Thursday, April 26, 2007

Time for Rudy to Pick up a Hobbit Sack and Start Walking

Recently, Republican presidential candidates that I would consider voting for are disappearing like Capetown would have us believe that bees are disappearing. I remember saying a few weeks ago that I hadn't ruled some of them out, but let's be honest, I can't vote for any of these guys! Now I'm sure they have good policies and share a lot of ideas with a lot of the Democrats but I just don't like these guys' attitudes. I need a president who stands behind the Presidential seal, addresses the nation, and doesn't offend me with his rhetoric. This is why I pretty much crossed McCain off the list for myself with two posts I wrote last week, and this is why it's time to do the same for Rudy Giuliani.

I have to admit, when I first heard he was running I was pretty psyched. No longer would would the President of the United States come on stage to the tired old "Hail to the Chief," but rather, Rudy could take to the stage to the tune of "It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time," of course with the words changed to "It's Rudy Giuliani Time." For those of you unfamiliar with the song, it was originally brought to my attention by Brian Griffin from Family Guy:

By the way someone also found where the Manatees who write for Family Guy originally got this reference:

So there I was looking forward to this and Rudy basically had to go and ruin it the other night by bringing back the politics of fear that have been part of oratory and mobilization of the angry mob for their support ever since ancient times. Basically Giuliani said to America: hey, America, are you scared of terrorists? I know what'll cheer you up...It's Rudy Giuliani time! If you haven't seen the story about what Giuliani actually said, he basically said there would be more casualties from terrorist attacks if a Democrat was elected than if it was a Republican. Well, it's a good thing I recently learned how to spell ridiculous.

Giuliani's reasoning for this outlandish claim was that the Republicans would go on offense and the Democrats would go on defense. Clearly Rudy still things he is sitting on the bench for Notre Dame. Of course he doesn't say what he means by offense and defense because these words really have no meaning. When you leave the realm of sports, pretty much any strategy is part defense and part offense, and can be described as either or both. Having a military, nuclear weapons, surveillance, etc, all of these play both defensive and offensive roles. He mentioned the Patriot Act, but much of that seems more like defense - the USA PATRIOT ACT literally means "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act," so all this talk about Protecting seems defensive, which I have nothing wrong with, defense wins championships, it's just interesting that instead of saying something like preemptive war which is clearly offensive, he brings up the Patriot Act, which just doens't seem so offensive (except to civil rights and to the Constitution, maybe that was what he meant!).

As as far as I'm concerned these comments make no sense at all except to use the oldest most base tactic of political mobilization which is to say something like "these people, the terrorists, they are going to get us if we don't get them, and by the way if you vote for the Democrats, we're not going to get them, and they're going to get us." This is basically the same speech that got Slobodan Milosevic elected to office, and has also brought political power to countless others.

Fortunately, seeing through, exposing, and condemning Giuliani's scare tactics proved all too easy as we saw yesterday. Barack Obama responded with comments that I think America had been waiting to hear for a long time.

Lastly Kieth Olbermann responded with a long and detailed critique of his own. If you have time to watch this video it is extremely thoughtful and passionate, although most of his remarks should be obvious to everyone at this point, but still it is great that, although I'm not sure how many people watch MSNBC, it is still great that the mainstream media have taken a time out from their 24-hour covereage of Rosie O'Donnell to talk about this more important issue. Here's the video:

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