In an fascinating news analysis in today’s New York Times, “For Giuliani, a Dizzying Free-Fall for Ex-Mayor Who Seemed to Have It All” by reporters Michael Powell and Michael Cooper, there was an amazing quote from a Republican insider:
“It bordered on science fiction to think that someone as liberal on as many issues as Rudy Giuliani could become the Republican nominee,” said Nelson Warfield, a Republican consultant who has been a longtime critic of the former mayor. “Rudy didn’t even care enough about conservatives to lie to us. The problem wasn’t the calendar; it was the candidate.”
Let me highlight the essential part of Warfield’s quote: “Rudy didn’t even care enough about conservatives to lie to us.” (Check it out yourself here.)
In other words, it’s okay, even expected, that politicians will lie to their constituencies — but that’s because it shows voters that the politicians care enough to pander to them. If politicians don’t lie to show they care, they won’t get the support from voters (who recognize they’re not being lied to.)
That’s a Catch-22 that even Joseph Heller could appreciate.