Lazy Saturday Afternoon Reads: Deja Vu All Over Again


Good Morning!!

Rudy Giuliani is old. He was born in 1944–too soon to be a baby boomer. He’s a throwback to the Vietnam era, and like quite a few old Republicans, he seems never to have grown emotionally or intellectually since that long-ago time.

This man is clearly a racist, a hater who holds ugly, judgmental attitudes toward anyone who doesn’t agree with him on every issue. He’s an unreconstructed George Wallace caricature. But even George Wallace developed some self-awareness late in life.

As everyone is aware by now, on Wednesday Giuliani gave a repulsive speech in which he attacked President of Obama’s patriotism and slimed Obama’s mother and grandparents. Politico reported: Rudy Giuliani: President Obama doesn’t love America.

Rudy Giuliani went straight for the jugular Wednesday night during a private group dinner here featuring Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by openly questioning whether President Barack Obama “loves America.”

The former New York mayor, speaking in front of the 2016 Republican presidential contender and about 60 right-leaning business executives and conservative media types, directly challenged Obama’s patriotism, discussing what he called weak foreign policy decisions and questionable public remarks when confronting terrorists.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the 21 Club, a former Prohibition-era speakeasy in midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

After the Scott Walker event, Giuliani elaborated on his remarks about the President.

“What country has left so many young men and women dead abroad to save other countries without taking land? This is not the colonial empire that somehow he has in his hand. I’ve never felt that from him. I felt that from [George] W. [Bush]. I felt that from [Bill] Clinton. I felt that from every American president, including ones I disagreed with, including [Jimmy] Carter. I don’t feel that from President Obama.”

Giuliani then recalled his own comments condemning several major episodes from the early 1990s when Jews were targeted in Argentina and the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. That hard-line approach, Giuliani said, stands in contrast to the way Obama touched off a storm earlier this month during the National Prayer Breakfast by citing the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition as Christian examples of the way many religions have perpetrated horrible acts throughout history.

The older and meaner Rudy gets, the more his "smile" looks like a rictus.

The older and meaner Rudy gets, the more his “smile” looks like a rictus.

After pushback from Democrats and some writers, Guiliani only doubled down on his nasty characterizations of Obama’s thought and feelings. He’s a mind-reader, you see. Politico’s Nick Gass: Rudy Giuliani floods the zone with Obama attacks.

The former New York mayor and sometime presidential hopeful appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” on Thursday night, and when asked by host Megyn Kelly whether he wanted to apologize for his comments, he declined.

 “Not at all. I want to repeat them,” he said. “The reality is, all I can see from this president, all I have heard from is he apologizes for America, he criticizes America. He talks about the Crusades and how the Christians were barbarians, leaves out the second half of the sentence that the Muslims were barbarians also.” [….]

“He sees Christians slaughtered and doesn’t stand up and hold a press conference, although he holds a press conference for the situation in Ferguson,” he said. “He sees Jews being killed for anti-Semitic reasons, doesn’t stand up and hold a press conference. This is an American president I’ve never seen before.”

Well, that’s true anyway. None of us had ever seen a black POTUS until 2008. Yes, even Fox News host Megyn Kelly apparently was shocked by Giuliani’s attacks on Obama’s patriotism. Mediaite reported:

Rudy Giuliani continued to defend his comments about President Barack Obama not “loving” America during a combative appearance on Fox News with Megyn Kelly Thursday night….

“To say that he doesn’t love america, I mean, that he could view foreign policy as a Democrat might view it and through a different lens than you or a Republican might see it, you can understand the differences between you,” Kelly said to Giuliani. “But to condemn his patriotism? To question his love of America?”

Giuliani insisted that he was not condemning Obama’s patriotism, but instead said he wanted to hear more from the president about how “exceptional” this country is.

“A lot of liberals don’t believe in American Exceptionalism,” Kelly shot back, “but that doesn’t mean they don’t love America.”

