Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Guiliani’s Potential Appeal for Social Conservatives

I will offer no comment here--having exhausted this issue in previous posts--but offer this op-ed from Maggie Gallagher as evidence that Guiliani does have some potential to appeal to social conservatives--even on the life issue.

Discussions - 23 Comments

What Giuliani did for the city was amazing. He cleaned it up, made it a safe place to walk, after dark. That was a CONSERVATIVE policy. That’s a record to be proud of. He did far more IN REALITY to impact the lives of New Yorkers than many a posturing Republican in Congress. There are many who talk a good game on abortion, and other issues, but they’ve not managed to actually advance that agenda. And what’s more, their lack of success has only given us reason to doubt the veracity of their underlying support.

It’s REAL difficult to give credence to Bush’s statements on abortion, when his wife and mother are pro-choice. And when he nominated Meirs, named Gonzales AG, and then had Andy Card as Chief of Staff. Card played a role in the selection of Souter.

He surrounds himself with people that were pro-choice, or people who wouldn’t come clean, such as Rice and Powell. His father named Souter, when Souter was pushed by men who WERE KNOWN to be pro-choice, such as Rudman, Sununu and Card.

So it’s a "faith based" thing to place any faith in what the Bush men have been saying on that issue, and THAT issue usually speaks volumes about a person’s wider political, moral and cultural views.

ANY consideration that social conservatives are giving to Giuliani is a sign of desperation and/or selling out. I guess slavish devotion to the GOP could be another explanation.

It doesn’t do the GOP much good to nominate a loser. It doesn’t do much to advance the cause by nominating a man that gets laughed out of the race. Embarrassments don’t attract voters. But victory does.

If Rudy promises to appoint Judges that are Originalists, how is that NOT consistent with the GOP platform regarding judges legislating from the benches. If Rudy promises that all legal appointments will be made with an eye on whether or not their views are consistent with the GOP platform, that would be better than we had during the current administration. If Rudy is asked what kind of Judges he wants, and he answers "Roberts and Alito," which Conservative is going to be irritated.

From what I know, maybe I’m wrong here, but Rudy doesn’t have a track record of dodging and weaving. He tells ya where he’s at, tells ya what he thinks.

Romney is the one dodging.

McCain has given cause for suspicion.

But not Rudy.

As for men from the House, such as Hunter, Tancredo, they’re going nowhere. I can’t recall the last man to earn the Presidency from the House. Hasn’t been done in modern American politics. And it isn’t going to happen in this race.

If Rudy gets the nomination, he’ll have my support and vote.

If McCain wins, I’ll vote for him.

This isn’t the time for Conservative purists to walk the political catwalk, displaying their pristine garb and showing their credentials.

From a sheer iconic perspective, the damage that a Hillary Presidency would do to the fabric of this country would be huge. Hillary is a NAKEDLY open relationship. The United States has never elected someone with such a European take on marriage. As her husband mainstreamed the discussion of fellatio in our media, her Presidency would further push America towards European mores.

How would Conservatism be advanced by losing to her?

I’d vote for Hillary before I’d vote for Giuliani. Just to stop the GOP from dissolving into another Social Democrat party.

"How would Conservatism be advanced by losing to her?"



If Rudy lost because a big block of conservatives stayed home or, better yet, voted third party, then Conservatism would be advanced tremendously. The GOP would learn that we are ignored at great peril. In fact, I can think of few things that would advance conservatism more.



"It doesn’t do the GOP much good to nominate a loser. It doesn’t do much to advance the cause by nominating a man that gets laughed out of the race. Embarrassments don’t attract voters. But victory does."



The problem with your type of political pragmatism is that it isn’t even really pragmatic. There is no way that strategy ever gets conservatives where we want to go. How does voting for someone who takes the party left, ever get you back right? So this isn’t the election to throw down the gauntlet because too much is at stake. (“This isn’t the time for Conservative purists to walk the political catwalk, displaying their pristine garb and showing their credentials.”) But are we to believe that 2012 or 2016 will be? I guarantee you that in 2012 we (or people like us) will be having this exact same debate? You will be saying now is not the time then as well. You have to take what you can get, blah, blah, blah. The fact is that you don’t give a rat’s a** about conservatism. You care about getting Republicans elected.



If you have given up and will just be satisfied to move more slowly to the left, then don’t doctor that up with language as if it is good for conservatism. It is a total disaster for conservatism.

Did any of you actually read the article? With President Rodam-Clinton in the White House the liberal understanding of everything from gay marriage to a constitutional right to partial-birth abortion on-demand would be codified into law by the freshly liberal Supreme Court. Giuliani has made it very clear that he would appoint strict constructionists/originalists (he’s said on the record he would have appointed someone like Alito); do we know if someone like McCain or even Romney would do that?

As Gallagher very prudently pointed out, there is little chance Hillary could pick up any states that previously went to Bush in 2004, and with Giuliani on the ticket, places like New York and even Conneticut might go red. You guys say what you want about turning the GOP into another Democratic party, but just remember what would happen if we lose (I’m especially refering to all the judge appointments).

