This is just a rant. I can't decide which thing to do--a dismantling of something I found last week by Victor Davis Hanson or just the latest outrage.
Rudy Guiliani went on Meet the Press over the weekend and I am glad I didn't see it. Nothing ruins a Sunday Morning like the dishonesty of Meet the Press.
tr.v. de·based, de·bas·ing, de·bas·es
To lower in character, quality, or value; degrade
The Republican Party has decided that it cannot achieve anything in this country until it completely and utterly debases the culture to the point where we can accept the likes of Guiliani as a viable candidate for the Presidency.
Now, the first election I paid attention to was 1984. It was a disaster. Walter Mondale stood up and told the truth--we needed to raise taxes. They all laughed. Reagan won by assuring people that wasn't the case. Not too long after that, taxes were raised. That was an honest lie, as it were--a lie that didn't do anything other than trick the taxpayers and the voters. There's no shame in lying to the taxpayers and the voters, but there's also no shame in having those same people scream "bullshit!" and not vote for you. The rule of law is not flushed down the toilet when a politician breaks a campaign promise. The Republic is not shaken by a basic political lie.
Guiliani on Meet the Press is a debasement of everything decent. A man so self-involved and self-obsessed and convinced of his righteousness basically explains that his fucking girlfriend deserves to be protected by people being paid to the taxpayers.
In no other time in American history would something so open and dishonest have ever gotten past the laughing stage. As in, when I was much younger, Guiliani would be laughed off the national stage for what he's trying to say. I mean, where are the people who would basically walk up to him and scream in his face that he's a douchebag? Where is the collective hooting and hollering of an engaged, thoughtful population? Surely, the Republican Party is not THAT bad, is it? Perhaps it is. Perhaps they have gone from collapsing on the fainting couch at the idea that a man would get serviced in the White House by a consenting adult to embracing a man who used public money--the dollars of almighty taxpayer!--to pay for someone to watch his girlfriend walk her dog. While his wife and children were, umm, living in the official residence of his office, you know, on the dime of the taxpayers. While he lived elsewhere. Oh my!
A Republican Presidential candidate told the world that his mistress deserves Secret Service Protection. You can follow the link and go look at it yourself. That's what he's saying. And this country is utterly debased by the thought that this man is anything other than an insane crank trying to grab power with both hands.
Damned near every President has had girlfriends, mistresses, friends with privileges, whatever and whathaveyou. Some of those were boys, most were girls. This is not about being Puritanical or prudish. This is about tacitly having the least bit of shame and humility to kinda keep that shit under wraps and private.
Guiliani wants to live his immaturity and his infidelity out in the public. If he can get people to accept that he will fuck around on his obligations, cheat on his wife, humiliate his children, shack up with whoever looks good and lie about it, then he can have free rein as President to do whatever he wants. He wants to debase the process and bring into the open what you're supposed to handle privately and discreetly because he doesn't want to be discreet about ruining people and running around with more power than God himself.
This is a great country. I have great faith that this line of debasement will be rejected. I know it is. I'm not worried about whether Guiliani becomes President. I can't for the life of me see how he can be.
But if he does, then everyone decent better get the hell out of Dodge, because if you liked the matinee--Cheney and Bush--you better not stick around for the main event, which would be Guiliani and his goons running wild through this country like a free-for-all nightmare of police powers, corruption on demand, and blatant lies forcefed down the gullets of an unthinking population.