When writing about the N.Y. Times editorial that condemned Giuliani's support for flying the Confederate Flag in Alabama this week, Matt Yglesias makes the point that because Rudy is in fact a racist, the editorial was wrong to say that Rudy was "pandering to his audience." He argues that because he is a sincere racist, his behavior should not be called pandering. Yglesias has a point, but not one that's well taken.
From Rudy's participation in a police riot where Mayor Dinkins was being called a "washroom attendant," through his refusal to meet with black leaders, his indefensible conduct in the Dorismond, Diallo cases, and right up to his comments on Imus's "mistake", Rudy's behavior has been unquestionably racist. It's seems a tad silly to debate the degree to which his motivation is political calculation or is heartfelt bigotry.
Perhaps the NY Times considered it pandering because his comment was unsolicited and irrelevant in Alabama, where the flag hasn't flown over the Capital for years.
More importantly is that the leading Republican candidate is working hard to win the nomination by establishing his racist credentials. Clearly Rudy is worried that the GOP will stigmatize him as a New York style Republican, and he wants to be sure that his willingness to use Race as a divisive tool is well known. His speaking date at Pat Robertson's college has been confirmed. As far as I know the exact dates of his speech on States Rights in Philadelphia Mississippi and on the Confederate Flag at Bob Jones University have not yet been announced.
- Our current Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, was not handpicked by Giuliani - who at the end of his second term did not have the political clout to pick a new dogcatcher. The biggest factor in Bloomberg's first race was his wallet.
- Rudy will be speaking at Regent University on April 17
- Mitt Romney will be delivering the commencement address at Regent on May 5)