John Dean on Rudy (and Hillary?)


John Dean's been on the neocon-bashing beat for a few years—here's a 2002 article by Charles Freund that gets into his early anti-Bush stuff—but he still sounds fresh to liberal bloggers. He told a wormy joke about George W. Bush buying puppies (he saw a boy selling them, the boy called them "conservative Republicans," Bush came back the next day and the boy said they were "Democrats, moderates and liberals" because they "opened their eyes") that got huge laughs, and I heard a chorus of "ooohhhs" when someone asked him to compare the U.S. Attorneys scandal and the Saturday Night Massacre.

But that question took him to an interesting place. "What worries me as much as anything is a Democrat getting into office in 2009, looking at the machinery George W. Bush has left there, and saying 'I like this, I can use this.'" Crickets.

I wanted to ask Dean about Hillary (whom I think he was referring to) and Rudy Giuliani but only got time to ask about Rudy. "Giuliani and Thompson are so successful [in the polls] because they're the most authoritarian candidates. They're not the only ones, but they're easily the most authoritarian." Why isn't Giuliani's social liberalism cancelling that out? Republican voters overlook that stuff because they so badly want a strongman commander-in-chief.