Giuliani went on to bring up Obama’s maternal grandfather, who fought in World War II, as someone  [who] introduced the president to “communist” ideas and then shifted gears to revive the 2008 uproar over Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

The Communist Party

The Communist Party

Mediaite left out the supposed source of those “communist ideas” Rudy was referring to. Unbelievably, the former NYC mayor actually brought up Frank Marshall Davis, a man Obama met when he was a child in Hawaii. Davis became an obsession among the RWNJ’s during the 2008 campaign Guiliani apparently believes all the garbage about Obama’s youth floating around right wing sites on the internet. Celeste Katz at the NY Daily News:

Trying to explain his controversial comments that President Obama doesn’t love America, Rudy Giuliani said Friday that he believes the President has been influenced by communism and socialism.

“Look, this man was brought up basically in a white family, so whatever he learned or didn’t learn, I attribute this more to the influence of communism and socialism” than to his race, Giuliani told the Daily News.

“I don’t (see) this President as being particularly a product of African-American society or something like that. He isn’t,” the former mayor added. “Logically, think about his background. . . The ideas that are troubling me and are leading to this come from communists with whom he associated when he was 9 years old” through family connections.

When Obama was 9, he was living in Indonesia with his mother and his stepfather. Giuliani said he was referencing Obama’s grandfather having introduced him to Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party.

The former mayor also brought up Obama’s relationship with “quasi-communist” community organizer Saul Alinsky and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

If you do a google search for Frank Marshall Davis, you’ll find that many right wing sites even claimed Davis was Obama’s real father!


Back in the Vietnam War era, during which Giuliani’s stunted brain apparently stopped developing, “America: love it or leave it” was a comment refrain used by right wingers to attack people who wanted to bring American troops home rather than let them continue to die year after year in a pointless war in distant jungles. Many of those “love it or leave it” shouters were chicken hawks like Giuliani, former President George W. Bush, his brother Jeb Bush, and former Vice President Dick Cheney. In contrast, men like George McGovern and John Kerry who had served in foreign wars were viciously vilified for telling the truth about Vietnam.

Oh yes, Rudy could have fought in Vietnam, but instead, he obtained multiple deferments. From New York Magazine in 2007, Rudy and ’Nam:

Rudy Giuliani, speaking about terrorism and the Iraq war, said last week, “It is something I understand better than anyone else running for president.”

That was when Rudy was running for president against actual war veteran John McCain!

To recap: After receiving several deferments as a student, Giuliani applied for an occupational deferment as a law clerk, but his application was rejected. Giuliani appealed their decision, and asked the federal judge he was clerking for to petition the draft board for him. Which the judge did. When his deferment expired in 1970, Giuliani became susceptible to the draft. He received a high number and was never called. Giuliani “has made it clear that if he had been called up, he would have served,” says Katie Levinson, Giuliani’s spokesperson. He was opposed to the war in Vietnam on “strategic and tactical” grounds, she says. Asked to clarify what tactics Giuliani opposed, Levinson declined to offer specifics. “Voters will choose the next commander-in-chief based on their whole record, and we believe the mayor’s record speaks for itself.”

Yes, it certainly does.

Git out

Those of us who grew up in the 1950s and ’60s went to schools where we studied American history and were required to take “Civics,” so we could understand the basics of how our government worked. That’s no longer happening in much of the country. We have billionaires like the Koch brothers working to limit kids’ educational opportunities and fill their textbooks with lies. Many younger people don’t have the educational foundation to understand and give context to Giuliani’s hate-filled words. I fear that in my lifetime I’ll never see the end of the social and ideological divisions that began when I was just a kid and the Vietnam war was raging.

Yesterday, Dakinikat posted a link to this NY Daily News op-ed by Giuliani biographer Wayne Barrett. Everyone should read this amazing takedown: What Rudy Giuliani knows about love — a response to his ‘doesn’t love America’ critique of Obama.

Ask Regina Peruggi, the second cousin he grew up with and married, who was “offended” when Rudy later engineered an annulment from the priest who was his best man on the grounds, strangely enough, that she was his cousin. Or ask Donna Hanover, the mother of his two children, who found out he wanted a separation when he left Gracie Mansion one morning and announced it at a televised press conference.

