Rudy Giuliani

Conservatives use N.Y. shooting to bash Obama

The Washington Post – Plum Line

The horrifying shooting of two police officers in Brooklyn on Saturday has brought out the worst in some people. But it also gives us an opportunity to consider how we talk about the way we talk and whether we might do it in a more enlightening fashion. We regularly argue over not just the substance of issues but the way those issues are being discussed; both liberals and conservatives are convinced that their side presents its arguments in reasonable and logical ways, while the other side is prone to inflammatory, dishonest and demagogic rhetoric. When something like this shooting happens, the accusation that it occurred because of the words someone else spoke is almost inevitable. But it’s also almost always wrong.

The venom directed at de Blasio from police union leaders was particularly vivid. “There’s blood on many hands tonight,” said Patrick Lynch, the head of the New York police union. “Those that incited violence on the street in the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it shouldn’t be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts at the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor.” Here’s a tweet from former New York governor George Pataki:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) seemed to want to say that public officials were not responsible for the murders, but yeah, they’re kind of responsible: “the tone they’re setting around the rhetoric regarding the cops incites crazy people, but I blame the shooter.” And then there’s Rudy Giuliani, who was much more explicit: “We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police,” he said in an appearance on Fox News.

It’s hard to find words to describe what a despicable lie this is. But here’s the truth: Every single time Barack Obama has spoken about these issues, he has stressed that violence of any kind, even when people are protesting over legitimate grievances, is utterly wrong and unacceptable. He makes sure, in all his public statements, to include praise of police officers. If he had ever said anything like “everybody should hate the police,” it would have been rather dramatic, to say the least. But he never said anything even remotely resembling that. For instance, here’s what Obama said after the grand jury’s decision was announced in the Ferguson case:

“I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur. Understand, our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day.  They’ve got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law. As they do their jobs in the coming days, they need to work with the community, not against the community, to distinguish the handful of people who may use the grand jury’s decision as an excuse for violence – distinguish them from the vast majority who just want their voices heard around legitimate issues in terms of how communities and law enforcement interact.”

Wow, that is some horrifying anti-cop rhetoric. And what about de Blasio? Here’s part of the explanation for why some in the NYPD seem to hate him so much:

There have been a number flash points between de Blasio and police, including one earlier this month, when the mayor spoke to George Stephanopoulos of ABC News about his fears for his biracial son.

“It’s different for a white child. That’s just the reality in this country,” de Blasio said. “And with Dante, very early on with my son, we said, look, if a police officer stops you, do everything he tells you to do, don’t move suddenly, don’t reach for your cellphone, because we knew, sadly, there’s a greater chance it might be misinterpreted if it was a young man of color.”

I get that police officers might not like to hear that, but is there a single sane human being who can say it’s bad advice to give to a black teenager? Or that anyone could take it as encouragement to commit murder?

It’s perfectly fine to call people out on their rhetoric. Everyone fortunate enough to have a prominent voice in public debate should be accountable for the things he or she says. But when someone tosses off the accusation that an act of violence committed by one deranged person was a consequence of words someone else spoke, he or she should immediately be met with a couple of questions, the most important of which is: What,exactly, are you referring to?

So when Rudy Giuliani accuses Barack Obama of saying “everybody should hate the police,” the response should be, “Mr. Giuliani, can you tell us what quote you’re referring to? When did President Obama actually say ‘everybody should hate the police’?” And when Giuliani has no answer, then he ought to be asked whether he’d like to retract the accusation. When Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) says, “it’s really time for our national leaders, the president, it’s time for the mayor of New York, and really for many in the media to stop the cop bashing, to stop this anti-police rhetoric,” he should be asked what exactly the president said that constitutes “cop-bashing.”

