Chris Matthews, Rudy Giuliani, and the F-Word


Chris Matthews has used the f-word (in this case, fascism) in relation to Rudy Giuliani more than once. On February 7, appearing on Imus, he used it in an almost approving manner as he said that Giuliani makes voters feel safer. “I think the country wants a boss like that, you know? A little bit of fascism there. Just a little bit. Just a pinch of it.”

As seen in the above clip, Matthews is beginning to realize that Giuliani’s statements on terrorism actually help al Qaeda and worsen the problem. Matthews warns about responding in an “almost fascist manner” in response to terrorism, and in looking at Giuliani’s statements argues that, “In a wierd way, he helps the bad guys.”

Andrew Sullivan is someone who might be expected to support a socially liberal conservative such as Guiliani. Despite his support for gay rights, Sullivan realizes that Giuliani is dangerous. Andrew Sullivan writes:

Chris Matthews gets Rudy right. Giuliani has no understanding of what it is we’re fighting for in this war. Given his crude 9/12 analysis of the terror war, I don’t even think he understands what we’re fighting against. His candidacy speaks to the worst part of us: fear, loathing, and an instinctual belief that freedom is a threat to us, rather than the core of us.

I agree with Sullivan’s general assessment of Giuliani’s demagoguery on terrorism, but am not certain whether Giuliani “understands what we’re fighting against.” Giuliani might understand the nature of the terrorist threat, but still prefer to follow the Bush route of using it to play politics, regardless of how much harm he does to the country. Sullivan might think in terms of fighting terrorism, but Giuliani is fighting for his own personal power. Authoritarian leaders such as Bush and Giuliani need an enemy to maintain fear and promote their power, and therefore we have a bizarre co-dependency built up between these Republicans and al Qaeda.

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