Campaigns/Elections

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In The Washington Monthly, Rachel Morris examines Rudy Giuliani's record as mayor of New York and concludes that "if he reaches the White House, he will almost certainly do what he did at City Hall: punish dissent, circumvent the law, conceal the workings of the government in secrecy, and use his litigator's gifts to obstruct mechanisms of oversight and accountability." She suggests that Giuliani's view of executive authority may be even wider than George W. Bush's:

Embedded in his operating style is a belief that rules don't apply to him, and a ruthless gift for exploiting the intrinsic weaknesses in the system of checks and balances. That's why, of all the presidential candidates, Giuliani is most likely to take the expansions of the executive branch made by the Bush administration and push them further still. 

Having lived in New York during most of Giuliani's two terms, I did not need to be persuaded of his authoritarian tendencies. But Morris' piece provides damning details I did not notice at the time, including Giuliani's sly use of city charter commissions, his attempts to undermine both the public advocate and the Independent Budget Office, and his resistance to releasing even the most innocuous information. "Once," she notes, "the city even denied a Freedom of Information request inquiring how many Freedom of Information requests had been denied."

Still, if it comes down to Giuliani vs. Clinton (as it does in my nightmares), the choice won't be hard. I'm not convinced Clinton would be any less power-hungry than Giuliani, and she would in all likelihood be abetted by a Democratic Congress. Keeping the executive and legislative branches in the hands of different parties seems like the best strategy for containing the megalomania chronicled by Morris.

NEXT: Craig Franklin and Jena

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  1. If the choice is Rudy vs. Hillary, I’ll vote Cthulhu.
    http://www.theelderparty.com/

  2. I won’t vote for either one, which is my right.
    The greatest American statesmen these days are, sadly, dead.

  3. I will, as I always do (barring some Ron Paul miracle), vote “none of the above” by not voting.

    Hillary vs. Rudy is like Chuck Noblet vs. Principal Blackman.

  4. Keeping the executive and legislative branches in the hands of different parties seems like the best strategy for containing the megalomania chronicled by Morris.

    That would normally be solid advice…except for the fact that Reid and Pelosi are morons who seem to love caving in to power-hungry presidents.

  5. The problem is that presidential elections and congressional elections tend to swing the same way, with Congress usually swinging the other way during the off-year elections. If Giuliani were elected, that would almost certainly mean a shift in Congress to a Republican majority given the tenuous hold the Democrats have. You’ll actually have to choose who you think is going to be the lesser of two evils, I don’t think a vote for divided government is going to work.

  6. expansions of the executive branch made by the Bush administration and push them further still.

    No duh. Welcome to politics. What, we think that Hillary isn’t salivating over her soon-to-be enjoyed executive privileges?

  7. Why am I reminded of The Police song Synchronicity II?

  8. So we could have an adminstration that will punish dissent, circumvent the law, conceal the workings of the government in secrecy, and use his litigator’s gifts to obstruct mechanisms of oversight and accountability vs. an adminstration that will punish dissent, circumvent the law, conceal the workings of the government in secrecy, and use HER litigator’s gifts to obstruct mechanisms of oversight and accountability

  9. [blockquote]Hillary vs. Rudy is like Chuck Noblet vs. Principal Blackman.[/blockquote]

    Well the choice is obvious, unless you’re a racist. I said it, you’re a racist. Not me, you.

  10. Ghouliani is a scary dude. This is how he defined freedom:

    “Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do and how you do it.”

    The man is insane and the MSM and the unthinking Republican drones don’t see anything crazy about him?

  11. Giuliani has shown he has a tin ear for the issues of the social conservatives. For better or for worse, they have a pretty big pull in the GOP primary, and Rudolph isn’t going to make the cut. I’m guessing it will be Romney or Thompson.

    If Giuliani knew his national politics, he would have switched parties and tried for the Democrat nomination.

  12. She suggests that Giuliani’s view of executive authority may be even wider than George W. Bush’s:

    As a general impression, it seems to me that every President (with the possible exception of Gerry Ford) has tried to expand the Executive Power beyond his predecessor’s.

    Why assume it would be any different with Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Obama, Clinton, Thompson, et al?

  13. james,

    Link for the quote?

  14. Thanks Jim Bob, beat me to it.

  15. Hey my aunt use to call me Jim Bob. Here’s the link http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/rudy_giuliani.html

  16. According to Slate in the state polls Guiliani is behind in Iowa, NH & SC:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2175496/nav/tap1/

  17. Well the choice is obvious, unless you’re a racist. I said it, you’re a racist. Not me, you.

    I do like black people! It just took a white one to prove it to me.

  18. if he reaches the White House, he will almost certainly do what he did at City Hall: punish dissent, circumvent the law, conceal the workings of the government in secrecy, and use his litigator’s gifts to obstruct mechanisms of oversight and accountability.”

