Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rudolph Giuliani and Why It's Important to Do Your Homework

I'd hate to let a compliment pass unremarked upon, and was gratified by this comment kavips posted yesterday:

Tommywonk does not yet endorse any candidate. Dave Burris does.

Although there is nothing wrong with either option, it does carry relevance to how their blogs are perceived.

The one that has not yet endorsed or predicted a future winner, can still be perceived as an open source of information. The other, which has firmly committed to a certain candidate, has, even if it is unfairly so, been perceived as a tool of spin.

To be called "an open source of information" is kind praise indeed.

But he raises a point. I have not endorsed any candidates at this early stage of the campaign, though I wouldn't deny Dave the right to do so. I endorsed candidates in the last election, but before doing so I wanted to present my rationale for my opinions. Some readers have occasionally expressed their impatience with my style, but I like to do my homework before reaching a conclusion.

To me, how you think is as important as what you think. I have often noticed that people who talk nonsense have often failed to think things through.

Today's case in point: Rudolph Giuliani. Last week I criticized Giuliani for putting forward his twelve top priorities without mentioning Iraq, noting this remarkable comment from a man who would presume to lead this country:

"Iraq may get better; Iraq may get worse. We may be successful in Iraq; we may not be. I don't know the answer to that. That's in the hands of other people."

How is that Giuliani could fail to have an opinion on how to deal with the number one issue in this election? As Newsday reports, he simply didn't do his homework:

WASHINGTON -- Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said.
Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.

He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter explaining his decision to quit, and a look at his schedule suggests why -- the sessions at times conflicted with Giuliani's lucrative speaking tour that garnered him $11.4 million in 14 months.

So when Giuliani said that Iraq is "in the hands of other people," he didn't mention that he was asked to serve with those people in tackling this enormously important task, and couldn't be bothered to show up.

Had he done his homework (or his duty to his country), Rudy Giuliani might have actually arrived at a useful opinion on what to do about Iraq. Once again, we see that inane utterances spring forth from those who can be bothered to think things through.

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