Giuliani Gets America’s Stupidest Endorsement
On Wednesday, Rudy Giuliani not only received but celebrated the endorsement of Pat Robertson, a foolish religious nut case whom most Americans who don’t worship religious nut cases recognize as one of the stupidest and most embarrassing public figures in America. But not Rudy.
Robertson’s endorsement isn’t surprising — he’s an astonishingly stupid man, and so making an astonishingly stupid choice in picking Giuliani is just another in a long list of astonishingly stupid statements. What interested me was Giuliani’s enthusiastic public embrace of Robertson’s endorsement and the media’s reaction.
Ignoring what the event revealed about the stupidity of both men, the media focused on the predictable Beltway wisdom: The endorsement means the religious right can support Giuliani despite a personal history and positions opposite those supposedly sacred to the religious right. Beltway pundits may be shocked, but no one should be surprised by Robertson’s admission: the religious wingers want another thug for President to protect them from terrorists and secular liberals, and their so-called “values” are secondary at best.
What was missing was media recognition that when the Republican front runner enthusiastically embraces an endorsement from one of America’s most foolish religious figures, it says more about the presidential candidate and his party than the preacher. Why would any serious candidate ever seek, let alone rejoice in, an endorsement from a figure as embarrassingly stupid as Pat Robertson? And why would the media report this as a political coup for Rudy Giuliani?
Whatever influence Robertson’s endorsement might have with his faithful, does the media really believe that getting an endorsement from Robertson will help Giuliani with the rest of the voting public? Do they believe that Giuliani’s giddiness about the endorsement will make the rest of America think better of him?
The media’s obtuseness continued Thursday, when reports leaked that Giuliani’s long-time friend and partner, Bernie Kerik, could be indicted for corruption related charges, including lying and tax evasion. Media interviews of Giuliani became opportunities for Mr. Mayor to acknowledge he may not have vetted his former police chief well enough, but gosh, he sure was a good police chief. He didn’t explain why we should remember someone indicted for corruption as a “good police chief.” Perhaps now the media will ask whether a President Giuliani would be prone to appoint an FBI Director or Homeland Security Secretary who, after taking office, would be indicted for corruption, lying and tax evasion. Would Rudy pardon Kerik? (h/t eli)
A healthy, vigilant media would be hammering these issues, and Giuliani’s persistent truthiness, warning the public how unqualified and dangerous the man is to run for national office, let along the Presidency. But in the Age of Bush, they’re busy running overblown stories that Barack Obama once neglected to put his hand over his heart, while MSNBC’s Chris Matthews talked incessantly about “Hillary’s incessant hand clapping” when she’s introduced at public events.
At least we had Olbermann last night, reporting the story of the informant who, after being rendered and tortured, falsely confessed a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda agents involved in training in chemical and biological weapons. The Cheneyites made sure that tortured, false information stayed in Colin Powell’s UN speech as “proof” of Saddam’s pursuit of WMD. So last night as the Senate confirmed an Attorney General nominee who lacks the moral courage to stand up to the Administration’s torture policies, we got another proof that those policies played a key role in misleading America into an aggressive, unjustified war.
Olbermann also invited John Dean to frame the obvious “fox guarding the hen house” story of the blatantly conflicted industry hack who is now head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. As we witness recall after recall of millions of dangerous toys, Dean reminded us that deliberately appointing directors to undermine each agency’s mandates is the essence of the Bush Administration.
The final cable good news/bad news was watching CNN’s Wolf Blitzer react to the revelation that veterans make up a quarter of the nation’s homeless. “A national disgrace,” he concluded, and Cafferty added, “I’m ashamed to be a citizen of a nation that treats its veterans this way.”
That ain’t even the half of it, Jack, but at least Congress is not wasting time on impeachment.
Photo? That’s John Banner, who was not a stupid man.