Commentaries, Global Warming, Opinions   Cover   •   Commentary   •   Books & Reviews   •   Climate Change   •   Site Links   •   Feedback
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Contributor
Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  August 20, 2007
Print article - Printer friendly version

Email article link to friend(s) - Email a link to this article to friends

Facebook - Facebook

Topic category:  Other/General

Personal Character DOES Count, Rudy Giuliani

Rudy's "private life" disqualifies him as a nominee of the pro-life, pro-family values party

It is perfectly understandable why Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani wants voters to ignore his personal or "private" life. The idea used to be to elect a president to whom people could look up. Unless the idea now if to elect one upon whom people can look down, Rudy is unfit for the position. That's obvious to those who have followed him closely, and it will become obvious to other Americans in time.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews is championing the notion that if a candidate does not use his personal life affirmatively in his campaign, then his personal life should be ignored. But personal character counts and a presidential candidate without the enthusiastic support of his voting age or near voting age children has some "splaining" to do (as Ricky Ricardo used to say).

Mason Locke Weems, A History of the Life and Death, Virtues and Exploits of General George Washington (1918):

"It is not, then, in the glare of public, but in the shade of private life, that we are to look for the man. Private life, is always real life. Behind the curtain, where the eyes of the million are not upon him, and where a man can have no motive but inclination, no incitement but honest nature, there he will always be sure to act himself, consequently, if he act greatly, he must be great indeed. Hence it has been justly said, that, 'our private deeds, if noble, are noblest of our lives.'"

"WHEN the children of years to come, hearing his great name re-echoed from every lip, shall say to their fathers, ' What was it that raised Washington to such a height of glory?' let them be told that it was HIS GREAT TALENTS, CONSTANTLY GUIDED AND GUARDED BY RELIGION. For how shall man, frail man, prone to inglorious ease and pleasure, ever ascend the arduous steps of virtue, unless animated by the mighty hopes of religion? Or what shall stop him in his swift descent to infamy and vice, if unawed by that dread power, which proclaims to the guilty that their secret crimes are seen, and shall not go unpunished? Hence, the wise, in all ages, have pronounced, that 'there never was a truly great man without religion.'"

"[T]o be truly great, a man must have not only great talents, but those talents must be constantly exerted on great, i.e., good actions--and perseveringly too--for if he should turn aside to vice--farewell to his heroism."

Rudy Giuliani is no George Washington (or even George Bush).

Wayne Barrett, author of Rudy (2000), latest piece in The Village Voice, will make Rudy wretch instead of rejoice.

"Runnin' Scared

"Public Displays of Disaffection

"Now Rudy begs for privacy for his kids? Recalling his very public humiliation of his family.

"When it was revealed last week that Rudy Giuliani's 17-year-old daughter, Caroline, had described herself as a member of 'One Million Strong for Barack' in a Facebook profile, a family spokeswoman quickly issued a statement claiming that the posting was merely 'an expression of interest in certain principles,' not an endorsement of Obama. After she grew up for eight years in the Giuliani war zone that was Gracie Mansion, it's hardly surprising that Harvard-bound Caroline might now be interested in another presidential candidate's 'principles.' The question is: Should we be interested in any of this family intrigue?

"Rudy has given us his answer.

"On the stump in Iowa, he said he wants 'to give the maximum degree of privacy' to his children. 'If you want the press to leave the children alone,' Giuliani said, 'the best way to do it is not to comment.' What he meant was that if a candidate wants the press to ignore his messy personal life—including facts that might shock even the 50 percent of Americans who are divorced—the way to do it is to label any examination of it an 'out-of-bounds' intrusion. And if using the vulnerability of his children will help insulate him from examination, this father is ready to show that he really does know best, especially when it comes to protecting himself.

"That’s why he’s said: 'Judge me by my public performance—whatever mistakes I’ve made in my personal life, I’m sorry for them.' It’s a laughable dichotomy, as if one’s personal and professional lives are wholly separable, as if blowing up an 18-year marriage rather than finding a way to end it reasonably says nothing about how a presidential prospect might handle a squabble with Congress. New Yorkers, of course, know that Rudy’s self-absorbed humiliation of his wife Donna Hanover—informing her that he wanted a divorce on television, inviting the press to a 'walking my baby back home' stroll over Mother’s Day weekend with newly announced girlfriend Judi Nathan—was utterly consistent with the in-your-face way he governed. His lawyer and friend Raoul Felder called Donna an 'uncaring mother' over that Mother’s Day weekend in 2000, said she was 'howling like a stuck pig,' and accused her of 'clinging to the chandeliers' in Gracie Mansion. For those used to the tone that Giuliani applied to enemies large and small at City Hall, it was clear that Felder was merely a bullhorn for his client.

