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.
I know you don't care what people think of you. And I admire that to an extent. It works when running a madhouse like New York City. But it absolutely does not work in international affairs, where perception becomes reality overnight, and where the weapons of retribution are not Saturday Night Specials, but generations of suicide bombers. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay 'Self Reliance,' 'a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.' Right now, sir, at this precarious moment in world affairs, we don't need little minds.
Rudy, you've always struck me as a phoenix-like character. As you were putting white-collar criminals behind bars as a federal prosecutor, you were losing a Mayoral election to David Dinkins. As you were winning kudos for transforming New York City into one of the safest cities in the world, you got into an ugly pissing match with your police chief, William Bratton, over who should get the credit. Just when you were ready to go out and capture a U.S. Senate seat, you were beset by prostate cancer and a messy public divorce. And now that you've been almost canonized for your courage and compassion surrounding 9/11, you, the Mayor that championed urban civility like none other, deliver a churlish, childish and strikingly un-civil speech to the RNC that brings up echoes of your party's 1992 convention, when the GOP showed its unmistakably cruel face to the world.
Rudy, moderates like me held out hope that leaders like you wouldn't buy into the Republican politics of destruction. We thought you were a different breed. But I guess, in the spirit of Colin Powell's cowardly command performance at the UN shortly before the preordained invasion of Iraq, the Republican brass told you to put up or shut up. You felt compelled to show the GOP frat boys that you could deliver some serious hazing. And that you did, Rudy. That you did.
But in so doing, you not only diminished your own halo, but made crystal clear that the Republican Party has no clue how to win the peace, no clue how to genuinely win the war on terror, and no clue how to address the causes of terror, including a sane energy policy that weens us off Middle East oil and our corrupt entanglements with our Saudi suppliers. Your speech showed the world that you and your party are good at only two things: bombs and bombast.
Well, Rudy, you Republicans have had your turn, and you've once again blown it. Now it's time, once again, for the Democrats to clean up your mean-spirited mess.
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