Hard To Port

In A Hand Or Face

We’ve made no secret over our sadness watching the Giuliani campaign. As long time readers know, in an earlier incarnation the Stiftung worked directly for him. Our interaction with the man confirmed his basic social tolerance and inherent decency. One way to measure a public persona is how they treat the most junior members of society or staff when no one is watching, there are no cameras and no possibility of public benefit. His bout with cancer and attending the funerals of 9/11 we are confident only enhanced this trait.

We also credit him (and Ed Rendell in Philadephia) for largely turning those metropolitan areas around. Both proved again that large cities are governable. Contemporary thinking wrote them off. Did he make mistakes? Undoubtedly. Is Bloomberg even better? He’s building on a stable legacy — who’s to say what and how he would have done if he inherited a Dinkins handoff.

Re 2008, tactical political reasons — as you know — forced Giuliani’s lurch to the extreme Right on foreign policy. The political logic is inescapable. It also all but extinguishes prospect of supporting him personally. (We have not approached the campaign in any way and have no contact with them).

You, Dear Reader, already know that he’s surrounded himself with the likes of Wedgewood, Frum, Rubin, Norman Podhoretz, Stephen Rosen and Martin Kramer. The campaign also signed up Hoover Institute’s Peter Berkowitz,who also runs the George Mason University Law School’s Israel Program on Constitutional Government.

Now Team Rudy recognizes they’ve over done it. Via Eli Lake at The Sun comes a disingenuous and stunningly cynical article. Team Rudy now claims that everyone should ignore the Neocons and Straussians behind the curtain. Instead, they hope to offer us the refurbished and allegedly centrist Charles Hill. Like the New Nixon, Hill purports to be a moderate and cashes in on his brief association with George Schultz. Hill, oddly and perversely, even brags as a token of diversity that the campaign has hired “Robert Conquest, who has worked as both an adviser to Margaret Thatcher and a mentor of Christopher Hitchens”.

The message? Team Rudy and The Sun tell us, don’t you know, Rudy doesn’t necessarily believe in what his hired advisors tell him. Or even the Neoconish things he says himself. It remains instructive, however, that Lake offers this consolation to the Neocons in his ‘small service’ to Team Rudy:

Mr. Hill’s worldview aligns, however, with today’s hawks in that he sees militant Islam as the primary threat to the international order. “Most of what he has written is based on this idea that he touts out again and again, since 1648 the world has functioned according to the international state system, that system is breaking down and that is the nature strategically speaking of this new threat of Islamofascism,” Ms. Worthen [a Hill biographer] said.

Ms. Worthen also said that Mr. Hill’s time in the Foreign Service and serving in Tel Aviv resulted in his admiration for Jewish nationalism, an admiration not universally shared by American diplomats who have served in the Jewish state.

“He was very informed by his experience in Israel and his deep, deep sympathy for the Israelis, not based on their political situation, but a very existential empathy for their national philosophy and their culture, which he perceives as honest and manly, really for standing for something that is good and true about the human race,” she said.

True, campaigns since time immemorial trot out advisory committees as mere décolletage. It’s a long and honored history. In Rudy’s case it’s doubly damning. If he doesn’t believe this stuff yet campaigns on it, his White House tenure — should he win — will be marked by savage retributive ideological insurgency and ineffectiveness. The Neocons have largely infected the overall Movement and the Republican Party host with their viral ideology. Should he actually embrace it, we should all worry for the Republic and the world.


  1. Comment says

    re Rudy and Pat Robertson – Leo, that’s an example of Rudy succeeding with those “violent winks” we discussed on STSOZ 1.0 – We doubt Robertson himself believes in ushering Armegeddon – but he has a self interest in advancing that narrative. Matthews man crush is back re Rudy. Maybe Welch sent him a memo.

  2. Comment says

    Rudy’s Pat Robertson/Hitchens/Brownback/Neocon/Crossdresssing coalition is shaping up to be one that poly scientists might wanna study if they hope to boost the credibility of the PoliSci major.

  3. Comment says

    Rudy’s Pat Robertson endorsement is a big deal – As we said before, Rudy can also take advantage of Weyrich endorsement of the Mormom Romney.
    Robertson arguably played ‘the gender card’ by highlighting the nature of his anr Rudy’s cancer – Of course, that’s an absurd way to look at it, but it’s just an extension of Tweetyland analysis.

