Friday, August 18, 2023

America's Mayor

Political journalists love foisting the worst people in America on us. Bouie:
What does any of this have to do with the Rudy Giuliani of 2023? Well, if we think of Giuliani as the personification of American resilience in the face of terrorism, then his turn against democracy and the rule of law is bewildering and inexplicable. But if we think of Giuliani as the scowling demagogue who stoked the flames of chauvinism and racial hatred against New York’s first Black mayor for his own gain, then there’s little other than his carefully crafted image in the press that separates the Giuliani of ’92 from the Giuliani of ’23.

And that’s the point. Even at the moment of his greatest political triumph, Giuliani was a fraught and divisive figure. It was the press that labeled him “America’s mayor.” That the epithet continued to stick through the subsequent decade, in the face of scandal and political failure, is only a testament to the persistence of myth in American political coverage, because it is only after internalizing the myth of Giuliani that anyone could be shocked by his steadfast allegiance to Trump.