Sunday, July 10, 2005

Prince Giuliani

In a NY Times review of Fred Siegel's new biography of Rudy Giuliani, James Traub wrote:

In "The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York and the Genius of American Life," Siegel has produced the first book-length reckoning with Giuliani's philosophy, achievements and legacy. The title is meant to evoke not only the movie of the same name, which featured a remorseless prosecutor based on Giuliani, then United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, but Machiavelli's hero, who rescues the republic from chaos through calculated acts of cruelty. Siegel even quotes Giuliani saying, Machiavelli-like, "I'd rather be respected than loved."

Notwithstanding his praiseworthy eloquence and leadership in the wake of 9/11, which clearly eclipsed the stammering and cowering of George W. Bush, Giuliani is a fringe right-winger of the sort that evokes the "f" word.


At 7/11/2005 08:21:00 AM, Blogger The Gnat's Trumpet said...

Thank you.

At 7/11/2005 09:10:00 AM, Blogger oyster said...

Not sure I can go along with the "fringe" characterization. I'm no admirer of G, but I know he's not "fringe" enough (anti-choice, anti-gay) for the religious right nutters who will dictate who's nominated in '08.

At 7/11/2005 09:51:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Sure, but his speech at the Republican National Convention was (as I recall) a scorched-earth vilification of John Kerry's character. I know, speakers are surrogates for the candidate, firing off the rhetorical attacks so the candidate can be the nice guy.

Here's another nice Giuliani quote:

"Freedom is about authority. Freedom is 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."

How far is he willing to go with this sort of mentality? I just don't know, but I don't trust a guy who isn't concerned about the impression this sort of talk might leave with citizens.

Then there are the objective facts that we know about the Giuliani administration, in particular, his leniency with regard to police abuse, criticized by Pierre Tristam in this Daytona Beach News-Journal article.

In fairness, Giuliani, as you said, has his defenders. Here's a defense of Giuliani's policies by Chris Sciabarra for the Free Radical.

Finally, here's an amusing parody of Giuliani's 2004 Republican Convention speech in a spoof campaign site.

At 7/11/2005 10:23:00 PM, Blogger oyster said...

Thanks for the links. I grew up in Daytona Beach, and miss its unabashedly liberal paper.


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