…think that the United States of America circa 2008 is likely to resemble New York City circa 1988? Evidently he does; he writes of Rudy Giluliani:
his deviations from the social conservatives’ agenda is more than balanced by his record as mayor of New York. That city was liberalism’s laboratory as it went from the glittering metropolis celebrated in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) to the dystopia of the novel “Bonfire of the Vanities” (1987). Giuliani successfully challenged the culture of complaint that produced the politics of victimhood that resulted in government by grievance groups.
Will is describing there how Giuliani sees himself, but plainly enough Will buys into it. But what “culture of complaint” in the America of 2008 is Giuliani going to challenge? There’s something wrong with thinking that measures that were appropriate in New York City nearly twenty years ago are what the United States as a whole needs today. It’s as nutty as saying that Iraq resembles postwar Germany. Is Ruday gonna save the country from the legions of menacing squeegee men rampant in Peoria and Albuquerque?