|12-05-2006, 11:26 PM||#1|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
'Two Parts hubris, One Part Paranoia'
Two parts hubris, one part paranoia
9/11 gave America amnesia about the real Rudy Giuliani. He's an authoritarian narcissist -- and we don't need another one of those in the White House.
By Cintra Wilson
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Dec. 5, 2006 | There is something deranged about you ... this excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness ... you should go consult a psychologist or a psychiatrist with this excessive concern, how you are devoting your life to weasels. You need somebody to help you. There are people in this city and in this world that need a lot of help. Something has gone wrong with you.
-- New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on his radio show, to a ferret advocate, after imposing New York's 2001 ferret ban.
AP Photo/Dave Martin
Rudy Giuliani at a fundraising event in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 1999, while he was exploring a run for the Senate.
There is at least one nice thing one can say about former New York mayor and current Republican presidential hopeful Rudolph Giuliani -- besides, of course, his penchant for dressing in drag, his love for opera, and the fact that he used to share an apartment with a gay man.
On 9/11, all Americans were frightened children, and in a moment of mythic personal heroism, Mayor Giuliani filled the gaping leadership void. The president looked like a petrified chimp; Cheney was spirited to an underground bunker. Only Giuliani could pull himself together sufficiently to get on TV in the midst of the wreckage and show America that a grown-up was still breathing. On that terrible day our reptile brains looked at Rudy Giuliani and said, "We're OK now. Daddy's home."
And we forgot, some for a moment, some permanently, that Daddy was psycho.
The attack on the twin towers blew a hole in downtown Manhattan and in our collective memory. Osama bin Laden and company did a better P.R. job for Giuliani than spin ghouls Hill & Knowlton ever did for Dick Nixon. He made everyone but the most grouchy and resentful New Yorkers forget that before planes crashed into the World Trade Center, Rudy was a hyper-authoritarian narcissist with a lust for overkill verging on the sociopathic.
And now, at a time when the machinations of another hubristic bully have brought an unprecedented expansion of the powers of the presidency, "America's Mayor" may be our next chief executive. He is neck and neck with John McCain when Americans are asked their preference for the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It is alarming to think that the murky dealings and totalitarian tendencies that have marred the current administration could flourish even more under another control-junkie Republican. It is even more frightening to think what a commander in chief who already has a violent record of abusing authority could do with the unrestrained might of a geopolitical superpower. Given Giuliani's historic willingness to take Spanish Inquisition-style action against threats both real and imaginary, is anyone in doubt that it is every American's duty to keep Rudolph Giuliani as far from the White House as possible?
His political career may have been defined by his willingness to confront scary bogeymen, but during slower periods when there were no obvious villains around, Giuliani's interpretations of who or what constituted an immediate threat became increasingly bizarre, personal, puritanical and dangerous. Before the planes hit, when he had too much power and not enough to do, Giuliani, like an old soldier who comes home and starts abusing his family in lieu of a real enemy, was pulling a Great Santini on New York, rooting around in our sock drawers with a Maglite, looking for vices to confiscate and sins to punish. By the mid-'90s, Mayor Rudy was abusing authority according to the whims of his own paranoid, hyper-defensive personality disorder in way that would have made Tiberius self-conscious.
As his second term wound down, New Yorkers knew what Rudy was, and they were sick of it. In 1999, they rejected his caudillo-style attempt to amend the city's (relatively new) term-limit law so he could serve another four years. By May 2000, with crime at historic lows, the city's economy still aglow, real estate prices soaring -- the kind of external factors that normally make politicians untouchable -- his approval rating had slid to a Bush-oid 37 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. In December 2001, when Giuliani finally stepped down -- after trying and failing to exploit his post 9/11 popularity by passing a special law that would've added three months to his reign) -- the New York Times interrupted its elegy for the Rudy years with a sober reminder. "The suppression of dissent," noted the Times, "or of anything that irked the mayor, became a familiar theme."
Rudy's character flaws were evident at the very beginning of his public career. Before he ran for mayor the first time (and lost) in 1989, Giuliani had a shining Tom Dewey-esque reputation as a giant-killing prosecutor. Among the reporters who followed him, he also had a reputation for inflating his own accomplishments and using his power to humiliate people.
While U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, he nabbed Wall Street insider traders Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken -- that was good. But then Giuliani had to go the extra vainglorious mile of adding a signature "perp walk" photo-op to the arrest. He publicly shamed his defendants, and fed his tough-guy image, by marching them out of their offices in handcuffs through a gauntlet of tipped-off reporters. He decimated New York's five big mob families by applying the federal RICO statutes early and often, but he also tried to take credit for a strategy that was already in effect before he took office.
When he became mayor in 1994, his personality disorders reached full flower. As a boy growing up in Brooklyn, young Rudy was torn between the priesthood and the law, opting for the latter. Though being a prosecutor did allow him to be both censorious and powerful, which he clearly enjoyed, the job of mayor was a dreamlike fusion of his two childhood ambitions. He was like a pope with a gun.
Next page: Did Rudy fire the man many call the nation’s best police chief because he was insanely jealous?
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Last edited by Bronco_Beerslug; 12-05-2006 at 11:29 PM..
|12-06-2006, 12:01 AM||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2002
There's little point in going on about Giuliani.....he doesn't have a prayer at even sniffing the nomination once the "base" gets a load of his social views, much less his personal past.