Monday :: Aug 30, 2004

GOP Jabberwocky

by pessimist

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

If that made any real-world sense to you, then you must be a Republican.

I was watching Rudy Giuliani on Meet The Press Sunday morning, and I have to say that if there was going to be a Gold Medal awarded at the Republican Olympic Games, er, National Convention this week for doubletalk, Giuliani was going for it. He seemed to be speaking Jabberwocky in his responses to Tim Russert.

[All of the following quotes from the transcript.]

MR. RUSSERT:  ... "The question is raised once again, is Giuliani really a Republican?"

MR. GIULIANI:  I'm a Republican.  I'm a very loyal Republican.  I'm very, very close to the president.  It doesn't mean that I'm in total agreement with every single policy of the party or every single policy--I worked for Ronald Reagan and I agree with the core philosophy of the party, the way I define it. ...

Let's see - if I got that right, he said something like "I'm a Republican in my own image." Hmmmmmmmmmm...

I guess this got Tim Russert's attention, for he went after this opening like a real reporter should.

MR. RUSSERT:  Ban all abortions, litmus tests for judges.  You're against that?


[Rudy now seems to forget what the topic of discussion was for a moment.]

The part of the platform, and the largest part of this platform, however, is about the thing that I think is most important thing in this country, which is defending America, carrying on the war against terrorism without significant steps back in the direction of only playing defense, and continuing to do under the Bush doctrine, you know, offense and going after them in foreign countries so we don't have to deal with them in the streets of our cities.  To me, you know, you make choices about what are your priorities.  To me, those are my priorities.

[What's this got to do with the topic of discussion, Rudy? After the detour, he gets back to it.]

With regard to choice, I believe in a woman's right to choice.  I think that's the right way. It should be decided.  It's already been decided constitutionally.  And I also respect people who are on the other side of this.  I think maybe that's the difference.

[Doesn't quite answer the question, but at least it's in the neighborhood, unlike the continuation of his response!]

And also there's a kind of myth.  You're all back in the Republican Party of 10, 12, 15 years ago.  Ronald Reagan decided we're going to be a big tent, and we are.  I mean, we are! And you have to come to terms with that.  We're a party that has a broad range of opinion with several core principles that hold us together in a very, very strong way, that makes us very loyal to each other, even though we disagree about other things.

[What's this got to do with the topic of discussion, Rudy? Russert bores in.]

MR. RUSSERT:  This is not a myth.  This is your party's platform.

MR. GIULIANI:  There are things I disagree with.  You can find the things I disagree with.

[It's almost like Giuliani had a sript memorized, and he was going to stick to it no matter what Russert said. otherwise, I fail to see where Giuliani was going.]

More Disagreements

MR. RUSSERT:  Take, for example, gay marriage.  It says, not only against gay marriage but also there should be no benefits for gay couples.

MR. GIULIANI:  Well, I signed the law in New York City that created civil unions and I signed the second one that strengthened it, because I believe that we shouldn't discriminate against gays and lesbians.  People have views of conscience, religion about this.  We should respect all of them, but we shouldn't discriminate against people, and I think that's the right answer.

[Rudy seems to have forgotten what the topic of discussion was.]

Again, that's one part of the platform.  The part of the platform that I agree with is the part that talks about tax reduction to fuel a private economy. When I was mayor of New York City, I realized that the best way to do job creation in New York would be to lower taxes in New York, because it would mean more money in our private economy, less money fueled through Washington, where a lot of it remains in Washington.  And again, going back to those Moynihan reports, it's one of the ways in which New York gets too little money because so many tax dollars are taken by Washington.

[What's this got to do with the topic of discussion, Rudy? Russert tries another topic.]

MR. RUSSERT:  You were always known as a mayor tough on crime.  You always believed that a motorist had to have a license for an automobile, that if you owned a gun, you should have a license.  Your party's platform adopted--outright rejects Rudy Giuliani's view of gun control.

MR. GIULIANI:  Again, that's one of the things that we disagree about.  There are many, many things-- national--the defense of this country, how we handle our economy, are things that affect every single American.

[What's this got to do with the topic of discussion, Rudy? Russert tries yet another topic.]

MR. RUSSERT:  How about this?  Stem cell research.  And this is what your party said. "We support the president's policy that prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to encourage the future destruction of human embryos.  We applaud the president's call for a comprehensive ban on the creation of human embryos solely on experimentation."

Do you agree with the president on stem cell?

MR. GIULIANI:  I agree with the president in the sense that the president is the first one to put any money at all, and significant amounts of money, into stem cell research.

[Huh??? Russert tries to close in on some kind of a real response, since Giuliani seems to be somewhere nearby it with his previous response.]

MR. RUSSERT:  But should it be broader?