  4. Comment says

    Just a note on Romney – It’s too bad that Rudy cannot exploit the fact that Romney’s basic stump speech is essentially the opposite of the New Hampshire motto of “Live Free or Die.”
    Colbert is the only one so far that has pointed this out – in his humorous context – But it is very weird when you think about it (we are the proverbial boiling frogs) that a major candidate like Romney can campaign in NH saying saving American lives is more important than mere freedom and never get called on it.

  5. Comment says

    Psychometrics is interesting – but there is a lot of problems with those tests – IMO – Not saying they don’t test something, but its no accident that the higher you go on the curve the more people you find who find the numbers to be partially bogus. Test taking attitude is a huge factor – and we have seen large swings in scores when people were aware they were being timed and tested compared to when they though the test was for fun.

  6. cato90025 says

    Interesting as always. The general IQ debate/understanding is monolithic in its misunderstanding and use. Yes IQ is hereditary–but that does not mean it is not a function of environment.

    In fact the eye color of fruit flies is a 1.0 in hereditary or 100%–but is also a function of environment. Higher altitudes produce blue eyes lower altitudes oother colors.

    So yes blacks have a lower average IQ. And the distribution
    will be always be bell shaped. But that does not mean the average can not be shifted w/distribution the same.

    Blacks attitudes to the test, to education in general, et al. are all factors.

    Yet the discourse is handcuffed–at such a social cost.

    Not much different than politics I guess.

  7. Comment says

    It would be inappropriate to call Comment a Ron Paul supporter since we intend to support the Dem nominee – But that does not mean we cannot be impressed (as well as disappointed) with some things Paul says and does – We just read another condescending piece about him in Time – They noted that Paul was basically unfamiliar with who Tom Cruise was – We thought that was interesting – both as a reflection of the Time writer’s cultural calculas and Paul’s willingness to maintain a degreee of seperateness.
    But the Time writer had to point out that fact that Paul has some freaks as supporters – Indeed he does, but George W. Bush also has a small fraction of his supporters who are viscous racists and bigots – borderline nazis. Are they a majority? No. Should Bush be blamed? Not really – maybe a little bit because of his code word use. The point is that the mainstream media is trying to conduct political cleansing selectively. They are annoyed and threatned by Paul and we respect Paul for that – also, Paul shames the neocons with his support from soldiers. Gotta love that.

  8. A Random Quote says

    Q: So in your mind, she [Karen Huges] has succeeded in her goal of outreach to the Arab world, based on those numbers that I just cited?

    MS. PERINO: Look, I’m not going to comment or respond to a poll that you just read out. I don’t know about those numbers, I don’t know the questions that were asked; I think it’s inappropriate. What I can tell you is that she has done *amazing* work. Let me give another example. She started a women’s outreach effort with the Middle Eastern countries and started a breast cancer initiative. And just last week Mrs. Bush went and highlighted that initiative and went to four different countries in the Middle East, had a very successful trip in explaining that women have tools at their disposal when they find out that they have breast cancer, early detection and treatment. That is precisely what the President was hoping Karen Hughes would achieve, and she has.

    Q So in your view, the U.S. image in the Arab world has improved under Karen Hughes?

    MS. PERINO: We are making progress. I know that we have a long way to go.
    White House Press Conf.

  9. Comment says

    Waterboarding has been one of the most common forms of torture since before the Spanish Inquistion, so its really a sign of decline that this demented debate is taking place – There is ZERO proof that it has done anything except procure false confesssions for Colin Powell to use during UN speeches. Maybe if you are Buchanan and you don’t think the Inquisition was all that bad you could make a case. But do you think Russert will regard Fred Thompson’s pro waterboarding torture views with the same sort of derison and condescension that he has for Kucinic and UFOs ( a harmless odd thing)? How about Tweety? No – these people are all playing along – they will not hound Thompson or Rudy with shame over toture.

  10. A Random Quote says

    “What part of the word “illegal” don’t you understand?”
    ~Leading conservative slogan for ’08

  11. Comment says

    Olberman’s wheels are spinning – he was redeemed a bit by having Fein on to give some meat to his critique – But let’s hope he does not think Biden got a zinger. Too many people in the opposition think Biden got a zinger in and that is connected (that false understanding) is linked to their inability to craft a winning approach.

  12. Comment says

    Meant to say “without the aid” of Yogi Berra. We once heard Russert crack a bad joke about Limmericks.

  13. Comment says

    Little commented on – but noted by Rosenbaum – was Russert’s painfully unfunny segment with Stephen Colbert. Colbert’s candidacy has great comic and educational (mostly for the media) potentential – But Russert is a man so lacking in wit that his mere presences is like krptonite for a comedian – Russert’s vibe was bad and comics have to have a situation with a good vibe. Can you imagin Russert cracking a joke with the aid of a Yogi Berra phrasebook?