    Dang! That sounds like Clinton – either Clinton.

  19. Reading this kind of bullshit reminds me why libertarians are clowns (much like Nader supporters in 2000). This kind of “both parties’ candidates suck so it doesn’t matter anyway” crap resulted in a war with thousands of Americans dead, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi’s , trillions spent and the US permanently sullied with war crimes. But, hell, Gore would have been just as bad (worse even, and in any case, would you want to have a beer with Gore? invented the internet, inspired Love Story, hah! what a dork).

    If Guiliani wins, I look forward to your Andrew Sullivan-esque mea culpa in 2010 after two years of the Mussolini administration during which Bush/Cheney will fondly be remembered as champions of human rights, the rule of law and world peace. But remember, Hillary Clinton will be abetted by a Democratic congress. Like I said, clowns.

  20. I agree with Ramster to some extent, but about people who refuse to vote just because someone isn’t given the candidacy. What ever happened to writing Ron Paul in as your vote? Isn’t that a viable possibility? Or am I somehow mistaken about electoral law?

  21. Looking for the actual speech that quote is from will include link once I find it. At work so it may take a minute.

  22. ramster what is clownish about individual liberty?

  23. I’m not convinced Clinton would be any less power-hungry than Giuliani, and she would in all likelihood be abetted by a Democratic Congress. Keeping the executive and legislative branches in the hands of different parties seems like the best strategy for containing the megalomania chronicled by Morris.

    Once or twice every year, Jacob Sullum is wrong. Here is one such occasion.

    Congress has been completely neutered so it no longer provides any check on the Executive.

    Given the monstrous juggernaut of Executive Power, we simply can’t afford to have an authoritarian like Giuliani on top of the throne. If you combine his insatiable thirst for authority with his belligerent ideology and the world’s greatest military force and let them loose on the world, well, calamity is the sole possible outcome.

  24. “”if (Rudy) reaches the White House, he will almost certainly do what he did at City Hall: punish dissent, circumvent the law, conceal the workings of the government in secrecy, and use his litigator’s gifts to obstruct mechanisms of oversight and accountability.”

    Wow! Just like Bill Clinton!

  25. I’m not convinced Clinton would be any less power-hungry than Giuliani

    Do you have any evidence Hillary is as likely to abuse her authority?

    and she would in all likelihood be abetted by a Democratic Congress.

    A lot of Congressional Dems are either pussies or simply not beholden to the party in the way Republicans are, so they’re not likely to march in lockstep with Hillary. In fact they will probably start piling on along with the Republicans.

    Clearly, this Dem congress can’t stop Bush and his 25% approval rating from shitting on the constitution. Do you really think they’re going to be able to frustrate Giuliani’s attempts to get his fascist on?

  26. Better source for the Ghouliani ‘authority’ quote:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A01E2D9173CF933A15750C0A962958260

    (I don’t think the text of the entire speech is available)

  27. Andrew?

    Who is this @##%&^&* imposter and how can he post without an email address???

  28. I found it was an excerpt of a speech Ghouliani made about crime in 1994.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A01E2D9173CF933A15750C0A962958260

  29. Why does Giuliani remind me of the prison warden in the movie version of Shawshank Redemption?

  30. Who is this @##%&^&* imposter and how can he post without an email address???

    That’s simple, Andrew – just don’t fill in the field for email address.

  31. “Do you have any evidence Hillary is as likely to abuse her authority?”

    Travelgate

  32. Prithon warden? That’s abthurd! That’th abtholutely abuthurd.

  33. I’m sure that Hilary wouldn’t be as bad as ghouliani, but shit I’m not voting for her either. Whatever happened to small weak government. The Repubs want to expand its power for this reason the Dems want to expand its power for that reason in the end we the people get screwed. Who does the screwing is irrelevant.

  34. “That’s simple, Andrew – just don’t fill in the field for email address.”

    When I do that, it won’t let me post.

  35. Well, it didn’t used to…

  36. The full quote is actually scarier. WTF is ghouliani smoking?

    “We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.”

  37. A lot of Congressional Dems are either pussies or simply not beholden to the party in the way Republicans are, so they’re not likely to march in lockstep with Hillary. In fact they will probably start piling on along with the Republicans.

    That’s how I see it too..

    The Blue Dogs and the Lieberdems aren’t gonna be supporting Hillary’s agenda too much and will be the first ones to throw her under the bus if they feel politically threatened (which, by nature of being blue dogs, they are always politically threatened by the Dem agenda).

    I think, barring HUGE gains by Dems in the Senate and House of liberal/progressive candidates, Congress won’t be propping up Hillary all that much. On the other hand, if Giuliani can win in what should be, after 8 years of the Bush debacle, a watershed moment for the GOP, the already gutless Dems will be even more afraid of King Rudy

    Furthermore, at least I have seen Hillary pay lip service to scaling back the executive power grab of the Bush admin. Giuliani is openly looking to expand it.

