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January 24, 2008

The Rudy Giuliani Drinking Game

The ESC thought it would be fun to design drinking games for some of the presidential candidates. We decided to start with Rudy Giuliani, and take a drink every time he brought up 9/11 (twice if he brought it up in talking about a totally unrelated issue). We have to confess now that this is the reason why the blog has been so quiet this month--between the 2nd and the 7th we were drunk, and between the 10th and the 15th we were passed out. It's all Rudy's fault. So to pay him back, we give you this list of reasons why Rudy Giuliani can suck it.

He Exploits 9/11 Constantly

Of course Rudy Giuliani has to talk about 9/11. But does he have to talk about it as often as he does, and in the way that he does? This issue has been addressed by lots of people already, so we don't want to make the mistake of, you know, talking about it too much, but we just had to mention some of our favorite Rudy 9/11 quotes. It's like a game--Six Degrees of 9/11, anyone? Except it's a national tragedy, not a game or a plaything. We wish our former Mayor would remember that.

Asked whether there should be federal funding for AIDS drugs:

"I don't want to promise you the federal government will take over the role. My general experience has been that the federal government works best when it helps and assists and encourages and sets guidelines on a state-by-state, locality-by-locality basis. It's no different from the way I look at homeland security. Maybe having been mayor of the city, I know that your first defense against terrorist attack is that local police station, or that local firehouse."

Asked whether he is religious or not:

"I need God's help for everything, and I probably feel that the most when I'm in crisis and under pressure, like Sept. 11, when I was dealing with prostate cancer, or when I'm trying to explain death to people."

Asked about his personal life:

"You can judge me on my public record. I've had a long one. I've had an intense one. I've been under enormous pressure, took over a city that was the crime capital of America, had to handle the city at the very end, when it was part of the worst attack on America."

Asked about Hillary Clinton's "emotional meltdown" on the campaign trail:

"This is not something I would judge anybody on one way or the other, and the reality is, if you look at me, September 11th, the funerals..."

I think Jon Stewart put it best when he responded to that with "are you fucking kidding me?"

Just one more.

“If any Republican is elected president —- and I think obviously I would be the best at this —- we will remain on offense and will anticipate what [the terrorists] will do and try to stop them before they do it,” Giuliani said.

The former New York City mayor, currently leading in all national polls for the Republican nomination for president, said Tuesday night that America would ultimately defeat terrorism no matter which party gains the White House.

“But the question is how long will it take and how many casualties will we have?” Giuliani said. “If we are on defense [with a Democratic president], we will have more losses and it will go on longer.”

“I listen a little to the Democrats and if one of them gets elected, we are going on defense,” Giuliani continued. “We will wave the white flag on Iraq. We will cut back on the Patriot Act, electronic surveillance, interrogation and we will be back to our pre-Sept. 11 attitude of defense.”

He added: “The Democrats do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us.”

Or, to sum up, "America will be safer with a Republican president". Now, if it happens that a Democrat wins the election, doesn't rhetoric like Giuliani's just make us more unsafe? Why can't he spend less time thinking up creative ways to work 9/11/01 into every conversation, and more time coming up with creative ways to actually deal with the national security issues that we're facing today, in the present? I have a feeling that's one question we won't be getting an answer to.

He Plays Both Sides of the Choice Issue

People keep referring to Rudy Giuliani as a pro-choice candidate, but when you look closely, it seems more like he's just a pro-whatever-is-convenient-for-me-at-the-time candidate or maybe a pro-whatever-you-want-to-believe-is-what-I-really-believe-too candidate or a pro-whatever-will-make-you-want-to-vote-for-me candidate. (Admittedly the pro-whatever candidate is not a rare breed in our political system.)

Here's a quote from Mr. Giuliani from December of 1999.

“I’m pro-choice. I’m pro-gay rights,” Giuliani said. He was then asked whether he supports a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortions. “No, I have notsupported that, and I don’t see my position on that changing,” he responded.
In February of 2007, Giuliani appeared on Hannity and Colmes.

GIULIANI: Partial birth abortion? I think that’s going to be upheld. I think that ban’s gonna be upheld. I think it should be. I think as long as there’s a provision for the life of the mother then that’s something that should be done.

HANNITY: There’s a misconception that you support a partial birth abortion.

GIULIANI: Well, if it doesn’t have provision for the mother then I wouldn’t support the legislation. If it has provision for the life of the mother then I would support. And I do.

Actual pro-choice people generally see two major problems (at least) with "partial birth" abortion bans. One, they take the decision-making power about critical health issues out of the hands of qualified medical professionals and pregnant women themselves and place it in the hands of politicians who are often more concerned with their own political agendas than with the lives of women and children. And two, the bans are supposed to prohibit only one or two specific medical procedures, but are often worded in such a vague way that they could potentially be used to prosecute doctors for performing any abortion procedures at all. Pro-whatever people who are running for president and trying to win over some of their party's right wing base can apparently get past such issues rather quickly.

When Giuliani first ran for mayor in 1989, his campaign issued a statement on his views on abortion in response to some questions about some possibly conflicting statements.

As mayor, Rudy Giuliani will uphold a woman's right of choice to have an abortion. Giuliani will fund all city programs which provide abortions to insure that no woman is deprived of her right due to an inability to pay. He will oppose reductions in state funding. He will oppose making abortion illegal. Although Giuliani is personally opposed to abortion, his personal views will not interfere with his responsibilities as mayor.

Today, Giuliani pledges that if elected, he will appoint only "strict constructionist" judges. Where the issue of choice is concerned, many people consider that to be code for 'judges that would be more than happy to overturn Roe v. Wade'. He has also offered up some examples of judges that he likes--John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas, who as we know are all longtime champions of a woman's right to choose. Oh, wait, they're totally not.

What else was in that statement? Something about funding...no woman deprived of her right due to an inability to pay, something like that? Hell, I'll just let Media Matters take this one:

As weblogger Greg Sargent noted, in a June 18, 1993, article, The New York Times reported that Giuliani campaign leaflets "said that he opposes restrictions to Federal Medicaid financing for abortions and opposes the Hyde Amendment, which is intended to deny support for that financing." But the National Review reported on March 1 that Giuliani director of policy Bill Simon, Jr. said, "I have an assurance that he is in favor of the Hyde amendment." On March 1, an anonymous Giuliani spokesperson "clarifi[ed]" Giuliani's position to the National Journal's The Hotline, asserting, "It's not a change of position. The Hyde Amendment is a current law and, as such, he respects it." The Hotline concluded that Giuliani's "agenda for governing does not include any changes to the law as it's currently enforced." Similarly, syndicated columnist and National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote on March 13 that Giuliani's "aides say he supports -- or wouldn't seek to change -- the Hyde amendment ... even though he once opposed it."

Then, at a Republican debate in back in May, Rudy said "I don't [support public funding for abortions]. I support the Hyde amendment. I hate abortion. I wish people didn't have abortions...I believe that the Hyde amendment should remain the law. States should make their decision. Some states decide to do it. Most states decide not to do it. And I think that's the appropriate way to have this decided." He went on to say that he supported public funding when he was mayor of New York, but that he thinks that other people in other places could come to different decisions.

Now, it's not necessarily a change of position for him to say that the public funding issue is something that should be decided on the state level, but if he truly believed what he said years earlier about women not being deprived of their right to choose for financial reasons, it seems like he would be taking a different position on the Hyde Amendment now. Why would it be the right decision for women in New York, but not in Colorado or Texas or Hawaii?

By the way, during that same debate he also said "it would be okay to repeal" when asked if the day that Roe v. Wade was repealed would be a good day for America. (He went on to say that it would also be "ok" if a "strict constructionist" judge viewed it as precedent.) Man, he is so pro-choice it's not even funny.

