Oh, Rudy, you make this too easy. If 2020 was the definitive dumpster fire year, then it appears you crawled right out of that hot garbage bin waiting for your close-up with that signature Pennywise grin.
Most artists had to resort to live-streaming their performances this past pandemic year, but Rudy took his deranged vaudevillian one-man show on the road for the seminal “Stop the Steal” tour (the Altamont for the Beltway-set).
Giuliani, as the former president’s attorney, was hand-picked to spearhead the Trump team’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election: seeking ballots in aforementioned dumpsters, hunting down all those dead voters via seances, fist-fighting Dominion Voting Systems machines, and generally making an ass of himself in courtrooms and hearings, ranging from Pennsylvania to Michigan.
Let’s hit shuffle and play the hits: the melting hair dye. The Four Seasons Total Landscaping press conference sandwiched next to a sex shop on some anonymous Philadelphia street. Him passing gas at Michigan’s voter fraud hearing (granted, the event itself was a bit of political flatulence). And Rudy, you were caught with your pants down (literally) in the latest Borat film.
He’s also contending with a lawsuit filed by former House Impeachment Manager Eric Swalwell aimed at Trump’s cadre of hype men for the January 6 Capitol siege. Hey Rudy, remember when you were Time’s “Man of the Year” decades ago? Or, as GOP consultant Rick Wilson, a man who owes his career to Giuliani, encapsulated the Rudy conundrum, “It’s a cliché, but if you live long enough, you’ll see your heroes become villains.” (How come we can distill nearly all of politics into a variation of that one line from The Dark Knight?)
Now, Rudy’s latest bumbling circus of absurd cringe is a cartoonish showcase generously providing fodder for GIFs, SNL, and me(mes). To err is human – to do it all the time is a Giuliani. Though maybe we could chalk this all up to a series of unfortunate events – all good for a laugh, right, Rudy?
But it’s all gags and giggles until the Feds come knocking.
The Rudy Raid
Around dawn on April 28, federal agents executed search warrants at Rudy’s Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office, seizing his digital devices as part of an investigative probe into his shady dealings with Ukraine vis a vis running oppo research on the Bidens, including efforts to oust the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
And while I’m aware Hunter Biden faces a criminal tax probe by the DOJ, he’s not nearly as entertaining as Rudy in terms of Dunce material.
Manhattan office federal prosecutors (which you used to lead, Rudy!) are angling their potential case around the Foreign Agents Registration Act. FARA requires registering with the Justice Department if you’re lobbying for another nation – say Ukraine, the same act that fueled much of the Mueller probe.
At this point, Rudy suffers the same legal woes as many in Trump’s sketchy circles have, e.g., Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, and Paul Manafort. But they received presidential pardons… There’s no such luck for Giuliani, meaning he might have to pull a Michael Cohen and cooperate with the Feds.
Now, whether you think this Rudy raid is a political hit piece, that Joe dispatched the FBI to the Upper East Side while stumbling up the stairs (twice) to Air Force One, or that there’s some real meat to it… we can all agree on one fundamental truth: Rudy has been a sloppy, steaming mess as of late. But it wasn’t always like this.
Back to the Future
Rudy, I know Donald’s not messaging you back on your eight cell phones swimming around your ill-fitting pants, but I’d like to give you something: a time machine.
Back when I was still in diapers, you broke up the mob! In the Mafia Commission Trial of 1985 to 1986, you led the federal prosecution that took down the “Five Families” on RICO charges. Then, in the next decade, you cleaned up New York, transforming the seedy Red Light District vibes of retro Times Square into a shining, plastic tourist trap. And after 9/11, you weren’t just New York’s Mayor – you were America’s Mayor.
What if your public life had ended there, Rudy – perfect, right? Imagine a cozy Montauk cottage with your cousin, living out the rest of your days in tranquil dignity. You could still throw out a pitch at Yankee Stadium now and again with the memory of you as Gotham’s peerless defender forever preserved in the amber of nostalgia from the boroughs to the heartland.
Let that possibility wash over as you’re contemplating flipping on an ex-president to avoid prison time. But if you don’t, you can always catch the Yankees’ games from the Otisville Correctional Facility.
Now, onto this month’s runner-up…
Did most Americans have a vested interest in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) before COVID-19? No, but it was one of those institutional acronyms that everyone casually gave credence. Before 2020, someone peppering “According to the CDC…” into their argument netted them proper gravitas points. But fast-forward to today, and one wonders if there’s any point to this organization.
As medical doctors take the Hippocratic Oath of not harming patients, it appears the CDC’s engrained with the hypocritical creed of misleading and confusing as many panicked Americans as possible while presenting itself as a beacon of unquestionable reality.
Every time there’s a CDC-centric news notification on your phone, it’s always a “no sh*t” moment…
Vaccinated Americans don’t have to hole up like hermits anymore? It’s safe for children to return to school even though they’ve been low-risk this whole time? Oh, wait, corona’s airborne? We don’t need to wipe down every crevice and crook of ourselves and furniture with beaucoup Lysol wipes? What would we do without you, CDC?
Its glacial guidance never kept pace with published research or even the common sense of we plebeians. It perpetuated the groan-inducing fairy tale that COVID’s transmittable via surfaces. It stood seasons late on the reality that COVID rarely spreads outside, and its casually schizophrenic back-and-forth stances on mask-wearing and protocol for the vaccinated still continue.
And the CDC seems to know how much it’s failing, as it’s seeing the exodus of longtime senior scientist Nancy Messonnier and the agency’s principal deputy director, Anne Schuchat.
Last month, its relatively loosened guidelines appeared in a labyrinthian, color-coded Rube Goldberg bit of visual calculus that feels like Twister on the ceiling with too much ketamine, except decidedly less fun. Not even experts grasped the overlapping tedium.
Clearly Disorganized Chaos appears to be its messaging marching orders, muddling the lines between sound science and bureaucratic incompetence and inconsistency.
So yes, you can take your masks off, vaccinated America… and then muzzle the CDC with them.