Monday, August 13, 2007

Giuliani Takedown

Having lived in New York City from 2000, I have a remarkably vague impression of Rudy Giuliani. On the one hand, his "leadership" in those post-9/11 days always struck me as being blown out of proportion - isn't it the job of elected officials to act like adults? - and not half as genuine or inspiring as David Letterman, on whose late night coattails I think he was able to ride a bit. His public policies and civic relations, particularly with minorities, the poor, and the downtrodden in New York seem drastic and lacking in compassion. He seems every bit the politician, smug, self-satisfied, and calculating. Additionally, his public persona is that of a genuinely nasty and self-serving person. And liberal New Yorkers have always maintained a special vitriol for Giuliani, which stems from before the start of my tenure in the city.

On the other hand, New York City did clean itself up between the beginning of his tenure and the end, to the point where it is an absurdly safe and permissive place to live these days, and it is hard to call it a coincidence, right? His stated positions on social issues like abortion and gay rights are the best that can be hoped for from a Republican candidate these days. And I do like the fact that he is willing to cross-dress and poke fun at himself on national television.

So, I've been a little surprised at the venom that has been thrown at Giuliani, above and beyond that targeting the other collection of fakers and nut-jobs who comprise the Republican primary field at the moment (not that I would vote Republican, but Huckabee is my favorite candidate by a fair distance at the moment). Where have you gone, dignified curmudgeons?

For examples, check out this worthwhile Village Voice takedown.

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