Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nobody's Mayor

On Salon, Joe Conason rips the Republican frontrunner a new one:
When Rudolph Giuliani delivered his stark warning Tuesday of another 9/11 should the Republicans lose the White House in 2008, Democratic presidential candidates responded with a predictable chorus of outrage. Even the amiable Barack Obama protested that he had sunk to a "new low in the politics of fear."

But in truth, Democrats ought to be happy whenever the Republican front-runner opens his mouth. For every time the former New York mayor speaks, and especially when he reaches for demagogy, he confirms again that electing him would mean prolonging the disaster of the Bush administration, or precisely the opposite of what most Americans say they want now.

Ever since his prime-time speech during the Republican Convention of 2004, if not earlier, Giuliani has been locked into the "wartime presidency" script written by Karl Rove to win the midterm elections and reelect George W. Bush. That divisive script purposely ignored the patriotic solidarity that had unified the nation in the aftermath of 9/11. Rove insisted that only Republicans could be trusted to protect America in the "long war" against the terrorists, implying that for the duration of the war only Republicans should exercise power. The logic of Giuliani's speech was impeccably Rovian.
But referring to Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins's new book, Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, Conason hits the real story:
In vivid detail, Barrett and Collins examine how Giuliani brushed aside the advice of real experts and stubbornly built the city's new emergency command center in a World Trade Center building, although terrorists had struck there already and were believed likely to strike again. When that multimillion-dollar boondoggle fell with the rest of ground zero, the mayor and his aides were left to run the fire and police response from the streets, with mixed success at best. The location of the command center was only one of several ultimately lethal errors that originated in Giuliani's City Hall.
Go read!

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