Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Giving the finger

By Michael J.W. Stickings

According to The New York Sun, presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani wants the GOP to be "the party of freedom".

Isn't that like giving his party's evangelical base the finger?

(Think abortion, same-sex marriage, free speech, etc.)

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I would say more about Giuliani's address to the Hoover Institution, a right-wing think tank, but why bother? Everything he has to say is so predictable and I'm awfully tired of the whole "I was the mayor of New York on 9/11" schtick.

But let me single out three points:

1) He criticized Democratic efforts to expand health care to the uninsured. Universal health care would be "socialization," he claimed. What he prefers are "free market solutions". And those solutions are? As I have said before, America's health-care system is a national embarrassment. America may have some of the best health care in the world, but it's only available to those who can afford it. And, increasingly, it's a system that is sinking the private sector. There are 47 million uninsured people in the U.S. Does Giuliani have a plan for them?

2) He suggested that Democrats would raise taxes to pay for America's wars? If America is at war -- particularly one as far-reaching as the so-called war on terror -- shouldn't Americans be asked to pay the necessary price for their security? Shouldn't they be asked to make a sacrifice? Shouldn't massive deficits be avoided? This is a debate worth having, but Giuliani, like Bush, doesn't want to have it. For them, the Democrats are all tax-happy socialists. To me, the Democrats are just being fiscally responsible.

3) He argued that "America doesn't like war. America is not a military country. We've never been a militaristic country." Either he's being disingenuous or, far more likely, he doesn't understand America, the country he wishes to lead in a time of seemingly perpetual war. He should take a trip to Arlington National Cemetary and the Vietnam War Memorial. He should read a history book, any history book. He should watch an American war movie, of which there are countless. And he should read Robert Kaplan's Imperial Grunts. America's history is one of expansion. Her present is one of empire. Any serious presidential hopeful should know that.

Beyond the hollow shell of image and reputation, Rudy Giuliani leaves much to be desired.

[Creature's Note: Once again, Michael's words, my cut-and-paste. Ignore all references to me below. Thanks.]

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