Campaigns/Elections

Giuliani: Bad for the Libertarians

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David Boaz in the NY Daily News tries to warn libertarians off of Rudy Giuliani by stressing his signs of executive authoritarianism, both as prosecutor*, mayor, and presidential candidate. Boaz notes Rudy's crackdowns in his NYC days on Wall Street, jaywalking, and gun possession, and his current stances in favor of domestic surveillance, holding citizens as "enemy combatants" with no access to lawyers or trials, and the president's alleged power to conduct war without even congressional funding.

Tim Cavanaugh in reason's pages on Rudy's record.

*added since original post 

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  1. Glad someone else is noticing. I’ve been saying the same thing for a while now about the Dictator. The field’s pretty bad when you’re glad Thompson’s joining the race.

  2. Wait. What? No. Some guy has been telling me for months now that Guiliani is the best thing for libertarians since Goldwater. I can’t remember the guy’s name, and he did come off as a total prick, but still, he wasn’t wrong, was he?

  3. Here’s a question:

    Of the so-far declared Presidential candidates which do folks think is the least worst?

  4. Grotius,

    Is Joe Redner one of the choices??

  5. Brian,

    I know you had to cover a long record of abuse, but you shouldn’t have left out his signs of executive authoritarianism as a prosecutor…

    As a U.S. attorney in the 1980s, Giuliani conducted what University of Chicago Law Prof. Daniel Fischel called a “reign of terror” against Wall Street. He pioneered the use of the midday, televised “perp walk” for white-collar defendants who posed no threat to the community – precisely the sort of power play for which conservatives reviled former state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. And Giuliani’s use of federal racketeering statutes was so disturbing that the Justice Department changed its guidelines on the law.

    What Giuliani did to Milken is unconscionable.

  6. Not that I’m excited in any way about any of them, but…

    1. Paul
    2. Thompson
    3. Richardson
    4. Old Romney (as compared to new conserva-Romney)
    5. Biden

    And yes, Dr. Paul, I’m damning you with faint praise.

  7. Oops, I answered “who is the worst?”

  8. I thought the Wall Street crackdowns were in the 80s, prior to his becoming mayor. And he was, at that time, a prosecutor. Just doing his job.

    The whole trope of Giuliani as Mayor Il Duce misses the point, too. His ‘tough’ image as mayor was a total charade. He was good at two things, grandstanding on non-issues, and making sure he got credit everytime someone put their foot down on a New York City sidewalk and didn’t step in dog shit.

    The real problem is that R.G. knows and has in five years since 9/11 learned nothing, gornichts, about foreign policy — supposed to be his key issue — and supports the Bush Doctrine 100%. (Coincidence?)

  9. File under “Duh”

  10. I’ve been warning everyone I know about rudy. If the choice comes down to Hillary and Rudy, consider me abstaining from this election, because there is too much evil in either of those two for one to be considered the lesser of….

  11. joe,

    Giuliani is by far the worst, but McCain and Hillary are arguably tied for second. If the election comes down to Il Duce vs. Hillary, the best thing that could happen is a meteor strike on the stage during the debate.

  12. Yeah, Giuliani is bad for Libertarians. In other news, Stalin is bad for Libertarians.

    I mean, does this need to be discussed in the Hit & Run boards? I bet a deep hatred and disgust for fascists like Guiliani is one of the few things that unites everyone here. It is probably one of the few people who virtually everyone here (including Dave T. and joe and the usually anti-libertarians) despise as much as I do. Does anyone here not despise this guy?

    Ok, Ok, we all hate Guiliani. We can have a big group hug, and move on to other topics.

  13. …because there is too much evil in either of those two for one to be considered the lesser of….

    Anyway you look at it, voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.

    (I don’t know who gets credit for saying that first.)

  14. Rex, I see your point, but there’s one rather obnoxious exception who has been visiting this place regularly, and I’m pretty sure this post is aimed at him.

    That would be Eric Dondero.

  15. When it comes to Rudy, I tend to read Il Duce as “Ill Douche.”

  16. If the election comes down to Il Duce vs. Hillary, the best thing that could happen is a meteor strike on the stage during the debate.

    Even if the election doesn’t come down to Il Duce vs Double L, it would still be the best thing if a meteor struck the stage.

    I’m with:
    1. Paul
    2. Thompson
    3. Richardson

    To that point, after which I’m digging up my backyard AR15 and reburying it on a Montana mountaintop and moving in to a plywood shack, because regardless of how it ends it won’t be pretty.

    Ok, Ok, we all hate Guiliani. We can have a big group hug, and move on to other topics.

    Ooh ooh, can we have a group flogging of Dave and Joe afterwards? Just to prove everything is back to normal?

  17. You mean “the” Eric Dondero, the comedic genius whose performance art website “Mainstream Libertarian” is the funniest thing on line outside of the Onion?

  18. Yes, this is almost surely directed towards Eric “Rudy is Jesus” Dondero.

  19. I’m voting for the Dem nominee for a whole host of reasons (whoever it is, but I really hope it’s not Clinton.) My optimal federal government for 2008-2010 would be Dem President, Rep House with a 1-10 seat majority, and a Dem Senate with a 1-3 seat majority.

    Of the Dem candidates, B-Rich (or die tryin’) is the least icky.

  20. The least worse? Wow.

    Paul, Thompson…candidate to be named later ???

  21. Damn, de stijl, that’s pretty specific.

    Kevin Carson, I really don’t like Guiliani, and really don’t want Hillary to win, either, but Tom Tancredo scares the fertilizer out of me. Definitely the most likely to order camps built and have lots of doors kicked in.