    (Full Disclosure: I am not now nor have I ever been a Hillary supporter or a fan — Hillary vs Rudy would be my worst nightmare too)

  38. “”””Do you have any evidence Hillary is as likely to abuse her authority?”

    Travelgate”””

    I think the travel office of the White House works there at the Presidents discretion.

    Rudy tried to abolish city council. He’s not a fan of the checks and balance process. Rudy is a my way or the highway kinda guy. Which attracts the type of people that want to impose their will on you, and takes offense if you object.

  39. james: there’s nothing clownish about individual liberty. what’s clownish is to vote for the person most likely to shred that liberty to bits. To compare Guiliani’s authoritarian instincts to Clinton’s is laughable. Guiliani will go so far beyond Bush/Cheney that he’ll make Jack Bauer look like Dennis Kucunich.

    jimbo: Travelgate? you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Guiliani will use Guantanomo, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition, etc. as a stepping stone (training wheels if you will, soon to be discarded) on the road to full fledged authoritarianism, utterly unchecked by a feeble, cowardly Democratic congress, and you mention Travelgate? Unless you have some secret evidence that the travel office staff were sleep deprived and water-boarded before being sent off to some hellhole in Syria for the full electric shock to the genitals treatment, that’s pretty thin gruel.

  40. “””I’m sure that Hilary wouldn’t be as bad as ghouliani, but shit I’m not voting for her either. Whatever happened to small weak government. The Repubs want to expand its power for this reason the Dems want to expand its power for that reason in the end we the people get screwed. Who does the screwing is irrelevant.”””

    I agree. After 20 years of the Clintons and 8 years of Rudy. No way I could vote for either. I’ll either write-in myself or Ron Paul.

  41. Yeah, if Giuliani wins I’m gonnna become an insurgent

  42. Ramster, Travelgate is what Hillary did when she had no official power, so it’s just a little taste. Also, don’t forget about the FBI files that magically appeared in her office and her amazing ability not to recall anything pertaining to corruption.

    The attempts on this thread to convince Rudy-haters to vote for Hillary are laughable. As far as I’m concerned, she combines Rudy’s love of power with a higher degree of personal corruption.

  43. Thanks for clearing that up ramster. Yeah ghouliani is one scary sumbitch.

  44. Hmmmm……. Giuliani or Clinton……Giuliani or Clinton…..I guess for me, as it should be for all of you, it will come down to who looks better in drag!

  45. ChrisO I’m with ramster on this one HRC doesn’t hold a candle to ghouliani when it comes to crazy and desire to wield power.

  46. I would like to propose a historic pact between Republicans and Democrats: Neither party will nominate Giuliani or Clinton.

    And there was much rejoicing.

  47. Did you see his quote? What kinda person believes that shit? I’ll tell you, a person who you don’t want anywhere near our nukes and our military.

  48. james: damn straight. one scary sumbitch indeed

    ChrisO: Nice theory but travelgate doesn’t look like much more than garden variety political sliminess and abuse of power. The republic survived tricky dick, it’ll survive that kind of BS. But Bush/Cheney? These guys are good, they innovate. The Addington/Yoo school of thought where presidential power is unchecked during wartime. Guiliani is going to run with that, boy will he. And the best part? This war lasts forever! (or 30 years according to Norman Podhertz, which is more or less forever) Look who he’s filled his foreign policy team with (hint, one Norman Podhertz). The neocon loonies that the other neocons are embarrassed to invite to their cocktail parties.

    Am I attempting to convince Rudy-haters to vote Hilary. You’re goddamn right I am. Because the big G is that fucking scary. You go on convincing yourself that this is a laughable exercise. In the unfortunate event that Il Duce wins, I’m sure we’ll be hearing your mea culpa soon enough.

  49. ChrisO did you forget about the debacle with Rudy’s cop buddy what was his name? Rudy’s corrupt and a unscrupulous power hungry bastard. I’ll move to Russia if Rudy wins at least Putin is upfront (for the most part) about his desire to be leader for life.

  50. Or, better yet, how about just writing Ron Paul in.

  51. Rudy G on whether waterboarding is torture:

    “I’m not sure it is, either,” said Rudy. “It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it.”

    And as for the media, Rudy said they’ve exaggerated the nature of waterboarding.

    “Sometimes they describe it accurately. Sometimes they exaggerate it,” Rudy said. “So I’d have to see what they really are doing, not the way some of these liberal newspapers have exaggerated it.”

    It depends on who does it?

  52. Where oh where is Dondero to tell us that Giuliani is the presidential race’s true libertarian?

  53. Giuliani’s foreign policy advisers are insane. The thought of Podhoretz whispering in his ear for 4 years makes me shudder.

  54. Who here would not want to tune into the Rudy Hillary Presidential debates? My God that would be made TV entertainment. That is Darth Vader versus Valdermont or whatever his name is from the Harry Potter books. I will say this, if those two are the nominees, I don’t know that I will be happy about it, but if I were an enemy of the United States I would be very afraid. Both of them are like guided missiles. The problem is that I am not sure who they are aimed at; the enemy or me.

  55. The greatest American statesmen these days are, sadly, dead.

    By definition, aren’t all statesmen dead?

  56. Still, if it comes down to Giuliani vs. Clinton (as it does in my nightmares), the choice won’t be hard. I’m not convinced Clinton would be any less power-hungry than Giuliani, and she would in all likelihood be abetted by a Democratic Congress. Keeping the executive and legislative branches in the hands of different parties seems like the best strategy for containing the megalomania chronicled by Morris.

    Count me among those who finds this to be the most insipid sort of “pox on both their houses” logic imaginable. This sort of analysis is just an embarrassment. There really isn’t any better way to telegraph the message, “I have a predetermined opinion that I’m loathe to let go of, so I’m going to cloak myself in faux-highmindedness by pretending to disdain all the candidates.”

  57. Hillary is almost a Greek tragic figure. She just can’t help herself but to be involved in sleazy behavior and around sleazy people. Look no further than the HSU scandal. Here is Hillary a money raising machine whose biggest concern in the primaries is making people forget about the fund raising scandals under her husband and what happens? One of her biggest fund raisers turns out to be on the lame for the feds over a ponzi scheme. I believe they call that a “culture of corruption”.

    A few things happened in the Clinton Administration that ought to really bother anyone concerned about civil rights. First was the FBI file scandal. That one wasn’t played up much because it didn’t involve blowjobs but basically the FBI background checks of numerous Republican officials sat unguarded in the Whitehouse for months while Clinton cronies perused them at their leisure. It was all just a mistake say the Clintons. Yeah, and Nixon mistakenly used the CIA to investigate his political enemies. Records laws and privacy laws never really meant a lot to the Clintons. Linda Tripp’s background investigation revealing that she had had a DUI in the 70s was leaked to the press to smear her during the Monica Lewinski affair. No one was ever punished nor the leaker ever so much as looked for. Contrast that with the circus over the Republican outing of Northern Virginia Soccer Mom and ex CIA agent Valery Plame. It is not difficult to imagine the new creative uses the Clinton machine would find for various government records on political enemies they would have access to upon her election.

    Second, Clinton has rehired Sandy Berger as her main national security advisor. This is a guy who pled guilty to stuffing classified documents in his pants and later destroying them at the national archives. It sounds comical but it is deadly serious. He was never forced to admit exactly what he destroyed and we will never know what those documents were. Berger gave up his law license in order to avoid having to answer questions about it before his State Bar. Why was he in the national archives pursuing 9-11 related documents after he was out of power? Why did he destroy them and what were they? We will never know but whatever they were he won’t tell anyone and they important enough that he got himself a criminal conviction and lost his law license to destroy them and presumably keep them from the 9-11 commission. And now he will be one of Hillary Clinton’s main foreign policy advisors. That bothers me.

    I don’t think Clinton would be the end of the Republic but she would be more corrupt than Nixon only without a Woodward and Bernstein or a Democratic Congress to blow the whistle.

  58. Did you see his quote? What kinda person believes that shit?

    Anyone who believes in the concept of “law enforcement”? Like it or not, the rule of law means that you aren’t free to do absolutely anything you want. He was merely describing the status quo.

    PS. I agree that Giuliani is authoritarian–but this quote is not the proof you’re seeking.

  59. I’m with ramster and Adam. Naderites gave us George W. Bush with their petulant idealism. And Sullum prefers Giuliani over Clinton on a libertarian web site? What’s wrong with you people? Have you ever considered Clinton thoughtfully, or do you presume she is this evil corrupt monster the right-wing machine spent the 90s making her out to be? Will she be perfect? I don’t think so. Is any president perfect? What I don’t like about idealists is their unwillingness to appreciate the value of compromise. It’s essential to our system and is meant not to completely turn off any one constituency for any great length of time (or perhaps it keeps everyone pissed all the time–but at least law and order stick around). Clinton may not be your personal savior but she’s not gonna torture you for being a political opponent. Giuliani exhibits all of the personality traits of an authoritarian, and has no problem admitting it in public.

  60. Rhywun I was speaking from a libertarian perspective where you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t infringe on other peoples rights to do the same. I wasn’t speaking about criminal behavior just personal behavior and I’ll bet you dollars to donuts ghouliani won’t be ending the War on some Drugs.

  61. ChrisO did you forget about the debacle with Rudy’s cop buddy what was his name? Rudy’s corrupt and a unscrupulous power hungry bastard.

    I was actually thinking about Bernard Kerik when I wrote my post above. Yeah, there’s some corruption there, too. I mean, can a NYC pol exist without corruption?

    Look, I’m not arguing for Rudy. I just don’t believe that Hillary would be any better for liberty. Making any argument between the two amounts to wallowing in the muck.

    Count me among those who finds this to be the most insipid sort of “pox on both their houses” logic imaginable. This sort of analysis is just an embarrassment. There really isn’t any better way to telegraph the message, “I have a predetermined opinion that I’m loathe to let go of, so I’m going to cloak myself in faux-highmindedness by pretending to disdain all the candidates.”

    Bullshit. There are other candidates besides Team Red and Team Blue. Clinton vs. Giuliani would be a terrible no-win choice, but it’s not a necessary one, unless you’re one of those get-along go-along types.

  62. Filling in the comment without an email address. If this works, you’ll see this comment. Otherwise I’m back to the drawing board…

  63. Hey, it worked!

  64. If I had my druthers neither one of them would get anywhere near the office. HRC is definitely the lesser of two evils but hey what can you do. Most Americans have been so indoctrinated that the state is great that they have taken the choice out of the hands of those of us who would rather not have anyone’s boot on our necks. I know the lesser of two evils is still evil but Rudy scares me badly enough that I’d choose HRC over him anyday.

  65. DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  66. John as bad as HRC is and I’m sure you won’t find any disagreement here among reason posters. She is a babe in the woods compared to Il Duce. He thinks freedom is over rated are farking kidding me!

  67. Sullum, you’re not new around here.

    Claims of interest in “divided government” only justify voting for Democrats.

    All of them, always.

  68. Well, the douchebag kept us safe on 9/11, but the giant turd is for universal healthcare.

    I don’t want want to vote for a douchebag or a giant turd. Re-elect no one.

  69. Smells like a horse, 12 feet wide, 16 tons of American pride…

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  70. I don’t understand why anyone would vote for either one of these two. The great thing about democracy is that we get to vote somebody out, but in an election without an incumbent, we’re even cheated of that.

    A pox on both their houses! The only people who have a right to complain are the people who don’t vote. Don’t lend these bastards the illusion of legitimacy. Be patriotic! Throw your vote away on a libertarian or for God’s sake, please, don’t vote!

    Oh, and if Hit & Run would cut down on the election coverage, which just encourages the partisans among us–all of whom are by definition simple-minded–that’d be great.

    Thanks in advance!

  71. so I’m assuming a Weigel wet dream is Ron Paul vs. Ron Paul?

  72. “John as bad as HRC is and I’m sure you won’t find any disagreement here among reason posters. She is a babe in the woods compared to Il Duce. He thinks freedom is over rated are farking kidding me!”

    The only way I can defend Rudy is to point to how awful his enemies were in New York. I know that is not a defense. New York and the liberal jackasses running the place who had been sucking off the government tit for decades while running the city into the ground deserved Rudy. I don’t, however, think the rest of the country deserves Rudy. That said, the country has survived a lot more than Rudy or Hillary so I am not building any compounds in the West Texas dessert just yet.

  73. Oh, and if Hit & Run would cut down on the election coverage…

    Wow, theres more than just me…

  74. You could write Ron Paul in, but it would be the same as not voting. Write-in votes aren’t counted unless they’re for a candidate who’s registered as a write-in candidate.

  75. “””Look, I’m not arguing for Rudy. I just don’t believe that Hillary would be any better for liberty. Making any argument between the two amounts to wallowing in the muck.”””

    Few in America care about liberty anymore. It’s the favorite whipping boy in the war on terror. Ron Paul appears to be the only one running that understands what this country suppose to be about. Less than 6% seem to care and many prefer to call him a nut job.

    “””New York and the liberal jackasses running the place who had been sucking off the government tit for decades while running the city into the ground deserved Rudy. I don’t, however, think the rest of the country deserves Rudy. “”””

    If that’s your belief John, I would say the conduct of Congress makes America very deserving of Rudy.

  76. Of course, you silly libertarians: you need to grow up and vote for the person who will more gently drive his or her boot into your face forever! To consider refusing to partake in your own oppression is to betray the mentality of a five-year-old!

    Now put on those chains, and sing!

  77. Captain Chaos? That was the name of my friend’s pet ferret. He was pretty cute.

  78. Reading this kind of bullshit reminds me why libertarians are clowns (much like Nader supporters in 2000). This kind of “both parties’ candidates suck so it doesn’t matter anyway” crap resulted in a war with thousands of Americans dead, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi’s , trillions spent and the US permanently sullied with war crimes. But, hell, Gore would have been just as bad (worse even, and in any case, would you want to have a beer with Gore? invented the internet, inspired Love Story, hah! what a dork).

