Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, March 13, 2015

Rudy Guiliani has Slipped the Bonds of Decency and Touched the Face of Derp

Like, he's gone, man. Gone:

Speaking on AM970 Thursday morning, Giuliani said that the president isn't paying attention to "enormous amounts of crime" and that it's the obligation of the president to explain "that our police are the best in the world."

"I hate to mention it because of what happened afterwards, but [Obama should be saying] the kinds of stuff Bill Cosby used to say," Giuliani said on the radio station, according to The New York Daily News.

Obama, actually, praises police often, including in a major speech he delivered in Selma, Alabama recently.

Cosby had frequently argued that African Americans should avoid engaging in crime and focus on being better parents.
Well, since what happened afterwards was that Cos was accused by 30-something women and counting of sexual assault, there may be something wanting about whether his pronouncements were honest or valid. And the funny old thing is, Obama is not at all short on the "pull up your pants" type of lectures.  Giuliani also blamed assorted crimes other people did on Obama, because, obviously, no one ever did crime before Obama got into office because...things. And stuff.

In 2007, this was the man the GOP field had to beat for the presidential nom, everyone. He is probably still wondering why his moment never happened--but between you and me? We all can figure it out.


StringOnAStick said...

Let's see, yesterday I read somewhere that the ills that Rudy911 is decrying because blackness became a big issue when the jobs of the inner city disappeared; you know, that Creative Destruction thing capitalism does now and then. After that, those that predominantly lived in the inner city saw a rise in crime, joblessness (duh), pregnancy out of wedlock, and splintered families. Of course to an old cracker like Rudy, it's all because those people are black.

Now that the old debil Creative Destruction has done the same thing to the jobs of white blue color workers of the US, we're seeing the same things hit that population. Funny, it doesn't seem to be a "color" thing or an "inherent racial morality" thing like Rudy portrays it with such an audible dog whistle; it's actually a "poverty" thing.

Vixen Strangely said...

Pretty much. A couple years back I looked at Charles Murray's (yes, that Charles Murray) Coming Apart, where he noticed the cultural differences between what he termed "elites" and poorer whites, while somehow couching everything in terms of values and avoiding class. Well, the middle class is disappearing. People's conduct is to an extent shaped by the choices available to them.

At the same time, black teen pregnancy, black-on-black crime, and violent crime are on the decline--but that could be attributed to changing neighborhood dynamics and economic changes far more than cultural lecturing, I tend to think.

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, what is surprising to me are the two extremes that people go to when trying to get their arms around the 'black' problem.

On the right, it's absolute bootstrap capitalism. If some underprivileged black kid would just walk 50 blocks to a part-time job making $3.78 an hour and parlay that into an education in a community college and just make fantastic grades, transfer to a state university, make terrific grades there, transfer to Harvard, then use that as a basis for being a male student at Sarah Lawrence,e then in a short span of 20 years and diligent effort he could get a PhD in English literature. (That's B.A., M.A., Ph. D.) ...BAMAPHD. Yes, he could become a BAMAPHD, glory days!)

On the left there is no infraction, no matter how heinous, that a black person can commit that is not ultimately excused or justified. I knew a black guy who thought that OJ had killed his ex-wife, but it was understandable because "the white bitch was probably blowin' the man up his ass." If you put wings on a pig, you probably had a good reason. It all fits into somebody's socioeconomic theory.

In the old days Mort Sahl was still a political comedian on TV. He was commenting on the first buddy movie on TV, “I Spy,” starring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. Mort said that all it proved to him was that “a black guy can be just as much a sonofabitch as a white guy, given the opportunity.” This is more or less the way I see it.

I think one other thing about all this. In the 60s when we had conflict between the “hippies” and the “pigs” there was more ubiquitous acceptance of antagonism to the police.

But you have to remember that in those days there actually was a counter-culture. It's weird to think of it today, but in any big city you could literally disappear into the counter-culture and start a different life without reference to the culture that Mom and Dad lived in. Furthermore, if you go back to an early enough period, National Review under the authority of William F. Buckley, Jr., was virtually the only conservative voice in the United States.

None of this is true any longer. The counter-culture is long since dead. The hippies all got jobs and had kids. Fox News just emerged as the most trusted news media outlet in the country. So now push-back is inevitable.

There's kind of a time warp. I met one of my black friends accidentally, and he took one look at me, a sort-of biggish white guy tending toward redneckism, and started to gently lecture me about unfairness to black Americans. I said to him,
“Man, you think you're talking to the world war 2 generation, but you're not. You're talking to the civil rights generation. I was in the movement.”
We got to talking, and now we're good friends.

My point is simply that in the 60s we were pushing back at the “establishment.” Today advocates of the leftist theories are actually pushing back at people who were very involved in the civil rights struggle. And we're no longer part of a counter-culture. Furthermore the left has become the “establishment.” Whatever social and economic problems there may be are under the watch of a progressive president, with a progressive agenda, and his progressive administration.

Vixen Strangely said...

I think the pull of culture and counter culture have worked as a pendulum throughout history, but the singularity of the television age coinciding with the baby boomer generation makes younger people feel like all there is are hippies and squares--the clashes of the 1960's I think really color people's filters about.

The '50's did have some conservative media besides Buckley--the magazine Human Events, there were a couple tv shows funded by H.L. Hunt and the Birch Society was a bigger deal (I believe Buckley's really credited with trying to tamp down on the fringier characters--he seemed to prefer his conservatism if not purely intellectual, at least with a respectable veneer). It was Ayn Rand's active years. And McCarthyism seems to have been a mainstream concern, so it's kind of hard to get to the right of that, anyway.

Prior to the 50s, the counterculture roots probably owe a lot to Reds or at least IWW-type socialism. And a lot of that kind of activism was fueled by immigrants and women in the workforce, so I see a lot there that relates to later Left issues.

To me, though, and my generation--if you were a identifiably left it was a reaction against Reagan in a sense, whose social conservatism and embrace of the Religious Right was in some ways less overall injurious as the economic policies of trickledown--and he was big gov't guy compared to the kiddies who grew up under him.

In social terms, I'd say progressives have won and lost. Labor rights, union membership, are under attack where states adopt the blandly unmalign-sounding Right to Work laws. The Voter ID stuff does look to me a foot in the door for denying people voting rights. Although they're getting trashed in the courts, the existence of marriage equality bans implies a significant, if shrinking, pool of people who don't care for gay rights--as do the current "religious freedom" bills in some states to enshrine the rights of some business to discriminate. Culturally, the left does entertainment--but I wouldn't really call the major news networks pro-left at all--a rundown of the Sunday chat shows always has Republicans outnumbering Dems. But we've got a oddly polarized society--Tom Cotton and Joni Ernst are US senators and that should count them as mainstream.

Because the progressives won, I get to be mainstream, too. FWIW.

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, you make a lot of good points. I would be less sanguine about thinking of the John Birch Society as conservatism and would see Ayn Rand as a libertarian, but still you do point out some other conservative leaning voices in the country early on, and you also point out progenitors for the leftist movement.

My trajectory on the conservative side would be Edmund Burke with Buckley laying a theoretical foundation for the modern era and then Barry Goldwater as the originator of the conservative movement.

Incidentally, I have said that Ron Paul conceivably could be a Barry Goldwater of a libertarian direction. A man who was never elected president but brought a third way of looking at politics. And now his son is running for president as well.

I thought of you the other day while reading 'Sex, Art, and American Culture' by my favorite lesbian feminist, Camille Paglia. The woman was absolutely ga-ga over Elizabeth Taylor, and I thought, “how odd,” but then she explained,
“My devotion to Elizabeth Taylor began in the late 50s, … I was suffering sustained oppression in the Age of Perky Blondes; day after day I reeled from the assaults of Doris Day, Debby Reynolds, Sandra Dee. All that parochial pleasantness! So chirpy, peppy, and pink, so well-scrubbed, making the world safe for democracy.

“In 1958, Elizabeth Taylor, raven-haired, vixen and temptress, took Eddie Fischer away from Debby Reynolds and became a pariah of the American press. I cheered. What joy to see Liz rattle Debbie's braids and bring a scowl to that smooth, girlish forehead! As an Italian, I saw that a battle of cultures was underway; antiseptic American blondness was being stamped by a rising tide of sensuality, a new force that would sweep my 60s generation into open rebellion.”

I pondered for a while, after I read this, wondering why she had not felt that way about Sophia Loren. My god, if you want to talk about Italian temptresses, how are you going to top Sophia Loren? But I guess Camille was thinking in American terms, and so of course I get it, although Liz was never one of my chief objects of fantasy. However, it did occur to me that you may have had some sympathetic feelings along those lines yourself.

While I'm on favorite lesbian writers, I would point out a fairly new biography of Patricia Highsmith called 'The Talented Miss Highsmith' by Joan Schenkar. You are probably aware that Highsmith's book 'The Price of Salt' was one of the earliest novels written by a lesbian about a lesbian infatuation. She certainly had a grim perception of life and humanity, but still her novels are very satisfactory when one is in the proper mood. She was truly an odd character, and her work was always appreciated more in Europe than in the US.

I think the country is gradually moving beyond the old stereotypes that have been so captured by left or right as a philosophy of life. You have a better idea than my neighbors of what I have been up to all these years, and I no longer think of a view of political economic systems as a personal statement of my philosophy. Of course I view everyone as Adam Kadmon, or the Atman, or Jung's view of the Self. And to the best of my knowledge the identification with this state of consciousness has no political or economic component. But then I have spent many years cultivating a point of view that is irregular.