Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Paranoid Style of Rudy Giuliani

Credit Photograph by Spencer Platt / Getty
By Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker

Rudolph Giuliani did much in his eight years as mayor to make New York a safer, more livable place. His reputation was briefly and unduly inflated after the September 11, 2001, attacks, but there are worse sins than receiving good press. (What did Giuliani, who had only a few months left in office, actually do during that grim time to deserve all the hosannas? It remains a mystery.) Still, if Giuliani had beat a dignified retreat into private life after 2001, he would have left a largely admirable legacy.

But since Giuliani’s disastrous run for the Republican Presidential nomination, in 2008, he has become a national embarrassment of a distinctive type. The latest example came at an event in New York this week for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s nascent Presidential campaign. “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the President loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the “21” Club, according to Politico. “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.”

Elaborating in a later interview, on CNN, Giuliani said, “President Obama was brought up in an atmosphere in which he was taught to be a critic of America. That is a distinction with prior American Presidents.”

This has been a theme for Giuliani: President Obama is a fundamentally un-American figure, who has intentionally separated himself from what Giuliani believes are the values of the United States. Consider two other recent examples. In remarks concerning the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his planned speech before Congress, Giuliani said, “That is a patriot, that’s a man who loves his people, that’s a man who protects his people, that’s a man who fights for his people, unlike our President.”

(More here.)


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