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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

Rudy and the Donald: The Downward Spirals

Soul mates, cell mates (Rose Hartman/Getty Images)

We have the opportunity to witness live the deterioration of the former America’s Mayor and the former American President. These two senior citizens approaching the ninth decade of their lives are putting on a degeneration display that is astonishing to behold. It also shows no sign of ending either.


Many people have already commented on the decline of the former America’s Mayor. There is no point in rehashing what he was as a Federal attorney or as Mayor both before and after 9/11. There also is no point in rehashing his batting average of .000 as he scurried around the country trying one court after another to buy into the wishful thinking of the bogus evidence presented so the loser could steal the election and return to the White House. The images of hair dye dripping down his face or his press conference at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping parking lot will replace the images of him on 9/11 as the defining ones of his career.

What is important to note is that he is not capable of stopping his deterioration. The old adage about when you are in a hole stop digging does not seem to have registered in his brain. His conviction for the defamation Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss was no surprise. The amount of $148 million certainly was a shocker. While there is no chance of him paying that amount, the verdict can be parlayed into the criminal charges against him. His conviction there will mean time in prison. While there probably are 80-year-olds already in prison, there are probably even fewer who were first imprisoned as an 80-year old.

His language and mindset are what are important here. When he described the actions of Freeman and Moss on election night he was back in his glory days as Mayor waging a war against street crime. Only this time the stakes were much higher. Clearly he revels in the language he used to denounce them. He has no intention of apologizing to them or retracting his words. When he had the opportunity in court to present the supposed evidence against them, he chose at the last minute not to appear. That did not stop him outside of court from claiming he spoke the truth against Freeman and Moss and has no reason to apologize. In fact, he went on to malign them even after the case had concluded. That tirade simply means he can be subject to additional penalty.

So why is he acting this way? “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen is as good a place as any to start. Back on June 20, 2022, I wrote a blog Giuliani’s Indictment: Previewing the President’s, a sequence that is slowing becoming true. In that blog I cited Elaina Plott Calabro in her article from 2019 in The Atlantic:

Rudy Giuliani: ‘You Should Be Happy for Your Country That I Uncovered This’

President Trump’s personal attorney unleashes in a new phone call with The Atlantic while Trump allies turn on him.

Even among the president’s closest allies, Giuliani is now the subject of scorn. When I reached him by phone this morning, following House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s release of the full whistle-blower complaint at the center of the Ukraine scandal, he was, put simply, very angry.

“It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not. And I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero,” Giuliani told me.

“I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government,” he continued, sounding out of breath. “Anything I did should be praised.”

Here you see the dilemma Giuliani faces. In his mind, he could still be the hero who is going to save the country just as he had been on 9/11. The stolen election fraud provided him with an opportunity to salvage his life. A court ruling, perhaps the first of many, takes that belief away from him. His stark choices are to admit his life was a lie or to continue wallowing in that lie. So far he has chosen the latter. Hence the continued deterioration by someone who is no longer capable of living in the real world. The ultimate moment of truth would be his imprisonment as a result of his criminal actions on behalf of The Donald. One has to wonder then if it will be safe to leave him alone.


Never admit defeat or that you lost. Trump is a few years behind Rudy. This is due to his ability to DELAY DELAY DELAY the criminal and civil proceedings against him. His hope, of course, is to run out the clock so he can have the federal charges against him dropped. That will not work in Georgia or Michigan or whichever other state charges him and/or his allies in the fake elector scheme. So the odds are there will at least be state trials where there are a parade of Republican witnesses testify against him. These fake elector schemes were in battleground states. In those much contested states there will be a daily barrage of charges, testimony that he will not have the opportunity to refute if he is not charged at all or charged separately.

At this point, he needs an army of lawyers to put out the fires which seem to be increasing and not snuffed out. Soon we will be hearing about the penalty related to his criminal business operations in New York. As with 9/11 for Giuliani, the image of The Donald as a successful businessman has been integral to his political success and his self-identity. Now he will be exposed as a business failure even when he cheated. That decision will be a blow to him personally.

I confess, I can’t keep track of all the trials both criminal and civil in the works against him. Despite all the attention on March 4 for his Insurrection trial, January looms as a busy month. There will be civil trials on the Insurrection by the Capitol police, 14th Amendment rulings, and round 2 of the E. Jean Carroll civil case. The point is that there will always be something going on with some trial that demands his attention especially as he appeals every decision. He needs an army of lawyers to keep up.

We should not overlook the impact of stress on his life despite his “witch-hunt” bravado. While Biden may stumble now and then, Trump is the one whose mental necessities show signs of deterioration. His repeating of errors are not the signs of a “senior moment” or slip of the tongue. They are the signs of a loss of mental acuity, of a person who keeps thinking a deceased spouse is still alive or he still lives at home and not in a facility. Regardless of any normal deterioration in his mind, the constant stress of the legal cases even before a parade of Republicans start testifying against him will make Giuliani seem normal by comparison.

He is on a one-way track downhill. He can’t admit he was a failure in business. He can’t admit he was a crooked failure in business. He can’t admit he lost the election. He can’t admit he was the one who tried to steal the election. It is easier for some of his codefendants to reach plea deals. They still have a life to lead free of Trump. He has no such luxury. He is in this until the end because the alternative of facing and living the truth is a threat to entire life and self-identity. It’s no wonder the prospect of prison frightens him. One has to wonder then if it will be safe to leave him alone.

For months now, Anthony Scaramucci has predicted that the “stressed” out Trump over the indictments will drop out of race. Lately he has tempered his prediction about a pre-Iowa caucus withdrawal. The change was due to the slow pace of the cases. While it is possible he might go to jail for contempt of court in 2024, there is little likelihood that he will go to prison in 2024. Still one should not discount the impact of the constant stress due to the various cases. Think of how much he has to lose if he loses to Joe Biden again this coming November. Care to take bets on when he will start claiming rigged election this time around too?

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