The Slatest

Rudy Giuliani [Deep Sigh] Has Something to Say About Obama and Bill Cosby


Joe Skipper/Reuters

It’s not that Barack Obama is beyond criticism, or that Rudy Giuliani doesn’t have the right to say whatever he wants. It’s just that Rudy Giuliani’s recent criticisms of Barack Obama—including the unfavorable comparison Giuliani made Thursday between Obama and 37-time accused sex criminal Bill Cosby—could not be any more inflammatory or less substantive. They are the exact ideal perfect expression of why politics can be so terrible and why we should all consider moving to the forest to live in caves until at least after the 2016 election and possibly forever.

Here’s what Giuliani said about how Obama needs to be more like Cosby.

Obama is also not addressing the “enormous amount of crime” that’s being committed by African-Americans due to “historical” reasons, Giuliani said.

“I hate to mention it because of what happened afterwards, but (he should be saying) the kinds of stuff Bill Cosby used to say,” said Giuliani.

Cosby, before his public image was tarnished with a slew of rape allegations, had spoken frequently and often in blunt terms about how African-Americans needed to focus more on education, be better parents and avoid lives of crime.

As Jonathan Chait notes, Obama has actually been criticized quite heavily by knowledgeable observers for saying too much of “the kinds of stuff Bill Cosby used to say.” Obama talks about crime and the (alleged) problem with certain black American cultural mores all the dang time. Giuliani’s characterization of the matter is just as empirically bogus as his demented recent complaint that Obama doesn’t speak enough about American greatness—when American greatness has been a key theme of almost every major speech Obama has ever given.

There are real differences between Obama’s opinions on history and culture and the opinions of many Americans. It’s possible to form fair criticisms on those subjects, from both conservative and liberal perspectives, of many things that Obama has actually done and said. But to do that, you’d actually have to research Obama’s words and behavior—to think about your critique for more than zero seconds before making it. In the pundit economy Giuliani lives in, it’s much easier and just as lucrative to spin controversy out of dumb paranoia and crummy stereotypes.

Whom does the ultimate fault lie with, here? Giuliani? The extremists who take him seriously? The bloggers who report what he says because they know it’ll rile up the readership? I’m not sure, and those are good questions that I’ll have a lot of time to think about in my forest cave.