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Giuliani -- Threat or Menace

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Fenian_Bastard, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. It's important to remember that Rudy had a life before 9/11 and that, in it, he really sort of sucked.

    Yeah, this is the guy I want with his hands on the FBI.
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Some great stuff in there, Fen... "daddy was psycho"

    But nothing some of us NY Metro folks haven't been saying for two or more years.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Spnited, "us NY metro folks," is a limited group. I can show you a ton of people who thought he was a very effective mayor.

    The article says over and over again what a horrible human being and miserable mayor he was. But the substance of the article--the evidence--shows how effective he was. That was a horribly poor piece of persuasionary writing. Take out him telling me what a dick Giuliani is, over and over again, and the substance of the article is more likely to make me vote for the man.

    As attorney general he went after the Ivan Boesky's and organized crime. And he was very effective. The writer dismisses that out of hand, without any reasons for why Giuliani doesn't deserve credit. And according to him it's a bad quality that he humiliated them by staging perp walks with lots of cameras. A lot of people would say "fuck em," or "maybe that will deter others." Giuliani may have been a bully and he may have grandstanded. But he did good and he succeeded in doing things that others couldn't. He cleaned up the Fulton Street Fish market, which had been controlled by organized crime for decades. He went in there, army-style, kicked their asses out and made sure they couldn't come back. Dismiss it as if that was nothing, but how many others were able to do that? How many even tried (you'd have had to have found someone not taking kickbacks)?

    The writer throws out all kinds of assertions such as, "Many have questioned whether Giuliani's hardcore policing methods were really responsible for New York's metamorphosis." and "What is certainly true is that some of the city's success in fighting crime was despite Giuliani, instead of because of him."

    But that just has no basis in reality. What actually IS certainly true is that the city was a much safer place under Giuliani than it was under David Dinkins. Quality of life was much better under Giuliani. Crime was down. That is supported in EVERY way possible. Sure you can juke statistics. But I lived here under both. Qualitatively, you'd be hard-pressed to find a New Yorker who won't tell you quality of life went up under Giuliani.

    The writer's evidence? "During the Giuliani era, it was routine police procedure to handcuff and jail New Yorkers over minor infractions like smoking a joint in public, and then to drop charges. If you wanted to prosecute the police for misconduct after such an experience, you couldn't do so without opening your own case back up."

    Well, yeah. Why is that a bad thing? Don't smoke a joint in public, idiot, and the police won't harass you. Cracking down on those quality of life crimes is what brought about the reduction in more serious crimes. By going after the guys who were hopping subway turnstiles, they prevented more serious crime in the subway.

    The writer takes his argument to its ridiculous conclusion when he blames Giuliani for pushing strip joints to the margin of the city. He actually pines for the days of seedy strip joints, and hookers and pimps owning 42nd Street: "Some residents really missed the lap dancing," he writes. Yeah, right. I hate the Disneyfication of parts of NYC as much as anyone. But no one in their right mind pines for those good old days, when you couldn't walk down 42nd Street at night and feel safe.

    I actually liked the fact that I could ride the subway at 3 a.m. without having to worry my ass off that I was going to get mugged.
  4. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    Rudy's a bully. But he was an effective bully. He said and did things in New York which needed to be done and the city was safer for his actions. I won't place a lot of the economic prosperity on his shoulders, but he didn't stand in the way of progress. Like Ragu, I lived here at a time when you couldn't go to the Port Authority after 10 p.m. without an 50/50 chance of being mugged and I like things better now.

    I know people who worked with him in government and in the private sector (pre-mayor) and each has great things to say about him as far as his intelligence and his work ethic. He is a publicity hound, but so are many people in politics.

    His problem was that he went out of his way to make enemies and he couldn't compromise on anything. He was petty and mean spirited for no reason other than to prove a point. As a result, his list of enemies swelled after he was re-elected, to the point where he was ridiculously unpopular and ineffective by the end of his second term. I thought that he would have made an awful senator for New York because he doesn't play well with others. I worry that, where the stakes are so much higher, Rudy as President will end much the same way as his second term.