You guys who bitch and moan about the GOP going to hell offer no realistic solutions. NOT EVERYONE THINKS LIKE YOU. Listen, I’m as conservative as they come, but we live in a democracy and we have to convince the people in the middle that they have more in common with us than they do with the Left. If you want to ignore those people to retain your purity go ahead, but please spare us the End Times talk once Hillary comes to power because you’ll have helped put her there.

Tancredo for POTUS! Damn straight!

Bravo, Andrew!

Indeed, let me add that I heard Guiliani interviewed today on Hugh Hewitt’s show and he reaffirmed his commitment to appoint judges in the model of Roberts and Alito but took it a step further and INCLUDED Scalia and Thomas in his statement. He made a big point of including them. That means he’s playing to win. I’m thinking that if I were a betting woman I’d start gathering my chips and putting them on his number. At least for the nomination. And if G. is really smart, he’ll do what he can to encourage more and more dust-ups between HRC and Obama. That can only help him by hurting her.

"NOT EVERYONE THINKS LIKE YOU."



Absolutely correct. So a leader tries to convince them that our ideas are good, instead of pandering to them.



"You guys who bitch and moan about the GOP going to hell offer no realistic solutions."



I have repeatedly offered a solution although I am not sure how "realistic" it is. His name is Ron Paul. But if it is unrealistic, it is unrealistic precisely because "conservatives" write him off because he is "unrealistic." Talk about a self fulfilling prophecy.



The judge issue is a perfect example of the problem. Judges are the GOP trump card because conservatives have failed to be conservative. JUDICIAL REVIEW IS NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION. So instead of fretting about judges we should be screaming from the roof-tops debunking that myth at every opportunity.



Also, a solution to judicial activism by the Supreme Court is State activism. Nullifying onerous Supreme Court decision. But we can’t do that because all the modern conservative have bought the Lincolnian nationalist myth. (Not trying to restart that battle. It is just true.)



So there are some solutions. Support Ron Paul. Debunk judicial review instead of fretting about judges. State activism to nullify bad court decisions and laws.

Dan,

Comparing Rudy to George is a straw man - conservatives admitted long ago George was not consistent on the issue to say the least. Rudy would be more of the same, let’s learn from our mistakes...

Andrew (and Julie),

You can say "purity" and "realistic solutions" all you want, fact is nothing resembling real conservative governance from compromise after compromise that you promote has happened. Government continues to expand, taking more and more of GDP. The GOP as bearer of conservative ideas/pragmatism is an abject failure. Your "work within" strategy has netted nothing of consequence. Conservatives (and the country) have nothing to lose from questioning and abandoning this type of "realistic solution". Building an alternative (no matter how painful) is preferable...

In the words of a distinguished blogger: "Bravo, Christopher!"

Sorry for misquoting that, but I think more than a few people are disgusted by Andrew’s and Julies’ self-proclaimed "conservative statemanship." No thanks, we don’t want it.

So what if Giuliani says "I’ll appoint judges like Roberts and Alito." All the candidates will say that, I want the one that will do it. If one were actually correctly viewing the frontrunners, McCain has to be the man. But I’m increasingly looking to build up that outsider like Christopher says.

Which means my heart is getting bigger for Huckabee.

All the candidates will say that, I want the one that will do it.

Which is really the point. Julie and Andrew seem strangely disconnected from reality - the history of conservativism within the GOP in the last 50 years. Stranger still, they are the ones who claim to be "realistic" and allege a disconnected idealism on conservatives who look at history (especially 94-06) and realize the GOP just ain’t going to work for us...

I understand the sentiment that the Leviathon groweth, and I agree. I’m not asking people to change any planks in the Republican platform or even not question Rudy’s conservative credentials. However, the great task of moving this country back towards the middle can only take place under an administration that is indifferent (if not friendly) to the cause, which I believe Giuliani is trying to make it abundantly clear he is. Under someone like Hillary or Obama, we’d spend 4 to 8 years scrambling trying to do as much damage control as possible, and all of us know it wouldn’t help. I’m not asking anyone to compromise their principles, but know that our only chance enacting them lies with an electable, friendly-to-conservatism individual like Rudy Giuliani.

Goldwater ran for president to make a point and to get the ball rolling. He succeeded. Now we don’t need examples anymore, we need elected officials. Once elected president, even our mysterious conservative outsider can’t just snap his fingers and make the country conservative. It will take time, and it can only be done from the inside. There’s no reason to throw our nominee to the wolves in 2008 simply to make a point.

In response to Andrew’s salient point that "Not everyone thinks like you." Dan Phillips offers this: Absolutely correct. So a leader tries to convince them that our ideas are good, instead of pandering to them.

Good. We can all agree here--though this does come dangerously close to an endorsement of Lincolnian statesmanship, Dan.

