Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Campaign matters

Daniel Henninger gives advice to Rudy Giuliani and religious conservatives about acting like grown-ups.

The NYT’s Gail Collins snidely argues that the failure of religious conservative leaders to rally around Mike Huckabee is evidence of their hard-heartedness:

Huckabee’s problems say more about the leaders of the religious right than about him. They’re united mainly by their hatred of abortion and gay marriage, and a desire to win. Considerations like who has the most Christian attitudes toward illegal immigrants don’t register. And the fact that as governor Huckabee spent a lot of time trying to spend money on the needy doesn’t go over all that well with the ones who believe that God’s top priority is eliminating the estate tax.

So Gail Collins knows what the "Christian attitude" toward illegal immigration should be? I know that it’s complicated by considerations of the rule of law, kindness and hospitality to the stranger, and recognition that the state has one role in these matters and the church another. And the "needy" who deserve our help, according to Collins, apparently don’t include the unborn. Whatever their position on it--usually opposed--I doubt that any religious conservative regards eliminating the estate tax as "God’s top priority."

As do the other candidates, Huckabee has strengths and liabilities, the balanced assessment of which calls for nuanced judgment. Henninger is right: we need grown-ups. Collins isn’t one.

Discussions - 2 Comments

Yes, Henninger is right, and Collins is an idiot. Liberals who presume to lecture conservatives usually are. That or disingenuous.

What about Pat Buchanan's blast at Republicans who support Giuliani? I think he is right that conservatives are in some disarray.


One of the things that bothered me, listening to the Values Voters speeches was the willingness of those talking up values to have the government impose them - somehow. I thought one of my socially conservative values was that I wanted less government, not more. The "right " kind of big government is really not what I had in mind.


I would like to see the estate tax eliminated, but I doubt that is a top priority on God's mind.

But I was wondering if Guiliani's lead is because he has the "hard-hearted" conservative vote and the other type is divided between all of the other candidates who are more focused on the social values voter?

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