Friday, March 09, 2007

Deconstructing Giuliani

Mention Rudy Giuliani to most people, and you'll hear the standard reply of "hero.. 9/11... flag... America... Freedom..." and so forth. There's talk about him being a serious Republican candidate for President.

Let's take a closer look.

Before I begin, I would like to commend Giuliani for supporting gay rights. Its the right thing to do, and not very popular with conservatives.

Thats about it for the positives, so let's move on to the negatives.

First, he's considered a hero for being the mayor of NYC on 9/11. Why? Its the same as making Bush a saint for being the President on 9/11. They were elected before it happened; its not like they knew what they were signing up for. Do they deserve a medal for not curling up in the fetal position underneath their desks, crying for their mothers? Sending the firefighters to the WTC after planes crash into it is not an awe-inspiring display of leadership and resolve: its what you're supposed to do. Furthermore, the firefighters who go into buildings are the heroes - the ones who tell them to do it are just the heroes' bosses, opposed to heroes themselves.

In addition to the logic of Giuliani being a hero for 9/11 being fuzzy, the actuality of it is that he was NOT a friend of the NYFD after 9/11. In fact, the Firefighters' Union invited every serious candidate to their bi-partisan Presidential forum- John Edwards, John McCain, Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Duncan Hunter and seven other candidates - EXCEPT Giuliani. That is the depth of their disdain for him. The contents of the union's letter explaining why they snubbed Giuliani are shocking. To paraphrase:

Giuliani, with the full support of his Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen,decided on November 2, 2001, to sharply reduce the number of those who could search for remains at any one time.

In conjunction with the cut in fire fighters allowed to search, Giulianialso made a conscious decision to institute a "scoop-and-dump" operation to expedite the clean-up of Ground Zero in lieu of the more time-consuming, but respectful, process of removing debris piece by piece in hope of uncovering more remains.

Our Local presidents at the time attempted to meet with the Mayor to stop this despicable treatment of those who perished, but he refused to even see them face-to-face.

The scoop-and-dump continued. And when hundreds of family members of the fallen joined with our affiliate leadership and members to protest Giuliani's decision, he ordered senior officers of the New York Police Department to arrest 15 of our FDNY brothers, including a number of local elected IAFF leaders.

The fact is that the Mayor's switch to a scoop-and-dump coincided with the final removal of tens of millions of dollars of gold, silver and other assets of the Bank of Nova Scotia that were buried beneath what was once the towers.

Wow. I think that will hurt his ability to wrap himself in 9/11 for his campaign, don't you? I also love how he tried to use 9/11 to justify staying in office beyond the limits of his term (it didn't work).

By itself, I believe that is sufficently damning to to torpedo his campaign. But wait, boys and girls, there's so much more!

Giuliani's first marriage was to his COUSIN and childhood sweetheart, Regina Peruggi, to whom he was married from 1969 to 1982. He had that marriage annulled when another woman caught his eye: local TV personality Donna Hanover, who became Mrs Giuliani and the mother of his children.

Eventually, Giuliani's other affairs led him to announce his intention to seek divorce (again) in a press conference WITHOUT TELLING HIS WIFE FIRST. That, my friends, is classy as hell.

Shoot, I hope he wins the Republican Primary. There's no way in a thousand hells he can stand up to the scrutiny. But if by some chance he did and actually wins, we get a pro-gay, anti-gun, pro-choice, pro-immigrant Republican President as our consolation prize. I guess worse things could happen...

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