When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

19 August 2007

me and her talk about politics on IM

her: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/giuliani_to_run_for_president_of_9 ...You MUST see the photo.

me: whoof.

her: indeed

me: Prophecy and social commentary, not satire.

her: As with so much of the Onion.

Giuliani's pro-9/11 message seems to be resonating with potential voters. Said Ames, IA voter Alan Benoit: "I remember seeing Rudolph Giuliani's face, on television, saying reassuring things during a highly emotional moment filled with fear and confusion. He's got my vote."

me: They're prophets, I tell you.

her: owwww

me: Look, that's a valid point.

her: Nah.

me: No, let's give credit where credit is due - Giuliani showed leadership. He should have enough of a sense of grace and shame to shut the fuck up about it at this point, but he's a politician. Fear is a great button to push - the best there is. Both sides - all sides - are doing it.

her: He did show leadership. but yes, enough already.

me: Rudy is just particularly relentless and tone-deaf about it.

her: Fear: yes, always.

me: Look, a lot of people are evaluating Rudy and saying, "He turned NYC from an ungovernable crime-ridden mess into a showplace." In broad sketches, it is not without truth. He showed leadership on 9/11. Ditto.

A lot of people look at "tough on crime, strong leader" and think "we could do worse."

A lot of people would cheerfully elect a Fascist.

her: You read the New Yorker article on Rudy last week?

me: Nah.

her: Fascist: precisely. In troubled times people want someone who appears to be in control.

The point was that the money of the 90s did that to a larger degree than Rudy did.

me: Yeah, I've heard that argument before, and it has some validity.

The reason I didn't read the New Yorker article on Rudy is that it would be unnecessary to do so -

I know the New Yorker.

I know Rudy.

I know what any New Yorker article on Rudy is going to read like (shrug)

I know what the Village Voice on Rudy is going to say.

And Reason.

And National Review.


Why waste time?

When it comes to politics, the think rags rarely surprise.

her: "Giuliani addressed the crowd like a man who hadn't expected to be called on—or, worse, like a man who felt that he'd done his part by showing up. He paid homage to Ronald Reagan, then spoke disjointedly about his record in New York, the war on terror, and "the second most important thing that I'm worried about"—education. It was thin stuff for this crowd, as Will later groused. "Rudy Giuliani came in and informally meandered a bit," he said on ABC's "This Week." "And a lot of the energy seeped out of the room."

Rudy's CPAC speech.

Boyer points out that Rudy is oddly tentative in his campaigning.

"There is an embarrassing ad-hoc-ness, a bush-leagueness to this," the columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan remarked in the Wall Street Journal. "It's as if he hasn't thought it through, as if he's just deciding everything each day. But by the time you're running for president you should have decided."

Which is really NOT what I would have expected of the man.

me: You're surprised that the New Yorker interviewed Peggy Noonan and George Will, both of whom are strongly anti-Giuliani, and that they found him maladroit and shallow?

I guess I've just spent too much time reading articles on politics in "good" magazines.

Let me break it down for you.

National Review is backing Mitt Romney.

her: I guess I didn't know they were so strongly anti-Rudy.

me: Reason thinks most libertarians should probably vote Democrat this year.

The Village Voice secretly wants Kucinich but they'll back whoever the party nominates; their next-best hope is Obama.

The New Yorker? Hillary all the way.


her: Are you saying that you don't believe Rudy is as flat and tentative as is being implied?
Or that you're not surprised that Will and Noonan were willing to say so?

me: I'm saying that the New Yorker can be absolutely counted on to paint him in an unflattering light, through the age-old technique of only interviewing people who are already known to be down on the subject.

her: BTW, neither of those quotes came from interviews the New Yorker did.

Will: on TV.
Noonan: in WSJ.

me: As I said, I haven't read the article -

her: No, but you read the quotes above.

me: But quoting people from other published sources is even easier and gives more of a veneer of objectivity.

her: I think.

me: You get to cherry-pick.

me: Here, I haven't read the article, but - Karnak the Magnificent predicts that Giuliani *supporters* were quoted in the article and said supporters came off as shallow and maybe even a little nutty. 

Warm? Cold?

her: Maybe so - don't recall.

Will look - one sec.

me: k

Not trying to pick a fight here - I love the New Yorker, but find the political coverage laughably predictable.

Will and Noonan: backing other people.

her: Well, South Carolina state GOP chairman, who seems to be for Rudy, is Lester Maddox's grandson.

me: Parfait. That's beautiful.

her: Other supporters mentioned: Adm. Schachte of the Swift Boaters.

me: It condemns itself! genius.

her: John Podhoretz.

me: Little Lester and the guy who bushwhacked Saint John Kerry.

her: Columnist for NY Post. (is critical)

me: J Pod: National Review-ista.

her: ah, natch

Some political and legal observers/opponents.

"Some black allies of Giuliani's, including Richard Parsons, the Time Warner chairman, attributed his political failure among minorities to his inability to relate to the world outside his own experience."

me: Wow, it sounds like a reaaaaallly thorough hit job.

Not that he may not deserve every comma and semicolon of it.

her: Yep.

me: With "allies" like Dick Parsons, who needs mortal enemies? "Yeah, Rudy's a great guy, for a social autistic..."

her: Yeah, good point. Calling him an "ally" seems like a stretch under the circumstances.

me: I don't want to overstate the case here -

But this is about like asking me, "Hey, have you seen the new piece in The Nation about the Patriot Act? Yeah, they're against it..."

No comments: