Why Giuliani Is the Scariest Possible Candidate

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

Yesterday, speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Rudy Giuliani's bluster towards Iran was unrestrained. He almost seemed to be looking forward to a military confrontation, insisting without proof that Iran is currently building nuclear weapons and emphasizing that the "military option is not off the table."
Giuliani said every new American president prayed to avoid war, but accused Tehran of backing attacks on US troops in Iraq, and ruled out the notion of America learning to live with a nuclear Iran.
"We have seen what Iran will do with ordinary weapons," Giuliani told a forum of presidential candidates organized by the coalition.
If I am president of the United States, I guarantee you, we will never find out what they will do if they get nuclear weapons, because they are not going to get a nuclear weapon."
The remarks were well received by the partisan audience, but they're a small reminder of why the public should be genuinely concerned about the prospect of a Giuliani presidency.

Now, I appreciate the context of this. Most Dems will say the prospect of a Republican president in 2009 is inherently dangerous. Likewise, most Republicans will say the same about a Democratic president. Undoubtedly, both sides mean it.

But clearly there's something different, and altogether more menacing, about the notion of Giuliani in the Oval Office. Josh Marshall on Tuesday described the "truly catastrophic foreign policy Giuliani would likely pursue." Matt Yglesias said yesterday that he struggled to find a way to explain how "terrified" he is of a Giuliani presidency, explaining that it would be "a quantum leap of lunacy and just the time when the country desperately needs a clean break and a lurch in the other direction." Ezra Klein added, "He's not just another Republican. He's not even another Bush. He's constructed a foreign policy team that is almost unimaginably dangerous and aggressive."

Maybe some specifics will help flesh this out.

The policy advisors a candidate chooses to surround himself or herself with can tell us quite a bit about what kind of policies he or she would pursue in office. That's especially true when it comes to candidates with no foreign policy or national security experience, such as Giuliani, who has tapped some high-profile foreign policy aides to help shape his worldview on international affairs.

In a must-see, six-minute clip, Josh Marshall explains that Giuliani's foreign policy team is made up of "all the guys who were too nuts or too extreme to make the cut with George W. Bush."

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