    If Guiliani wins, I look forward to your Andrew Sullivan-esque mea culpa in 2010 after two years of the Mussolini administration during which Bush/Cheney will fondly be remembered as champions of human rights, the rule of law and world peace. But remember, Hillary Clinton will be abetted by a Democratic congress. Like I said, clowns.

    I love it when idiots like this show up.

    And aren’t Libertarians supposed to be spoilers for Republicans instead of Democrats?

  79. Oh, and by the way, Rudy’s possible candidacy could be threatened by Bible-thumpers making a third-party run because they’re mad at him for the wrong reasons.

  80. Hey my aunt use to call me Jim Bob.

    Six hours late, but thanks. Me too, by the way- Jim Bob is a version of my real actual name.

  81. Just curious : you guys do understand that your vote won’t affect the outcome, right? So why not just vote for someone you actually semi-agree with?

  82. Few in America care about liberty anymore. It’s the favorite whipping boy in the war on terror. Ron Paul appears to be the only one running that understands what this country suppose to be about. Less than 6% seem to care and many prefer to call him a nut job.

    Well, I suppose we (in the national sense) deserve what we get.

    Me, I think West Texas is a little too uninviting for my compound. The Cayman Islands sound much more inviting.

  83. The only people who have a right to complain are the people who don’t vote. Don’t lend these bastards the illusion of legitimacy. Be patriotic! Throw your vote away on a libertarian or for God’s sake, please, don’t vote!

    Ummm, if you feel this way, send a message — vote for the libertarians on the ballot, if any, and leave the rest blank. Nothing gets a losing candidate’s attention like having the blank votes vastly exceed the amount they lost by.

  84. “What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be.”

    Ghoulianai, the Libertarians have found you out! If I want to be a serial axe-murderer, child rapist, or mafia don, I will damn well please, because I have freedom to do whatever I want! How dare you suggest that I don’t have the freedom to murder, rape, or extort people?

    You Libertarians make me laugh. Freedom isn’t about doing anything you want – it’s about living under a rule of law, so we can live together in a civil society.

  85. James:
    How interesting… Anti-rudy guy gives a chilling quote.

    Which turns out, in context, to essentially drive to the opposite point. THAT’s what the NYT piece reads.

    Do I ‘who knows how to both think and read’ have to explain what he meant by it?????

    It MEANS be careful who you entrust that office to.. Basically what we’re talking about right here!!!!

    Now you could take THAT and run, but dont put your own drift in the context.

    Another reason why Conservs are never again going to trust Libs to ‘reason together’

  86. And by the way….

    When it comes to crunch time on this issue, Rudy vs Hillary on Governance effectiveness and ‘Abuse of Power’, I think I’m going to be VERY interested in what Ed Koch has to say.

  87. Have you forgotten the dramatic positive changes made to NYC under Rudy’s watch? The city was sinking into increased racial strife, infrastructure breakdown, increased violent crimes, constant traffic jams and many more negative aspects of this great city. His “power hungry” style led to massive, positive changes across the board. It started with little things like stopping the traffic light window washers and new traffic patterns and progressed into a rapidly declining crime rate.
    Please remind everyone that for all his so called “control” issues, most of the results attained were dramatically positive.

  88. The truth is Giuliani dragged liberals kicking and screaming into a New York they like far better though they’ll spit on him for it.

    “…Giuliani’s view of executive authority may be even wider than George W. Bush’s.”

    My guess is that Jacob Sullum had not a peep to say about the Clinton Administration sifting through the CIA records of political opponents, the blatantly corrupt presidential pardons, the number of IRS audits that just happened to target–repeatedly–conservative organizations, the assault at WACO, etc. At least when Bush extends his authority he has wartime precedent on his side. If Bush is so terrible, what must Mr. Sullum think of that tyrant Lincoln?

  89. Would Hillary be as bad for liberty as Giuliani?

    I think Hillary would be more nannyish than Rudy. I think we would be subjected to more annoying symbolic nonsense attempts at regulating things like video games.

    But I don’t see anything in Hillary’s history that leads me to believe that she would be a slobbering torturer like Bush, or that she would surround herself with slobbering torturer Igors the way that Bush has. Giuliani if anything gives me the impression that he would like to waterboard people HIMSELF, or at least be in the room to masturbate as it happens.

  90. Good one, fluffy!

    That last para tells us all I need to know about your power to reason, and convince.

    My handle makes fun of my bloviations.. what.. oh, never mind!

  91. It’s true, Giuliani is a thug. New Yorkers lost their precious rights to urinate in public and demand money for rubbing a dirty rag on your windshield.

    Plus, he prosecuted many legitimate businessman of the Italian-American community. For shame!

  92. “Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do and how you do it.”

