“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” Harvey Dent, the heroic district attorney of Gotham, proclaims in The Dark Knight. The fatalistic idea being that one can only do so much good in the world before you start balancing out the scales with evil. Dent goes on to become the villain Two-Face.
Rudolph W. Giuliani—the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and former mayor of New York, the city Gotham was based on—might have pondered that a bit.
If Giuliani had passed from the scene shortly after 9/11, schools and bridges would be named after him today. George Will once proclaimed that Giuliani’s years as mayor “constitute perhaps America’s most transformative conservative governance in the last half-century.” After his handling of New York’s response to the 9/11 attacks, Giuliani was proclaimed “America’s mayor.” Time magazine named him Person of the Year. Queen Elizabeth made him an honorary knight.
But now he’s a different kind of dark knight. Instead of donning a cape to crusade against crime, he beclowns not just himself but the president he sycophantly serves.