Sometimes, all you have to do is hand a person a shovel, and they'll happily dig a hole even deeper for themselves.
I thought that my piece yesterday about Rudolph Giuliani (R-NY) claiming that President Barack Obama didn't love America would be my last word on the subject, at least until it became a political issue during the next election. But by gum, there the former NYC mayor was, dig, dig, digging away, in an interview with the New York Times.
"Some people thought it was racist," Mr. Giuliani told the paper, scoffing at such a thing, " I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people,"
Yes, you read that right. According to Rudolph Giuliani, Barack Obama is actually white!
Just think -- all that hatred that has built up in the far right of the Republican Party for the past six years, all those racist jokes, the racist cartoons...they were all for naught!!! The racists and the Tea Party corporations have nothing to worry about, they can sleep easy tonight -- according to Rudolph Giuliani, we don't have a black president after all.
Unfortunately, there's that whole pesky concept of realty that has to kick in, which makes this problematic for the former mayor.
We can break down his statement into two parts, the direct and in-direct. Let's look at the latter first. That's where Mr. Giuliani points out that Mr. Obama was brought up by a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people.
For starters, if this is what makes a person white, then there are a whole lot of adopted black kids today who just got removed from the rolls of the protected classes. And will now have an easier time getting a job. And a taxi.
But more problematic for Rudolph Giuliani is...well, his own words. If you'll recall, one of his slams against Mr. Obama as proof for the President not loving America was when Mr. Giuliani told that roomful of potential rich right-wing investors -- "He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."
Well, sorry, if Mr. Giuliani wants to defend himself as not having made a racist statement because Barack Obama was brought up by a white grandfather, went to white schools and learned everything from white people (and let's even add back in, "brought up by a white mother")...then he was EXACTLY brought up the exact same way every one of those white people in the room were. And had the same noble, wonderful, patriotic "I heart America" values as them all.
Unless, of course, it turns out that Mr. Giuliani was actually addressing a roomful of black people -- and he himself is black. In which case, no wonder Republicans didn't vote for him when he ran for president. But I think we can safely presume that none of that is the case. Which means that Republicans didn't vote for Rudolph Giuliani for President in such crushing numbers that he dropped out of the race almost immediately after his first primary simply because they thought he wouldn't do a good job.
So now, let's go to the other part of his "defense." That direct parental evidence. That Barack Obama was "brought up by a white mother."
Fair enough. He was. Not only brought up by, but born to. However, as much as I know that so many Republicans today don't like to believe in science, I have to trust in my heart that even they grasp the concept that it takes two people to make a baby. And since the mother is accounted for, that leaves -- well, y'know, the Kenyan. It's shocking that Rudolph Giuliani would leave that part out, the father, since Republicans have been so aggressively shouting it from the rafters for the past seven years.
The only other alternative, of course, is that what he meant to suggest is the President's mother had a virgin birth. Which would make Barack Obama not the devil at all, but rather...yipes!!!
Okay, I think we can safely say that no one believes a word of what Rudolph Giuliani said in his own defense, including Rudolph Giuliani, and that includes dyed-in-the-wool racists, because believing it, that Barack Obama was white, would take away their meaning for living over the past seven years.
The only good thing that came from Mr. Giuliani's bizarrely pathetic defense is that it explained why he was a prosecuting attorney, and not a defense lawyer.
By the way, the odd thing about all this is that it's pretty much secondary whether or not his now-infamous comments about President Obama are racist or not. That was never my first thought when I first heard them. It was that they were pathetic, shameless, pandering, demeaning and idiotic. Racist is almost an afterthought.
If only Rudolph Giuliani had learned the lesson from the Father of the Republican Party. As Abraham Lincoln said, "Better to be thought a fool and remain silent, than to speak and remove all doubt."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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