    Hayek says much the same in “The Road to Serfdom.” He makes the point that laws exist so that people have a reasonable expectation of how they must behave to avoid the unwanted attentions of the state, and to avoid having corruptible ad hoc authorities make decisions.

  93. Don’t blame me, I voted for Krodos!

  94. Of all the Republican candidates, Giuliani is the only one who is not an outright fascist (McCain), a nutjob (Paul), or a would-be theocrat (all the others). Yet he is the one you pick on???

    Even knowing how bizarre libertarian “logic” can be, I’m still sometimes amazed by it.

  95. DANA H: YOUR WACKY ATTEMPTS AT HIDING YOUR DONDEROicty FROM THE REST OF US ENDED IN FAILURE. YOU SHALL HENCEFORTH BE POINTED AT AND LAUGHED AT BY “GIGGLES THE MIDGET S&M KLOWN”.

  96. This is a really weird argument, Jacob. You’re basically saying that Giuliani is so secretive and power-hungry that in the event of a Giuliani-Clinton matchup, you would vote for Giuliani because Clinton might have some of those same qualities?

    And you’re assuming that the Dems will keep Congress. Imagine a Rudy presidency with Republicans taking back the Congress. Now that’s a national nightmare.

  97. “Of all the Republican candidates, Giuliani is the only one who is not an outright fascist (McCain), a nutjob (Paul), or a would-be theocrat (all the others). Yet he is the one you pick on???”

    And the insanely over the top “theocrat” rhetoric is why libertarians are every bit as ridiculous as democrats.

    Name one thing “all the others” are asking for that didn’t exist in 1950’s America. Hell, you could give Pat Robertson his entire agenda and you wouldn’t have one thing that wasn’t the norm for centuries in the US. Was America in the 1950’s a “theocracy”? Answer yes to that to prove exactly how intellectually crippled you are.

    I’m an agnostic. I also happen to think that the secular reasoning behind the pro-life position is a hell of a lot stronger than the idea that an infant at 6+ months of development inside his mother’s womb can be disposed of like scab tissue, but 3 minutes later, by moving it from one location to another, it suddenly acquires all the rights of a human being. It’s almost as if the act of passing through the birth canal imbues him with a soul. -That- seems more to me like whacked out mysticism than anything the “theocrats” are suggesting. That idea seems infinitely less plausible to me than the idea that such a status change happens at conception, when it’s pretty undeniable that something rather profound takes place, the formation of a genetically distinct human entity.

    But no, you must be a theocrat if you don’t think it’s okay to take an 8 month developed infant, stick a spike in the back of it’s head and suck out the brains till the skull implodes. If we can’t do that, we’ll never be freeeeee…. *rolls eyes*

    Qwinn

  98. This is just an observation. But Guiliani is being hurt by the process of primary selection. While Hillary has benefitted.

    How?

    Rudy has had to pander to the right. He’s had to talk about his willingness to destroy ROE. And, I’m not so sure that’s a mainstream item.

    Hillary, however, has been on a stage that seemed to offer competition. But she’s made no deal with any devil. And, in the end, she won the beauty contest.

    Now, the real contest occurs a year from now. Lots can change. And, Bush may yet be exposed for the fool that he’s been since the beginning? (According to THE PRICE OF LOYALTY, by Paul O’Neill, who had worked in other administations; Bush has been “incurious.” Never asking for staff reports that would detail other choices, than the one he wants. And, his ears are closed. Period.)

    Why is Bush now “dabbling” in Israel finding itself next to a terrorist state? Because the Saud’s want to kick the roadmap away. And, want Bush to carry through on his early promise. (CRAIG UNGER’s book, HOUSE OF BUSH/HOUSE OF SAUD, has within it, reporting of a 3-page handwritten letter, Bush sent to an angry King Fahd. In August 2001. Where to appease him, Bush promised him “more Mideast real estate.)

    That it cost $3-trillion, so far, to topple Saddam? Seems a bit high, for something the Saud’s wanted. But now fear Irak is beyond their grasp. We’re stuck with these bills, though.

    And, Bush was supposed to be gangbusters on the foreign stuff!

    And, Laura’s coming back from her recent trip to visit the arabs! With her own burka!

    How did Bush get away with doing so much harm? Nixon ended up watching Rodino, a republican representative from NJ, throwing in the towel. And, signing on for impeachment.

    Nobody’s put a glove on Bush.

    Amazing.

    Anyway, why do republicans do this stuff to themselves? Bush isn’t doing the party any favors.

    And, I think Rudy gets nothing positive from having to beg republicans for a chance to run against Hillary.

    Where’s the voice that would attract MAINSTREAMERS? Was that job handed to Ron Paul?

  99. There’s nothing admirable about refusing to vote. That’s exactly what the a–holes in charge want you to do – give up and walk away from your rights. Every nonvote is heard by Washington as “I don’t care, do what you like.”

