First let me say that I adore Rudy Giuliani. When David and I lived in the Gramercy area of New York, we became real fans of our tough-on-crime mayor–an adoration that only grew after 9/11.
But, as Charles mentioned, I was a bit perplexed by this quote from Robert Novak:
One of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s closest political friends assures us that he definitely is running for President. The answer by this backer as to how he possibly could win the Republican nomination with his liberal social agenda is that he would govern from the right as he did in New York City.
Um…am I missing something? I e-mailed Charles my lack of understanding, hoping that he would wax eloquent on the subject himself. Instead, he threw the ball back to me. So, allow me to think aloud.
“Governing from the right” means providing protection for unborn Americans, opposing gun control, and fighting to protect traditional marriage–three things that Giuliani would never do.
So won’t Rudy govern according to his beliefs? What was his friend referring to? His demeanor? Will he start having the affectation of a conservative? Will he start wearing bowties?
No. If “governing” doesn’t correlate to the actions he’ll take because of his pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and pro-gun control beliefs, it means nothing.
This obvious distortion of the English language reminds me of some of my feminist class members at New York University, who were trying to “reclaim” the word “whore.” They said that the patriarchy had afflicted them with this awful label for far too long, and they were “taking it back.”
What did that mean? About twelve 20 year-old students in Manhattan started referring to each other as “whores” when they wanted to indicate something positive about each other while simultaneously “sticking it to the man.”
“Hey, whore!” they’d say when one walked into the class.
Let’s just say that redefining a word in order to make a political statement didn’t pass the “straight face test”…even at NYU. I doubt redefining “governing from the right” will catch on with Republicans either.
Of course, this wasn’t a quote from Giuliani, just one of his “close political friends.” To honor his friend’s extreme loyalty and audacious abuse of the English language, I’ll bid you farewell by saying that I’m going “to go exercise”–which, in this context, means “eat ice cream and go to bed.”