Your Lying Eyes

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10 September 2007

We Will Fight Them on the Street

The Sunday Times Magazine featured a discussion with Giuliani, the theme being the basis for his appeal among Republican rank-and-file. It touched on what I think is the real basis for his appeal, which is his willingness to tell Al Sharpton (and the other assorted race-hustlers and apologists) to eat shit, but didn't come close to being that blunt. On Chris Matthews Sunday show, the half-circle jerk of pundits were trying to understand how the homo-loving, gun-fearing, abortion-funding Rudy could be so damn popular in South Carolina, of all places. Not one of them mentioned Al Sharpton's name. Here's the closest they came [link will expire soon]:
MATTHEWS...why's Rudy still number one? What is going on here? Can he beat these heartland conservatives?
MrR. GREGORY: He's just sticking with the argument that `I'm going to be tough, every bit as tough as this guy was, but I'm also going to be competent. I'm the guy who ran New York City and ran it well.'

MATTHEWS: Every election's a correction for the previous mistakes we make as
voters. Do you think the voters want to go to more testosterone, more tough
guy talk?

Ms. BUMILLER: No. But...

MATTHEWS: So why's Rudy selling that?

Ms. BUMILLER: Well, it's--for those of us who've covered him in New York as
I did, it's still--it's--we're all quite surprised. But I think he's working
because, right now, the Republican, the conservatives in the Republican Party
are more divided than they've ever been, and it doesn't matter as much, so far
it looks like, from the polls about, you know, where you stand on the issues
like abortion and immigration.
MATTHEWS: The way I hear it, I hear the rumor, in fact, I get some sources
that tell me that Rudy's plan--actually is a plan now--come in at least third
in Iowa, come in second in New Hampshire, and win big in your state, South
Carolina. Can he carry this tough guy talk into the--into the South?

Ms. PARKER: Absolutely. We're hot--we're big on testosterone. We really
like it down there. And no, he's very, very popular in South Carolina and is
way, way ahead of everybody else. As for some of the issues that people think
are of concern, there is no single issue anymore that's going to disqualify a
candidate. It really comes down to security and electability.
What Republicans in South Carolina like is the idea of a New York mayor who defends some cops who got a little skittish when a black guy reached into his back pocket and unloaded they're 38's before the guy's wallet hit the ground. That's the security they're thinking about. They figure a guy who can stare down that kind of pressure in a place like New York City must have nerves of steel.

Rudy's got nerve, no doubt about it. And in New York, he understood the basic problem plaguing the city: crime, and a polity that could not punish criminals and a demoralized police force. He provided the police something that a demoralized workforce always needs to lift their spirits - some real work to do. He had them start arresting people, for anything and everything, and backed them up each step of the way. Pretty soon the city was cleaned up, and minority (and minority-pandering) politicians lost much of their zeal. City politics got down to mere power-grabbing between the "haves" and the "want what they haves." The "haves," who actually vote, have been winning ever since.

But how does this translate to the national stage? Poorly, I think. It's quite a contrast to read about Rudy's Churchillian delusions in the NY Times Magazine article and then Greg Cochran's interview in According to the NY Times article,
Giuliani sometimes refers to himself in campaign speeches as “an expert on terrorism,” someone who has been studying its emergence for 30 years. Part of Rudy’s obsession with Winston Churchill, other than the flattering comparisons from which he benefited after Sept. 11, is that he sees himself as the same kind of lonely figure that Churchill was in the “Gathering Storm” years before World War II — a politician long driven to make people understand the gravity of the peril they face, no matter how his enemies may caricature him for it. “The mayor is getting close to a Churchillian moment, where Churchill is just being denounced and spat upon,” says Charles Hill, a former career diplomat who teaches at Yale and leads Giuliani’s foreign-policy group. “Every intellectual and artist and all the nobility are just dumping on Churchill, and he says: ‘No. You’ve got to stick with it. You’ve got to see the Nazis for who they are.’ ”
Here's Cochran:
I think that most people writing about international politics don't have much useable history. They keep making the same two analogies (everything is either Munich or Vietnam) because they simply don't know any other history, not that they really know much about Vietnam or WWII either.

I also think that they have zero quantitative knowledge. Comparisons of Saddam's Iraq and Hitler's Germany used to bug me, since Germany had the second largest economy in the world and was a real contender, while Iraq had the fortieth largest GNP and didn't have a pot to piss in.

I once assumed people were deliberately lying, but now I think that they simply don't have any quantitative picture of the world at all. One, two, three -- many! In the same way, people who equate the dangers of jihadism with that of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union really don't know big from small, don't know anything about the roots of national power. I think most writers and columnists are innumerate, just like the average American. Perhaps more so. If they could count, why the hell would they have gone into opinion writing?
Meanwhile, as the Republican candidates tilt at jihadi windmills, the Democrats are actively encouraging the most serious threat facing America today - a bilingual, dual citizenry.


Anonymous Killian said...

If they could count, why the hell would they have gone into opinion writing?

Hmmm, didn't Cochran go into physics and end up opinion writing?

September 11, 2007 6:50 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

I don't think he makes any money opinion writing - I think he made some cool cash doing physics. I'm not sure you'd call what he does 'opinion writing' - that's like calling Dog the Bounty Hunter a Claims Investigator.

September 11, 2007 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

As an experienced and trained Claims Investigator, I agree that "Dog" is not in our league. There are many occasions when he can't find people, even when told where they are. It might have to do with the wife's inability to read the map sitting in her lap due to those enormous tatas she sports.
As to Rudy, I still can't see it but I can't see Fred Thompson either. The entire process has become so personality & media driven that it is frightening.
Right now, I'm standing behind Huckabee as a proven, successful executive with real ideas. I realize he is a long shot and he is much more socially conservative than I like but he's got some realistic views and real programs. His stock has clearly risen in the last 6-8 weeks and, with a Thompson and/or Rudy scandal always on the horizon, I think he continues to have a shot.
Whatever happened to the Bloomberg campaign?

September 14, 2007 6:21 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Mike "We need illegal immigrants because who else is going to tend to our country clubs" Bloomberg? Can't imagine why he hasn't caught on among the Republican faithful.

September 14, 2007 8:01 PM  
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