    You must learn to hold your nose and vote anyway. I too have bad feelings about Hilary – I think she’s as sold out as any big-business Republican. But here’s why you MUST vote for her, or whatever other suit wins the Democratic primary.

    We must defend the U.S. Constitution.

    Permawar. Half a trillion U.S. down the toilet. Domestic wiretapping. Secrecy. Imprisonment without charges or trial. Torture. Everything for the rich, nothing for the poor. Bush has had us on the run for seven years and a Republican successor wouldn’t stop until Social Security has been gutted, education and healthcare have been ruined, and the entire Middle East lies under a neochristian boot.

    If we turn all the Royalist a–holes out of office this b.s. may slow down a bit. To do anything else is to cast a “ja!” vote for the rise of the Fourth Reich.

    Let us not kid ourselves here. Cheney and the other oilman knew exactly what they were doing when they greenlighted Iraq. In 30 years all of the world’s remaining oil reserves will be in the Middle East. Oil is what makes the armies move. The idea was to get there first, though we jumped too early as time will tell.

    So Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the War on Terror and all the rest aren’t some passing nightmare. This is the new America, baby, and if you’re not neocon you just along for the ride. We will never leave Iraq and we will never stop the killing. To kill effectively you’ve gotta hate, and so control of the press becomes absolutely essential.

    The neocon goal was, and still is, world domination with a cornering of the oil market as its primary modus. To what end? Doubling every multibillionaire’s personal wad, of course. To win big you must dominate.

    Too bad for American mooks if they’re too dumbed-down or drunk to figure it out for themselves. We feed ’em celebrity news and they lap it up like dogs.

    There is just one difference between the two major political parties. You can still shame one of them into doing the right thing, at least some of the time.

    Those are the people you must return to power at the end of 2008.

    – MW

  100. With regard to authoritarianism, the difference between Giuliani and Clinton is that Giuliani looks better in a dress. Period.

  101. QUINN IS A WALKING STIMULUS TO *ROLL EYES* IT HIS RHETORICAL STANCES BEHIND THE EYE ROLLING THAT UNDERSCORE HIS RANK TWADLENOCKERY.

  102. “There’s nothing admirable about refusing to vote. That’s exactly what the a–holes in charge want you to do – give up and walk away from your rights.”

    I read your whole comment, and I still don’t get it.

    How will voting for someone who is campaigning on promises to flush my rights down the toilet–with the sole justification that people voted for him or her–going to help defend my rights?

    Asking me to vote for either of the major parties is like asking me to dig my own grave. Screw that! …it’s like asking me to forgive you for what you’re about to do. Forget it!

    The only hope we have is getting enough people to stop voting. When the percentage of eligible voters gets so low that the President can no longer make any reasonable claim on legitimacy–that’s when we’ll start getting somewhere. ’til then, it’s really important to encourage voter apathy.

    Don’t blame me–I didn’t vote for either one of ’em!

    “I too have bad feelings about Hilary – I think she’s as sold out as any big-business Republican.

    IF ONLY! If only I could find a big-business Republican! If only I could find a pro-big/small business politician anywhere to vote for!

    Name. One.

    “But here’s why you MUST vote for her, or whatever other suit wins the Democratic primary.”

    We must defend the U.S. Constitution.

    What horse shit! What has Hillary Clinton done to defend the U.S. Constitution?!

    I am quickly coming to the conclusion that anybody who thinks that the world would be a better place if only everybody voted for the leader of their cult, needs to be deprogrammed.

    …I don’t care which cult.

  103. end italics

  104. Good lord. Rudy in the whitehouse is a nightmare. Hillary, at least, is merely dangerous.

    I can’t believe a libertarian would make an equivalence between them. Or is health care the same thing as torture, “as long as we go it”, manipulating the cops to kneecap demonstrators, and race baiting for political advantage?

    Not to mention his advisors… they make Nixon look sane.

  105. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to suggest that there aren’t any lesser evils. You’re not suggesting that an evil isn’t an evil just because there are greater ones, are you?

    P.S. Health care is one issue–there are plenty others. …but yes, advocating a system that forces people, particularly the young and uneducated, to buy insurance they don’t want and may not need is reason enough not to vote for someone. …even if the other guy is bad on torture.

  106. What reason is there to believe that Clinton will be as power hungry as Rudy?

    And if Rudy is as power drunk as the current administration how, exactly, will congress stop him? The current thinking inside the beltway is that the congress has no power to stop anything the president does. If they pass laws, he can just ignore them. If they don’t fund something, he just spends the money any way.

    There’s no way for congress to stop the executive branch in our current political environment outside of impeachment and that simply won’t happen unless the president is somehow found guilty of sexual miscondect – any other type of illegality or immorality is viewed as politics as normal.

    We really are living in bad times – the executive is slow becoming all powerful and the hoi polloi are cheering.

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