Does Scott Walker love America?

Rudy Giuliani, speaking at a Scott Walker fundraiser, with Walker present:

I do not believe – and I know this is a horrible thing to say – but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.

Now we get to see whether Scott Walker is a man or not.

The smart money is on “Not.”

Footnote This came the same day as the Tweeted comment of another right-wing heart-throb, Dinesh D’Souza, saying of the President “You can take the boy out of the ghetto … ”

No, it’s not reasonable to hold everyone in a political movement liable for the comments of everyone else in that movement. But there’s a pattern here. At some point, Republican office-holders and office-seekers have to either disown the racism that plays so well to the party base, or own it. 

Shorter Rudy Giuliani

When I’m in the White House, the Secret Service will protect my girlfriends.

When I’m in the White House, the Secret Service will protect my girlfriends.

MR. RUSSERT: Using that reasoning, would it be appropriate for a president to provide Secret Service protection for his mistress?

MR. GIULIANI: It would not be appropriate to, to do it for that reason, Tim, and that isn’t, that, that isn’t the right way to—you know, that isn’t the right way to, to analyze it or to say this. The reason it’s done is because somebody threatens to do harm, and the people who assess it come to the conclusion that it is necessary to do this. The reality is that it all came about because of my public position, because of the fact that when people are public or celebrities these kinds of threats take place.

Can he really get away with saying this?

Will Huck go after Rudy?

Purdue Pharma looks like a big vulnerability to me.

If any reader knows anyone with a connection to the Huckabee campaign (such as it is), someone in the oppo research department ought to be taking a look at Giuliani’s dealings with Purdue Pharma. Of course, given the Wayne Dumond story, Huckabee might reasonably figure that he’s living in a glass house and shouldn’t throw stones. But if he takes out Romney, he still has Giuliani to deal with.

Setting a low standard

Is there a candidate on the Republican side who would make such a bad President that GWB would look good by contrast? It’s a tough order, but the Bushoids have found someone who could fill it.

George W. Bush, combining filial piety with bipartisan generosity, has managed to make his mediocre father look like a fine President, and Bill Clinton a great one. But that puts great demands on his successor. To make George W. Bush look good, the next President would have to be a true superstar in the field of ignorant, evil lunacy.

Fortunately, the man has found the hour, and GWB’s mouthpiece Dan Bartlett has found the man.

Giuliani improvising, and guns

NPR, reporting on Giuliani’s appearance before the NRA today, had a sound clip in which he asserted that the freedom in the Second Amendment was just as important as all the other freedoms in the Bill of Rights. What kind of nut, including the most dedicated firearm aficionado, could believe such a thing? Or say it, even cynically to fawn on a hostile audience?

More generally, what is it about guns? Is there any other recreational accessory that attracts not only such a ferocious affection but so much silly hifalutin’ rhetoric about them? Maybe dogs, and I guess if someone wanted to restrict possession of baseball mitts we’d have people in the streets. “You can have my food processor when you rip it from my cold dead fingers!”? We don’t hear that very much, even from people who really like to cook. But the gun affect mystifies me even though I spent about a decade playing with guns from about age 12, and enjoying it, because guns are just so simple and limited; when it comes down to it, you just can’t do very much with them.

Continue reading “Giuliani improvising, and guns”

Take that!

Robert Greenwald does a job on Giuliani’s decision to put the emergency command center at 7 WTC.

Robert Greenwald (of Outfoxed fame) has produced a devastating video on Giuliani’s decision to site the emergency command center for the city at 7 World Trade Center. (Notice Giuliani’s “tell”: when he laughs, the next sentence is a flat-out lie.) The seven-minute clip makes a point I hadn’t heard before: Rudy’s whole “America’s Mayor” shtick depends on the fact that he was photogenically running around the streets on 9/11 instead of being at the command center doing his job.

Other than calling Greenwald a “conspiracy theorist” and accusing him of “cashing in” on 9/11 (can you say “projection”?) the Giuliani camp doesn’t seem to have any response. The truth hurts.

The question now is whether the 7 WTC fiasco gets to be an “issue,” the way the Swift Boat lies, even after being thoroughly discredited, were an “issue” against Kerry.

Amen

Megan McArdle (Jane Galt) disagree on the probability that Rudy Giuliani put the emergency command center in the World Trade Center in order to have a convenient love nest. But we agree that he’s out of his ever-loving mind.

I’m happy to give Megan McArdle (“Jane Galt”) the last word on the question of whether Rudy Giuliani’s bad decision to put the emergency command center for New York City in the World Trade Center &#8212 which meant there was no operational emergency command center on 9/11 &#8212 was motivated by his desire to have a convenient place to carry on an illicit love affair.

I’m happy to do so, not merely because of my deep and abiding commitment to civility and good manners, but because I completely agree with what she says:

Rudy is craaaaaaaaazy … Rudy was perfectly capable of getting crazy, stupid ideas, and then forcing them on everyone else, when there was absolutely no sex involved.

Now let us all hold hands together, sing a rousing chorus of “Kumbaya,” and figure out how to get the national press to report on “Craaaaaaaazy Rudy” rather than “America’s Mayor.”

