Tuesday, August 14, 2007

WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF. Wayne Barrett's epic examination of Rudy Giuliani's 9/11 claims hasn't been refuted much by Giuliani's online fans. Maybe that's because it would be difficult: Barrett's work is very solid. But they're more likely hoping the story, being contrary to the well-engineered "America's Mayor" narrative, will fade away. Ross Douthat is plain about it:
No doubt such a story would draw the most blood if it appeared in N[ational] R[eview], but really, it would draw more blood, or at least attract more right-wing attention, if it appeared almost anywhere other than the Village Voice. I'm no great Rudy booster, but I'm much, much more likely to take this kind of story with a grain of salt because it appears in an extremely left-wing alternative weekly (but I repeat myself) that did nothing but bash Hizzoner, sometimes fairly but usually not, throughout his mayoralty.
Even without answering a single point in the story -- or in any other "unfair" piece of reportage -- Douthat says that its publication in the Voice "makes me automatically inclined to approach it with more skepticism that it may deserve."

As I've said before, Giuliani's fans love his blazing authoritarian streak so much that they'll overlook his inconvenient abortion politics. Why should this topic be any different?

Speaking of which, ten years after Giuliani lost his Federal suit to sustain a Koch-era executive order that "barred city employees from turning in illegal immigrants who seek city services like police protection, schooling and medical care" -- a reversal Giuliani had said would "create chaos in New York City" -- the former Mayor has pledged to end illegal immigration. At National Review Rich Lowry proclaims, "When Rudy says that, you can believe it."

I might fatalistically welcome a Giuliani Presidency on the grounds that it will inevitably force these folks to reckon with the fact that Rudy Giuliani is implacably and irreversibly devoted to nothing except Rudy Giuliani. But that day will never come. If Giuliani dismembered a fetus in the Oval Office, they'd register a strong complaint and then get back to cheering our invasion of wherever. They want a bully, and seem to understand, if dimly, that he will sometimes choose to practice on them.

UPDATE. Fixed some of the historical data.

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