Wednesday, April 04, 2007Okay, clearly Rudy Giuliani is not fit to be a voter, much less an elected official. The guy really is trying to out-Nixon Nixon. I think that Democrats should hammer Rudy with this stuff, but Glenn Greenwald thinks that it will help. In fact, according to Glenn, Rudy's contempt for Democracy is his ticket to the nomination.
Unlike most political analysts, Glenn Greenwald believes that Giuliani is a serious threat to win the Republican nomination. Greenwald's theory is that since the Republican party is fundamentally authoritarian, Giuliani (as the most authoritarian candidate), has an opportunity to overcome his personal and policy handicaps and become the Republican nominee. Essentially, the tribalism of the Republican party, their hatred of liberals and muslims, their need for a "daddy figure," all make them willing to support somebody like Rudy.
Glenn is a smart guy and I generally agree with a large percentage of what he writes, but I think his scenario is a bit far-fetched. The portion of the Republican base which is the most authoritarian - social conservatives - are also the ones who are most concerned with abortion, gun control, and gay rights. Those voters are likely to support the Daddy figure, but only if that candidate first passes their litmus test on issues - which Rudy clearly can't do. This is not to say that these are truly policy-oriented voters (are there any of those?), only that unlike most voters they have a few policy issues that determine whether or not they are going to give a candidate serious consideration. Rudy's current poll numbers are, I think, a mirage. Right now voters are a) unaware of Rudy's policy positions, and b) aren't focused on those issues. Perhaps the social issues simply won't be a factor during the Republican primaries and Rudy will get a free ride - but I doubt it.