If elected, Senator Obama would be our first black president; Senator Clinton our first woman president; Mitt Romney our first Mormon/android president; and Fred Thompson would be our first persistent vegetative president. But Rudy Giuliani -- Rudy Giuliani would be our first genuinely batshit president.
Glenn Greenwald this week described Giuliani as suffering from "messianic paranoia" with a "swaggering tough guy" personality. I agree with everything Greenwald described of course except for the swaggering part. Giuliani has more of a skulking, slithering lurch and not so much a swagger. But I nitpick.
Rudy Giuliani has verified this week that he is the heir to President Bush but with fewer convictions, if that's even possible. He's President Bush with a more indiscriminately reckless worldview. He's President Bush but with FOX News advising him and not the other way around. Mash it all up, Tazer it, then pour it into the Gary Oldman as Dracula Jell-O mold and you have the recipe for a Giuliani administration; an administration that could prove to be exponentially more insane and dangerous than just about anything we've ever ascribed to the current regime.
It's almost as disgraceful as the Giuliani 9/11 strategy itself that the traditional media is focused more on the veracity of Senator Clinton's laugh than the purely shameful desecration of thousands of dead American civilians -- the cheap selling-out of their posterity for the sake of effective fearmongering, sloganeering and direct mail campaigns.
I'd like to think that, in a more normal America, exploiting a bloodbath like 9/11 would disqualify a presidential candidate as a fucking misanthropic funeral gate-crasher -- a misguided and ghoulish cannibal who plants roadside campaign placards atop freshly covered graves. Yet, all things being abnormal in 2007, cannibals are perfectly acceptable and should be regarded with the very serious seriousness of the awesomely serious traditional media.
There was a time when less obnoxious trespasses ruined a candidate.
Democratic frontrunner Edwin Muskie lost his composure in public and was subsequently henpecked off the national stage. Howard Dean performed his most-excellent Chewie impression and was tarred and feathered for it. But somehow it's permissible for Rudy Giuliani to use 9/11 as a marketing brand and get away with it, even though it's the unseemly behavior of a mad man. And taking into consideration the number of times 9/11 has been invoked by the president as a political multitool, President Bush has never, to my knowledge, gone so far as to brand himself as the hero of 9/11.
Giuliani, however, has transformed the falling towers into his very own golden arches. He's printed this brand on glossy sheets of card stock and injected it into the atmosphere like cheap Valpak coupons.
"He's cashed in on a national tragedy, and I think it's disgusting," Deputy FDNY Fire Chief James Riches said about Giuliani on Monday. Of course it's disgusting, but clearly not as disgusting as Senator Clinton's tone of voice or John Edwards' haircut. Chief Riches' priorities are weird and screwy, aren't they?
Naturally, Chief Riches is exactly correct. Selling-out has become a campaign narrative for Giuliani. And he sold his social convictions by so ebulliently accepting the endorsement of the radical cleric Pat Robertson who once agreed that gay people and abortionists -- not the Filet-o-fascistsTM -- caused the attacks of 9/11.
President Bush is a disaster to be sure, but he's never cashed-in by running away from what he believes, no matter how freakishly twisted his convictions have been -- the shockingly warped syllabus of beliefs that transformed a below-average hoople into a lapel-pin crusader, smoking-out devilish enemies.
Rudy Giuliani has much more to lose than President Bush when it comes to smoking out evildoers because it's his entire thing.
The difference is that in 2000, George W. Bush won the presidency largely as a folksy dink -- a Will Ferrell sketch character who didn't know that Pervez Musharraf was the leader of Pakistan.
Giuliani, in sharp contrast, is running as a body-slamming intercontinental ballistic hawk who will bomb, strafe, pummel, immolate, torture, nuke and fart in the general direction of anything that's turban-shaped -- all the while possessing significantly less military experience than President Bush boasted at this stage (Governor Bush at least pretended to be in the National Guard, and, as governor, was the commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard).
In other words, if he wants a second term, he'll have no choice but to kick the piss out of any brown nation that gives him the skunk eye. And make no mistake, he will do it, no matter how expensive, ill-conceived or destructive because, in the eyes of the far-right, that is the purpose of his canonization.
The far-right, along with the cultists who are being tricked into voting for this overrated and overreaching local politician, might not understand or care that there has traditionally been a huge difference between the irrational foreign policy of looking for a fight and the pre-Bush Doctrine policy of simply being well-prepared for a fight. Giuliani, in looking for a fight, will, like the Iraq fiasco has illustrated, distract the focus of our foreign policy and leave us vulnerable. That's not the strength of prescient leadership, that's the moronic weakness of a red-faced drunkard shoving people at the bar until one of them shoves back.
Fortunately for us he'll have FOX News advising him on this. His close personal friend, former campaign manager, and bloated corpse, Roger Ailes, has made it his mission to "elect" the first official FOX News President.
The current administration has certainly enjoyed its fair share of FOX News support, but this time around the stream of influence appears to be reversed. The Bush White House largely calls the shots and funnels information to FOX News. In a Giuliani White House, it's only natural that former advisor Ailes would use his friendship to guide Giuliani's agenda to favor the ratings of the network. Bombings always translate to huge cable news ratings.
I never imagined that we would be facing a Republican candidate this ridiculous this soon, and who's being taken this seriously. I hope I'm terribly wrong, but President Bush was never this awful. Or this crazy. And it's the Crazier Than Bush idea that ought to be the populist and progressive war cry for the next 11 months, presuming FOX News gives the nomination to Giuliani, because no matter how disastrous this present administration has been for America and the planet, there's still plenty of room for matters to worsen.