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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL Hearts Rudy

It’s the opinion of that fine newspaper that a combination of tax cuts, CEO savvy, and a renewed and more competent aggressiveness in "the War on Terror" can be enough for Giuliani to make a convincing case that he’s Reagan’s heir. Your opinion of this opinion is welcome, but I have my very strong doubts that either Rudy or Wall Street really get how Reagan put a winning coalition together.

Discussions - 11 Comments

A small but intense segment of the right hates Rudy's guts and will make it hard for him to win the general election, should he be nominated. Rudy could limit their ability to poison the well among other conservatives by learning how to speak convincingly to those of us on the right. But he seems unwilling to, and his offhand, take-me-or-leave-me manner isn't well suited to impress us ideologically minded people.

Doesn't this, Guiliani's popularity, or any candidate's popularity, depend on what happens between now and the primaries? If terrorist attacks continue, Guliani will look better to voting Republicans, as might McCain. The WSJ obviously has its own priorities, as indicated in the interview. If those become our priorities in the next year, Guiliani will probably sound better to me (us?) than he does now.


This election is about endurance and (though, what do I know? Please tell me I am wrong.) the Reagan-type coalition doesn't seem likely to work this time.

The Rudy haters are more concerned about their issues than about anything else. They will not be brought around.
Giuliani might win the nomination, but because of the hard-right fringe, he may not be able to win the general. Most of what he loses on the right, he'll need to make up among former Kerry voters. That won't be easy.

I agree with you, Kate, that a terrorist attack before the primaries could work to Rudy's advantage. Thus you are right that a good chunk of presidential politics is driven by external events. I think Peter is shrewd though in seeing a connection between a WSJ Editorial Page in transition and RG's campaign. Both RG and the WSJ may have in mind really changing the Republican Party by weakening the influence of the social conservatives. Originally I suspected/hoped otherwise, that RG would to the contrary seek cleverly to expand the social conservative appeal. So David Frisk is right to point to social conservative unease, which I think now is increasing for good reason if you listen to RG closely and see where his political strength is.

I don't know that a terrorist attack would work to Rudy's advantage. I don't see any reason why it should. He is no better or worse on this issue than any other candidate.

I realise that there seems to be a contingent of people who believe that he will be the the equivalent of Sherman marching on Atlanta regarding terrorists, but this appears to be wishful thinking more than anything else.

Does Rudy understand the evil, perverted nature of the house of al saud?

Does he fully understand the satanic aspirations of the regime in Tehran?

Does he realize how thoroughly, pervasively corrupted the regime in Damascus is?

Does he realize the extent to which the Arab narrative dominates European foreign policy, dominates the CIA and dominates the Bureau for Near East Affairs in the State Department?

Does he realize how corrupting all of the petrodollars circulating through Washington are, {through the lobbying firms, law firms, PR firms, consultancies and think tanks} does he FULLY understand how decadent and RUINOUS the circulation of that money is?

Does he understand the deleterious consequences that inexorably flow from judges that legislate from the bench?

I must say that I'm disappointed in the tenor of his foreign policy pronouncements of late. They're very superficial. They're not very challenging. In a word, he's soundbyting. Sure it's better to be on "offense over defense," but where and how precisely does he intend to go over to the offensive? His foreign policy comments are only a little removed from those of the President himself. And the President, as most by now have painfully concluded, has but a slender grasp of the enormity of the problem. AND THAT'S being generous. For by his most recent speech on islam, delivered only last week, the President demonstrated, YET AGAIN, his lack of curiosity about the teachings and tenets of that political creed. The President has been content to ground his foreign policy on politically correct nonsense. Is it any wonder that his policy is collapsing all across the board?

I did not object to the President using force to achieve Wilsonian ends. But I never thought that the President would fail to use JACKSONIAN force, complete, overwhelming.

No public official yet has the knowledge, let alone the savvy and the nerve to precisely identify the enemy of the West. No one has yet explained how that enemy is going to be confronted and completely obliterated, so that it NEVER threatens the people of the earth with islamic supremacism ever again.

The President has become a MAJOR impediment to the American people understanding islam, and formulating an overwhelming response to islam.

Rudy is going to have to seriously step up his game.

And I'm really surprised that he hasn't done so by now.

I don't know what his style was when he campaigned to become the Mayor of the Big Apple, I didn't follow his campaign that closely. But I hope that we're going to get a much sharper Rudy than we've seen heretofore in this Presidential campaign. Maybe he's had some focus group results that indicated he needed to soften his image.

Dan,



So if he realized all those things he would surely want to use "Jacksonian force" and kill a whole lot of Muslims? What exactly do you have in mind? I would appreciate it if you would be specific. Do you want to overthrow Saudi Arabia for example? I have a very hard time pinning the uber-hawks down.



At least you admit your goal is Wilsonian. That is some progress.



Fewer and fewer conservatives are buying it, Dan. And the war-hawks are getting shriller.

I am a social conservative, and Rudy strikes me as being about as socially conservative as Richard Simmons. But I am also a free-market, judicial, and national defense conservative. I consider candidates' stances on life, family, guns, etc. when I vote in local elections and for my Congressional candidates. Specifically, when I vote for my legislators. Those are the representatives who can effect change in these domains of general welfare. When I vote for president, I consider one thing and one thing only on "social" issues. Will they increase the number of "Strict Constructionist" (i.e., legal conservative) judges on the federal bench?

