Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I've just been exploring the subconscious mind of Chris Matthews, and I think I need to take a shower:

MATTHEWS: How can [Rudy Giuliani] go into a debate with Hillary Clinton and land a punch against a woman? Isn't that going to be tricky for somebody like Rudy, who knows how to land a punch, to go up a woman --


MATTHEWS: -- up against a woman?

CELLUCCI: I ran against Marjorie Clapprood for lieutenant governor back in 1990. I had several debates with her. I didn't approach her any differently....

Getting a little excited thinking about that punch, Chris? Should we run a cold shower for you?

Go read the whole linked item (from Media Matters) -- Matthews has a big man-crush on Giuliani ("You know what I like about Rudy Giuliani? He's tough. He's a bit of an SOB"), which doesn't surprise me a bit and is one big reason I think Rudy can win (Matthews influences Beltway groupthink far more than he should, given his TV ratings).


Oh and don't be fooled by this:

MATTHEWS: What would he have done if Hurricane Katrina had hit Louisiana, New Orleans especially, on his watch? What would he have done afterwards?

CELLUCCI: Well, I think he would have been there within hours. And I think he would have made sure that all the federal people who had responsibility to deal with that were there as well. I think we can pretty much be assured of that.

Yeah, Rudy would have dealt with the crisis somewhat better than Bush. (It's hard to think of any human being on the planet who wouldn't have.) But Rudy -- as every New Yorker knows -- would have spent quite a bit of time wagging his finger and declaring that those who didn't get themselves out of harm's way were shiftless and feckless. How could he have resisted, given the fact that so many of them were poor black people, his favorite targets when he was mayor?

It would have been their fault that they didn't have an escape plan, their fault that they needed government assistance, their fault if they were desperately hungry and resorted to looting abandoned stores. He would have especially savored the prospect of criticizing those who didn't want to be rescued if it meant abandoning their pets -- remember his off-his-meds outburst at a radio talk-show caller who was an advocate for ferret owners? And he'd still be lecturing the victims, still blaming them for not turning their lives around instantly.

And while he would have moved faster to get the situation under control, I can't guarantee that he wouldn't have ordered heavy-handed police tactics. Looters shot on sight? Maybe.

Don't extrapolate from 9/11 to any other crisis in Rudy's case. Rudy identified with the cops and firefighters and white-collar financial-services workers who died in the Towers. Katrina might have been a very different story.

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