Setting that aside (please!) and another equally involved discussion of Judicial Review (not here, not now) I ask you this: Have conservatives effectively persuaded enough people to think like them in order to make the kind of purity demands some seem so ready to make? The answer is painfully obvious--go turn on your TV and have a peek. Is public opinion chomping at the bit to support you in this? Clearly, there is much work to be done on this front. How do you propose to effect that purpose if you are determined to fracture the only party that gives you the time of day? And the fact that it does give you the time of day is a significant one. It shows, contrary to the pouting evinced here, that we HAVE made significant gains within the GOP. It did not give us this much credit 50 years ago. (Christopher, you really should try to stretch your imagination back beyond 1994!--Geez, my own memory goes back further than that!) If you don’t think things politically are better now for conservatives than they were then, I know not what to say. If you mean to point to further decay in the culture and creeping overtures toward ever bigger government--you are right. But that can be explained by the conservatives coming late to the ball. It will take a while before the people realize that we are the belle at this ball. Now you have Guiliani, McCain, and Romney--whether it’s insincere or perfunctory or whatever--they’re racing to mollify you. Exploit that advantage instead of squandering it! Do as Dan Phillips says and PERSUADE the people! But you seem more inclined to be angry with them and condemn them for their ignorance. The fact that G. feels compelled to make a big point out of talking about his judicial appointments in the way he did means something big, whether you want to admit it or not. Your prescription for the attitude with which this information should be received is likely to damage our cause, not help it.

note # 16:

Yet, you are asking for us to vote in another non-conservative simply because we are trapped in a two party system. Time to rescue ourselves, time for a change.

note #17:

The lesser of two evils argument - yet the evil keeps marching forward. Time for something different.

note # 18:

Not sure what the persuasion argument brings. Why do you assume the best place to persuade more folks is from within the GOP? Have we not tried this already, always fighting upstream against the non-conservatives within the GOP? Again, big tent means compromise, and compromise means non-conservative. No, things are not "politically" better, in that the country is governed less conservatively, not more, than 50 years ago. Are we talking about the same history country here? The three candidates you mention are NOT conservative, and the talk is the usual primary talk - it means nothing! Again, we obviously disagree as to the history and future prospects of anything resembling conservativism in the GOP...

Again, I ask you Christopher, who do you propose to persuade if not Republicans? Democrats? Independents (i.e., people with no opinion worthy of the name)? Your numbers are only significant enough to do damage to the party that most closely resembles the character that you profess to want. You deceive yourself if you think you can do anything useful outside of the party. If you think it is hard to get serious attention from within the party, just wait and see how seriously you are taken once you are outside of it. Ask Pat Buchanan about that. On the other hand, at least Pat tried to subsume the mantle (such as it was) of an existing "party"--pathetic as the Reform party was/is(?). You propose to create yet another party out of whole cloth. This is a waste of time. The people you need to persuade are right in front of you. You are frustrated because it has not come along as quickly as you would like and, you claim, no progress has been made. I share your frustration but I disagree with you about the progress part--we have made great gains within the GOP--though not enough to put forward a conservative agenda for the nation. But I also believe that were it not for us and the sometimes unified efforts of the GOP things would be much worse today than they are. Beyond that, I suspect you and I may also disagree about some of the substance toward which we are trying to persuade people. But that disagreement is, I would argue, not as terrible a thing as you seem inclined to think. A political party marching in lock step on every point is frightening to me. People should consider long and hard the things toward which their politics aim. If there is no disagreement there probably isn’t much thinking going on either. The diversity of opinion within a party makes that long and hard consideration not only likely but necessary. While this does not guarantee a good outcome, I like its chances better than those of a passionate ideology let loose upon society. What I guess I mean to say is that I don’t want to win all the time. Particularly not if I’m wrong.

You propose to create yet another party out of whole cloth. This is a waste of time. The people you need to persuade are right in front of you

Was creating the Republican party a wast of time? With compromisers like you running it, I would tend to agree with your statement.

Julie,

We obviously disagree as to rather the GOP has or can be the bearer of conservative values/governance. Of substance (perhaps) is the idea that one needs a "diversity of opinion", to which I agree. However, I want a conservative diversity, not a set of philosophies that cancel each other out, as in the current GOP. Unless of course you are arguing for the dissolution of parties and political allegiance altogether. The way you put it could be construed that way. I mean, a one party system would be better along this line of thought no?...;)

Christopher: No, not at all. Without two parties there is nothing to focus the mind. Without tolerating disagreement within the parties, there is nothing to keep the respective parties from bouncing off the ideological walls and splintering into a plethora of little interests/ideologies.

Clint: Was creating the Republican party a waste of time? Clearly not. The death of the Whigs was already apparent when the GOP was created. I think it’s a fair stretch to say that the GOP of today is in the same state as the Whigs of the 1840s/50s. But I’m surprised at you . . . do you really want to re-live the kind of political splintering it took to make the creation of the GOP? But, rest assured, Clint. You needn’t worry about my relative "compromising" influence on the GOP.

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