In the New York Times on Sunday, Frank Rich discussed how we have gotten used to “Democracy lite” in this country; i.e. we have learned to accept the erosions of our liberties. Kind of like Dori Monson saying we have to suspend some rights in order to fight terrorism, ignoring the fact that if we have to give up our rights perhaps we have already lost the war on terrorism.

Rudy Giuiliani, a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for President, is a case in point. Shortly after 9/11, Guiliani’s term as mayor of New York was expiring. The election was to be held in November. At this point, Guiliani decided that because of the terrorism emergency he should stay on as mayor for another 3 months or so. Or maybe even another term.

The scary thing was that the Republican candidate, Michael Bloomberg, and one of the Democratic candidates, Mark Green, actually agreed with him. Fortunately for everybody, wiser heads prevailed. The other Democratic candidate, Fernando Ferrer, begged to differ and the rest of the government then came to their senses. The election went on as scheduled and New York City did just fine.

Our country, however, is now faced with the prospect of Rudy Guiliani doing the same thing to the country as a whole. One wonders if there is another terrorist attack if Rudy Guiliani would try to pull the same thing on the entire nation. In such a dire situation, he would say, we cannot afford to have another election. We need him too much!

The entire story is reprinted here: New York Times