    I won't vote for him. I wasn't inclined to do so anyway, but his pandering to the right after 9/11 made me sick. The fact that he used the fact that New York City was attacked as a vehicle to rip into Democrats is abominable. The "Thank God that George Bush is our President" line was disgustingly false.
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    That's a very reasonable point of view, Webster.

    I'm not sure how I feel about him for president. I think he has as much integrity as you can expect from a high-level elected official. And I like that. I also think his leadership style will probably make for a poor president. In NYC, it isn't about party affiliation or issues. It's about getting shit done; and that is incredibly difficult here. Tammany Hall is still alive, in effect. The only kind of person who can buck that is someone like Giuliani. It's also why Ed Koch was a very effective mayor. And why David Dinkins sucked. It takes a strong personality and the ability to be a major league asshole. You have to have an independent streak.

    I don't think that is a great quality in a president. It's good to a point. But a president needs to be able to play political games, strike compromises and give a lot to get a little. I am a afraid President Giuliani would walk into Washington D.C. and tell everyone to go fuck themselves. And while that cuts through the bullshit in NYC, in Washington that is a recipe for disaster.
  6. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    SNL appearances aside, Ed Koch was a lot more Dinkins than he was Rudy.

    A quick Rudy story. A friend of mine lived in the same building on the Upper East Side as Rudy's now wife and we spent a lot of time after hoops games drinking outside in the bar across the street. One night, about a month after 9/11, Rudy's SUV and security car pull up around 11:00 or so. We see the Mayor and boozily yell "Rudy". He gives us a little wave and goes to see his lady. About 45 minutes later, he leaves and as he's about to get in the car, one of my friends yells "How was it?" I thought that we were going to spend some time in the Tombs. Instead, Rudy looks over, gives us two thumbs up and says "Great."
  7. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    I felt that the entire first page of the piece was damn near worthless. It was only conjecture and opinion. I think the author would have made a better point with some of what was written.

    The initial hire of Bratton as commissioner was smart. Having him removed due to his popularity was awful. Pointing out how Rudy couldn't take a joke with the New York magazine ad could have been played better.

    I guess my biggest pet peave with this would be the excessive amount of vitriol used. There is no need to use the word "jerkbag" when talking about such a serious nature. I almost feel as though it degrades the point that is attempting to be made.
  8. Appropos of nothing, but that reminds me of Matt Tabbai's style.
  9. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    Everybody has skeletons. I agree with a lot of Giuliani's views on gay rights, abortion and other social issues. Unless he does a total 180 on those issues, that will likely be enough to keep him out of the Oval Office.

    I also realize, like others on here, that it takes a different leadership skills set to be president than it takes to be mayor -- even of the largest city in America.

    Giuliani as president could be like Putin in Russia. I'm not sure that's what our country needs in 2009.
  10. You guys are ruining Fenian's Republican bashing.

    Now he's just going to post even more links just to make himself overcome not getting the reaction he wanted here.
  11. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    Remember, Rudy says: 3,000 people willingly gave their lives so he could be Lord God King of New York (and maybe now America).
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Really disagree. On the surface, they appeared to be about the same things. But Dinkins couldn't get shit done. He was too busy trying to make everyone like him (when he wasn't flying off to the Bahamas or playing tennis).

    When Koch took over as mayor, the city was in desperate financial shape. Things had gotten so bad under Linday (who was a Dinkins-like mayor), because he didn't have the personality to stand up to people. It was business as usual.

    Koch marched in and did the budget-cutting that was necessary for a city on the brink of bankruptcy, and he made it almost palatable with his, "How am I doing?" personality. The city's bond rating was in the crapper when he took over. Within a few years, he was able to restore the city's credit and start raising capital funds again. The result was that he was able to double his operating budget and a good chunk of that money went into projects that boosted the city's economy in the 80s.

    You can't overstate what he did. Sure, on the face of it, Koch was a good, old-fashioned liberal politician. But he basically inherited a mess, and changed the "business as usual" crap that had created the mess by being a major league asshole and forcing people to do the right things.
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