As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, September 22, 2007


The Republican candidates can't rouse themselves to attend debates sponsored by Univision or hosted by Tavis Smiley and PBS, but of course they will madly scramble to any event organized by the three million member NRA.

Giuliani spoke at the NRA convention yesterday - a dicey proposition due to his prior words. In the following clip from Charlie Rose, Rudy! says "the NRA is involved in a strategy that I don't understand":

He goes on to call the NRA "extremists" who unwisely employ the slippery slope argument.

Then there's the federal lawsuit Rudy! filed against gun manufacturers while mayor. Here, Rudy! dances as fast as he can, tap-tap-tapping away from his affront to the gun lobby's sensibilities (which d-day also references below):

Yesterday, Giuliani backed away from the lawsuit, saying he might not uphold it if he were a judge.

"That lawsuit has taken several turns and several twists that I don't agree with," he said, without going into specifics. "I also think that there are some major intervening events -- September 11, which cast somewhat of a different light on the Second Amendment, doesn't change it fundamentally but perhaps highlights the necessity of it."

This quote and Cook's Tour courtesy of Steve Benen from TPM. But I must part ways with Steve's assessment:

By any reasonable measure, this is a fairly silly thing to say. Giuliani couldn't even chalk it up to flubbing a question, since he was reading from a prepared text.* In other words, he meant to say that 9/11 helped change his mind on gun control.

Asked to explain the shift, a campaign spokesperson said Giuliani was "making a point that personal rights such as the 2nd Amendment are even more critical in a post-September 11th world."

It's hard to believe a serious presidential campaign could offer such a foolish rationale for obvious nonsense, and yet, here we are.

Would that large swaths of the American electorate might view this rationale for Rudy's about-face as "nonsense." I'd be happy to be proved wrong, of course. But I can't imagine Rs or swing voters seeing anything wrong with Rudy's answer whatsoever. It's just the type of rationale the Republican party has been offering for six years now, a sort of collective alibi for politicians and Americans who both went screaming yellow bonkers after 9/11.

Candidates and strategists would be well-advised to remember that victims of cons will do anything to admit it to themselves. Don't count on people who readily identified with a hastily invented faux demographic cluster such as Security Moms to mock those who continue to solemnly intone that 9/11 Changed Everything. Such words are talismans against any feelings of foolishness or shame that vast numbers of people allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by The Big Con.

So how did Rudy! do at the NRA?

For the most part, Rudy! seemed to ruffle few feathers. About the best outcome he could have imagined, really, given his challenges with this audience.

But the oddest moment was when he took a moment while on stage to answer a call from his wife.

As the NYT's Caucus reports, Rudy! answered his cell phone while addressing the assembled gun advocates:
“Hello dear. I’m talking to the members of the N.R.A. right now. Would you like to say hello?” he said, apparently speaking to his wife, Judith. “I’ll give you a call as soon as I’m finished. Have a safe trip. Bye bye.”

Though there was some scattered laughter, the audience was mostly quiet as Mr. Giuliani ended the call and added: “This is one of the great blessings of the modern age – to always be available.”

This is not the first time Rudy!'s answered a call from his wife while onstage.

I haven't yet found video of this, so I can only imagine this odd moment. Rudy, speaking before a gathering of the noisiest troops of the phallic insecurity brigade, pauses to take a "Hi honey" call from his wife.

It's fascinating to see two candidates running breathlessly toward the Alpha Male prize (awarded to the Republican nominee, regardless of merit, upon nomination) who have such uncharacteristic relationships with their wives.

First we had Grandpa Freddie's controlling trophy wife chasing away one consultant after another.

Now we have Rudy making goo-goo eyes at his third wife - she of the permanently manic, Jennifer Wilbanks-like expression - while speaking to the gun lobby. What does he think this looks like? He may think it's a charming profession by a man unafraid to tell his wife he loves her in front of a bunch of hunters. Let's hope he's that clueless. Because what it really looks like is a man who has no idea how weird his relationship with his current wife looks.

Does he think this public declaration of love business will score points with women? If so, an even bigger mistake: since Judi is the prototypical marriage-wrecking Other Woman that women love to hate, this is unlikely to work with women. Rudy! sounds like just another creepy guy trying to convince his kids of their new stepmom's charms. All he ends up saying is how much he likes her. Since we can't quite see why we should like her but are repeatedly forced to consider her, our thoughts naturally roam to speculation abut why Rudy! likes her so much. And the less we dwell in that realm, the better. For all of us.

I'm waiting for the ad with Rudy holding his wife's purse.

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