Friday, January 25, 2019

2043 Rudy

New York City has had some great mayors. Fiorello (he didn’t need a last name. He was and is the patron saint of city politics and government.) Ed Koch, Mike Bloomberg. It had some serious clunkers and clinkers.  Walker, Impelliteri, Beame, Dinkins. It had its share of so-so men. John Lindsay, Robert Wagner, Bill O’Dwyer. 

Then, there’s Rudolph Giuliani.  Where does he fit? Most charitably in the so-so category.  The columnist Jimmy Breslin called him a small man in search of a balcony,” a reference to Italy’s fascist dictator Mussolini.

Rudy found his “balcony” and his bunker on the 23rd floor of a building near the World Trade Center… a building destroyed in the attacks that made Giuliani famous.

For a while, he was “America’s Mayor.” Now, he’s seen as a brainless blathering buffoon.  But guess what?  That’s always what he was.

As mayor he was a fireball of random energy, fixing things that weren’t broken. His major first term accomplishment was moving squeegee men from midtown to the outer boroughs and jailing people for breaking windows, tagging buildings and jumping turnstiles.

Those major problems solved in the snap of fingers, he went on to his second term.  Still filled with steam, his major accomplishments were cheating on his wife, building a barricade in front of city hall and hiring a corrections commissioner who later was found to be an ordinary felon.  They put his name on a building.  The name came down soon after his successor, Bloomberg, was sworn in.

On September 10th, 2001 Rudy couldn’t have been elected president of a co-op board, let alone as mayor. On September 11th, he became a hero.  America’s Mayor. Calmer of the afflicted, director of downtown traffic and a symbol of all that was right with America at that time.

And that’s the Rudy he wants us to remember. Yes, he did a fine job after the attack on the trade center almost all of before TV cameras.  Soon after, he reverted to form.  And now as donald trump’s chief publicist he regularly puts his foot in his mouth.

He’s actually an asset to the trump campaign (it’s always a campaign, never mind leading the nation.)  The asset?  He’s a symbol of the fools, grifters, conmen and women and plain old dopes running the country and knowing that will help us remember to replace them with real boys and girls instead of wooden replicas.

So let’s all thank Rudy for being the unlovable bumbler he’s always been. And that’s a fact.  An alternative fact, but a fact nonetheless.

And a suggestion: Don’t drink until after the prime time yap shows are over for the day because walking backward a day later is unbecoming.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
© WJR 2019

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