Reading Rachel Morris's devastating Washington Monthly article on Rudy Giuliani's contempt for democratic checks and balances, I'm struck by the fact that my #1 concern in the presidential election is that he be defeated. The downside of a Giuliani presidency is far worse than any other conceivable alternative -- he knows nothing about foreign policy, his foreign policy advisers are crazy, he has no understanding of the appropriate exercise of executive power, and displays little concern for the niceties of free speech. This man should not be put in charge of the executive branch.
People seem to be slowly catching on to the problem. Indeed, if Giuliani gets the GOP nomination, I think the Democrats might end up using the same playbook that they employed against Barry Goldwater. I'm not totally confident that it would work, though -- Giuliani appeals to the belligerent authoritarian in all of us. After 9/11, that strategy may be all too effective.
Update 10/25 10:26 AM: The New York Times reports on Giuliani's foreign policy advisers today:
Mr. Giuliani’s team includes Norman Podhoretz, a prominent neoconservative who advocates bombing Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible”; Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum, who has called for profiling Muslims at airports and scrutinizing American Muslims in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps; and Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who has written in favor of revoking the United States’ ban on assassination.
...Mr. Giuliani has taken an aggressive position on Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear program, saying last month it was a “promise” that as president he would take military action to keep the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon.
Warnings like that one and his reliance on advisers like Mr. Podhoretz, who wrote an article in June for Commentary magazine called “The Case for Bombing Iran,” have raised concerns among some Democrats.
Mr. Podhoretz said in an interview published Wednesday in The New York Observer that he recently met with Mr. Giuliani to discuss his new book, in which he advocates bombing Iran as part of a larger struggle against “Islamofascism,” and “there is very little difference in how he sees the war and I see it.”
Asked in a recent interview if he agreed with Mr. Podhoretz that the time to bomb Iran has already come, Mr. Giuliani said: “From the information I do have available, which is all public source material, I would say that that is not correct, we are not at that stage at this point. Can we get to that stage? Yes. And is that stage closer than some of the Democrats believe? I believe it is.”
The article also included this graphic on Rudy's advisers (click for larger version):