  22. joe,

    are you here illegally or something?

  23. Apart from Paul, obviously, how about Obama for least worst?

    Only curious.

  24. joe:

    I doubt Tom Tancredo will win… I never heard of the guy until recently.

  25. Also, do the Republicans have any more hope of winning back one or more house of Congress than they do holding on to the White House?

  26. No, robc, I’m a native.

    I just know how pogroms can get of control.

    You know what Chris Rock says – when they start on the “illegal immigrants,” “You just know that the n*gg*ers and the Jews are next!”

  27. Obama has already announced his support for national healthcare and bailing out automakers for bad pensions. And remember, before this, he was known for having no opinion at at all.

  28. Am I the only one who finds it fascinating that the Daily News is interested in what libertarians care about?

  29. My optimal federal government for 2008-2010 would be Dem President, Rep House with a 1-10 seat majority, and a Dem Senate with a 1-3 seat majority.

    Not sure I (or anyone who cares what the Constitution actually, you know, says) would be thrilled with the SCOTUS Justices that a Dem President and Senate would put on the bench.

  30. Apart from Paul, obviously, how about Obama for least worst?

    As soon as he stops being a Hallmark card on legs and actually says something, perhaps. We’ll see whenever that happens. What I’ve seen thus far his campaign is like “feel good, be nice, and all will be sugar and spice…and did I mention I’m black and articulate but we don’t really want to use that word”. Meaning, complete bullshit.

  31. As soon as he stops being a Hallmark card on legs and actually says something, perhaps. We’ll see whenever that happens. What I’ve seen thus far his campaign is like “feel good, be nice, and all will be sugar and spice…and did I mention I’m black and articulate but we don’t really want to use that word”. Meaning, complete bullshit.

    Well, he has gone on about the psuedo-spiritual wonder of government, but that’s to be expected.

  32. He’d be a Rudy Tooty fresh and fruity President, that’s for sure.

  33. I think the fact that it can even be PRETENDED that Rudy appeals to libertarians says a lot about the other candidates in the race.

  34. This year’s election is a perfect example of a need for the old system of the loser of the election becoming vice-president…

  35. Of the so-far declared Presidential candidates which do folks think is the least worst?

    Bill Richardson.

    Of the five biggies (Milt, Rudy, John, Barack, Hillary), I’d say Hillary.

  36. He’s Rudy. He’s fresh. And there are all of those pictures of him in drag.

    But to get to “Rudy Tooty, Fresh and Fruity,” I’d need some evidence of flatulence or cocaine usage.

  37. Rudy is the most likely to have a Roman triumph in D.C., at the end of which he would ritually strangle Osama.

  38. jimmydageek,

    Did you vote for Redner? That was a city commission election, and I live in the county, so I couldn’t vote.

    For everyone not in Tampa, Joe Redner owns several of the various world-famous nude dancing clubs in the area. He’s been at war with the Tampa city commission for many years.

  39. Libertarians supporting Giuliani is as silly as anabaptists supporting Pope Benedict.

  40. Brandybuck,

    Why do you support the terrorists who attacked the WTC on September 11, 2001? You’re either with Rudy, or you’re tortured by him.

  41. Matthew Yglesias and Ross Douthat have pointed out that Rudy’s popularity with self-styled “socially liberal-economically conservative” voters shows not that such voters don’t know the facts about him but that it is a serious mistake to equate such voters with libertarians (even in the broad sense of the word) and that Boaz and others are therefore simply wrong in suggesting that there is a big libertarian voting bloc. Many such people want to pay lower taxes, and want the government not to interfere with their sex lives (or the sex lives of their gay friends or relatives) but are far from libertarian on other issues.

    In other words: Yes, Rudy is bad for libertarians. But–gasp–most Americans, including most socially-liberal-economically-conservative voters *ain’t libertarians.*

    Shocking, right?

  42. Am I the only one who finds it fascinating that the Daily News is interested in what libertarians care about?

    No. I was thinking something similar. It’s worth noting that the Daily News is perhaps the least objectionable of the daily papers, despite its recent rush-to-the-bottom Post-esque sleaze and promotional contests. Editorially, it’s much less predictable than the Post or the Times.

  43. Matthew Yglesias and Ross Douthat have pointed out that Rudy’s popularity with self-styled “socially liberal-economically conservative” voters shows not that such voters don’t know the facts about him but that it is a serious mistake to equate such voters with libertarians (even in the broad sense of the word) and that Boaz and others are therefore simply wrong in suggesting that there is a big libertarian voting bloc. Many such people want to pay lower taxes, and want the government not to interfere with their sex lives (or the sex lives of their gay friends or relatives) but are far from libertarian on other issues.

    But Giuliani isn’t even good on most “sex life” issues if “sex” includes the 3 P’s: porn, performances, and prostitution. It means he’s not anti-gay, but his actual positions (like those of most “social liberals”) are a wash on liberty because they include laws against private discrimination.

    The real problem is not so much confusing “economically conservative and socially liberal” with “libertarian”, but the fact that all these labels tend to be applied on the basis of two or at most three in-the-news issues, which tend to be very marginal, not revealing much about the roots.

    And they’re stingy about supplying categories, which is how LaRouche became libertarian. In the 1990s and maybe even past the turn of the century, people tended to lump moderate Republicans with libertarians. In some cases that’d fit, but in most what it meant that you somehow became libertarian by not favoring as many tax cuts.

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