Is Rudy Giuliani bored or feeling ignored? Is he suffering from some sort of age-related agitation? Or is he simply upset that people are not respecting the trademark he was granted to Terrorism (TM) and the study of Islamic radicalism after he personally tracked down and killed the culprits who perpetrated 9/11? Over the last handful of days Giuliani has said that President Obama does not love his country; lacks patriotism; wasn’t raised like “us” and now, in fact, is driven by communist sympathies that were inculcated in him as a boy. It’s rancid and gross. But it’s also Rudy Giuliani, so hard to get surprised over. But there’s a bigger story here about the entire 2016 presidential cycle.
This Rudy drama is a sign of the dangers of the GOP clown car going into the now nascent 2016 GOP presidential primary campaign. Whether it’s intemperate or unhinged folks on the margins or nominally normal people who have no skin in the game and thus simply don’t care, you’ll have more and more examples of these kinds of polarizing remarks or excursions into the crazy which blow up across the media-political horizon. The 2016 hopefuls will have to stay silent, jump on board or risk getting RINO’d if they don’t go along.
For now there’s little consequence. But that will change as we go through 2015. We’ve seen this many times before. And each time it pulls the campaign conversation off things Republicans should be talking about and on to what one might generously term ‘divisive’ issues which tend to split the bulk of the electorate from the GOP base and force potential presidential standard-bearers to choose sides.
We saw this in 2010 and 2012. It was a significant reason behind Republicans’ failure to capture the Senate 2 years rather than 6 years into Obama’s presidency. “Legitimate rape”, Muslim Obama, we’ve seen so many. Getting some level of handle on the problem in 2014 and knocking the whackiest candidates out of the running during the primaries was, again, a significant reason for GOP success.
With Obama and Clinton on the horizon for the next 18 months, the possibilities are almost endless.