Or ask Judi Nathan, his third wife, whom he started dating while still married to Hanover and New York mayor. In two SUVs, he and an entourage of six or seven cops traveled 11 times to Judi’s Hamptons getaway at a taxpayer cost of $3,000 a trip. That’s love.

In response to Giuliani’s claims about Obama’s upbringing, Barrett wrote:

Giuliani went so far as to rebuke the President for not being “brought up the way you were and the way I was brought up through love of this country,” a bow no doubt to the parenting prowess of Harold Giuliani, who did time in Sing Sing for holding up a Harlem milkman and was the bat-wielding enforcer for the loan-sharking operation run out of a Brooklyn bar owned by Rudy’s uncle.

Though Rudy cited Harold throughout his public life as his model (without revealing any of his history), he and five Rudy uncles found ways to avoid service in World War II. Harold, whose robbery conviction was in the name of an alias, made sure the draft board knew he was a felon. On the other hand, Obama’s grandfather and uncle served. His uncle helped liberate Buchenwald, which apparently affected him so deeply he stayed in the family attic for six months when he returned home.

Please go read the rest at the Daily News link.


Here are some more responses to Giuliani’s hateful attacks for your Saturday reading pleasure.

Two from Jonathan Capehart: Rudy Giuliani dives into Dinesh D’Souza’s anti-Obama dumpster and Giuliani continues his ugly race to the bottom against Obama.

Jamie Bouie: The Past Perfect. It’s absurd to question Obama’s patriotism. But Rudy Giuliani is right that Obama isn’t like his predecessors.

David A. Graham at The Atlantic: What Does It Mean for Obama to Love or Hate America?

Amy Davidson at The New Yorker: Rudy Giuliani and the Meaning of Love.

Jeffrey Toobin at The New Yorker: The Paranoid Style of Rudy Giuliani.

Philip Bump at The Fix: Rudy Giuliani and the ‘love it or leave it’ view of America.

So that’s my take on the Rudy ruckus. What stories are you following today?


44 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Afternoon Reads: Deja Vu All Over Again”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    When Rudy was a kid, my dad was serving in WWII. He wasn’t all that happy about being overseas for nearly five years either. He even voted against FDR, because he was so fed up with war. So I guess according to Giuliani, my combat-veteran dad didn’t love America.

  2. dakinikat says:

    Giuliani is so hungry for those consultant dollars and attention he’s turned into a caricature of himself. It’s like he’s dialed it up to 11. He’s an ugly little man and it pains me to see him take up so much media time. But, at least we know he will never hold a real job down again. Thanks for the great read BB!

    • NW Luna says:

      Indeed. I wish these guys would talk about loving the U.S. as a country of fair wages — living wages– healthy citizens with universal coverage, good education for all, universal social security for retired or disabled citizens, civil rights for all, etc instead of yammering about others “hating America.” Spewing out angry complaints doesn’t create positive change.

      • dakinikat says:

        They’re not about positive change. They’re about keeping privileges for the wealthy whites and their Waterboys and keeping racist religious freaks angry and paranoid.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Or about preserving the beauty of our natural resources–the national parks, wildlife, the prairies, the oceans, and so on.

        • joanelle says:

          Giuliani always struck me as real smarmy little guy. Never someone I could bring myself to vote for

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I’ve never trusted Rudy. From my point of view he marinated a bit too long in the 911 hero stew and attempted to use the most tragic event in U.S. History to further his own career and line his own pockets. He needs to get off the stage, his time is over!!!!

  3. dakinikat says:

    In a similar note, a great take down and explanation of Dinesh D’Souza and even perhaps Bobby Jindal.

    How to Make It in Conservative America (If You Aren’t White)
    Dinesh D’Souza’s racism and the shame of immigrant self-hatred

    You really have to read this. It’s a great explanation of why some immigrants embrace self hatred in order to be accepted as the right’s water boys.

  4. Maybe the fluoridation does affect these right wingnuts differently. Purity of essence.

    Why science is so hard to believe – The Washington Post

    There’s a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s comic masterpiece “Dr. Strangelove” in which Jack D. Ripper, an American general who’s gone rogue and ordered a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, unspools his paranoid worldview — and the explanation for why he drinks “only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure grain alcohol” — to Lionel Mandrake, a dizzy-with-anxiety group captain in the Royal Air Force.