MR. GIULIANI:  I think it should be broader.  But then, you can't ignore the fact that President Bush did what no one else had done, which is to support stem cell research, and you know, the fact is that over the social issues there are disagreements within families.  I mean, you talk to any American family of any size and you're going to have people that have different views about religion, different views about the sanctity of life and how that should be handled, choice, how that should be handled.  The core issues of the political party--again, this is my opinion--the core views on which a political party should be organized are national defense and the economy, and on those things--I was going to say 100 percent; it's never 100 percent--95 percent of these delegates agree.

[What's this got to do with the topic of discussion, Rudy? Russert tries to go with what looks like Rudy's flow.]

MR. RUSSERT:  But the impression you're giving the American people -- Harry Truman said it this way:  "To me, party platforms are contracts with the people, and I always looked upon them as agreements that had to be carried out."

MR. GIULIANI:  Party platforms, you know, are party platforms.  I mean, the reality is it comes from the candidate.  What does the candidate emphasize? What does the candidate say he's going to do?  Does he follow through on those promises?  ... I mean, party platforms are important.  They probably express some kind of majority view, but there's a strong minority view in this party about choice, about the things that we've talked about, and I'm very comfortable that they're a very, very strong representative.

[Almost got an answer out of him, Tim! But what's a 'strong minority view' got to do with the topic of discussion, Rudy? He then wanders across the political landscape:]

MR. GIULIANI:  In the Democratic Party--95 percent of the Democratic Party, or 90 percent of the delegates--I think that was your poll--were opposed to the war in Iraq, opposed to our going into the war with Iraq and want us out of there in a minute.  And John Kerry and John Edwards had voted for the war in Iraq and have a very different viewpoint than 90 percent or 95 percent of the delegates at their convention, not just the party platform. So I mean, why emphasize this about us?  It's just as true about them.  But the reality is there are core principles in both parties that distinguish us and there's a significant amount of disagreement.  If that wasn't true, we wouldn't be intelligent people.  We wouldn't be people who are really looking at the world.

[Well, then, who are you people, Rudy? All the world wonders.]

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!   The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun   The frumious Bandersnatch!"

[Since Russert almost got an answer from Rudy, he stays with the general topic:]

MR. RUSSERT:  There's no possible way that you or the mayor of New York or the governor of New York or John McCain or Arnold Schwarzenegger, the prime-time speakers, agree with this party platform, which led the head of the Log Cabin Republicans to say this:  "You can't craft a vicious, mean-spirited platform, then try to put lipstick on the pig by putting Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger on in prime time."

MR. GIULIANI:  Which am I, the pig or the lipstick?  I'm not sure--it got a little--I didn't follow that correctly.  But the reality...

[Rudy's obviously in total meltdown at this point. Russert zings in the killer question:]

MR. RUSSERT:  Is it truth in packaging?

MR. GIULIANI:  No, of course not.  No.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?   Come to my arms, my beamish boy! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'   He chortled in his joy.

[There's the entire GOP image, methodically crafted and cunningly planned, shot to hell by one of it's stars. Giuliani has practically admitted that the entire facade of the GOP Convention is the Potempkin Village several pundits on the Web suggested it was. Russert closes in with the coup de grace:]

MR. RUSSERT:  But why is every prime-time speaker--Giuliani, Schwarzenegger, McCain--representing the minority view of the party platform?

MR. GIULIANI:  I think we're really there for different purposes.  I think John McCain is there because he's someone that can talk to the war in Iraq and what is necessary to carry that forward, and kind of create unity about that. I think I'm there for whatever reason I'm there.  I mean, I'd rather have other people define why I'm there.  And Arnold Schwarzenegger is, you know, in essence, our newest elected governor.  He's someone that is doing a great job in the largest state in the country and turning it around.  He'd be a natural. Why would you--why wouldn't you put the governor of your largest state, who has just won a very, very surprising election, who also happens to be a worldwide, well-known figure, why wouldn't you put him on stage?  Unless you were a party of very, very narrow opinion.

[What's this got to do with the topic of discussion, Rudy?]

And we do want to demonstrate that we're a party of broad opinion, that we have accomplished what Ronald Reagan wanted us to do.  Ronald Reagan got elected president, and we all know this, by getting the votes of Independents and lots of Democrats.  And Bill Clinton got elected president by getting the votes of a lot of Independents and Republicans; and he kind of moved people over toward the middle.  And we want to do the same thing.  And President Bush has many, many programs, policies, ideas, that appeal to the middle of America, that--let's call it that moderate vote.  So it would be very natural for us to do this.


Is it something Republicans eat or drink or smoke that makes some of them verbal incoherents? I don't know about you, but I think America can't handle another babbling idiot as president. I'd remember this performance if Giuliani ever thinks about running for real.

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pessimist :: 1:32 AM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!