Joyner on Giuliani

“Dangerously stupid”

“Batsh*t insane”

“Either a charlatan or a simpleton”

“This is beyond ideology; it’s just dumb

No, that’s not me talking about Rudy Giuliani; that’s conservative James Joyner … talking about Rudy Giuliani’s foreign policy.

This is truly excellent news. It means that some pieces of Red Blogistan won’t just salute whatever the GOP decides to run up the flagpole.

Of the current leaders, even including Huckabee, Giuliani is the one I’d most fear in the White House, mostly because of how plain mean he is. But he’s also the one with the largest potential crossover appeal, if he can get the press to ignore the fact that he’s a dangerous sociopath. I have been seriously worried that he might pull it off. In that context, Joyner’s reaction is reassuring.

Kudos to Joyner for refusing the Kool-Aid.

Was 7 WTC Rudy’s Love Shack?

Frequent visits? On weekends? With Judi Nathan, back when their affair was a secret?
Oh, my!

Glenn Reynolds comments, with his usual accuracy, civility and self-restraint. See update below

A correspondent whose mind is even filthier than mine points to a little-noted paragraph from Wayne Barrett’s devastating takedown of Rudy Giuliani’s 9/11 lies.

The context is Barrett’s demolition of Giuliani’s attempt to blame someone else for the deadly, dimwitted decision to put the city’s emergency command center inside the World Trade Center itself, a decision that meant the city didn’t have a working command center on 9/11. Once Giuliani had laid down the law that the command center had to be within walking distance of City Hall, 7 WTC (which, conveniently, was owned by a big GOP donor) was the only feasible site, even though it was obviously imprudent to put the command center in a location which had been attacked before and was still a prime target.

But just why was it so essential that the command center be within walking distance of City Hall? Here’s Barrett:

The mayor was so personally focused on the siting and construction of the bunker that the city administrator who oversaw it testified in a subsequent lawsuit that “very senior officials,” specifically including Giuliani, “were involved,” which he said was a major difference between this and other projects. Giuliani’s office had a humidor for cigars and mementos from City Hall, including a fire horn, police hats and fire hats, as well as monogrammed towels in his bathroom. His suite was bulletproofed and he visited it often, even on weekends, bringing his girlfriend Judi Nathan there long before the relationship surfaced.

Giuliani so far has displayed an astonishing amount of Teflon. But if it comes out that he did his emergency planning with his little head instead of his big head, even Republican primary voters might get a little bit upset.

Footnote Of course Barrett’s story preceded Giuliani’s idiotic claim, quickly retracted, that his occasional photo ops at Ground Zero somehow mean that he “was at the site as often, if not more, than most of the workers” &#8212 that is, the people who spent months digging it out, and who are now getting sick from it.

Update Ummm … Glenn? Hate to break into your fantasy life, but note that the “tabloid speculation” (i.e., actual reporting of actual events) about Giuliani’s love life comes from Wayne Barrett, whose account so far hasn’t been challenged, as far as I know.

My reader merely wondered whether the facts reported by Barrett &#8212 that Giuliani used the command center as a love nest for his long-running adultery with wife #3 while still married to wife #2, and that Giuliani insisted on having a command center within walking distance of City Hall, even though that meant a location in the middle of what was known to be a high-probability target &#8212 might be connected: whether, that is, he made that boneheaded decision for pubic rather than public reasons.

Second update Jane Galt, unlike Reynolds and several of her commenters, manages to criticize this post reasonably and civilly. She makes two points:

1. Traffic near City Hall was tied up on 9/11, vindicating the decision to place the command center should be within walking distance.

2. Giuliani and Nathan had other places to canoodle, including “her apartment and the City’s many fine luxury hotels.”

As to point #2, as long as Rudy and Judi were engaging in discreet adultery rather than flagrant adultery, having the Mayor visit her apartment, or taking a room in a luxury hotel, would have created certain … security risks. Much better to have the city supply the love nest. As noted above, Barrett’s flat assertion that the couple repeatedly visited the command center has gone uncontradicted, so far as I know. What do you think they were doing there: fire drills?

As to point #1, I don’t pretend to be an expert on emergency management, but as far as I can tell no one but Giuliani supported the decision to place the command center at WTC7, or the “walking distance” criterion that justified that decision. That ought to raise red flags. This is not a case where “common sense” deserves serious consideration when it conflicts with expert opinion.

Yes, traffic near City Hall was tied up. But traffic near any disaster site was likely to be tied up. If the disaster wasn’t near City Hall, the Mayor and his staff could have been easily transported to whatever command center had been chosen. (Apparently the favored location was actually in Brooklyn.) In a pinch, NYPD has helicopters.

If the disaster or attack was near City Hall, then a location near City Hall was exactly the wrong place to have a command center, since no one not in walking distance, including lots of the people who were supposed to staff the center in case of an emergency, would be easily able to get to it or away from it. And of course a location in a high-likelihood target was obviously crazy.

In the absence of a good reason for the blunder, Barrett has offered us a quite persuasive bad reason. Unlike the use of City property for illicit sex, the linkage is not established fact. But it seems to be the least hypothesis that covers the phenomena as reported.