January 3, 2008 5:58 AM

Greetings from the Republic of Fear

I understand that a Presidential candidate is going to play to what they feel are their strengths. After all, how else can a struggling candidate in a crowded field set himself apart from his competition? Discussing salmon or energy policy is an almost-guaranteed method for putting voters to sleep. Do that and onlt the wonks will be convinced that you’re Presidential timbre.

It would seem that the only strength and the only selling point that Rudy Giuliani has is 9.11. Call me silly, but surely I’m not the only one who finds Giuliani’s public flogging of 3,000 dead American civilians to be highly offensive, never mind definitive evidence of his overarching arrogance. I mean, does the man have ANYTHING else to offer but all 9.11 all the time? If Giuliani were running to be the President of 9.11, I could understand the constant drumbeat on his alleged heroism and inspired leadership. And I’m not about to hold forth with the misguided opinion that Giuliani didn’t do some good things on 9.11 and immediately after. Giuliani was just fortunate to have a camera crew in tow as he went about his business. Most of 9.11’s other heroes worked furiously (and anonymously) without the benefit of having a TV camera document their every move and utterance. One would almost have to think that 9.11 was the best thing to ever happen to Rudy Giuliani’s career aspirations.

Thankfully, there are those who are every bit as offended by and fed up with Giuliani’s posturing as I am. Families of 9.11 victims are organizing and coming out strongly against the Giuliani campaign’s latest exploitation of terrorism and tragedy. While Rudy and his minions are trying to convince terrified Americans that Rudy is the only candidate with the ability and the wherewithal to “chase the Muslims back into their caves”, those offended by his appropriating the pain and suffering of so many for his own self-aggrandizement are speaking out.

This is all well and good, I suppose- if your primary and only concern is with terrorism. This, of course, completely ignores the reality that a President deals with a myriad of issues during his time in office. Yes, terrorism, depending on your point of view, may well be a clear and present danger, and how a President approaches that responsibility speaks to his ability to lead…but only in part. If Rudy Giuliani wants to talk about his vision for this country, about how he’ll lead America into the future and care for the least among us, I and many others are willing to listen. Unfortunately, what we’re being subjected to is a non-stop, 24/7 drumbeat of fear and pandering by a man willing to exploit our worst and most tragic hour in order to burnish his own political prospects. “Fear and smear” is a damn poor way to burnish your credentials as a leader.

Rudy Giuliani ought to be ashamed of himself, but that presumes he’s someone who actually knows shame. A cursory view of his marital/infidelity history ought to quickly disabuse one of that notion. In his case, any shame that he may have felt has long since been pushed aside by blind, unchecked ambition. If he has to exploit the murder of 3,000 Americans, so be it. Consider it a cost of doing business.


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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on January 3, 2008 5:58 AM.

Jesus...coming soon to an inanimate object near you was the previous entry in this blog.

From the Department of Who (&^%$#@ Cares?? is the next entry in this blog.

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