That’s George Will’s pro-Giuliani advice. That means that social conservatives should forget about their their progressively more ineffectual and unfashionable concerns about abortion and homosexuality and embrace the most competent competent candidate--the only guy who could defeat the competent Hillary in November. Conservatives, for their own good, should imaginatively return to a time when they weren’t abortion-obsessed in order to take a broader view of our country need now.
George is right that the voters will be reacting big-time in some or way another against the president’s perceived incompetence in 2008. But isn’t the social conservative objection to Giuliani that he’s against turning the clock back to 1972--the year before ROE v. WADE disfigured our country’s political life? In 1972, abortion and same-sex marriage weren’t compelling as national issues because nobody much imagined that they could be resolved in an extreme, national way by the Court. In 1972, abortion policy, as George observes, was the product of legislative compromise on a state-by-state basis.
What Rudy needs to do to unite his party in a way that might produce victory in November is to explain why it’s right--constitutionally correct-- that he should appoint judges that would take us back to 1972. For now, he and George seem to agree that judicial restraint means putting the controversy the Court caused behind us by regarding ROE, as the Court claimed in PLANNED PARENTHOOD, as a watershed precedent that must remain undistrubed.
Will may well be right that most states wouldn’t restrict abortion much and that American opinion is progressing in a direction that will produce public acceptance of same-sex marriage. But it still makes a lot of difference whether such issues are resolved by the people’s moral deliberation and legislation or by judicial fiat that marginalizes much of our country.