He Has the Least Diverse Campaign Staff

The Huffington Post analyzed the gender breakdown of the staff of many of the major campaigns, based on data from federal disclosure documents, and found that the Giuliani campaign was the most unbalanced.
In the campaign of the former New York mayor Giuliani, there is only one senior female staffer, who holds the title of Communications Director. Fewer than one-third of Giuliani's staff who earned $9000 or more in the last quarter are women, and just a quarter of his top twenty paid staff are women.

DiversityInc took a similar look, this time at the racial breakdown of the major campaigns.

Turns out that of the eight major presidential campaigns studied by DiversityInc.com — Clinton’s, Obama’s, Edwards’, Richardson’s, Biden’s, McCain’s, Giuliani’s and Romney’s — Giuliani’s is 100% white. Furthermore, even the least-diverse Democratic campaign, that of Joe Biden, was still twice as diverse than that of the most-diverse Republican campaign, which was John McCain’s.

You could argue that the makeup of a campaign staff isn't nearly as important as the candidate and what he or she has to say, but we think that this does say something about each candidate and what they stand for. It doesn't seem too unfair to say that a candidate who has made an effort to put together a diverse campaign staff would put forth the same effort in his or her administration. It's also hard for us not to wonder how someone who was the mayor of one of the most diverse cities on the planet couldn't find any qualified and talented people for his senior campaign staff who weren't white men.

It almost seems as if Giuliani made an effort to build a campaign that was an old (white) boy's club. We're not actually saying that he went out of his way to hire only white men, but he certainly didn't go out of his way not to. So, if he were elected, would he welcome many women and minorities in his administration? Would he welcome diverse viewpoints? Would he be committed to diversity in any meaningful way? We think these are legitimate questions to ask. 100% white? Come on.

He Refuses To Clearly State His Position On Sex Education

Womens Enews took a look at where all of the candidates stand on sex education.

Rudy Giuliani, the only Republican candidate still waffling about his pro-choice
stance, avoids the topic. He talks about increasing adoptions and decreasing abortions but is mum on sex education. As New York City mayor for eight years, he presided over a major free condom distribution campaign that included public schools. A campaign spokesperson says Giuliani's stance can be compared to what he says about education in general: "The enforcer of standards should . . . be the parent."

Shouldn't someone who (sometimes) claims to be pro-choice but also to wish that nobody had abortions be totally in favor of comprehensive sex education as a way to cut down on unsafe sex and unplanned pregnancies? If he believes that the "enforcer of standards" should be the parent, does that mean that he's not in favor of any sex education in schools at all? Or that, like his comments about abortion, parents and schools in different part of the country could make different decisions about what kind of sex education is best? How does he feel today about the free condom distribution program that he presided over as mayor? What are his thoughts on emergency contraception and its availability?

One of the 12 Commitments on his official campaign website is:

I will increase adoptions, decrease abortions, and protect the quality of life for our children.

Well, that doesn't sound so bad. Aside from promoting adoption, what exactly is his plan to decrease abortions? This is where sex education has to come in, right?
Rudy supports parental notification and the ban on partial birth abortion.
Rudy will direct the Office of Faith-based Initiatives to find new ways to support organizations that promote adoption as an alternative to abortion.
Rudy will make the $10,000 adoption tax credit permanent.
Rudy will veto any attempt to weaken the Hyde Amendment and other limits on the public funding of abortions, like the Mexico City Policy.

Oh. Well, he's not lying. If women can't afford abortions, or the procedure that they need is banned, or their parents won't allow it, or they can't get accurate information from faith-based organizations, that will all probably add up to a decrease in abortions. So, in a section that is full of more questions than answers, let's add a couple more. Exactly how is all of this easier or better or healther for anyone than simply supporting comprehensive sex education programs? Why can't Republicans face reality on this one? It's a good thing Rudy isn't the mayor of New York City anymore, because we don't want him taking away our free NYC condoms.

He Was Endorsed By Pat Robertson

Do we even need to elaborate on this one? Okay, just for fun.

