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Tuesday, October 30, 2007
(2:17 PM) | Stephen:
Of Course Rudy Is Nuts. They All Are

Everyone seems so worried about Rudy Giuliani and how nutso insane he is. What I don't get is why this is so upsetting. Giuliani is just running the exact same campaign, with exactly the same rhetoric, that the GOP has been running from the 2002 elections onward. Fearmongering, portraying the candidate as some fearless warrior despite all evidence to the contrary and accusing Democrats of being in league with terrorists, of wanting America to "lose," etc. and so on.

If we consider that GOP consultants are probably fairly similar to Democratic consultants - though obviously not as thoroughly stupid, worthless and incompetent - then the reasons for Rudy's strategy become quite clear. In 2000 George Bush ran as a "compassionate conservative," a man devoted to fiscal accountability and restraint, a man who wanted to rein in America's unfortunate penchant for nation-building. He was a relaxed, genial guy who just wanted to have America work for the reg'lar folk or some such nonsense.

And he lost the popular vote. Yes, he got the White House, but that required an unprecedented intrusion of the United States Supreme Court into the affairs of a state's Supreme Court, something that had never happened before. And don't show up in comments with crap about how Bush would have won the recount. The issue is so muddled by now that the very best we can say is that we don't know who would have won the recount, had it actually happened.

While Bush got the Presidency, the GOP political consultants did not ignore the fact that they lost the popular vote. That's a big strike against the whole "compassionate conservative" facade they worked so hard to create, which probably explains why they didn't waste much time trying to continue the act.

And act it was, as was Bush's supposed distaste for nation-building. An Iraq invasion was being planned as soon as he took office, and telecom companies were being bullied into giving the Feds access to their data the summer before the 9/11 attacks. In regards to the Bush Administration's desires for conquest and the ability to operate outside American law, 9/11 didn't change a thing.

Rather, it was a gift, and they exploited it to the fullest. The GOP took the outpouring of support and goodwill toward our leaders and used it as a club to beat Democrats over the head. The 2002 elections were brutal, centering entirely around the idea that Democrats are all traitors, even those who had given the Bush Administration everything that it wanted.

In 2004, however, they remembered that the compassionate conservative shtick didn't work so well and how effective jingoistic nationalism and fearmongering was in 2002. However, Roveco didn't want to completely undo all their work making Bush seem like anything other than a sociopathic dry drunk bent on dictatorial control. That's where Dick Cheney was able to play his most valuable role as the shuffling, squint-eyed gargoyle leering at your children while describing what a tasty snack they would be for Osama bin Laden. And when Cheney says that there are people who want to kill you, you believe it, if for nothing else then for the fact that he always looks ready to do the job himself.

By having Bush and Cheney play Good Cop/Evil Demon From the 8th Circle of Hell, the GOP was able to do all the fearmongering and slanderous accusations against Democrats that they did in 2002 while protecting Bush's image. And they won.

So for 2008, Rudy's advisors have obviously decided that they need to employ that winning strategy. The reason it seems so shocking is simply because Rudy doesn't have a Dick Cheney to take the heat off him. In fact, Rudy is better suited to be someone else's Dick Cheney in terms of the campaign trail.

Whether this strategy can work for him even in the primaries remains to be seen. But let's not get caught off guard by a 5 year old campaign strategy.

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