“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country.” - Rudy Giuliani speaking at a political fund-raiser this week.
Rudy "Noun/Verb 9/11" Giuliani is off his leash again and making the same kind of stupid remarks that we've come to expect from him.
So here he is again making the point of all dyed-in-the-wool right-wingers that Barack Obama is "different" from "us." He wasn't brought up the same way we were. Giuliani later doubled down on these remarks and defended them to The New York Times, saying that they couldn't possibly be racist because, after all, Obama was raised by white people.
His mother was white. His maternal grandparents, who were responsible for much of his raising, were white. They were Kansans from the heart of America, the "real America" in conservative theology. His grandfather served in the U.S. Army, joining after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was deployed to Europe during World War II where he rose to the rank of sergeant. So, obviously, these were radical and unpatriotic people who would have raised their son and grandson to hate America - very different from my parents and yours.
(Incidentally, if you care to, you can read about Giuliani's family history here, where you will see that his father spent time as an inmate in Sing Sing Prison on a robbery conviction and that the father and his five brothers found ways to avoid military service in World War II.)
I would agree with Rudy Giuliani on one point. Barack Obama was evidently not brought up as Rudy was if we are to judge his raising by the twisted, narrow-minded, egotistical person he has become. Obama was brought up to have a more balanced and open-minded view of the world and of people. He is not given to knee-jerk reactions. He measures his words and his actions carefully before sending them into the world.
Paul Krugman addresses this latest Giuliani-engendered kerfuffle in his blog today, where he writes about what he calls Obama's "chastened exceptionalism," and he makes the point that it isn't, as Jamelle Bouie had written in Slate, a "black thing." He writes that "there are many Americans who love their country in pretty much the way the president does - seeing it as special, often an enormous force for good in the world, but also fallible and with some stains on its record. I'm one of them. So you don't have to be black to see things that way." To which I can only add, "Amen!"
Krugman also quotes one of his heroes, Ulysses S. Grant, about one particular American war, the Mexican-American War. Grant called it "the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation." No doubt chickenhawk Rudy Giuliani would say that Grant didn't love America and was not brought up through love of country as you and I were.
You have to wonder when our media will stop giving space to Rudy Giuliani. He's long past his sell-by date. Another of his brilliant statements this week was that President Obama "didn't live through 9/11, I did." Of course, you knew that he would find a way to bring 9/11 into it sooner or later. Apparently he's under the impression that unless you were in New York on 9/11/01, you didn't live through it; you didn't experience it. There are millions of us who know better.
One can only hope that there will come a time when the false belligerency of the "9/11 patriots" will take its place in the dustbin of history and this country can move on without these periodic screeds. Krugman thinks it may be happening. He sees a change in the attitude of the country:
Maybe it’s just that we are becoming, despite everything, a more sophisticated country, a place where many people do understand that you can be a patriot without always shouting “USA! USA!” — maybe even a country where people are starting to realize that the shouters are often less patriotic than the people they’re trying to shout down.
All of this doesn’t change the fact that we really are an exceptional country — a country that has played a special role in the world, that despite its flaws has always stood for some of humanity’s highest ideals. We are not, in other words, just about tribalism — which is what makes all the shouting about American exceptionalism so ironic, because it is, in fact, an attempt to tribalize our self-image.
Make it so - the sooner the better.