Some people were surprised by this endorsement, since Giuliani is supposedly so "liberal" for a Republican candidate, but the more research we do and the more Rudy opens his mouth, the less liberal and the more 'I'm kinda liberalish on certain issues, if that's what you're into, but if it's not than I'm totally not' he seems.

What's more interesting to us is the fact that the '9/11 candidate' would accept an endorsement from someone who participated in this exchange on The 700 Club on September 13th, 2001.

JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way - all of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."

PAT ROBERTSON: Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we're responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system.

Robertson later claimed that he hadn't fully understood what Falwell was saying, which certainly seems plausible given the ambiguity of phrases like "I totally concur".

Here are just a few more of Robertson's greatest hits.

"(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period."

"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you, This is not a message of hate -- this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor." –Pat Robertson, on "gay days" at Disneyworld

"Over 100 years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that’s held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings." –Pat Robertson, on the dangers of judicial activism

The issue of "activist judges" in our court system is one of Robertson's top priorities, so in order to get his endorsement Giuliani would definitely have had to promise to appoint only strict constructionist judges. This makes it very hard for us to take it seriously when people say that Giuliani is pro-choice or pro-gay. And the fact that the man who thinks that hurricanes are sent by God to punish Disney World for admitting gay people also thinks that Rudy Giuliani would make a great president? Well, it makes us want to tell both of them to suck it.

He Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

Although Giuliani signed domestic partner legislation into law when he was mayor of New York City, and says that he doesn't believe gays should be discriminated against, he does not support gay marriage.

"Unlike what some of my opponents have said, I'm not in favor of gay marriage," he said. "I have consistently said marriage should be between a man and a woman. I do think that people who have a sexual orientation one kind or another should not be discriminated against."

"It isn't my role to determine what is a sin, what isn't a sin," he said. "What my role is, what is legal, what is illegal, I have been really clear on that role throughout my life."

He has also said that his views on homosexuality stem from his Catholic faith, and so he believes that it's not someone's orientation but their actions that determine whether they are sinful.

"My, my moral views on this come from the, you know, from the Catholic Church, and I believe that homosexuality, heterosexuality as a, as a way that somebody leads their life is not -- isn’t sinful. It’s the acts, it’s the various acts that people perform that are sinful, not the -- not the orientation that they have."
This is that very special argument that being gay is kinda okay, as long as you don't have any of that icky gay sex. Sort of an 'abstinence only forever' view of sexuality, which I guess is appropriately Republican of him. And in this quote, he's extending that viewpoint to apply to heterosexuals as well. I wonder if he supports the Alabama sex toy ban?

Rudy Giuliani Can Suck It

There are plenty of negative things to be said about a candidate like Mike Huckabee, and we have. But at least he's pretty straightforward with his views, and he's probably not going to do too much shifting and spinning just to get elected. You know exactly where he stands...so that you can stand far, far away. The same can't be said of Giuliani. And I think the fact that Rudy Giuliani just put me in a position to pay a compliment to Mike Huckabee says it all. Goodnight, folks.


Honeybell said...

This post is fantastic!! I've just stumbled it!


Awesome, thanks! We're always happy when we can entertain people with our bitching and complaining.

ruthellis said...

Excellent Post! Especially the reason for no recent posts - due to drunkardness, which was G's 911 Fault..lol! [also, Great Graph I need to borrow it].

ps i'm going to a swingers club tomorrow - 1st time - how cool

Average Male said...

Like that douchebag Huckabee, I don't think it's worth losing sleep of the douchebag Giuliani. I could be wrong but he's about to get his ass kicked in Florida, then leave the race he never even entered.

Did you see The Daily Show clip of Giuliani talking about the great job Bush has done with the economy? He said something like Bush had taken it from 9 to 11 percent.

What a fucking douchebag.

~Average Male Thinking~

Average Male said...

And *POOF* just like that...the douchebag is gone.

One New York douchebag down...one to go.

~Average Male Thinking~