The United States President represents all Americans, and is really the only representative whose constituency is made up of the entire country. It's hard enough to get a plurality, let alone a majority, of the country to agree on taxes, judges, and war. I choose not to factor into my decision-making a criterion that not only adds tremendously to the difficulty of maintaining a winning coalition (this time, the other side won't be featuring as their standard-bearer someone carrying the baggage of stagflation, gas lines, and inept foreign policy), but also has (or should have) little place in our federalist, republican government. What my executive thinks about abortions or guns or gays matters not one whit to me so long as he puts judges on the federal bench who leaves decisions about these issues to the People in their respective states.

The fact that Rudy is clearly not economically illiterate and has successfully implemented free-market policies and fiscal discipline in hostile territory; that he understands the current war and is able to succinctly and effectively articulate what it is, and the importance of winning it, to Americans; that he seems to be serious about enforcing the integrity of our borders; that he has the potential to appeal to disaffected independents and moderates in what is shaping up to be a very tough cycle for the GOP -- all this makes him an appealing candidate to me.

If Rudy could win with a coalition that resulted in putting the discussion of "social" issues back in the arena of the state politics, (where it should be, both pragmatically and Constitutionally), and did not attempt in the alternative to implement socially liberal policies in office, then I would not just begrudgingly accept such a strategy. I would wholeheartedly appreciate it. If he can win on such remains to be seen.

Since Ronald Reagan is dead and buried, and his ghost is Constitutionally barred from running again in this cycle, I would commend accepting that no one in the current (and likely future) crop of candidates will hold up well compared to the Happy Warrior. Those of us who value the historical social norms and traditions of our country should seriously consider these issues' relevance in electing our President.

[Re-formatted for easier reading]

I am a social conservative, and Rudy strikes me as being about as socially conservative as Richard Simmons. But I am also a free-market, judicial, and national defense conservative. I consider candidates' stances on life, family, guns, etc. when I vote in local elections and for my Congressional candidates. Specifically, when I vote for my legislators. Those are the representatives who can effect change in these domains of general welfare. When I vote for president, I consider one thing and one thing only on "social" issues. Will they increase the number of "Strict Constructionist" (i.e., legal conservative) judges on the federal bench?

The United States President represents all Americans, and is really the only representative whose constituency is made up of the entire country. It's hard enough to get a plurality, let alone a majority, of the country to agree on taxes, judges, and war. I choose not to factor into my decision-making a criterion that not only adds tremendously to the difficulty of maintaining a winning coalition (this time, the other side won't be featuring as their standard-bearer someone carrying the baggage of stagflation, gas lines, and inept foreign policy), but also has (or should have) little place in our federalist, republican government. What my executive thinks about abortions or guns or gays matters not one whit to me so long as he puts judges on the federal bench who leaves decisions about these issues to the People in their respective states.

The fact that Rudy is clearly not economically illiterate and has successfully implemented free-market policies and fiscal discipline in hostile territory; that he understands the current war and is able to succinctly and effectively articulate what it is, and the importance of winning it, to Americans; that he seems to be serious about enforcing the integrity of our borders; that he has the potential to appeal to disaffected independents and moderates in what is shaping up to be a very tough cycle for the GOP -- all this makes him an appealing candidate to me.

If Rudy could win with a coalition that resulted in putting the discussion of "social" issues back in the arena of the state politics, (where it should be, both pragmatically and Constitutionally), and did not attempt in the alternative to implement socially liberal policies in office, then I would not just begrudgingly accept such a strategy. I would wholeheartedly appreciate it. If he can win on such remains to be seen.

Since Ronald Reagan is dead and buried, and his ghost is Constitutionally barred from running again in this cycle, I would commend accepting that no one in the current (and likely future) crop of candidates will hold up well compared to the Happy Warrior. Those of us who value the historical social norms and traditions of our country should seriously consider these issues' relevance in electing our President.

You desire specificity. It's simple. What worked for the United States in her illustrious past? Union policies during The Civil War, and American policies during The Spanish American War and The Second World War. Now what didn't work for us, what planted the seeds for subsequent war, for subsequent foreign policy problems. Korea, 'Nam and The Great War.

Now here's another little question to ask yourself. Why are you interested in sparing islam, arabs and muslims the wrath that your fathers visited upon the Italians, the French, {a good number of their cities were hammered by Allied air}, the Belgians, the Dutch, the Germans and the Japanese.

Are you interested in prolonging the war for as long as possible, and increasing the likelihood of American and Western defeat? Or are you interested in making the war as short as possible, and making it impossible for the West to lose?

This isn't a difficult war to wage. unless you're determined to make it a difficult war to wage. Democracies don't do hearts and minds very well. Societies like the British, at the height of Empire, even found it difficult. There was intense and growing domestic opposition during The Boer War for instance. And that was prior to the age of instant media.

We're still in the Sitzkrieg. Our main enemies, the regime in Tehran, in Damascus and the house of al saud have yet to be engaged. And the societies that maintain them, even as the NAZIS were maintained by the Germans, even as Il Duce was maintained by the Italians, even as the Japanese militarists were maintained by the Japanese people, they've ALL yet to be engaged.

And sooner or later that engagement is going to happen.

Sherman is going to be unleashed. Patton is going to be allowed to run free. It's just a matter of time.

Go read Professor Victor Davis Hanson's book: THE SOUL OF BATTLE, if you desire a scholarly, historical take on what I'm proposing.

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