“Giuliani… insisted that Obama doesn't love the United States because he "doesn't express a great love of this country" and criticizes the United States at home and abroad, an outlook on the U.S. that Giuliani tied to Obama's upbringing.
But still, Obama is patriotic even if he doesn't love America, Giuliani said, pointing out that "there have been an awful lot of patriots who were critics."
"Honestly, I don't and you don't know what he truly believes. I'm talking about the way that he expresses himself. I can't tell you what's within his heart," Giuliani said.
"There's a real attempt to make it a racial criticism. It has nothing to do with race," Giuliani said, pointing out that "he was brought up by the way by a white mother and white grandparents."
We could spend a lot of time arguing over whether or not Giuliani’s remarks have anything to do with racial criticism or bias. I think they do; he believes they don’t. What’s clear is that he mentions old data about Obama’s origins, being brought up by a white parent and white grandparents, attending white schools, having an association with a black pastor who criticized America, and having an alien upbringing and attitude toward America. However, for the moment, it seems futile to engage in a debate about this topic.
Instead, I want to raise another issue for your consideration. For his own purposes, Giuliani has tried to say that Obama is a patriot but not a lover of America. But, Rudy’s ”America” is a personal construct, all based on what Giuliani believes. America is more than that, of course. It is a nation made up of people: citizens, voters, immigrants, non-citizens, human beings. What Giuliani, and other ‘critics’ miss is that President Obama has made it a mission of his two-term presidency to serve the people; to make sure that he acts on behalf of individuals, of real people with real needs and real freedoms, as well as real responsibilities.
In my estimation, the President’s concept of love for America is a demonstration of love, respect and meaningful action on behalf of people. “America” is to him The People. Giuliani's definition of patriotism? "Someone who is dedicated to the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the U.S. Constitution.” I’m sorry: “America” equates to three principles and a written document? No mention of citizens or people from Mr. Giuliani. I’ll take President Obama’s love of America through advocacy for people, the citizens and inhabitants of this nation.
It would help immensely if Giuliani as self-appointed critic would explain just exactly what principle or value is being corrupted by the President in a way that actually shows a lack of love for American people. Unfortunately, Giuliani has some trouble with being specific or with putting two or more cogent thoughts together. (Remember that remark from Joe Biden: “Rudy Giuliani — there's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and 9/11.” October 30, 2007 MSNBC Democratic Debate)
Here are some things the President has done to show his love for Americans (thereby for America), based on a much larger list at http://pleasecutthecrap.com:
Meanwhile, our intrepid Mayor, both during and after 9/11, seemed to have some trouble concentrating on people rather than on himself and his part in 9/11. We have merely to review some of his own quotes:
“The attacks of September 11 were intended to break our spirit, instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom (Dedication for the exhibit "After September 11: Images from Ground Zero." 31 December 2001). No mention of the people involved – just principles.
“I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there working with them. I was there guiding things. I was there bringing people there. But I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them.” (While campaigning in Cincinnati, as quoted in The New York Times 11 August 2007). Apparently, 9/11 was all about Rudy…
"Aspiring dictators sometimes win elections, and elected leaders sometimes govern badly and threaten their neighbors. … History demonstrates that democracy usually follows good governance (emphasis added), not the reverse." As quoted in "Giuliani: Too much stress on two-state plan" at Jewish Telegraph Agency (15 August 2007). Sounds to me like a criticism of America…
And guess what? Nothing has changed. According to MSNBC, not invited to a private party for Scott Walker and not originally on the speaker list, Rudy inserted himself into the midst of it all and uttered words that garnered much publicity for him; very little for Scott Walker. Good old Rudy; he’s such a patriot…! Here are a few quotes attributed to others on the topic of Giuliani as “patriot” or icon:
“Among other things, it seems Rudy's a bit of a fibber. Says one thing once, then denies it a few hours later, apparently not familiar with the concept of audio and video recordings.” (Josh Marshall, November 2, 2007.) First Rudy says President Obama doesn’t love America, then within a day says Obama is a patriot. Can that be cogent thinking when one concept contradicts the other?
“He is a small man in search of a balcony.” (Jimmy Breslin, quoted by Paul Slansky in "'Giuliani Time!': The Rudy Quiz", The New Yorker, December 17, 2007)
“[He] didn't bring us together, our pain brought us together... “(Al Sharpton, quoted by Paul Slansky in "'Giuliani Time!’ The Rudy Quiz", The New Yorker, December 17, 2007)
And a much stronger condemnation of Rudy’s lying, posturing, and actions relative to 9/11 that help no one but himself is found at http://www.villagevoice.com/2007-07-31/news/rudy-giuliani-s-five-big-lies-about-9-11/full/.
