Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani appears to be a sad and lonely man. Anyone who needs attention so desperately as to get into the news the way he did last week is either that or pathetic. By questioning President Obama’s love of country, he revealed himself to be a pathetic, washed-up politician who will do or say anything to get a front-page headline. He is irrelevant, but like Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter, just seems to crave attention.
Among Tea Party members and those who attend CPAC — and maybe racists — the kind of statements made by Giuliani, Coulter and Palin about President Obama get cheers. They may be lies, misstatements and total nonsense but they are greeted by those on the far right as if made by oracles. Whose fault is that and what do we do about it?
Anything intelligent or rational a mainstream Republican wanted to say over a host of news cycles last week was drowned out by the Giuliani fiasco. All Republicans preparing to run for their party’s presidential nomination had to respond to reporters’ questions on what they thought about what Giuliani said. We saw how uncomfortable that made some of them. As a Democrat it makes me happy to see that; as a voter and someone who cares about our county it doesn’t.
Whether you like Obama or not, whether you like his policies or not, whether you share his Christian religion or not, he has never shown himself to be anything but a decent and caring human being — one who loves his family and his country. When someone questions that they make more of a statement about themselves than they do about him. When they make their attacks personal they take attention away from any legitimate differences they may have with him on policy.
Political arguments tend to get heated but you can argue and try to convince others of your rightness without getting personal or lying.
But that was never Giuliani’s style as so comprehensively reported by Wayne Barrett in the New York Daily News, in which he wrote about Giuliani’s version of love and love of country. Barrett, who has extensively investigated Giuliani, wrote, “Ask Regina Peruggi, the second cousin he grew up with and married, who was “offended” when Rudy later engineered an annulment from the priest who was his best man on the grounds, strangely enough, that she was his cousin. Or ask Donna Hanover, the mother of his two children, who found out he wanted a separation when he left Gracie Mansion one morning and announced it at a televised press conference.
“Or ask Judi Nathan, his third wife, whom he started dating while still married to Hanover. In two SUVs, he and an entourage of six or seven cops traveled 11 times to Judi’s Hamptons getaway at a taxpayer cost of $3,000 a trip. That’s love.
“Rudy may have forgotten the half-dozen deferments he won ducking the Vietnam War, even getting the federal judge he was clerking for to write a letter creating a special exemption for him. And remember Bernie Kerik? He’s the Giuliani police commissioner, business partner and sidekick whose nomination as Homeland Security secretary narrowly preceded indictments. He then did his national service in prison.”
Barrett added, “Giuliani went so far as to rebuke the president for not being ‘brought up the way you were and the way I was brought up through love of this country,’ a bow no doubt to the parenting prowess of Harold Giuliani, who did time in Sing Sing for holding up a Harlem milkman and was the bat-wielding enforcer for the loan-sharking operation run out of a Brooklyn bar owned by Rudy’s uncle.”
Why do the mainstream media even bother to quote him anymore? The media should focus on the issues that matter, but that won’t happen until the remarks of a pathetic has-been stop selling papers or winning TV ratings.
Peter Rosenstein is a D.C.-based LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist.