An Andrew Sullivan post from last night:
Out Of His Mind
"Hillary and Obama are kind of debating whether to invite [Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] to the inauguration or the inaugural ball."
This is literally insane. If he is starting with this kind of unhinged claim, where will he end up?
Truthdig chides Giuliani for saying at the same campaign appearance that, without the Iraq War, Saddam would have nuclear weapons by now, and wonders whether Rudy was in full command of his faculties when he made the inauguration remark:
Historians may one day debate Rudy Giuliani's recent preposterous comments at a New Hampshire town hall meeting. "Did he mean it?" they might ask. "Or was he just dehydrated?" While addressing voters, the candidate said that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were debating whether to invite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Osama bin Laden to their inaugurations....
What I'm thinking is this: For eight years in the 1980s we watched Ronald Reagan get away with preposterous, fact-challenged right-wing pronouncements, the falsity and absurdity of which did nothing to undermine his popularity -- in fact, all that nonsense made him even more popular. And then George W. Bush wound up with two terms in the White House while also seeming unable to grasp basic facts and making absurd pronouncements at the top of his lungs.
So now, after Reagan and W., we've come to associate this kind of thing with a posture of grinning, aw-shucks folksiness and a wardrobe of Western wear. But what if, this time, it's going to come in the form of a tightly wound city boy in a suit who doesn't seem terrified by multi-syllable words?
What if, in other words, the Limbaughnista yahoos and other salt-of-the-earth types are going to rally around Giuliani as the guy we snooty sophisticates think is too dumb to be president? What if he's the guy they're going to accuse us of "misunderestimating"?
Look, I agree: These Giuliani assertions, like many of his other statements, are ridiculous, if not utterly crazy. But I say that reluctantly -- I don't want to say it too loudly or too often, because I don't want to help him get elected.
MORE: Ezra Klein says Giuliani "is out of his goddamn mind." Steve Benen uses the word "unhinged." The ever-popular "batshit insane" is undoubtedly being typed somewhere even as we speak.
Folks, this is just what Giuliani wants us to say. He couldn't have a better selling point going into the Republican primaries, a better way of neutralizing other candidates' advantages on litmus-test issues, than this: Of all the candidates, who makes the liberals howl the loudest? ME!
Sure, we're right -- he's ignorant and he has a screw loose. But we're playing into his hands.