The Giuliani Backpedal and What It Says About Republicans

by | Feb 25, 2015

Either Republicans are the moral, spineless cowards most of them appear to be. Or they never had any principles to back away from, in the first place. Neither explanation inspires.

Losers are not people who lose. You can be right, principled, full of integrity — and still lose, in some context.

A loser is someone who knows what he thinks, means, believes or wants — and waffles, or caves, under the pressure. A loser is someone who does not live up to the best possible, rational verdicts of his or her own mind.

By this definition, Republicans are the biggest losers this country has ever known, politically speaking. Democrats are the winners, not because their ideas of self-sacrifice, government exploitation of private property and bureaucratic, command-and-control socialism are winning ideas; they’re winners because nobody with a better idea has a spine.

Here’s a recent USA Today story also reported by

Rudy Giuliani sought to clarify his comments that President Obama doesn’t love America, saying in an op-ed column in The Wall Street Journal he “didn’t intend to question” the president’s “motives or the content of his heart.”

If he didn’t intend to do so, then why did he say it?

And if he did mean to question Obama’s motives — since he did — then why does he lie about that fact now?

The former New York City mayor acknowledged he used “blunt language” and said in the column published Sunday night:

“Obviously, I cannot read President Obama’s mind or heart, and to the extent that my words suggested otherwise, it was not my intention. When asked last week whether I thought the president was a patriot, I said I did, and would repeat that. I bear him no ill will, and in fact think that his personal journey is inspiring and a testament to much of what makes this country great.”

What is Obama’s “personal journey,” exactly? Is it one of imposing a higher level of socialist control on the country than ever before? Is it a policy of excusing our most mortal enemies, refusing to fight back and even aiding and abetting them by claiming we’re just as bad, in our own way?

As recently as last week, Giuliani (like many other people) seemed to think so. This week, he does not. Is somebody forcing him to apologize? Is he threatened at gunpoint, or with a jail sentence if he doesn’t apologize to Mr. President? Let’s hope not. Yet it would still be better than thinking of someone who caves, not under the pressure of a gun or a jail cell, but of his own moral cowardice.

Why do people on Obama’s side of the fence never have to apologize — nor do they even feel a need to apologize? Several years back, Vice President Joe Biden called members of the Tea Party and other opponents of Obama’s policies “terrorists.”

Vice President Joe Biden yesterday condemned Tea Party Republicans for “acting like terrorists” during the debt fight, sources said.

Biden made the shocking statement during a closed-door meeting with House Democrats to try and whip up support for the debt-limit deal, according to the sources. [from 8/2/11)

Joe Biden may be known for shooting from the lip, but he speaks for the attitude of nearly all progressives in public life. He would never apologize. Nor would it ever occur to him that he should do so. In the minds of progressives like Biden and Obama, dissidents are fortunate that they tolerate us. Yet whenever any dissident levels a criticism the progressives deem improper, apologies inevitably follow. Giuliani is merely the latest.

This is precisely how it would work in a dictatorship. Or even worse, dissidents would be jailed or killed. Legally and literally, we don’t yet appear to be a dictatorship. But psychologically, we’re already there. It’s kind of a self-imposed dictatorship. Not a political one so much as an emotional one, propped up by the almost-stated premise, “Please, please like me.” It’s almost as if the dictatorship is within these Republican leaders themselves. It results from the timidity, low self-respect or simple moral cowardice of even the better people on the dissidents’ side — Rudy Giuliani, for example.

Obama apologizes for nothing, not ever — other than for the actions of America whenever, over its history, it has acted with self-esteem and has permitted economic freedom and individual liberty. Obama is sorry for these things, although not personally. His job — based on all of his actions in office, as well as all of his words from his first campaign for office, to be fair — is to extinguish these things, if he can. He certainly is getting somewhere, and without any principled opposition from mealy-mouthed Republicans, that’s for sure.

Giuliani, who ran for president in 2008, faced backlash from Democrats and even some Republicans for his remarks at a fundraising dinner for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He said, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up.”

Giuliani, whose political image was shaped by his response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on his city, was denounced by the White House and Obama’s Democratic allies. Potential 2016 GOP candidates, such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, said it was wrong for Giuliani to question Obama’s motives. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was perhaps Giuliani’s strongest defender, saying that the “gist” of his comments about Obama were right.

This is the difference between Democratic and Republican politicians. Democrats denounce. They express moral outrage. They shame. They pronounce judgment while claiming not to be judgmental. Anyone who disagrees … watch out! What do Republicans do in response? They apologize. They back down. They turn cheeks; they appease; they give in. They lose, even when they win (check out the new Republican Congress for the latest examples.)

The rest of us can conclude only one of two things. Either Republicans are the moral, spineless cowards most of them appear to be. Or they never had any principles to back away from, in the first place. Neither explanation inspires.

[Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott] Walker, meanwhile, declined to answer whether Obama loves America, and said the query should be posed to the president himself. “I’ve never asked him so I don’t know,” he told the Associated Press.

Now there’s a bold, courageous and decisive statement for you. Doesn’t it make anyone who opposes Obama, on fundamental principle, want to rush out and support Scott Walker, who’s likely running for President?

The real issue involved here is not whether you love your country. There is no obligation to love any particular country. There is a rational, intelligent and self-interested reason to love a country that provides and protects your inalienable, individual right to be left alone.

We know what Obama’s ideals are. And he articulates and executes them every day in office. You will never find Obama in a backpedal, nor any other progressive in power.

I thought Rudy Giuliani was one of the better Republicans, at least when it came to possessing something like an American sense of life, defined by a love for individualism and free enterprise. The saddest part? He is one of the better ones.

At present, advocates of individual rights, fully free enterprise capitalism, property rights and Western civilization have nowhere to turn.

Never fear. Freedom and liberty can and will rise again, because they’re rationally potent. Socialism and dictatorship are metaphysically weak. You can frighten people, and you can induce people with free goodies paid for by others. You can ultimately rule them, if you break their spirits. But you cannot rule or dictate (via wish or executive order) the nature of objective reality, and that’s what’s required to impose a state-run “paradise” on the world. Ask Hitler, Stalin, and all the other dictators throughout history who failed.

Individual rights and freedom will eventually rise again, somewhere or some place, perhaps in America, perhaps not. They have to, because there’s simply no other way for human beings to survive and flourish, and the American experience taught us that once and for all. Just don’t look to the Republicans as we know them, because it won’t come from them.

Most people are frightened of consistent liberty, which is why throughout history they have run to kings, queens, popes, mullahs, dictators and the illusions and coercion of the contemporary entitlement-welfare state. What most people fail to realize — yet what remains true, all the same — is that human beings are not safe under the rule of tyrants or twits. They’re only safe when the best and brightest — the innovators, the brains, the hardest workers — are left free.

That’s why civilization thrives under freedom and collapses under dictatorship, every time it’s tried and no matter how painstakingly it’s rationalized.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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