Rudy Giuliani is having a moment. And, it bears watching.
Giuliani is not running for anything, so he is not burdened by electoral or political constrictions dictating that he must watch every word he says or worry about alienating any specific voting bloc or interest group. This makes him a very effective communicator of a vital message.
Earlier I wrote about Hillary Clinton’s condescending and insulting response to last week’s tragic events. I noted that Donald Trump was uncharacteristically understated and disciplined in his response and Barack Obama merely repeated the same, divisive community organizing tactics he’s fallen back to since he vilified the Cambridge Police who were trying to protect the home of Prof. Henry Louis Gates in 2009.
The fact is no one expects, at this point, for President Obama to do anything other than shake his head sadly about guns, lament that the American people are on his side but evil Republicans and the NRA just love murder too much to relinquish their love affair with guns, and then personally identify with Black Lives Matter, not because he is black, but because he is a Saul Alinsky inspired community organizer who immediately embraces any movement designed to erode the foundations of our country, That’s just what he does.
And, sadly, no one really expects Clinton or Trump to say anything too real or groundbreaking because they are controlled by a group of handlers and by party leadership terrified of making Anderson Cooper (or, God forbid, Lester Holt) angry with them. Sure, Team Trump worries about this less than the robotic Clinton machine, but there is still a worry there, believe me.
And this is what makes Giuliani so effective at cutting through the crap and telling it like it is. He’s a former US Attorney. He has spent a lifetime combating crime in the nation’s toughest city for crime fighting. He was elected mayor of that city twice and was already an enormous success in making New York more livable, civilized and prosperous even before his legendary response to the terror attacks of September 11.
And his success in turning that city around from some troubling Ed Koch years (and disastrous David Dinkins years) was to focus on law enforcement, supporting the police, not giving in to the angry mob led by the Al Sharptons of the world, and to speak for the silent majority of New Yorkers (most of whom had never voted for a Republican before) who were tired of their beloved city torn apart by criminals, race hustlers and liberal politicians too terrified to speak out against either.
So, what is Rudy saying? Here is the highlight of his incredible appearance on CBS News yesterday.
GIULIANI: First let me say, my deep sympathy for the people of Minnesota, the people of Louisiana, the people of Texas and of Dallas and I’d like them all to remember that though these incidents happened in different ways, they all share it together as Americans. And we — we share this violence together as Americans. So — so maybe whites have to look at it differently and blacks have to look at it differently. Whites have to realize that African-American men have a fear and boys have a fear of being confronted by the police because of some of these incidents. Some people may consider it rational. Some people may consider it irrational. But it’s a reality. It — it exists.
And there’s a second reality in the — in the black community. And the second reality in the black community is, there’s too much violence in the black community. So a black will die 1 percent or less at the hands of the police and 99 percent of the hands of a civilian, most often another black. So if you want to protect black lives, then you’ve got to protect black lives, not just against police, which happens rarely, although with tremendous attention, and which happens every 14 hours in Chicago. Every 14 hours and we never hear from Black Lives Matter.
DICKERSON: Well, then —
GIULIANI: So — so if you want to deal — if you want to deal with this on the black side, you’ve got to teach your children to be respectful to the police and you’ve got to teach your children that the real danger to them is not the police, the real danger to them 99 out of 100 times, 9,900 out of 1,000 times are other black kids who are going to kill them. That’s the way they’re going to die.
DICKERSON: So, Mr. Mayor —
GIULIANI: Now, on the — on the white — on the white side, we have to understand that whether we get it or not, there is this extraordinary fear of the police, and police have to be — have to institute a policy of zero tolerance, like we did for crime in New York. Zero tolerance. No disrespect. Way back 14 year ago, Commissioner Howard Safir began a program in New York City called Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect. It was conditioned by — it was continued by the next three police commissioners, including the one just had on now.
Here’s the video:
And host John Dickerson tried desperately to get Giuliani to concede ground to Black Lives Matter and toward the end of the interview Dickerson even tried to paint Giuliani into a “racist” corner and Giuliani deftly turned the tables:
DICKERSON: Right. The — just a final question, sir. You said that the Black Lives Matter movement has put a targets on the back of police officers. When members of the African-American community see videos, as they have this week, they feel like there is a target on young black men. Explain your response about how they’ve put a target on — on police officers, how that can match up when people see these videos.
GIULIANI: Well, when they talk about killing police officers.
DICKERSON: But they don’t —
GIULIANI: When they sing — well, they sure do. They sing rap songs about killing police officers and they talk about killing police officers and they yell it out at their rallies and the police officers hear it.
DICKERSON: But, Mr. Mayor — but, Mr. Mayor, what — what you seem to be doing is taking —
GIULIANI: And the reality is — please — please let me finish. And when — and when you say black lives matter, that’s inherently racist.
DICKERSON: Well, I think their argument would —
GIULIANI: Black lives matter. White lives matter. Asian lives matter. Hispanic lives matter. That’s anti-American and it’s racist.
DICKERSON: Well —
GIULIANI: Of course black lives matter, and they matter greatly, but when you focus in on one percent of less than 1 percent of the murder that’s going on in America, and you make it a national thing and all of you in the media make it much bigger than the black kid who’s getting killed in Chicago every 14 hours, you create a disproportion.
DICKERSON: All right.
GIULIANI: The police understand it and it puts a target on their back. Every cop in America will tell you that if you ask him.
DICKERSON: All right, Mayor Giuliani, thanks so much for being with us.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
Now, bear in mind that this is on Sunday after equally stellar appearances on Fox News and MSNBC in the immediate hours after the deadly murders in Dallas. He has been consistent and effective and magnificent.
In fact, just hours ago he was back at it on Fox News saying he had “saved more black lives than Black Lives Matter” ever had.
“I saved more black lives than anyone in the history of the city. I took over the city with 1,924 murders; I gave it to Mayor [Mike] Bloomberg with 500+ murders. 75% of the people saved during that time were African American. I believe I saved a lot more black lives than Black Lives Matter. I don’t see what Black Lives Matter is doing for blacks other than isolating them. All it cares about is the police shooting of blacks. It doesn’t care about the 90% of blacks that are killed by the blacks. That is a simple fact.”
Rudy Giuliani: Don't tell me I don't care about black lives.https://t.co/mAUPHrXbbL
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 11, 2016
Rudy Giuliani: 'Black Lives Matter' is inherently racist because it divides us.https://t.co/raH28Mqyfi
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 11, 2016
Traditionally, a Vice Presidential candidate comes from a different state than the Presidential candidate. I wonder if it might be time to break that tradition. However, I fear that as soon as Rudy is on a campaign and has to worry about being “handled” he’ll stop being so brilliant.