Rudy Giuliani Hates the Constitution:
Way back in November 1919, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who was busy at that point working with J. Edgar Hoover rounding up and deporting any non-citizen who even uttered the words "anarchist" or "communist," proposed a new anti-sedition law to Congress, a supplement to the Espionage and Sedition Acts already giving the federal government wide authority to arrest "suspected" anarchists. Targeted at any person or group who advocate "through the spoken or printed word the overthrow of the Government of the United States," Palmer sought to "do away with the barriers...which prevent the deportation of those convicted of anarchy." He was reacting to a wave of violence and bombings in the country that was supposedly the work of a network of radical, Bolshevik, and/or anarchist groups.
Among those barriers were the rights accorded to those accused of seditious activities. Wrote Palmer, "The accused is entitled to hearings to be admitted to bail, writs of habeas corpus, and to appeals even to our highest courts." And while it was easy to get around these impediments to justice with immigrants, well, with citizens, that was a whole other kettle of fish. So Palmer proposed, "The conviction [for sedition] of any naturalized citizen shall be deemed sufficient for the cancellation of his or her certificate of naturalization." You got that? In order to end the terrorism allegedly caused by the hordes of crazed immigrants (note: some of it was, some of it wasn't), the Attorney General of the United States wanted to revoke the citizenship of naturalized citizens and deport them. They had already done this with anarchist writer Emma Goldman, but now it was to be made law. As the Washington Post wrote in January 1920, "There is no time to waste on hairspliiting over infringement of liberties."
As radical and antidemocratic as Palmer (and Hoover) were, it's not as far that bald, useless bag of fucking failure known as Rudy Giuliani would go. On ABC's This Week this week, Giuliani made no distinction between natural born and naturalized citizens when he said, "I mean, why shouldn't we revoke the citizenship of someone who's been designated the -- an agent of a foreign -- of a foreign power or an agent of a -- of a terrorist group? Of course we should. Of course we should be able to revoke it. And I'd be happy to test the constitutionality of that." Who's got a slippery slope to sell?
Always trust the man who had a terrorist attack on the same buildings that were attacked before, right? A man who hired thugs like Bernie Kerik to top posts? C'mon, can't you trust a guy who's got a security firm to operate, who makes his money by ensuring that everyone's freaked out? Giuliani is a ghoulish asshole who despises being out of power, a loser and freak who abandoned any principles he had in order to become a mythic figure in his own mind and in the minds of deluded idiots. Listening to him talk about the Constitution is like listening to Wile E. Coyote discuss the finer points of trapping fowl.
Palmer, who was a Democrat, lost out on his presidential ambitions. The anarchist violence that had occurred continued for a while longer. Yet, despite the freak-out, America ended up outlasting the fear. For now.