Rachel Morris has a superb piece just out in the Washington Monthly titled “Rudy Awakening” that exposes that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney may be small time aggrandizers of executive power compared to the former New York mayor.
This piece, which you should read in full, underscores even further why the Dems need to run against Giuliani. In one clip, Morris writes:
Many Giuliani watchers already understand that Rudy is a hothead and a grandstander, even a bit of a dictator at times. These qualities have dominated the story of his mayoralty that most people know. As that drama was unfolding, however, so was a quieter story, driven by Giuliani’s instinct and capacity for manipulating the levers of government.
His methods, like those of the current White House, included appointments of yes-men, aggressive tests of legal limits, strategic lawbreaking, resistance to oversight, and obsessive secrecy.
As was also the case with the White House, the events of 9/11 solidified the mindset underlying his worst tendencies. Embedded in his operating style is a belief that rules don’t apply to him, and a ruthless gift for exploiting the intrinsic weaknesses in the system of checks and balances.
That’s why, of all the presidential candidates, Giuliani is most likely to take the expansions of the executive branch made by the Bush administration and push them further still. The blueprint can be found in the often-overlooked corners of his mayoralty.
Here’s a question for the Democratic contenders for the White House. . .
What executive powers and privileges have the Bush/Cheney administration taken on or expanded that you would forfeit if President?
Someone needs to pose that in the upcoming debates.
— Steve Clemons