Why Is It So Hard to Call Giuliani Crazy?

Alexandra Jaffe has a bizarre and needlessly exculpatory way of reporting the news around former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments about the president.

Washington (CNN)- Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments that he doesn’t think President Barack Obama “loves America” have put potential Republican presidential contenders in a bind, caught between a desire to criticize the President and the need to respect the office of the presidency.

To begin with, Giuliani had a lot more to say than just that the president doesn’t love America. He said that the president doesn’t love you or me. He said he was essentially a communist. And he said he wasn’t “particularly a product of African-American society” (as if that would be a bad thing) because he was raised by (radical) whites.

So, what is the “bind” for Republican candidates?

That they don’t want to be seen as “soft” on the president by pointing out that Rudy Giuliani is nuts? That they’re unwilling to equate him with Victoria Jackson who has said that the president isn’t a Christian because he supports same-sex marriage and abortion rights, and that he’s “aiding and abetting ISIS” because he’s really “one of them”, an “Islamic jihadist”?

You have to split hairs to see the difference between Jackson’s comments and Giuliani’s, but somehow simply acknowledging this puts Republicans in a bind?

Ms. Joffe goes on to detail the nuanced differences between how people like Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio have responded to Giuliani’s remarks, but the real story here is the Republican base whose allegiance these men are competing for in their effort to raise money and raise their positions in the polls.

What’s wrong with the Republican base that this kind of rhetoric is so attractive to them that anyone who casts doubt about its sanity is put at a disadvantage?

In this case, I have to completely agree with Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

Democrats seized on the comments as further evidence of how extreme the Republican Party can be. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said at the DNC’s winter meeting it was fine for the parties to disagree and debate over policy.

“But for them, it’s more than that. It’s personal, and it’s ugly, and there’s no sign of it getting better,” she said.

She called on the developing GOP presidential field to “stand up, say, ‘enough.'”

“I would challenge my Republican colleagues and anyone in the Republican Party to say enough. They need to start leading,” she said.

The problem is, we’re at the point where leadership simply isn’t rewarded by the right. The only thing that is rewarded is doling out red meat, usually related to someone who is alive but shouldn’t be.

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