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Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!

  

The more i hear him, the more i like him.  but that's not difficult.  i come from NYC and know first hand what he did to turn that former wreck of a town around.  i remember the uncollected garbage, the strikes, racial strife, drugs, crime, murder, squiggy boys, graffitti, needle parks, fiscal mismanagement and threat of bankruptcy that prevailed before Rudy took over the big apple from the hapless Dinkins.  And that doesn't even include 9/11.  My brothers and i used to visit our old neighborhood in the Bronx - before the Giuliani years.  The last time we did it pre-Giuliani, we locked the doors in our cars, rolled the windows up, and never went slower than 20mph.  wouldn't think of stopping and getting out.  the place just looked dangerous, dirty, and seedy.  the characters, the garbage, the broken windows, shuttered doors, gutted buildings, the whole ominous sense of a neighborhood  - and a city - in chaos and ruin.  This was the place where my brothers and i used to frolic and play as kids, although even then it was getting dangerous. 

Then we returned for another look during the Giuliani years, this time with my two kids (now four), ages 5 and 7, at the time, and we couldn't believe the difference.  The streets were clean, the apartment buildings inhabited and restored, the corner groceries open for business (hispanic names instead of the old jewish ones) and thriving, playgrounds clean without broken glass and debris, mothers and children with strollers out for the day, none of the seediness or sense of threat, no pan handlers, druggies, homeless, just a nice old fashioned family oriented middle class ethnic neighborhood like we had growing up.  we not only stopped our car and parked, we went out with my two young kids and took a walk through the whole neighborhood there in crotona park, unthinkable only five or so years ago.  Giuliani!  He made NY great again.  An incredible acheivement that those who hadn't grown up there and seen first hand the devastation that had prevailed for decades beginning in the sixties, a city felt to be unlivable and unmanageable, could never begin to appreciate.  My feeling is, if he could handle NYC, he could handle the USA as well.  Maybe even have an easier time of it.

But the more you hear him and what he says, the more uplifted you become, like being hit with a breath of fresh air.  Hear, for example, his thoughts on the creation of a Palestinian state, part of the so called "two state solution," an idea that has become such a ridiculous cliche that everyone and his uncle feels some crazy obligation to repeat despite the overwhelming absurdity of it to anyone even remotely familiar with the history there.  He writes:  "It is not in the interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism."  From a paper in Foriegn Affairs Magazine.  And then: "Palestinian statehood will have to be earned through sustained good governance, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace with Israel." 

 What could be more clear eyed and obvious than this?  Yet President after President including Bush II and his secy of state, Condoleeza Rice, have trotted out this tiresome and dangerous platitude about a "two state solution" time after time, not to mention the other great and mighty around the world.  And whenever you hear someone going off again about how the key to resolving all the problems in the Middle East was based on finding a "just" settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, as if it were just a matter of ironing out some minor differences with a group that openly states its intentions and ambitions to annihilate the Jews, as if all the other far more blood thirsty conflicts that have taken place between Arabs in the last fifty years was because of Israel (Iraq-Kuwait, Iraq-Iran, the Sudan, Darfur, and many others) haven't you wanted to just bang your head against the wall or tell who ever happened to be mouthing this musty banality to just button it.

Yet here we have Rudy Giuliani coming out and stating the obvious.  Something we all wished others would have the guts and intelligence to do.  There will be no peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis until the Palestinians give up their desire to kill the Jews and this bit of mental pathology rolling around in their collective brain commonly referred to as anti-Semitism just isn't going away anytime soon and until it does just forget about it and don't make our eyes glaze over by babbling on about the "peace process" or some such absurdity. 

