Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Man Versus Myth

I'm trying to be all casual-like about the embarrassing Google ad that keeps popping up on my blog here, the one for gay-friendly autos; whatever the hell that entails, I don't wanna know. Maybe it has to do with a custom stick shift--nudge nudge, wink wink. First of all, I don't drive and I don't ... go that way, so why Google sees fit to tailor an ad on my Website that combines those two unnatural lifestyles is beyond me--not that there's anything wrong with either of them ... cough, cough, ahem. But it's like TiVo has decided to record Queer As Folk, The L Word and the latest NASCAR race for me. C'mon people, get with the fucking program!

Watching the news last night, the weatherman said that today would be the coldest March 6 since 1888. What the hell happened to global warming?

Now on to the matter at hand, if by at hand we mean 20-something months from now. The American presidential campaign season has become an absolute joke. Is there any good reason to begin the damn thing fully two years before the actual election? I mean, whatever happened to actual governing? Barack Obama, Hillary, McCain are all raising megabucks, but with one foot on the campaign trail and one in Washington, their attention is at best divided, and everything is seen through the political prism of November '08. If I were running, I would definitely lay low like Newt Gingrich and wait until very late '07 before declaring. Of course, in Newt's case, America will be sick of him after about a week of his pompous bluster.

Which brings me to my absolute least favorite politician in the history of mankind: the cousin-marrying, petty dictator and uptight Nixonian clone, one Rudolph William Lewis Giuliani, who runs on a single issue: the fact that he was mayor when New York City was attacked. That's it. If you think Bush plays that card to exhaustion, bringing up 9/11 every two minutes in his stump speeches, well, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. If you think politicians like Cheney exploit that day for political gain, Rudy has become the undisputed master of wringing political (and monetary) capital from national tragedy, counting on the nation's selective memory, short attention span, and penchant for self-aggrandizing mythology.

Rudy's reign was thankfully winding down in the weeks before the WTC disaster, and you would have been hard-pressed to find many native New Yorkers who were sorry to see his tenure in barricaded, fortress-like City Hall at an end. His whole raison d'etre had become making the city safe for tourism; an agenda that included frisking every minority teenager in the five boroughs, getting rid of squeegee men, trying to outlaw jaywalkers, closing down topless joints and porn shops, or any number of high profile schemes designed to completely suburbanize and sanitize New York. Anyone who got in the way of this shameless egomaniac hogging the spotlight, including his police commissioner William Bratton, was singled out for Rudy's own uniquely confrontational brand of comeuppance. Bratton had the nerve to be featured on the cover of Time magazine taking some measure of credit for New York's massive statistical crime drop (a decrease, by the way, which turned out at least partly to be a case of police precincts cooking the books), reputedly enraging the legendarily insecure Rudy in the process. It always had to be about Rudy.

Then along came 9/11. Never mind that Rudy did what any other public official would have done in similar circumstances. Forget his tragically stubborn and misguided insistence on putting the City's emergency response command in the World Trade Center, against the advice of his closest advisers, which probably ended up costing more lives on that terrible day. He gets a free pass for that boneheaded decision from the media, so desperate for heroes, so timid that they overlook the facts and instead appeal to naked emotion. But in the long buildup to the election, you have to think that eventually the glare will become red hot and Rudy will flash his well-known temper at the exact wrong time.

Meanwhile, Rudy has successfully parlayed the tragedy of 9/11 into millions of dollars in speaker's fees and his very own security firm that advises metropolises like Mexico City on how best to avoid and respond to terrorist attack. Oh the irony!

Indeed, there are enough ugly skeletons in the man's closet, including the aforementioned marriage to a cousin, a hideously handled public divorce to Donna Hanover, and reports of estranged children (family values anyone?) -- not to mention a whole host of condradictions related to his opinions on abortion, gay rights, gun control, etc., that will come back to haunt him as he travels throughout the red states in search of primary votes and campaign contributions. I also hope his role in the police riot at City Hall when David Dinkins was mayor, one of the most disgraceful episodes in NYC history, comes to light and exposes him for the fascist wannabe he is.

It will be a good day, a very good day, when we see Giuliani's dream of higher office squashed like a New York City cockroach. As the great Jimmy Breslin famously said, he is a "small man in search of a balcony." Easy comparisons to autocrats like Mussolini aside, there is something hugely disturbing about this megalomaniac of a man. Seeing Rudy's self-satisfied smile is one of the creepier images in modern day politics. Is there any doubt that if he ever succeeded in fooling enough people to reach the White House, his enemies list would make the paranoia of a Richard Nixon seem quaint in comparison? It's something I hope the country never has to contemplate.


jimithegreek said...

We want Rudy to get the nomination. Then the dems will definitely win, no matter who the nominee!!

Wardens World said...

That's a good point, Greek. I think all the candidates are horrible, except for Obama, who seems at least real somehow: he admits to smoking weed, no apologies, etc. Hillary makes me gag, there's something scary and warped about McCain, you know how I feel about Rudy, Mitt Romney is almost literally an empty suit. I'm not sickened by Edwards but he doesn't quite do it for me...Politics is still about oratory and articulating your beliefs, Pres. Bush notwithstanding, and I think Obama can move a crowd to his side with those skills. Long way to go.

Wardens World said...

One more thing: if Chuck Hagel runs, I may cross party lines to vote for him. Actually I'm a registered independent, so I keep an open mind about party affiliations...