"The mayor had also done nothing to make the radios interoperable—which would have enabled the police and firefighters to communicate across departmental lines—despite having received a 1995 federal waiver granting the city the additional radio frequencies to make that possible. That meant the fire chiefs had no idea that police helicopters had anticipated the partial collapse of both towers long before they fell. Though he collected $250 million in tax surcharges on phone use to improve the 911 system, he diverted this emergency funding for other uses, and the 911 dispatchers were an utter disaster that day, telling victims to stay where they were long after the fire chiefs had ordered an evacuation, which potentially sealed the fates of hundreds. And, despite the transparent lessons of 1993, Giuliani never established any protocols for rooftop or elevator rescues in high-rises, or even a strategy for bringing the impaired and injured out—all costly failings on 9/11. But perhaps the best evidence of the Giuliani administration's lack of readiness was that no one at its top levels had a top-secret security clearance on 9/11.”
This assessment is basically reiterated by Alternet.org which also introduces its own assessment of Giuliani and his consulting firm, with the following:
Alternet.org tells some of the story of how the former Mayor, who touts himself as a patriot, used his 9/11 experience to make himself millions of dollars, while basically ignoring the needs of others (read all about it at http://www.alternet.org/story/41443/why_rudy_giuliani_can%27t_stop_cashing_in_on_9_11/)
So, let us be clear:
§ Giuliani fails to define what he means by ‘America,’ although he does attempt to define patriotism which falls short. In both cases, he uses vague terms to represent complicated definitions and he leaves out the very basic ingredient of America: her People.
§ Giuliani constructed a false image of ‘not loving America’ and indicates that he just doesn’t ‘feel’ from his speeches that the President expresses a love of America in the way that former Presidents have done. Where have you been, Mr. Mayor? In almost every speech he makes, the President talks about American principles and values, and about the needs and responsibilities of her people. In fact, in my experience of hearing the speeches of presidents all the way back to FDR, I cannot remember anyone more dedicated to elaborating on democratic values and principles than this President.
§ It is very interesting that apparently Giuliani seems to think that because this African-American President was raised by a white parent and grandparents, it somehow reduces or nullifies racial criticism and bias. It does not. The whiteness of his mother and her parents does not erase the blackness of his skin. As he has indicated, this President has experienced the same old bigoted reactions of white people to his color. He has heard car door locks slam closed as he approached cars driven by white drivers, and has been followed in stores by white personnel. As President he has had to endure all those remarks like Giuliani’s that endeavor to paint him as some sort of alien – outside the mainstream of American (mostly white) society.
In light of all that has been visited upon people of color in this society (read the overwhelming report on Lynching at DailyKos.com if you want to understand something of the burden of fear, lawlessness and recrimination imposed upon Black people in our nation), we might expect African-American citizens, including this President, to be less patriotic, or at least more ambivalent toward our government and officials. But that is not the reality. Black folks continue to vote in large numbers, serve in the armed forces in large numbers, work in government agencies, non-profits and volunteer roles that serve the public in large numbers, besides contributing to charitable enterprises, especially faith communities, in large numbers. Having worked in a community action agency, and as the Director of large state-wide service programs for seniors with low incomes, I have been privileged to serve with men and women of color whose dedication and advocacy for the welfare of people with special challenges has been an inspiration and blessing that will last for a lifetime.
In light of the unjust criticisms and indignities that have been thrown at this President, and in light of America’s troubled history of race relations, it is all the more remarkable to me that this President has always kept his cool and maintained a love for all the citizens of our country. After all the unjust and fabricated criticisms, denigrations and non-cooperation that this President has experienced, he still works every day for the advancement of the welfare of all members of this society. That is true patriotism, and that is love for country and all its people that is unsurpassed!
§ ACTIONS speak LOUDER than words. Love of America is demonstrated by what you do, not necessarily by what you say. In that respect, President Obama wins every time over this epitome of a self-aggrandizer named Rudy Giuliani. The latter has no right or standing or unblemished record strong enough to call anyone a non-lover of America.
§ And, after all is said and done, there is that last remnant of graciousness to consider: respect for the office of President of the United States. Disagreement, debate and even strong criticism of policy, procedure and programs is fair game in this society. Veiled or open attacks upon the origins, race, religion and “inward thoughts” of the holder of the office are out-of-bounds. And yet, Giuliani continues to run his mouth in this most despicable manner. Too bad some Republican would-be presidential candidates have supported his remarks and his attitude, instead of standing for informed and well-thought-out discussions of policy and legislation. They must share the shame of Giuliani’s misguided rhetoric.
Fortunately, President Obama continues to stand above all the constructed cheap shots and criticisms from Republicans with a dignity and respectfulness that befits a President of the United States whose record of accomplishments for the People of America will be hard to match in the future. Thank you, Mr. President, for your love for America demonstrated by your dedication to positive actions taken for the welfare and enhancement of all the People of this country and of others throughout the world.