Nothing in modern politics seems to defy the laws of physics more than the Rudolph Giuliani campaign for the Republican nomination. Watching a thrice-married serial adulterer who supports abortion rights and gay rights and knows less most policy matters than your average rhododendron try to win over Dobson and Tancredo’s loyal minions has the roughly the same feel as watching the test car approach the striped wall in super-slow motion.
Rudy’s latest incoherent policy position concerns an ongoing gun control lawsuit that he himself filed. The suit, which goes on without him, puts an amusingly ironic light on the 9/11 mayor’s newfound need for guns ‘n gays value voters. Giuliani has stuck to his cross-dressing guns better than the other GOP frontrunners, but when he agreed to speak directly to the NRA everyone got ready for philosophical acrobatics worthy of a judge panel. But, BUT, how would a guy who works 9/11 into every third sentence justify such an abject flipflop? Nobody could have anticipated (via Benen):
“That lawsuit has taken several turns and several twists that I don’t agree with,” he said, without going into specifics. “I also think that there are some major intervening events — September 11, which cast somewhat of a different light on the Second Amendment, doesn’t change it fundamentally but perhaps highlights the necessity of it.”
Asked to explain the shift, a campaign spokesperson said Giuliani was “making a point that personal rights such as the 2nd Amendment are even more critical in a post-September 11th world.”
Absolutely right. Indeed this stance dovetails perfectly with the other freedoms that post-9/11 Giuliani has embraced, such as…wait, I can’t think of any. Since 9/11 Giuliani has decided that the government can eavesdrop on anyone it wants without any of that pesky oversight stuff (to be fair, his behavior as mayor suggests that isn’t new). He rejects habeas corpus for foreigners and Americans designated by the president without independent review. He supports torture, approves of unchecked executive power and hates freedom of speech. The few socially liberal positions that Rudy hasn’t yet given up (teh ghey!) hardly count as post-9/11 revelations.
Rudy and the rest of his post-9/11 party seem to want a totalitarian police state, but one where a terrorist can buy an assault weapon without waiting, without a background check and without a permanent record of the transaction. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.