Monday, May 14, 2007

Guiliani: the next Neocon puppet?

There is so much hype going on about Rudy Giuliani. I think so much of it seems so undeserved. Just what is it that he did which was so extraordinary after 9/11? It appears to me that he didn't do much of anything that any other even slightly competent public official wouldn't have done after such a disaster. While it is certainly understandable from a psychological and sociological standpoint, nonetheless it seems to be all too often overlooked that the instant skyrocketing of the public's approval rating for both Giuliani and Bush was based on pure emotionalism not merit.

Now I'm not completely opposed to Rudy Giuliani. Not at all. He says he believes there are, "sensible, commonsense things you can do that will make government once again look to people like a functioning, problem-solving organization." He also thinks that "[he] can make government more like a business...a problem-solver rather than a problem creator." Sounds great! But talk is cheap. Just how he plans to achieve all this remains to be seen, but it does sound good. A fresh approach perhaps.

There are some more interesting aspects of Rudy. I like the fact that he is much more sensible in his approach to gay equality and women's rights than his Republican peers. But then I am concerned about his cozying up to social conservatives, though admittedly he has not done so to the disgusting level of pandering that the flip-flopping Mitt Romney has. And I also admit that he did clean New York City up, no minor accomplishment in the least. Of course, he used some rather draconian tactics to achieve this. One must ask themselves in such situations: does the ends justify the means? Is being a sort of tyrant in order to improve law and order really an accomplishment, or is it taking the easy way out at the expense of the citizenry and their liberties?

I think progressive moderates would actually seriously consider the question posed here. But on the other hand, most conservatives would probably totally dismiss such notions; to many the motto is 'whatever reduces crime and improves "morals" is justifiable'. Conversely, the Liberals might say that such ends NEVER justify the means. Such absolutism is why results are so seldom seen from any government ran by partisan hacks and ideologues. Was Rudy being pragmatic or dogmatic?

Well, there are his tantrums and other tyrannical behaviors to consider. Like his dictating what is art and what is not, making threats about cutting funding to art museums who depict art which he believes is offensive to Catholics... Or his assault on a New York magazine, taking their ads off of city buses because they poked fun at his vanity {taking credit for EVERYTHING good in the city}. Clearly this was a personal affront to him, and so he decided to use his official powers to send them a message. Someone that reacts like that might as well be a mob boss with the key to the city. If he doesn't like you, you could have hell to pay... Do we want to give this guy the key to the country? I don't think so.

I think that all of this coupled with the way he has seemingly profited from the superstar status which 9/11 gave him, when just before this he was surrounded by scandal and was becoming increasingly irrelevant, reveals a man who is not only undeserving of the accolades he is given, not only is he not suitable for the job, but he might very well be the type of person that would abuse his power much the way Bush & Co. has done for the past 6 years. As a country we definitely do not need more of the same.

And then there is the security of the free-world to consider as well. Not only is it imperative to protect civil liberties from governments, but to keep governments from dragging us deeper and deeper into open warfare based on ideologies, not necessities. I must say, I think it is a very legitimate concern just how severely Giuliani might overreact to the next inevitable terrorist attack in this country. Undoubtedly there will be neocons who will weasel their way into influential positions in a new administration. Considering what happened as a reaction to 9/11 under Bush, it seems quite plausible that if some more Saudi jihadists trained in Talibanistan were to attack the U.S. with a WMD, President Rudy might just invade North Korea on the advice of Neocons like William Kristol and his cabal of war-mongering ideologues who say it is necessary as part of the "broader global war against extremist Islamic fundamentalists and terrorism".

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