Digby on Giuliani

1 03 2007

Digby says:

But let’s be honest here. Lawrence Kudlow and Chris Matthews can drool
and grunt all they want about Bill Clinton’s phantom mistress, but if
Rudy Giuliani becomes the GOP nominee it means the culture wars are as
fake as William Shatner’s hair. Once people realize that, perhaps we
can stop talking about how so many people are allegedly against choice,
gay rights and other progressive values in this country. Clearly, they
don’t care much about any of that, nor do they care about Lieberman’s
nonsense about setting a good example for the children. The Christian
Right supporting Rudy Giuliani proves that the culture war is nothing
but a GOP scam and we can stop obsessively worrying about offending
these people with our godless, fancy-pants, big-city ways.

Good for Rudy Giuliani for(inadvertantly) pulling back the curtain on this hoax.

This maps onto Altemeyer’s layman’s book The Authoritarians, as I pointed out in the comments to Digby’s post.

Rick B’s pointed out the relevance of Altemeyer’s work on understanding the way the base will flock unquestioningly to Giuliani.

Something else, though. I think many liberals implicitly understand this, but have been confused by the differences between the base’s support of Giuliani and Bush. That’s because they still think rational argument matters (Look! He’s a cross-dresser! He married his second cousin). It so doesn’t.

Also, Bush and Giuliani are different social types under Altemeyer’s rubric. Bush is a Double High — a social dominator who is also a fundy. Sure, he’s unscrupulous but he also drinks the Koolaid.

Giuliani is a straight-up SDO. He’ll tell the base whatever it takes for him to get ahead. That’s why a lot of moderates have been fooled into thinking he’s socially liberal. He’s not; he just acted that way so he could rule New York, and now he needs to change his rhetoric and he’s ok with that. (As for his personal life, he’ll do whatever he wants to do, because he’s superior and the same rules don’t apply.)

The media don’t get this about him. Let’s not miss it ourselves.

One thing that interests me is whether this kind of authoritarianism is on the rise in New Zealand, in the form of Destiny Church and the Maxim Institute think tank. One thing in our favour is that we’re an awful lot less Christian than America. On the other hand, we do subscribe to a version of “common sense” that belittles “social engineering”. More on this in the coming weeks as my thoughts on the matter coalesce.

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