Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Trouble With Rudy (Part 1)

I lived in New York for two and a half years while Rudy Giuliani was mayor. I left the city well before The Evil Terrorist Attacks That Occurred On September Eleventh, and at the time I left I had the distinct impression that I'd probably seen the last of Rudy. Patrick Dorismond. "Giuliani Time." Amadou Diallo. The affairs (and, ultimately, the messy divorce, played out in public). The silly fight he picked with the Brooklyn Museum. By the summer of 2001, New York was mainly tired of the man.

But before New York was quite done with him, TETATOOSE gave him new political life. I don't think it's much of an exaggeration to say that, had those attacks not ocurred, neither Giuliani nor G. W. Bush would still have political careers. In Giuliani's case, he became "America's Mayor" and he's got a realistic chance of being elected President next year, based almost entirely on his legend. The Onion piece describing Giuliani as running for "President of 9/11" was all too accurate; it's his alleged experience at dealing with terrorists that forms the core of his appeal.

Which is why this article in the Village Voice is so important. Wayne Barrett and Alexandra Kahan examine the claims Rudy has made about his TETATOOSE experience and qualifications, and finds them to be almost wholly without any substance. Unfortunately, because it's the Voice, a lot of people - even many liberals - are likely to either not read the piece at all or dismiss it out of hand. Which is a shame, because so far Rudy's campaign hasn't been able to show any real flaw in the research they've done. Rudy doesn't have much in the way of qualifications, and if his main appeal is basically bogus, I think it's doing us all a service to inform the voting public about it.

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