    Ripper: “Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? Fluoridation of water?”

    Mandrake: “Ah, yes, I have heard of that, Jack. Yes, yes.”

    Ripper: “Well, do you know what it is?”

    Mandrake: “No. No, I don’t know what it is, no.”

    Ripper: “Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?”

    The movie came out in 1964, by which time the health benefits of fluoridation had been thoroughly established and anti-fluoridation conspiracy theories could be the stuff of comedy. Yet half a century later, fluoridation continues to incite fear and paranoia. In 2013, citizens in Portland, Ore., one of only a few major American cities that don’t fluoridate, blocked a plan by local officials to do so. Opponents didn’t like the idea of the government adding “chemicals” to their water. They claimed that fluoride could be harmful to human health.

    Well, that is one op/ed you may find interesting.

    Seriously though, I don’t understand why so many of these war mongers are actually cowards who never fought in a war to begin with….using any means possible to get out of serving for their country…but yet being hypocrites when calling out someone else notion of nationalism and loyalty. (John Wayne comes to mind.) I know that is generalizing, not all war mongers are wusses. (George S Patton) But I hope you all get what I am trying to say, my sleep cycle is really off lately. It is messing with my brain big time.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks. I’m going to check it out. I always loved Sterling Hayden. He was fantastic as General Ripper.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The movie came out in 1964, by which time the health benefits of fluoridation had been thoroughly established and anti-fluoridation conspiracy theories could be the stuff of comedy. Yet half a century later, fluoridation continues to incite fear and paranoia. In 2013, citizens in Portland, Ore., one of only a few major American cities that don’t fluoridate, blocked a plan by local officials to do so. Opponents didn’t like the idea of the government adding “chemicals” to their water. They claimed that fluoride could be harmful to human health.

      Actually fluoride is a natural mineral that, in the weak concentrations used in public drinking-water systems, hardens tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay — a cheap and safe way to improve dental health for everyone, rich or poor, conscientious brushers or not. That’s the scientific and medical consensus.

      To which some people in Portland, echoing anti-fluoridation activists around the world, reply: We don’t believe you.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Politicus USA:

    Report: MSNBC To Ditch Liberal Hosts And Move Away From “Left-Wing” TV

    Good luck competing with Fox News and CNN as a right wing network, MSNBC.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I don’t mind if they want to try to compete as a real news organization, but I can’t imagine them putting out the dollars necessary to do that. That requires a news organization that travels the world, covering the hot-spots, all day, everyday. No one does that type of 24/7/365 reporting better than CNN. If there’s a problem in the world, neither MSNBC or FOX is worth a damn.

      MSNBC has been boring for a long time. I can’t watch it during the day because you know what they’re going to say before they say it. Ronan Farrow was a waste of money, Joy Reid is ok, but nothing special. Al Sharpton just isn’t good at the job. Ed Shultz is ok, but the network has reigned him in. Chris Matthews gets on my nerves. I only watch Rachel and Lawrence O’Donnell, and I watch them mostly for the sedation effect they both have on me at night. We call Rachel our sleeping pill and Lawrence our night light. 🙂

      • ANonOMouse says:

        And Morning Joe is nothing but Scarborough bloviating and grandstanding. He has a serious problem with an overinflated ego. I read somewhere that the plan for that show is to allow Mika to talk. That might be too novel for Joe or Mika to handle. Mika basically sits there and nods, occasionally throwing in an opinion, or acting peeved if Joe makes too much of an ass of himself, which happens nearly everyday. If Morning Joe is the best MSNBC can do, they should get out of the business altogether.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I actually haven’t watched/listened to MSNBC in ages, but I hardly watch any TV new anymore. It’s all pretty worthless IMO.

    • Fannie says:

      I read this, and don’t believe it. When it starts out “it was reported/or it is being reported” tells me that is crap that Fox news pulls. Sounds like a plant, I went to google, and I am not getting confirmation. I mean, Ed, Al, Chris, Lawrence, moving to a more news Lineup between 11 and 3……………. Thomas Roberts is moving to the 5 am slot from the slumping JOE. Thomas will host a new show, more prime time.

