thoughts on a new president part 3 – Rudy Giuliani

by santoki

rudy.jpg I don’t know what to make of Rudy Giuliani. I am a little astonished that he is considered a front-runner for the Republican nomination for President. No doubt, he was a hero of 9/11. Following the attack, he certainly was a beacon of courage. Unlike other politicos, he didn’t demand leadership. For his efforts during those difficult times, he has my respect.

But for the 9/10 mayor of NYC, my “are you frickin’ kidding me?” reflex kicks into high gear. So here is my stab at the myth of Giuliani.

On the Issues:

  • Crime: Quite possibly Rudy’s strongest platform is his record on crime. Though the entire nation was experiencing a drop overall, the decrease in NYC during Giuliani’s term was impressive indeed. Can he take all the credit? Not really. Most analysts share the credit with former Top Cop Bill Bratton, Well, with Bratton, and the increase in federal gun control, the Brady Law, NICS, and the COPS program under Clinton/Gore. I guess it’s a social.
  • Gun Control: “All gun owners should pass a written test. I do not think the government should cut off the right to bear arms. My position for many years has been that just as a motorist must have a license, a gun owner should be required to have one as well. Anyone wanting to own a gun should have to pass a written exam that shows that they know how to use a gun, that they’re intelligent enough and responsible enough to handle a gun. Both handgun and rifle owners should be licensed…we’re talking about all dangerous weapons.” [1] For quite some time, Rudy has been pro gun control. Unfortunately, he’s been flipping on this so that he can roll with the uncontrol crowd.
  • Pro-Choice: “With regard to choice, I believe in a woman’s right to choice. I think that’s the right way. It should be decided. It’s already been decided constitutionally.”[2] Rudy has been pretty outspoken about a woman’s right to choose. Go Rudy.
  • Gay Marriage: He is a reluctant supporter of Gay Marriage. He supports the idea of civil unions, both in rhetoric and in legislation, i.e. New York City’s Domestic Partnership Law. While the legislation is currently being bruised, battered, and kicked to the curb, at the time it was groundbreaking, albeit very localized. While he does support civil unions, he states that marriage is between a man and a woman, and should be kept as such. Then again, he is against legislation that will lock that definition into place. I think that he is going for the separate but equal defense.[3]
  • Iraq: Support the President, support the President, support the President. [I am paraphrasing here.]

Around the issues:

  • Race Relations: Rudy does not have a good track record when it comes to race relations in NYC. Run a searches on Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, and the “Stop and Frisk” practices, and you have an interesting picture of Rudy’s relationship with the non-white community.
  • Public Relations: The man has a fierce temper, and an “I’m right and you’re an idiot” attitude. Or at least he did when he was mayor. (Far too many example to cite, though his ferret rant showcased on “This American Life” is amusing, to say the least.)
  • Personal Relations: Scandalous Page Six stuff, but none of anybody’s business.
  • He is a Yankee Fan. ugh.

In a really big nutshell, that is my attempt at deconstructing the Giuliani mythology. This is the picture of a man who is a different kind of Republican. In fact, it is rather contrary to the image that CPAC, Fox News, et al, present. If I had to guess, were he to be the Republican candidate of choice, the PTB will have to take everything but crime and Iraq off of the table for debate. His liberal social position might be too much to try to spin.


[1] Boston Globe, p. A4 Mar 21, 2000
[2] “Transcript for August 29” NBC News’ Meet the Press, August 29, 2004
[3] Interview with Rudy Giuliani” Transcripts – CNN:Larry King Live, February 14, 2007