  14. Comment says

    The psychology behind Russert wasting time with a UFO question is obvious to those who know Russert-types. It has to do with people like Russert and Tweety liking to pigeonhold certain types – It’s very high school.

  15. Comment says

    The opposition still doesn’t ‘get it’ (we hate that cliche, btw) – They don’t realize that “bombing Iran” might be a popular thing, depending how it’s discussed. A lot of people want payback for the hostage thing (as if aiding Saddam against Iran was not enough). It’s entirely possible that people confuse Iran and Iraq or Iran with Qaeda – etc.
    Unreason is a force that the opposition fails to grok.

  16. Comment says

    You know we knew very well about Biden’s plagerism and we knew Rudy would whack him and splat him – but it was instructive how effortless Rudy was in his immediate response – Instinct. “Joe doesn’t write his own material.” Meanwhile the liberal blogs cheer Joe for his amaaaaaazing grammer joke.

  17. Comment says

    re Poor Joe Biden (getting closer to Gephardt-land by the minute) already gets hit by Rudy with an unkind cut about his plagerism – Can Tweety play up Biden’s old plagerism without hurting his Barnicle by implication????
    Anyway – we’ve always though that Biden’s plagerism was tellling and just a small example of Joes intellectual insecurity. Neil Kinnock? Anyway – Rudy just slapped him down –

  18. Comment says

    Just one more point about opposition weakness – All around the blogs you see oppositionist cheering Fareed Zakaria a bit too much for his (mild, imo) defeat of NormPod in a NewsHour debate – These people forget that Fareed is an operator with an unclear agenda, an O.B. – Originah Bletchley – He is not part of the anti war opposition.

  19. Comment says

    Immelt and Co. would probably declare war on the Dems if they started attacking or mocking the moderator during debates – Srill – we think it would be worth it for a second tier candidate to go after Russert a bit if he has another debate. You would have to wargame it and its still risky. But maybe a light joke from Richardson along the lines of “Tim, judging from your questions it sounds like Rudy had Kerik pay you a visit sometime late last night to help you proofread.” That may not work – it all depends on timing and delivery – But the Dems have to start establishing who their enemies are and act accordingly. Otherwise, Rudy will win – this will be a de facto vindication for Bush/Cheney games all these years.
    Even if Hillary wins – we only have a flicker of hope to avoid world war.

  20. Comment says

    Still – it’s the larger principle – It’s supposed to maintain a scholarly pretense and an unsuperficial definition of success. Maybe they can give one to Jon Stewart – for ballast.
    re Obama/ From the Schlesinger journals about Adlai: “The Stevenson moment was not tough enough or serious enough or professional enough – It lacked the basic instinct for power necessary for success in a hard world.” (7/1960)

  21. Jon H says

    “It’s a complete joke for a TV celebrity like Matthews to get honorary degrees.”

    Speaking as an alumni of Drexel, getting an honorary degree from there is no great shakes.

  22. Comment says

    Last point about the debate – this is sort of funny, but sad – Barack Obama telling the audience he was gonna convene a meeting of Muslim leaders-Barack seemingly unaware that a determined GOP smear campaign against him has succeeded enough to the point where a sizable minority of the electorate (maybe a majority of Repubs) thinks that he, Obama, is a secret Muslim – Ofcourse, that was the whole point of Romney’s Obama/Osama malaprop – Obama could have been prepared for this and used this as an opportunity to heap ridicule on Romney for this – and pin the whole thing on Romney. But this would have taken work – rehearsal and commitment. Ah – it doesn’t matter. This is not Barack’s year. He needs seasoning – then maybe be VP. We reject any idea of his being Illois Gov – Did nothing for Jim Thompson

  23. Comment says

    One thing we find upsetting and intriguing is the fact that Dems don’t do their homework – Not all, but many of them don’t come to hearings very prepared. Sure they spend all their time trying to raise money and take care of special interests. But this shows – this is one reason , of many, why the campaigns always come down to people asking clown-like questions about haircuts and stuff – Democrats are so bad at this kind of politics they would fail even to havock Romnny on the fact he spends a fortune on primping. Speaking of Russert – he should ask Hillary why Sally Quinn and Sally Bedell Smith hate her so much.

