Rudy, You're Wrong

An ode, of sorts, to former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani

| September 2004

Oh, Rudy, what's happened to you, man? The broken window theory not panning out in Mexico City and other places where 70% of the population lives in poverty? A little bummed that Pataki has stolen some of the limelight? Maybe you're getting senile. Those hand gestures last night at the Republican National Convention sure looked geriatric.

Rudy, I loved you, man, especially when New York crime was completely out of control. You had the cajones to say enough is enough. You stuck it to the Goodfellas crowd. You stuck it to the drug dealers. Yeah, you stuck it up poor Abner Louima's ass, but that was the price we New Yorkers were willing to pay to get panhandlers and squeegee people out of our faces, to kick-start those high rents near Tompkins Square Park, and make the city safe again for inside traders.

Heck, Rudy, we forgave you for your wacko retrograde opinions on art -- remember the Virgin Mary elephant dung fiasco? -- because you deigned, Rudya, to dress in drag. And we can never thank you enough for being such a mensch after 9/11. It was your finest hour.

But, Rudy, man, this unequivocal endorsement of Doofus for a second term, that's just pushing the envelope a little too far. Last night, you set up a false dichotomy, dude. None of us Kerry-backers think the U.S. should have gone all pussy-foot and Euro after 9/11. We all wanted to 'get Medieval' on Al Qaeda's ass just like you and your Republican roughnecks. We wanted to apply some serious offense. And not a West Coast offense either. A serious smash-mouth, run-it-up-the-gut offense, like we used to run in Nebraska before the Huskers got all pussy-foot and pass-hungry.

Our beef with Doofus has to do with this Iraq thing. Rudy, it was a lie. It was a goddamned lie. It was trumped up by your hero Dick Cheney, and sold as an integral piece of our war on terror when it was a completely different matter that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, and, in fact, has tragically distracted us from the war on terror. Even Doofus now makes the separation. That's why Rove had McCain make the case for Iraq, and you make the case on terror. THEY AREN'T RELATED, G! They are two separate animals, and you know it.

So, Rudy, I hate to say this -- we puritanical Gemini Catholics share a lot in common -- but, dude, your power-drunk rant last night was totally whack. You let me down. And you let a lot of folks who backed you over the years down. I know where your head is at: You're thinking that James Q. Wilson's broken window theory works just as well as on the international stage as it does on urban streets. But, Rudy, it doesn't quite work that way. When we bust turnstile-jumpers or minor crack dealers in New York City, no one dies, except for the occasional Amadou Diallo. But when we try to lower the threshold of terror tolerance on the world stage by busting up every thug leader who might have some remotely tangential connection to Al Qaeda or Hamas, thousands of innocent people die. Our sweeping preemptive attacks aren't seen as making the world a safer place. Instead, they make us seem like irrational, out-of-control monsters. Like oil-hungry thieves. Like stooges of Ariel Sharon.