on that front, I don't find his abrasiveness all that troubling.

Maybe you'll find the fact that he coddles dictators like Baby Doc Duvalier:

The third-ranking official of the Justice Department says he is convinced that there is ''no political repression'' in Haiti.

Associate Attorney General Rudolph W. Giuliani, testifying Thursday at a hearing of a class-action lawsuit seeking the release of 2,100 refugees in Government detention camps, said that repression in Haiti ''simply does not exist now'' and that refugees had nothing to fear from the Government of Jean-Claude Duvalier.


No political repression in Haiti in 1982. What a mendacious ass.
 
That's pretty bad, Randy, but I'm guessing it was part of the usual drill for mass immigration cases.

El Salvador, Haiti, other trouble spots within immigration distance of our shores. The government pretends there's no repression so they don't wind up with a massive flow of refugees expecting asylum.

I'm not defending that policy, but it might be worth asking whether Giuliani was just carrying water for DoJ or whether he actually believed what he was saying.
 
Joshua Marshall asks the obvious question,

"Will former U.S. Attorney and current Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani ever weigh in on Attorney Purge?"

Probably not. Guliani is in the big suck up to Bush mode that McCain was in back in 2004, hoping for the blessing.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
I'm not defending that policy, but it might be worth asking whether Giuliani was just carrying water for DoJ or whether he actually believed what he was saying.

All the more reason not to support him. We disagree on any number of things, David, but I'm sure you agree that we don't need another president to show political bias in the name of expediency towards human rights situations in other countries.
 
no opinion re: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/09/AR2007030901884.html
yet?

por que no?? i'm craving an oxblog commentary re: this...surely someone is up for the task...
 
Where was the alleged great leader (Guiliani) when our nation faced terrorist attack the last six years. Out raking in cash for speaking engagements -even from charity fund raisers. Why did no one in the Bush administration want his help? Because he is a power hungry ego maniac who cannot get along with others. Congress would stonewall his presidency because of his inability to act colleagially.
 
Let us not forget that at the end of his last term, Rudy proposed suspending the election (and by implication the city's constitution) so that he could remain mayor.

His rationale was that there was still important post 9-11 work to be done, which was more important than electing a new mayor.

Wiser heads prevailed and shut him up, but gimme a break. The guy probably kisses a statue of Mussolini every morning.

Crankily yours,
The New York Crank
 
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