  24. Comment says

    On a deeper level – right now it saddens us that Rudy’s people still have the initiative and Democrats and opposition are deluded thinking otherwise. We just read and attack on Podhoretz from Scheuer and we could not help but be unimpressed with his ineffectual namecalling. It’s as if the Iraq debacle did not happen. It’s all very strange.

  25. Comment says

    “I don’t know of a single person on the campaign besides Norman who is a self-identified, card carrying member of this neocon cabal with its secret handshakes …” (Charles Hill)
    This quote is funny because its along the lines of the standard sarcastic script. It’s the type of thing Hill is supposed to say if a bunch of left wingers and paleocons teamed up to make a movie about a crazy campaign like Rudy’s with Hill-types trying to cover it up, albeit ineffectively.

  26. Comment says

    re Poor Joe Biden – You know who he reminded us of when he was screaming inffectual bombast about Rudy? He reminded us of Dick Gephardt doing the same stupid routine about Bush – calling him a “miserable failure” over and over again in pointless yapping.
    Where is Gephardt now? He is winding out his career working for the Turkish government – The Turks respect Gephardt even less than those Dems who clapped their hands at his rants (while regarding him as a rube) because they are paying him money to tell lies to the American people about the Armenian genocide – What the Turks are doing is not right – but it is understandable and defensible on a number of levels – But what Gephard is doing is laughable and disgraceful –

  27. Comment says

    Another declinist moment in the debate was when Tweety repeated the disturbing fact that Drexel U. gave him an honorary degree – Drexel, Fordham etc – It used to be a staple of the conservative movement to question the awarding of honorary degrees to minorities with questionable qualifications – But even a Maya Angelu skeptic has to concede that she is John Milton compared to Tweety. It’s a complete joke for a TV celebrity like Matthews to get honorary degrees.

  28. Comment says

    It’s easy to imagine Les Gelb laughing at Biden behind his back after Rudy crushed him – then alternating between telling people that Biden was the one who wanted to split Iraq but that he , Gelb, disagreed with his approach.

  29. Comment says

    Right now its HRC V. Rudy – HRC needs some third party to run on Rudy’s right to make her competitive in some of the border states by shaving off points from Rudy and diluting GOP ballot initiatives. Roger Stone is probably up to no good in this area right now – maybe getting some right wing fanatics to act like ringers and then drop out.
    It was just amazing how bad the Dems en masss looked tonight – mostly due to the frameing and the questions. Even questions about UFOs etc –

  30. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Russert and Tweety have poorly disguised man crushes on Giuliani. You’re right about Russert’s laughable questioning, the so-called ‘hardest interview on television’; as per Matalin, Cheney’s favorite forum.

    re Biden, that’s also true – Haas would shake his head, hit Biernart or Boot’s extension number at CFR and tell them to document the splat in the next ish. At the next cocktail party in Georgetown Haas would concede ‘privately’ he always knew that about Joe.

    We’ve long said running a law review is no basis for public office viability. In fact, it’s a heavy liability. Per your earlier observations at STSOZ 1.0 Obama needs to run for governor or get some other contact sport experience. Right now he’s a lightweight — as is Edwards.

  31. Comment says

    Barack’s performance in the debates saddens us since we have supported him for two years. We sense he is not ready.

  32. Comment says

    So John Edwards just said that he is gonna sic the DOJ on the oil companies. As if they won’t fight back – Edwards is silly. He just gave the oil companies a future excuse that they are victims of a political hit.
    Poor Joe Biden – Rudy would splat him like a rotten bannana and his CFR friends would just laugh and leave him by the side of the road. But Joe doesn’t know.

  33. Comment says

    Ideally – one of the second tier candidates like Richards should say to Russert: “You know Tim, Sister Mary Lucielle is shaking her head at you up in heaven – Even Rudy teased you in the last debate for crafting questions that sounded, well, like – they were crafted by Rudy. So why ask another question this way? Are you on his payroll via a Jack Welch cutout?”

  34. Comment says

    Giuliani must be happy tonight watching Tim craft questions that sound like they were sent to Norman Pod for approval – Notice the way he phrase his ridiculous “Will you pledge Iran will never get” question – Russert knows that Rudy makes this stupid pledge all the time – IN fact, it’s his sinsiter signature line – Reporters like Russert should focus on pointing out the logical fact that Rudy can’t make any such pledge without wiping out Iran as a whole. Anyway – HRC is winning again.

  35. A Random Quote says

    “Hillary and Obama are kind of debating whether to invite [Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] to the inauguration or the inaugural ball,”
    ~Rudy Giuliani
    Manchester Chamber of Commerce

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