And it certainly makes no sense for the US to have gone to the trouble of eliminating two terrorist sponsoring states in Afghanistan and Iraq only to midwife another.  Giuliani, at long last, is someone who sees this and happy to express it.  This is, after all, the man who sent back a $10 million check to Saudi Prince Alwaleed for more of the usual inanities that flow so generously from the Arab world about 9/11 coming due because of our foriegn policy, ie. our relationship with Israel and alleged imbalance in treatment of Palestinians (how should you treat those who call for the annihilation of the Jewish state anyway and actively pursue it?).  Or the man who had NY's finest personally escort Yassir Arafat  out of Lincoln Center at, I believe, the blighted UN's fiftieth anniversary, making it clear he was not going to be party to mainstreaming everyone's favorite terrorist (I heard this before, anyone know specifics, please let me know). 

Giuliani has also been realistic about the ineffectiveness of that very same UN and unafraid to discuss it, describing it as "irrelevant" in resolving the last half centuries world conflicts.  Amen.  Such honesty and clarity we could use more of. 

The bottom line is this:  it is time for conservatives and Republicans (not always the same) to get behind Rudy.  You will not hear it from them, but the Dems are terrified of Rudy because they know full well he puts liberal bastions like NY not to mention CA, CN, NJ, and, for that matter, the whole country into play.  They know well that this man was a very popular mayor in the most liberal city in the country.  They know that his liberal views on gay marriage, abortion, and gun control, while anathema to many social conservatives, make him appealing to moderates, independents, and libertarians, and a whole lot of Reagan Democrats.  A match up between him and Hillary?  Bring it on!  When he gets her or any other prospective Democratic nominee on the debating floor, it'll be a thrashing.  The differences in knowledge and first hand experience with running the most difficult city in the world will make any comparisons superfluous.  His range, abilities, background, and basic credibility will overwhelm any of the light weights (who quite frankly pale in experience with Rudy) running for the Democratic top spot.  Could you imagine setting this pit bull against Obama, Hillary, or Edwards.  They won't know what hit them. 

I believe that even social conservatives are going for Rudy because they recognize that at this time there are bigger issues currently at play with the nation at war than abortion (and embryonic stem cells, gay marriage, school prayer, gun control - as important as all of them are, they are second tier issues - but still critical), chief of which is the threat of the Jihadists (and entitlements, immigration, the economy, energy independence, China, Russia, and so on).  I realize life would be much better if he was pro-life.  But Giuliani has indicated that in terms of nominating judges to the Supreme Court and lower courts he would favor originalists in the manner of Alito and Roberts, which is how a President comes to influence such social issues chiefly - through his judges.  It is also recognized that a President can only do so much to affect these issues anyway.  Yes, he can use his Presidential bully pulpit, and i would like to certainly see more of it.  But the most lasting effect will be based on the judges he picks, and here i believe Rudy will do the right thing - and has indicated as such.  In terms of restoring decency in the public discourse and cleaning up our culture, i believe he will also do the right thing.  He was after all the one who took on the snooty NY cultural elites by threatening to cut funding to the Brooklyn Museum's for its exhibit of the repugnant "Madonna in Dung" piece.  He is clearly not someone who fears taking on elites, in ny or elsewhere.  I found Rudy a little tepid and weak kneed on the issue of illegal immigration, but he seems to be finding his footing after, no doubt, hearing the clarion call.  He does need to be watched here and hopefully will recognize that ending illegal immigration without amnesty or guest worker and reforming legal immigration so that it better reflects the needs of the country is not just good for the country but good politically.

He is a fiscal conservative, a peace through strength guy, a can-do individual, a former prosecutor who went after mob bosses, an intelligent and articulate person who can think on his feet and more than hold his own in a debate and in dealing with the media, a man tested in one of the most intense media circuses in the world and not found wanting, someone who can finish the job Bush started (and fumbled with startling incompetence) in the war against Islamofascism, an executive with world class credentials and experience who just happened to turn around a moribund and hopeless NYC, balanced its budget, cut taxes, cut crime, boosted its economy, and made it liveable again, and who could literally walk into the office of the President and run it today, on top of which, he is, after 9/11, a national hero - and, one more feather in his cap, a Yankee fan.

Republicans, save yourselves the trouble.  It's time to get behind Rudy.  He will be our next President.  I believe he is the man of the moment, the man of the age.  I will not say it is inevitable, but just about.    

 

 

  

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