Friday, June 29, 2007

postal scrotum: from an unexpected source!

I had no idea that the online commenter who goes by the screen name "I Heart Blue Balls" (see his[?] frequent comments over at The Marmot's Hole) was a Hairy Chasms reader. But IHBB just sent me the following:


You may want to reconsider your Giuliani Lashes Out post, or at least update it to more accurately reflect Giuliani's opportunistic flip-flopping on 9/11 blame. If Giuliani was "restating his position" from 2002 with new Clinton-blame, then why would he have said this in September 2006:

"The idea of trying to cast blame on President Clinton is just wrong for many, many reasons, not the least of which is I don't think he deserves it," Giuliani said during a stop in Florida. "I don't think President Bush deserves it. The people who deserve blame for Sept. 11, I think we should remind ourselves, are the terrorists — the Islamic fanatics — who came here and killed us and want to come here again and do it."

YouTube link

USA Today link

I'm sure you have your reasons for backing Giuliani, but let's not pretend that he's anything more than another douchebag politician willing to say anything to anyone to get applause, even when he directly contradicts himself. He's bashing Clinton now because he's trying to be a tough-guy conservative. No doubt whatever event he was at in Florida where he said blaming Clinton was "just wrong for many, many reasons" was one at which that tough-guy Clinton-bashing persona wouldn't play well, so he softened up and pretended to be reasonable.

Giuliani is a pandering jackass just like the rest, who seems to have forgotten those "many, many reasons" in less than a year because it suits his campaign. Giving him credit for consistency is ludicrous.


As a coworker of mine says, "They're all dirty bastards," so yes, Rudy probably is "another douchebag politician." There are no white knights, and it would be naive to believe otherwise. But as the wisdom goes, politics is often about holding your nose to make the choice, and I think Rudy's ability to (1) rehabilitate NYC's reputation, (2) largely rehabilitate NYC's economy, and (3) be undiplomatic toward the right people are marks in his favor.

As for consistency-- I don't doubt that Rudy, like all the other politicians, will trip over his dick more than once. But the fact is that he did take a certain position in his 2002 book Leadership, which he is reaffirming now.* You're right that his above-linked quote can be interpreted as inconsistent-- I felt this way myself last September. But we have to separate the narrow issue of Rudy's consistency between Quote A and Quote B from the larger issue of how consistent Rudy is and will be as a politician. What I wrote was literally true regarding the narrow issue: the facts are that Rudy's recent dig is perfectly consistent with an attitude he expressed in 2002. But I agree with you regarding the larger issue: of course Rudy's gonna be a ho. He's a politician. At the same time, however, I don't think Rudy is without an agenda. His 2002 quote and his recent quote are in line with his basic orientation.

[NB: After I had written my September 2006 post, I got a couple responses, which I blogged here. Respondents seemed to think Rudy was simply being civil. Now the gloves are off. Is this really a surprise to anyone?]

So out of curiosity, I put the question to you: whom, if anyone, do you back, and why? Who is a better choice than Giuliani? I know some of my readers have a visceral dislike of Giuliani, and I'm sure they have their alternatives in mind. But for IHBB, who is the best candidate on the menu? (I say "on the menu" because I'm trying to exclude answers like "my parakeet"-- heh.)

Me, I've never backed anyone before now, so this is all quite new to me. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat; I see merits and demerits to both sides. There's still the chance I might become disenchanted with Giuliani, because I'm a reasonable person who takes a fairly empirical approach to life. If evidence mounts that Giuliani is little more than a sham, I will shop elsewhere.** But what counts as "evidence" requires sifting through an enormous amount of media bullshit, so I won't reach conclusions hastily. If a few instances of inconsistency are enough evidence to declare a politician unworthy of office (is that what you were implying?), then by rights the US should drop all pretense at governance and switch to benevolent anarchy, because no politician-- no human being, for that matter-- will ever meet the standard of perfect consistency. But that cynical posture is an easy and lazy one to adopt. As I get older, I find it less appealing.

I admit I was impressed with Giuliani's guts on 9/11, a day when Bush was floundering (and recall that it took our president a few days to get off his ass and go to Ground Zero, where he then stood safely on the smoking rubble and barked platitudes through a bullhorn; the people of NYC deserved better, faster). And I'm doubly impressed at Giuliani's results with regard to crime reduction, handling of international matters, and economic recovery in NYC. In all, I remain a political cynic, so I agree with your basic stance. Douchebags, the lot of them. But as my old sophomore-year biology teacher said, "It's the law of the septic tank: the biggest pieces rise to the top." My appreciation of Giuliani is along those lines: of the pieces of crap out there, he's the floater for this voter.

*Giuliani, Rudolph. Leadership. New York: Hyperion, 2002. The relevant text, regarding Giuliani's handling of Arafat's attempt at party-crashing, can be found on pp. 332-338.

**To be frank, I don't understand people who cathect politicians. That's just weird.


1 comment:

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Here's Kevin, quoting an 'authority' on politicians:

"As a coworker of mine says, 'They're all dirty bastards.'"

What?! Now, we're supposed to take the word of a 'cow-orker'?

As if this site weren't already perverse enough!

Jeffery Hodges

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