Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reason number – oh hell, I’ve lost count – why I want the Republicans to run Rudy in 2008

I have frankly never taken Julie-Annie seriously as a candidate, and not jut because every time he opens his mouth I hear Sylvester the Cat. Unless the goal of the Republicans really is to make Bush look competent - then I guess I can see backing the one guy guaranteed to be worse...

In March of 2006, when the Iraq Study Group was established, the Resident appointed Rudy to one of the Republican seats on the panel.

A smart fella with an eye toward the oval and a weak foreign policy hand would have been all over that appointment and thrown himself into it whole heartedly, taking the opportunity to pump up his street cred and become something of an expert on Iraq – you remember Iraq – the biggest foreign policy cock-up since Suez – that Iraq.

Rudy couldn’t be bothered to attend any of the meetings tho – it interfered with his lucrative public speaking schedule.

Steve Benen has the best takedown I’ve read so far, and The Hill has more details.

Giuliani failed to show up for a pair of two-day sessions that occurred during his tenure, the sources said - and both times, they conflicted with paid public appearances shown on his recent financial disclosure. Giuliani quit the group during his busiest stretch in 2006, when he gave 20 speeches in a single month that brought in $1.7 million.

On one day the panel gathered in Washington - May 18, 2006 - Giuliani delivered a $100,000 speech on leadership at an Atlanta business awards breakfast. Later that day, he attended a $100-a-ticket Atlanta political fundraiser for conservative ally Ralph Reed, whom Giuliani hoped would provide a major boost to his presidential campaign.

The month before, Giuliani skipped the session to give the April 12 keynote speech at an economic conference in South Korea for $200,000, his financial disclosure shows.

Giuliani's campaign said that the former New York mayor did participate in Iraq Study Group activities but refused Newsday's repeated requests to explain how.

Instead, they referred to a May 24, 2006, letter Giuliani sent to the Republican co-chairman and former secretary of state James Baker. In it, Giuliani praised the group's "truly important mission" but cited his time commitments for why he couldn't give the group "the full and active participation" it deserved.

One source familiar with the group's activities recalled that Giuliani did participate in an early conference call in spring 2006 that was mainly organizational. But Giuliani's name is mentioned nowhere in the group's final report, which lists more than 160 people who were consulted.

By giving up his seat on the panel, Giuliani has opened himself up to charges that he chose private-sector paydays and politics over unpaid service on a critical issue facing the nation.

Not only that, but the 10-member group - also called the Baker-Hamilton commission - was no ordinary blue-ribbon panel, instead chartered by Congress and encouraged by the president to find a way forward in Iraq.

It was enough for me to write him off as a moron and a punk when he put the terrorism response center in the basement of the primary terror target in the world after it had already been attacked once. It was enough for me that he informed his wife in the media that he was dumping her for his mistress. It was enough for me that too many first responders died because the radios were incompatible (this is a big issue for me. I have paid the price in hot situations when radios aren’t compatible. I get pissed off right quick over comms fuck-ups) He gave a friend the contract instead of standardizing the communications system for the city, and a couple of hundred of New York’s finest died because they couldn’t hear the warnings that the buildings were going to fall down.

Rudy Guiliani is persona non grata in my eyes, can’t say his name without I have to spit. He’s a phony, he’s a punk and he has no character. And when it came time to actually step up and do something for his country – you know the “put up” part – he punked us to cash the big checks. He couldn’t be bothered to actually perform in the service of the nation.

Can we have a new rule, please? Call it Basic Rule of Politics Number 1: When you punk out on the put up, you have to shut up.

Patriotism is not bluster and a tiny American flag on your lapel. Patriotism is the quiet devotion of a lifetime spent in service and dedication without thinking "what's in it for me?" Rudy fails that patriotism test with flying colors.

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