      I thought Joy Reid was doing a great job, one of the best, but she is getting the axe. Chris is going to another time slot,………………JOY REID shouldn’t be let go, now that pisses me off.

      The slumping JOE he ought to GO.

      I’m trying to figure it out.

  6. bostonboomer says:

  7. ANonOMouse says:

    I don’t know whether y’all are following this or not but Bill O’Lielly could soon be the next head to roll. Looks like Brian isn’t the only LIAR.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Fox won’t do anything to him. Those stories that Mother Jones ran the past couple of days have been out there forever. Al Franken wrote about O’Reilly’s lies in his book years ago.

  8. Fannie says:

    I just about had it with the face of a dog, Rodolfo, and Shock Walker.

  9. janicen says:

    I just watched Boyhood. Got it from Netflix. Great, great movie. I highly recommend it.

  10. Sweet Sue says:

    I’m sorry that MSNBC cancelled Joy Reid’; I think that she’s smart and fair.
    Ronan Farrow was a kind of a black hole.
    Get rid of Melitthha Harris Perry and Lawrence O’Donnell and all the other Clinton haters.

  11. Sweet Sue says:

    Interesting that MSNBC decides to swerve right just as Hillary is poised to be the Democratic nominee.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    I can’t believe I’m trying to find ways to order powdered or condensed milk on line. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get out to a store anytime soon. Quite a bit of snow fell yesterday and we’re supposed to get freezing rain today. That means everything will turn to a sheet of ice tomorrow…

    • janicen says:

      I have amazon prime so if you need it, I can order it and you can have it by tuesday. just let me know.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thanks. I have Amazon Prime too, and they have a new thing where you can order a box of groceries in small amounts. The only thing I really need soon is milk, so I think I’m going to order some powdered or canned milk. I have enough for a few days. I’m going to go out and survey the damage sometime today. Who knows? Maybe I will be able to get out tomorrow.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Boston passed 100 total inches of snow for this winter last night!

        • janicen says:

          I love amazon prime. they are so fast and efficient that you get spoiled for other websites. when it takes a day or two to process your order and then 5 – 7 days to ship in other websites I start thinking something’s wrong, lol! on most things amazon prime will process the order within an hour.

          I think about you often. We’ve been cranky and anxious because the weather has limited our movements for the past week or so but then I remember what you in Boston are going through and it kind of puts things in perspective.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I love it too. I have had prime for years now, and I have no doubt it’s worth every cent.

            Thanks for thinking of me. I’m really doing OK. I’m just getting a little stir crazy. I looked out, and I think I might be able to get my car out in a couple of days if it doesn’t snow anymore. But I keep thinking of people who are older and poorer then me. I hope the Meals on Wheels are getting delivered.

    • Holy Shit! BB this is unreal! What is your roof situation? Is there a lot of heavy snow on it? Any worries about it collapsing with all that weight? I am so worried about you and the rest of the folks up there…Pat, X and the other North Eastern Sky Dancers…

      • bostonboomer says:

        I live in a Cape Cod house with a peaked roof. Whenever I have looked at it, it has been OK. The roofs that are collapsing are mostly places with flat roofs. I do have a flatter roof on my back porch, and I’m afraid it will cave in some day. But so far, so good. There is nothing I can do about it anyway. I’m too old to be climbing up ladders onto roofs through 6 feet of snow. I just have to turn it over to the universe and hope I’ll survive this.

    • NW Luna says:

      Freezing rain–ouch. Do you have anything like Stabilicers or Yaktrax– basically city crampons which strap on or snug on to shoes and have sharp metal traction bits? I bought a cheap pair one year after seeing the letter carriers wear theirs during an icy stretch. Where I live we rarely get icy conditions in town but I figured using them a couple days a year to save me from breaking an ankle in the parking lot would be worth it. Examples here:

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m not going out today, but I have unbelievably nonskid boots. You need them around here. I used to have some of those things, but my boots are better. They’re like snow tires.