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November 13, 2006

Run, Rudy, run!

Oh, please, oh please. Let a pro-Choice, Catholic, New Yorker (who tongue-kisses Bernie Kerik) win the Republican presidential nomination.

Then the Democrats can run a Sanders/Edwards ticket and CNN won't even notice because they only see relative changes. Absolute shifts in ideology mean nothing in modern American politics. The polity has near-complete change blindness. Rudy winning the nomination in '08 would be the single biggest step towards social democracy in the US in our lifetimes.


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I very much want Rudy to run. And I feel that he will.

He also offers the opportunity to chant "Rudy, Rudy, Rudy."

I think it would be a big step back to the New Deal/Great Society era if the Republicans once again started running moderates like Rudy. That would be great. But I also think there are tidal forces that shape American politics, and each party has to deal with moments when one faction dominates the whole party and sets its agenda. The Republicans, I think, are going through a phase where they are controlled by Christian extremists. The chance of them allowing Rudy to be their nominee seems very small. (Though I could always be wrong.)

I hear that Rudy is immensely popular in the South. Whether that survives the nasty shit in the primaries and before ( like what was done to McCain in the SC primary ) we'll see.

If Giuliani runs, I won't care about anything except ensuring that the Democrats don't use the opportunity to appeal to religious fundamentalists.

That's a great point about only relative changes being noticed in the media. I hadn't really thought about that before.

Where are Democrats now as opposed to where they were during FDR? Where are Republicans? How has the center shifted?

Would the nomination of Guiliani in '08 signify a leftward shift in the GOP center? Or would it just mean that it is the moderates' turn to nominate someone, since the right-wingers cannot stay in office (or out of quagmires)?

All of which makes me wonder about a larger question: what actually causes people to change their minds about anything?

Kittens, Cardozo. Kittens and beer.

Plus we'll get to see all those pictures of him in drag again! I always like that.

Dear Rest of the Country,

The very last thing you want to do is give Rudy Giuliani even more power.

I'm serious. Trust us on this one.


A Concerned New Yorker.

What Tom Scola said.

I could be wrong about this (I usually am when it comes to political prognostication), but my hunch is that Giuliani's personality is going to stand between him and any national elected office. He simply doesn't do folksy. His default mode is prickly, thin-skinned, and generally mean-spirited--traits that can get you pretty far in NYC politics, as he's proven, but I don't see it working in the "Who would you want to have a beer with" circus of American politics.

As for the "social liberal" label, I'm willing to go out on a limb here and say that RG's much vaunted "liberalism" is a mile wide and an inch deep. Sometime between now and the start of the primaries I fully expect him to have a highly publicized sit-down with some archbishop or cardinal, after which he will announce that he's reconsidered his position on things like abortion and gay rights in light of his profound Catholic faith. The question then is, will that be enough to assuage the religious right?

Did you see the youtube video of Rudy in drag with Donald Trump groping his fake boobs. The base of the republican party is going to love that.

You have to remember that GWB hasn't behaved in a particularly conservative fashion since he's been in office, but that hasn't prevented him from gathering a devoted following on the right.

The thing is, a lot of conservatives aren't actually conservative -- they're authoritarians. And Rudy is an authoritarian's wet dream. He's as authoritarian as the present administration, only competent -- scarily competent.

Dear New York,

Enclosed you'll find your Politician, Rudy. He was found wandering the United States, talking about being President. We didn't like the looks of him, so we're returning him to you. You might want to get him checked out, he seems to be living five years in the past. You're welcome,

The Rest of America

The best Rudy is going to do (and what I think he's actually running for) is vice-president (which itself is nothing to look askance at).

But beyond that, it's hardly true that the polity has no capacity to see abolute changes in political tilt. That may be true *in any given election* but a big move to the left at the presidential level without a corresponding move in the electorate at large will be disasterous for the Democratic party.

It would take a generation to get over the nomination of an actual Socialist as the party's candidate for president, rather than someone who can be caracitured as one. Happily, I think the reaction of the Democratic nominee would be to run to Rudy's right on some issues.

And social democracy, ick!

He didn't try to ban anyone's ferrets, did he Mr. Lee?

Rudy couldn't even carry his home town or home state if he were the nominee, right?

The republican base is not "change blind" one bit. We understand that there is a competing worldview and one has to make compromises in a pragmatic world.

Rudy was MAYOR of NYC... who could expect him to be anything but pro-choice and pro-gay.

If he does a HELL of a job convincing religious conservatives he may have a chance..

Otherwise, it McCain all the way.

The myth of Karl Rove's omnipotence has rightly been exploded, but his basic principles of "run hard against their strengths" and "hit them where they least expect it" are not themselves invalid. I suspect that if the key masters of the Republican Party get behind Giuliani they can figure out a way to package him that is attractive to at least a percentage of the Radical Right base and also a _lot_ of mushy centrists. The powers in the Republican Party may be ready to break themselves free from control by the far-right-Radicals in any case; they made as much use of them as possible and it is now time to move on to the next group of useful idiots.

So I for one don't write a Rudy candidicy off.



Were their foot soilders, they couldent abandon us if they wanted to?

(oh -if Alito & Roberts turn out to be lefties, then I am a usefull idiot.)

I suspect that if the key masters of the Republican Party get behind Giuliani they can figure out a way to package him that is attractive to at least a percentage of the Radical Right base and also a _lot_ of mushy centrists. [...] So I for one don't write a Rudy candidicy off.

Oh, I certainly don't either, Cranky. I may have overstated the case; I think that Giuliani's personality will be an obstacle, but I don't think that it's necessarily an insurmountable one. Hell, they convinced a sizeable chunk of the voters that the pampered frat-boy who sat out the Vietnam War in the TANG was a paragon of manliness, while the guy who volunteered to go 'Nam was a limp-wristed pansy. I don't doubt that they could work a similar kind of magic in Giuliani's case if they put their minds to it.

You see the underappreciated leftism of my Johnny! Big werewolf hugs for you!

It'll never happen.

Otherwise, it McCain all the way.

The libertarians hate him because of McCain-Feingold. He will be able to seal the Southwest for the Republicans if he wins the primary, but in the primary he'll be weak on account of his pro-immigration stance. Giuliani will have the same problem, but his power base is less dependent on anti-immigration sentiments and more on war hawks.

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