Quick, send in the clowns,
Don't bother they're here.
Stephen Sondheim, Send in the clowns.
We are in Rudolph Giuliani's debt. He has given Republican wannabe-presidents something of substance to discuss and has introduced a gentle note into the campaign -- love. Until Rudy came along many of the candidates seemed to have no idea what to say other than to attack the Affordable Care Act which they all agree is dreadful because it gives health care to millions of Americans who had theretofore been unable to afford it. Although members of Congress and prospective republican candidates do not tire of raising the issue, the average voter is more than tired of hearing about it.
After all, when Republicans in the House of Representatives have voted 54 times to repeal the law knowing the votes would have no effect, for a man hoping to become president to mimic their words suggest he is pretty much out of ideas. Happily, Rudolph has gotten them off the hook. And instead of hate and calumny Rudy has made the present conversation to be all about love. Since it is Rudy who changed the conversation a word about who he is is in order.
Rudolph Giuliani is a former mayor of New York City and a former wannabe himself. He has a deep love of the United States of America. Most recently he made news when he took New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to task for ending that practice of which all who deeply love this country were so proud-inserting spies inside Muslim congregations during worship services. The spies did not call themselves spies even though that is what they were. They were members of New York's finest, inconspicuously dressed so as not to alarm the people they were spying on. Mr. Guliani proudly told an interviewer that it was he who, as mayor, increased the number of police in the mosques because, as he explained, " the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 was organized in a mosque." By putting more police in the mosques he was taking steps to deter further acts of terrorism. 9/11 proved the success of Rudy's approach.
In that same interview Rudy's understanding of the constitution and the right to privacy it bestows on its citizens was demonstrated when he said: "What rabbi, what priest would care if there were police in their service? What are they saying in the service that they should be concerned about?" He could ask that question of anyone who has been complaining about the fact that the government has been eavesdropping on its citizens unbeknownst to them. Unless they are plotting evil, Rudy suggests, they have nothing to fear from such activities. Rudy also has an uncanny ability to judge other people.
In a 2012 interview with CNBC's Larry Kudlow he said of Vice president Biden: "I think the vice president . . . has become a laugh line on late night television. . . ."this guy just isn't bright. He's never been bright . . .. Actually he's just not very smart." To his observations about Biden he has now added his thoughts about the president.
At an event for Wisconsin's college-drop-out governor, Scott Walker, Rudy said: "I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America." In a non sequitur he went on to say: "He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. " Why anyone would love Rudy is certainly a question for the ages and why anyone should love a bunch of wealthy know nothings gathered to celebrate ignorance and raise money for their cause is also a mystery.
Scott Walker who hopes to be the next president seized the "love"moment. Asked about Rudy's comments he declined to praise or criticize but courageously said: "I'll tell you, I love America, and I think there are plenty of people-Democrat, Republican, independent, everyone in between-who love this country." Those words gave lots of listeners goose bumps because they were both profound and heart felt. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said the "gist" of Rudy's nonsense was true and he would not condemn the mayor for his words. Darrell Issa, whose less than savory background before becoming a member of Congress has been well-documented, did not want to be left out of the discussion. Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" he proved a skilled wordsmith pointing out that Rudy said he "didn't believe" that the president loves America rather than stating as fact that the president doesn't love America.
Although most of us will spend little time wondering about Mr. Obama's love of country, there is one thing we will surely be wondering about for the next 18 months. Which of the Republican clowns hoping to be the next Republican candidate for president will actually be selected by the party of Lincoln.
Christopher Brauchli can be emailed at email@example.com. For political commentary see his web page here.