Back in the day, when the Republicans had not made complete clowns of themselves, Rush Limbaugh was fond of observing that the Dems had so prostituted FDR's legacy that now their message was "The only thing we have to offer is… fear itself!"
Yusta be funny. But now Rudy Giuliani has reached the point where he out-Dems the Dems in his transparent, not to say loony, attempts to squeeze the last drops of juice out of 9/11 fear manipulation.
Here's the story for those not familiar with it. A while back, Rudy's giving a speech to the National Rifle Association when suddenly, right in the middle of the speech, his cell phone goes off. The Wall Street Journal describes the scene:
This was no emergency call. His cell phone rang in his pocket during his speech, which is itself unusual; most public officials turn theirs off during events, if only out of courtesy for the audience. Mr. Giuliani went on to answer it and carry on a routine "love you" and "have a safe trip" exchange with Mrs. Giuliani while the crowd (and those of us watching on C-Span) wondered what in the world that was all about.
His campaign aides spun the episode as a "candid and spontaneous moment" illustrative of the couple's affection. We might believe that if we hadn't heard stories of similar behavior by Mr. Giuliani as he has campaigned around the country. During one event in Oklahoma, we're told he took two calls, at least one from his wife, and chatted for several minutes as the audience waited. That episode followed Mr. Giuliani's eye-popping disclosure earlier this year that, if he's elected, his wife would sit in on Cabinet meetings.
Now bear in mind this is one of the sane, sensible Republicans. He's not some barking mad person who thinks the Constitution is still the law of the land like Ron Paul. He's a Respectable Mainstream Candidate. And so, with all the sensitivity to the nuances of human behavior that you might expect from Kang and Kodos, he engages in some of the most preposterous pandering in many moons.
No, he doesn't say, "Abortions for some! Tiny American flags for the rest!" Instead, in his bizarre, ham-fisted way, he telegraphs to all the red-staters that he's not some thrice-married blue state Slicker with a mistress. No sirree! He's a Family Values™ kinda guy! Indeed, he's a Bible-quoting Family Values™ guy. So we get the delectable spectacle of Rudy’s First Homily to the Christianists on the Gospel According to John (Revised Giuliani Version). That’s the passage where, instead of saying to the woman taken in adultery, "Go and sin no more" Jesus instead says (more or less), "Rudy Giuliani is a great guy so get off his back because he is a Bible-Quoting Family Values™ kind of guy! If you don't vote for him, you are judgmental!"
That's rich enough. But then comes the piece de resistance. He leads into his theme slowly:
"… And my personal view of it is I need God's help for everything, and I probably feel that the most when I'm in crisis and under pressure, like Sept. 11, when I was dealing with prostate cancer, or [when] I'm trying to explain death to people, which unfortunately I've had to do so often."
Did 9/11 you 9/11 catch 9/11 that 9/11 subtle 9/11 subliminal 9/11 message 9/11 encrypted 9/11 in 9/11 the 9/11 Strength 9/11 for 9/11 These 9/11 Days 9/11 message? It’s enough to make a person believe in Bible Codes. But, of course, all that pandering to faithheads could get him in trouble with his Own Sort, the people who roll their eyes at That Kind of Thing, so he quickly clarifies that he's not one of those loony Theocrats:
"So it's a very, very important part of my life," he said. "But I think in a democracy and in a government like ours, my religion is my way of looking at God, and other people have other ways of doing it, and some people don't believe in God. I think that's unfortunate. I think their life would be a lot fuller if they did, but they have that right."
Well and good. It appears that Rudy has hired the Focus-Group Testing Firm of Screwtape & Co, who provide the following analysis of the Giuliani Campaign in one of their internal memos:
He can be made to take a positive pleasure in the perception that the two sides of his life are inconsistent. This is done by exploiting his vanity. He can be taught to enjoy kneeling beside the grocer on Sunday just because he remembers that the grocer could not possibly understand the urbane and mocking world which he inhabited on Saturday evening; and contrariwise, to enjoy the bawdy and blasphemy over the coffee with these admirable friends all the more because he is aware of a "deeper", "spiritual" world within him which they cannot understand. You see the idea—the worldly friends touch him on one side and the grocer on the other, and he is the complete, balanced, complex man who sees round them all. Thus, while being permanently treacherous to at least two sets of people, he will feel, instead of shame, a continual undercurrent of self-satisfaction.
Having established his unreliability to two different constituencies, Rudy then continues On Message. And just in case you didn't yet get that message Rudy spells it out for you, and helpfully explains his weird cell phone stunts at the same time:
Giuliani also addressed a cell phone call he took from his wife, Judith, last week during his speech to the National Rifle Association, an important appearance because Giuliani clashed with the group when he argued for tougher gun control as mayor of New York.
"And quite honestly, since Sept. 11, most of the time when we get on a plane, we talk to each other and just reaffirm the fact that we love each other," he said.
"Sometimes if I'm in the middle of a very, very sensitive meeting, I don't take the call right then; I wait. But I thought it would be kind of nice if I took it at that point, and I'd done that before in engagements, and I didn't realize it would create any kind of controversy," he said.
Translation: "People of Earth! By my 'spontaneous' simulation of mammalian affection behavior you were supposed to see a demonstration of my warm humanity and respond with the appropriate social bonding behavior. However, your inferior central nervous systems failed to react in the manner predicted by my Rigelian campaign coordinators. I must therefore remind you that I am Warm and Human, as well as 9/11 reminding 9/11 you 9/11 that 9/11 you 9/11 should 9/11 be 9/11 very 9/11 afraid 9/11 and 9/11 vote 9/11 for 9/11 me 9/11 to keep 9/11 you 9/11 safe 9/11!"
Boy, I sure am glad that a sane normal person like Giuliani is one of the main representatives of the Mainstream of the GOP and not a contemptible prolifer like Ron Paul. Thank heaven FOXNews and the party elders have been laboring to prevent Paul from so much as having a chance to speak so that men like Giuliani can have the shot they deserve at dominating the conversation in the GOP.