Friday, June 22, 2007

Giuliani again

I basically have to agree with Mark Kleiman here
Of course, I also don't believe that he selflessly decided to forgo the opportunity to burnish his national security cred in the run-up to the election lest his presence "politicize" a process run largely by Jim Baker. But if I had to guess which of Giuliani's ruling vices was on display, my money would be on ambition and cowardice, not greed.
with particular emphasis on the cowardice. We have an unfortunate tendency to try and pick one reason for criticizing our opponents, when multiple reasons are available. Settling on "Rudy skipped the ISG meetings just to make money" is not sufficient.

I think, though, that Mark misses some of Rudy's character in his analysis. Mark suggests
Maybe he was quick enough — I never claimed the man wasn't shrewd — to figure out before the rest of us that the ISG would come down on a position that Bush, and more important the Republican primary voting base, wouldn't swallow.
But then why not stay on the commission, go to the meetings and fight for a set of recommendations that the Republican base would love. He could then quit the commission, publicly and openly, and be in great shape. The reason is the cowardice. Rudy is not going to take a stand on anything that might cost him down the road. Rudy is a perfect example of where the Republican party is today, someone who is all about appearing tough and decisive, but who is completely opposed to actually ever being tough and decisive.

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