"Why are the following samples from the Caroline grievance list irrelevant to the character test we apply to our presidential candidates?

"Giuliani brought her to City Hall for Take Your Daughter to Work Day in 1994 and 1995, the first two years of his mayoral term, and never brought her again. By 1996, the relationship between Giuliani and his twentysomething press secretary had so poisoned the marriage that all such family events were impossible. In fact, Giuliani took a family vacation in November 1993, shortly after his election, and never took another one in his life. His family was so invisible in his public life that neither Donna nor the kids attended his victory party when he won re-election in 1997, and Donna refused to tell reporters at the polls if she voted for him. On the night of the millennium, with a billion people watching Giuliani drop the ball on a new century, Caroline, son Andrew, and Donna had their own small party in an office tower overlooking Times Square. Though Giuliani was still months away from publicly revealing his relationship with Nathan, he squired her around all evening—to the city facility at the square, the new emergency-command center, and a party he hosted at a nearby café.

"Once Giuliani filed for divorce, he brought Nathan to a Gracie Mansion event, which sparked a court ruling barring her from the premises in the interests of the children. The judge branded his lawyer's public tirades 'embarrassing and no doubt painful for these children.' Giuliani complained in court that he wanted to introduce Nathan to the kids on Father's Day in 2001 and that Donna had blocked it. She might have still have been smarting from Father's Day in 1995—a day of revelation for her—when Rudy told reporters after a morning event that he was going back to the mansion to play ball with Andrew, but instead went to a deserted City Hall and headed for a basement suite with his ever-present press secretary. An enraged Donna arrived three hours later, only to be stopped from entering the suite by a Giuliani aide.

"The breakup was so botched that everyone is still scarred. The kids aren't listed on Giuliani's website bio. Donna wasn't acknowledged in a four-page list of the hundreds of important people in Giuliani's life at the end of his bestseller Leadership, though the dog Goalie did get a thank-you. Giuliani didn't go to Andrew's high-school graduation, and, just a couple of months ago, he insisted on bringing Nathan to Caroline's. He and Judi wound up sitting in the balcony and leaving without speaking to her. No wonder Caroline told reporters at the graduation: 'I am celebrating with my mom, my stepfather, my brother, and our other family members.'

"That wasn't a presidential endorsement either."

Rudy's been a rotten husband, a miserable father and a phony Catholic and all of that should be of interest to voters.

As Father James Poumade put it in a homily delivered on May 30, 2004:

“It is inconsistent to claim that one can reject the faith publicly and still be Catholic. Those who try to do so are the only ones truly guilty of mixing politics and religion. Being a practicing Catholic means following the will of God as revealed to us through Scripture and Tradition and the teaching authority of the Church.”

The "separation between faith and life" was condemned by the Second Vatican Council as “among the more serious errors of our age."

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life. It stressed that “[t]here cannot be two parallel lives…the so-called 'spiritual life', with its values and demands; and…the so-called 'secular' life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture.”

The Doctrinal Note emphasized that lay Catholics, in fulfilling civic duties, are to be “‘guided by a Christian conscience,’ in conformity with its values,” and that “their proper task [is] infusing the temporal order with Christian values, all the while respecting the nature and rightful autonomy of that order, and cooperating with other citizens according to their particular competence and responsibility.”

The Doctrinal Note categorically rejected the claims that citizens have “complete autonomy with regard to their moral choices and lawmakers…are respecting this freedom of choice by enacting laws which ignore the principles of natural ethics and yield to ephemeral cultural and moral trends, as if every possible outlook on life were of equal value.” The Doctrinal Note distinguished legitimate and illegitimate freedom. It explicitly respected “the legitimate freedom of Catholic citizens to choose among the various political opinions that are compatible with faith and the natural moral law, and to select, according to their own criteria, what best corresponds to the needs of the common good.”

“Political freedom is not – and cannot be – based upon the relativistic idea that all conceptions of the human person’s good have the same value and truth,” the Doctrinal Note warned.

The Doctrinal Note rejected moral relativism and related the essential basis of democracy in the clearest terms: “If Christians must ‘recognize the legitimacy of differing points of view about the organization of worldly affairs,’ they are also called to reject, as injurious to democratic life, a conception of pluralism that reflects moral relativism. Democracy must be based on the true and solid foundation of non-negotiable ethical principles, which are the underpinning of life in society.”

Rudy's "private life" disqualifies him as a nominee of the pro-life, pro-family values party (and perhaps Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana finally will realize it).

Michael J. Gaynor

Send email feedback to Michael J. Gaynor


Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


Read other commentaries by Michael J. Gaynor.

Copyright © 2007 by Michael J. Gaynor
All Rights Reserved.

[ Back ]


© 2004-2017 by WEBCommentary(tm), All Rights Reserved