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

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Continuing Story of A.Lunatic

Another way in which we see the failure of our media is in their sustained characterization of Rudy Giuliani as a "moderate" Republican with "liberal views" on a variety of subjects, when the evidence is entirely clear that he is more like an extreme form of authoritarian neoconservative with meaningless views on social issues that he's desperately trying to abandon. David Greenberg in the Washington Post finally provides the context that voters need:

As any New Yorker can tell you, the last word anyone in the 1990s would have attached to the brash, furniture- breaking mayor was "liberal" -- and the second-to-last was "moderate." With his take-many-prisoners approach to crime and his unerring pro-police instincts, the prosecutor-turned-proconsul made his mark on the city not by embracing its social liberalism but by trying to crush it.

Most notable here of Greenberg's copious examples - including his efforts to censor art exhibits at the Brooklym Museum and fund parochial schools with government money - are those which concern extreme executive power.

In 1999, for example, he directed (without the City Council's permission) the police to permanently confiscate the cars of people charged with drunken driving -- even if the suspects were later acquitted [...]

The fanciful notion of Giuliani's liberalism also omits the piece de resistance of his mayorship: his flagrantly undemocratic bid to stay in office for an extra three months after Sept. 11, 2001. During earlier crises, even World War II, U.S. elections had always managed to proceed normally. But Giuliani maneuvered for weeks to remain mayor after his term-limited exit date. Only as normalcy returned to New York did his power grab fail.

Try as he might, Josh Marshall could not come up with one other instance in American history where a politician sought to overstay his legally sanctioned term of office. This shows more than anything the willingness for Giuliani to take advantage of any opportunity to expand his power.

There's also official secrecy, a hallmark of the Bush and Giuliani years, in the latter's case including the laundering of his mayoralty documents.

Shortly before Rudy Giuliani left the New York mayor's office in 2001, close associates worked out an unprecedented and controversial deal to transfer his mayoral papers from City Hall to a private, tax-exempt foundation, the Rudolph W. Giuliani Center for Urban Affairs.

Billed as a leadership think tank, the center served as a conduit for Giuliani to copy and archive 2,100 boxes of documents from his time as mayor before returning the originals to the city.

That record, which includes the months after the Sept. 11 attacks when he was anointed as "America's mayor," serves as the foundation of Giuliani's presidential campaign today. Because he moved his papers through a private organization led by his political supporters, however, the integrity of that record has been called into question.

And if you look at the issues he's foregrounding in the Presidential race, they all have to do with a megalomaniacal view of foreign policy fueled by his batshit insane B-Team advisers.

There can be no doubt that the pundit-based media is completely misreading the Republican field, touting it as a battle between social conservatives and the "liberal" Giuliani, when nothing can be further from the truth.

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