To be clear, this isn’t about shutting down anyone’s right to say what they want, even to toss off unsupported accusations. People regularly react to criticism of the things they say with cries of “censorship,” as though the First Amendment not only gives you a right to speak but also removes anyone else’s right to tell you that you’re being a jerk. But if you’re going to say that someone else’s words led to violence, you’d better have a case to make, and that case has to include the specific words that supposedly pushed the violent person over the edge.

Liberals like me certainly spend our fair share of time examining and criticizing the rhetoric of conservative politicians. But when any of us do it, we should follow a simple rule: The more serious the accusation you’re making, the more responsibility you have to support it with clear, specific evidence. If we all followed that rule, we could have a debate about events like this shooting that actually brought some greater understanding.

Or we could just see how angry we could make people, and whether we could use the tragedy to stir up hatred at our political opponents.

Soledad O’Brien To Rudy Giuliani: ‘Stop Putting Words In My Mouth’ (VIDEO)

Soledad O’Brien has been on a roll putting her guests in check when they wander of topic…

The Huffington Post

Soledad O’Brien and Mayor Rudy Giuliani had a very heated exchange over President Obama’s response to Libya on Monday’s “Starting Point.”

O’Brien replayed a clip of Matthew Dowd, a former member of George W. Bush’s administration, defending the White House against criticism that it doesn’t have the answers about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. He said that it took far longer than two weeks to get to the truth about weapons of mass destruction.

O’Brien asked Giuliani if Dowd had a point. “So we’re gonna blame this on Bush too?” Giuliani said.

“You gotta stop putting words in my mouth, sir,” O’Brien interjected. After some back-and-forth, she continued, “Every time I ask you a question, you like to push back as if somehow the question being posed to you is unfair. It’s not. I’m a journalist, you said some things. I’m trying to get some accurate responses from you. You are welcome to answer.”

Giuliani said that Dowd’s response seemed like an attempt to blame Bush for the Benghazi attack. He also argued that Obama should have disclosed any knowledge about previous attacks on the consulate and how the U.S. reacted.

“That’s not what Matthew Dowd is saying,” O’Brien objected.

“But it doesn’t take a long time for the president of the United States to tell us whether or not he was aware that this consulate was attacked twice before and if he was aware what did he do to protect the consulate?” Giuliani countered.

“But the point and my question is, does Matthew Dowd have a point?” she said.

O’Brien gets Giuliani to admit to politicizing Libya attack

Soledad OBrien screenshot 101512

One thing that can be said about Soledad O’Brien is that she does her job well…

The Raw Story

While challenging former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani during an interview Monday morning, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien got Giuliani to admit to framing discussion of the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate for political gain.

Giuliani, a surrogate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, accused President Barack Obama’s administration of covering up the Sept. 11 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four people, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

“Calling something a cover up kind of takes it a step further, don’t you think?” O’Brien asked.

Giuliani’s remarks are part of a recent pattern of cover-up accusations from him; Think Progress reported that Giuliani also urged Romney to exploit the situation in a separate interview on Fox News Monday.

“The White House has fumbled this — whether it’s a deliberate cover-up or they’re making it look like a cover-up they have fumbled the ball four or five times here,” Giuliani told O’Brien and her panel. “Excuse me if being the fact that I’m a Republican, I don’t give them as you do, all the benefit of the doubt.”

Giuliani also accused O’Brien of bias toward Obama, asking aloud, “Am I debating with the president’s campaign?” when she challenged his version of the government’s handling of the assault, which, he said, had the president directly linking the attack to unrest over the anti-Islam short film “Innocence of Muslims.”

“He did not specifically say, ‘This was due to a movie,’” O’Brien said, before motioning backstage. “Miguel, why don’t you pull all these transcripts for me? We have them all in the back room, we can just pull them out.”

The U.S. State Department has conceded that some of the people involved in the fatal attack “were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to Al-Qaeda.” Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said last week she has set up a review board to determine whether the facility was properly secured.

Sunday, Steven’s father, Jan, denounced the use of the ambassador’s death as a political talking point.

Watch:

 

Get Krugman!

Paul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksban...

Image via Wikipedia

I agreed with Paul Krugman’s editorial and I agree with Dave Weigel’s assessment…

Dave Weigel – Slate

Early on Sunday morning, as the rest of NYTimes.com was turned over to 9/11 anniversary, Paul Krugman vented his spleen. Years of columns were condensed into a few pithy lines. “What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful,” he wrote. “The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.”

These were sentiments he’d expressed before, but he knew they’d set people off. He turned off the comment section. “I didn’t have time to sift through the predictable vast pile of obscene and threatening stuff looking for the rare entries that were fit to print,” Krugman says. So the reaction occurred away from the blog, on Twitter and in other columns. Jennifer Rubin accused him of “hatred and contempt for his countrymen.” Donald Rumsfeld picked up the essential tool of the angry op-ed reader:

Screen shot 2011-09-12 at 11.49.04 AM

On a day when everyone else was flashing back to 9/11/2001, I was flashing back to the days and months later, when criticism of the Bush administration returned, and the practitioners of it became, briefly, Emmanuel Goldsteins. Remember Susan Sontag? Remember the Dixie Chicks? Remember the campaign to “revoke the Oscar” from Michael Moore? There hasn’t been much criticism of the substance of Krugman’s remarks; denying that 9/11 and counterterrorism strategy became “wedge issues” is denying a few years of political history. The criticism is of Krugman for expressing it. He brushes the criticism right off.

“I’m not saying anything in that post that I wasn’t saying back in 2002, when people like him were riding high,” says Krugman. “And isn’t Rumsfeld ‘sweep everything up, related and not’ the poster child for 9/11 exploitation?”

If you’ve forgotten the “sweep everything up” reference, there’s a refresher here.

Related articles

Krugman: 9/11 made Bush, Giuliani become ‘fake heroes’

Paul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksban...

Image via Wikipedia

I’d have to agree with Nobel prize winner in economics, Paul Krugman on his assessment…

The Raw Story

This story may not be going away for a long while.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman lashed out at the commemoration of the 10 year anniversary of September 11th, labeling George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani as “fake heroes.”

On his “Conscience of a Liberal” blog Sunday morning, the Princeton economics professor didn’t lack in showing any temerity in his comments that certainly will upset conservatives.

“What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful,” he wrote. “Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.”

Krugman, who normally allows comments, also wrote that he wasn’t going to allow comments under this post “for obvious reasons.”

Related articles

Rewrite, Sugarcoat, Ignore: 8 Ways Conservatives Misremember American History—for Partisan Gain

I can’t believe that the current crop of GOP presidential candidates actually think their followers are that stupid…uh, strike that…

The Nation

The mortgage crisis began in 2006 and it’s all President Obama’s fault—at least according to Fox News host Sean Hannity. Hannity recently blamed Obama—“his policies, his economic plan, his fault”—for the mortgage crisis, ignoring who was actually president (that would be George W. Bush) as the housing market slipped.

Hannity’s is just one example of the selective memory and historical revision frequently on display in the conservative movement. Right-wing pundits, politicians and pseudo-historians are nibbling away at objective historical truths to rewrite history for present-day purposes, and hardly any topic is off-limits: glorifying the “Reagan Revolution” to children, sugar-coating the Jim Crow South and revising textbooks to offer a favorable view on Phyllis Schlafly—among many others.

Below, read about eight ways in which conservatives try to rewrite, sugarcoat or ignore aspects of American history.

1. Michele Bachmann on the founding fathers and slavery. Propelled to the front of the Republican field after her victory in the Iowa straw poll, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann’s historical views are notoriously error-prone. In one her infamous gaffes, she said the founding fathers “work[ed] tirelessly to end slavery” (in fact, George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves) and that John Quincy Adamswas a founding father—he was born in 1767.

Bachmann was a research assistant to John Eidsmoe for his 1987 book Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of our Founding Fathers, in which Eidsmoe wrote, “The church and the state have separate spheres of authority, but both derive authority from God. In that sense America, like [Old Testament] Israel, is a theocracy.” And at a conference, Eidsmoe outlined his belief in church/state separation: “The church’s responsibility is to teach biblical principles of government and to drive sinners to the cross…. The function of the state is to follow those godly principles and preserve a system of order.” Bachmann  has praisedEidsmoe as “absolutely brilliant. He taught me about so many aspects about our godly heritage.”

2. Secession was fine, dandy and legal. Texas Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is fond ofpro-secession comments; in 2009, he joked that “we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.”

In his dreams. In fact, these attempts at humor sidestep what secession actually leads to: a nullification crisis, a Civil War, hundreds of thousands of casualties and the federal government as the victor anyway. And secession is illegal. In 1866 the Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. White that Texas’s ordinance of secession was “absolutely null.”

Perry isn’t the only Republican to make such comments. Congressman Zach Wamp alluded to secession and Georgia’s Senate passed a secession-related bill in 2009.

3. Forgetting September 11? Conservatives have an uncanny ability to misremember when the September 11 attacks occurred. In July, Fox News host Eric Bolling said “we were certainly safe between 2000 and 2008 — I don’t remember any terrorist attacks on American soil during that period of time.” (In his “apology,” he accepted no blame: “Yesterday, I misspoke when saying that there were no US terror attacks during the Bush years. Obviously, I meant in the aftermath of 9/11, but that is when the radical liberal left pounced on us…. thank you liberals for reminding me how petty you can be.”)

A surprising slip came from ex–New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In January 2010 he claimed that “we had no domestic attacks under Bush.” In December 2009 Mary Matalin made the outrageous claim that Bush inherited the attacks from Bill Clinton. In November 2009 Bush’s ex–Press Secretary Dana Perino said “we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.”

4. Mike Huckabee’s “Learn Our History.” Mike Huckabee’s cartoon history series is whitewashing American history. While claiming to engage children in an easy-to-digest format without “misrepresentations…historical inaccuracies, personal biases and political correctness,” personal biases somehow make an appearance. Each video is produced with consultation from Learn Our History’s “Council of Masters;” one “Master,” Larry Schweikart, is the author of 48 Liberal Lies About American History, including “Lie #45: LBJ’s Great Society Had a Positive Impact on the Poor.”

In  a DVD on the “Reagan Revolution,” viewers are invited to “journey to a time when America suffered from financial, international and moral crisis:” Washington, DC, 1977. A knife-wielding African-American man demands “gimme yo’ money!” Ronald Reagan’s arrival—against triumphant music playing and a caption reading “one man transformed the nation…and the world”—changed all that for the better, the DVD suggests.

Continue reading here…

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As GOP 2012 Field Firms Up, So Does Discontent Over The GOP 2012 Field

As usual, HuffPo’s Jason Linkins nails it…

The Huffington Post

So the word is out! The GOP field for the 2012 nomination is set. And the enthusiasm is pretty much not palpable. But why is that? By my reckoning, the current field includes:

  • The Guy Who Invented ObamaCare (Mitt Romney)
  • The Guy Who Imploded 48 Hours After Announcing (Newt Gingrich)
  • The Guy Who Is The “Secret Progressive” (Jon Huntsman)
  • The Pizza Guy (Herman Cain; if you’re not satisfied with your pizza, be sure to check out Cain’s right of return policy)
  • The Guy With The “Google Problem” (Rick Santorum)
  • America’s Most Beloved Libertarian (Ron Paul)
  • America’s Most Beloved Libertarian On Weed (Gary Johnson)
  • Maybe, America’s Top Internet Troll (Sarah Palin)
  • Probably, America’s Top Michele Bachmann (Michele Bachmann)
  • Two Dudes Who The GOP Have Made Into Apostates For Being Anti-Lobbyist and Pro-LGBT Rights, Respectively (Buddy Roemer, Fred Karger)
  • And Finally, Ol’ What’s His Name, The Guy Who’s Not Mitch Daniels (Tim Pawlenty)

Hey, that includes three people (Romney, Gingrich, and Huntsman) who have, in the past, supported the individual health insurance mandate that’s now a taboo topic in conservative circles.

And so, the National Review‘s Rich Lowry is wondering, “Is This It?

How’s this for an impressive Republican lineup?A likable former governor and TV personality; a two-term governor with an unmatched fiscal record; another former governor with the best education-reform credentials in the country; a rising star in the House; and a photogenic senator from the heartland.

They are Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush, Mike Pence, and John Thune. The Republicans sitting out the 2012 nomination battle would themselves make a formidable field. Indeed, more formidable than the actual entrants. The hottest place to be in Republican politics right now is sitting on the sidelines.

Continue reading…

Rudy Giuliani: Time to bury the birthers

I’m definitely NOT a Rudy Giuliani fan, but in this rare instance, he is correct…

Politico

A day after Donald Trump raised questions about President Barack Obama’s citizenship, Rudy Giuliani on Friday swatted down the “birthers” as a waste of time, saying it’s “clear” the president was born in America.

The former New York City mayor — making his first trip to New Hampshire of the 2012 presidential cycle as he weighs another run for the White House — made the comments to POLITICO just before he spoke at the Manchester GOP Lincoln Day dinner here.

“He’s born in the United States, I don’t see any real question about that,” Giuliani said. “And even if some people have some doubts in the back of their minds it’s really too late and futile. … We have so many more important things to talk about.”

Trump, who is also considering a campaign for president, waded into the “birther” debate on Thursday by suggesting he himself has doubts about the president’s citizenship and that “no one” knew Obama when he was growing up.

The president on Thursday made light of the lingering controversy by making a joke about it, the second time he has done so this month after a long period of remaining silent on the topic.

Could Chris Christie Really Beat Obama?

Andrew Romano – The Daily Beast

The New Jersey governor claims he knows he “could win” the White House in 2012, but he’s not “ready to be president.” Andrew Romano on why Christie isn’t insane—though he shouldn’t read much into early polls.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t known for being demure. Since defeating incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine in 2009, he’s blustered, bellowed, and bullied his way into the hearts of conservatives nationwide, berating every schoolteacher or union boss who has had the temerity to cross him—especially if his staff is filming the encounter for YouTube.

So when National Review’s Rich Lowry asked Christie whether “he knew that, given the moment, there is a serious chance he could win the Republican nomination if he ran,” the governor responded in typically bombastic fashion.

“I see the opportunity,” said the New Jersey governor, who at this point has been pestered about his (allegedly nonexistent) 2012 presidential ambitions so many times that he’s taken to saying he’ll have to commit “suicide” to get reporters off his back. “I have people calling me and saying to me, ‘Let me explain to you how you could win.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re barking up the wrong tree. I already know I could win.’ That’s not the issue.

An expression of complete electoral confidence from a sworn, Shermanesque non-candidate is a rare thing in American politics. Usually, when a politician is blabbering about how he can win a particular contest, it means he’s planning to give it a go. So does Christie really think he could clobber President Obama in 2012? And if so, is he correct?

Let’s start with the evidence in Christie’s favor. Last month, Zogby Interactive released a poll that showed the governor leading a hypothetical field of Republican hopefuls by a solid 10 percentage points; the silver medalist, Mitt Romney, scored a paltry 17 percent to Christie’s commanding 27 percent. Even more impressive, Christie was the only Republican who bested Obama among all respondents (43 percent to 40 percent), with much of his strength coming from independents, who preferred the New Jerseyan by a wide, 13-point margin (42 percent to 29 percent).              Continue reading here…