Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Where’s the Outrage?

...according to the always thoughtful Thomas Sowell. He favors a ticket that combines Gingrich’s unparalleled knowledge and vision with Giuliani’s street-fighter outrage. I do see Sowell’s point about Gingrich being outrage-challenged and Romney being too much of a gentleman. But he’s neglected the Thompson option--he can certainly act like he’s outraged. Sowell writes, I think, out of concern that none of the Republican candidates is faring particularly well right now, and I fear his concern is justified. I have some sympathy for Julie’s pro-McCain and pro-Thompson posts below, although their shared moralism about things like campaign finance legislation remains irksome. And I agree with John Podhoretz that Giuliani needs to take a crash course in consitutional law from Justices Thomas and Scalia and get a very good grade.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Peter, Rudy doesn’t need a Constitutional tutorial on Roe and its progeny.

In fact, it would be wise for him to entirely avoid the details that Podhoretz urges him to immerse himself in. It’s not a good idea to wander into the weeds as a Presidential candidate. That’s what Carter tried, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry. That’s the loser tactic if there ever was one.

Rather to assuage Conservative concern, he needs to remind Republicans that he worked in REAGAN’S Justice Department, that he worked ALONGSIDE men like John Roberts, men like Sam Alito. He needs to speak to the BROADER issue, which is the danger of Judicial arrogation of Legislative prerogatives. In a well worn phrase, "judge made law." That places the issue where ALL Conservatives can rally around him. Moreover, that places the issue BEYOND Roe, BEYOND abortion, and it serves to remind people that the danger of judicial overreach isn’t confined to the past, but concerns very much the future. And in that future there will be rulings on human cloning, DNA experimentation, fetus experimentation, the combination of animal and human DNA. That’s what lurks in our future, ALL of our futures.

The last thing that Giuliani should do is allow the discussion to constantly return to HIS particular views on abortion. He should stay well above that particular issue, by reminding people of the enormity of the issues that are going to descend upon that court in the next couple decades. Originalism is the key to Giuliani’s problem with the base. He should simply promise to nominate Constitutional Originalists to the Courts, and appoint them throughout the entire Executive Branch. Such a tactic allows him to remain privately pro-choice, that allows him to remain the man he represented himself as to the voters of New York City, while ALSO being loyal to his Reagan roots.

So EVERY TIME the issue of abortion arises, he should use that to segue to Originalism, and the danger of the Courts imposing their will, their caprices on the American people. Podhoretz thinks that Giuliani needs to go out there and demonstrate that he’s a policy wonk. That’s not what America is looking for. That’s NEVER what Americans look for.

It should always be recalled that John Podhoretz is a New York City ethnic, born and bred in the Big Apple. And his feel for the pulse of this country at large is often dead wrong. He reads the New York Times every day for crying out loud, that alone will warp and destroy your feel for the electorate.

His point is accurate that Giuliani needs to start applying himself better in his campaign, and cut the unforced mistakes, knock off the run away mouth. Stop pretending that this campaign is some prolonged conversation with the American people. But that advice can go too far, for the last thing we want is to see Giuliani morph into some humourless automaton, repeating his lines as prompted, and just burning time waiting for the general election to start.

There’s a bit of truth in what Podhoretz had to say, and there’s some danger as well.

As for Romney, even his supporters are beginning to conclude that the jig is up.

Watching Hugh Hewitt flack for Romney is almost an exercise in voyeurism. There’s really something grotesque about it now, it’s really bad.

Had a few things on your mind, huh Dan? :-)

Yup, that’s a fact Don. That’s a fact.

Dan: I respectfully disagree. Rudy can clearly use a course (tutorial?) on Constitutional Law, because he has some fundamental principles to learn. I’ll give this to Rudy: He’s clearly and consistently spoken his mind in support of the abortion license, and of his support for public funding of it. To lay down a marker: to many of us social conservatives, THE issue of our times is NOT the "War on Terror." It’s abortion....and the life issues. The soul-deadening numbness wrought by the culture of death will rob us of the will to defend ourselves. Ergo, Rudy is a total and complete and utter non-starter as a presidential choice for me. I applaud, and even appreciate, his candor. I reject him as a candidate because he’s totally wrong on what I consider to be the most important issue of our time. P.S. I trust Rudy to appoint strict "Constructionists/Originalists" about as much as his first two wives can trust his marriage vow(s) to them.

Could we please stop linking Rudy to Reagan?

Giuliani contends that he’s a Reaganite. That is simply false. He worked in the Reagan administration. He served in the number three position at the Justice Department and later as United States attorney. But if he means by Reaganite that he was a Reagan conservative, nobody then or now believes that. I, too, served in the Reagan administration, including as chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese after Giuliani had returned to New York. But the view was widely held that Giuliani, as U.S. attorney, was a bit of a loose cannon who was clearly positioning himself to run for mayor, despite my friend Ted Olson’s recent endorsement of him. There is no diminishing his commitment to law enforcement. But Giuliani’s attempt to wrap himself in Reagan’s conservative banner is unwarranted.

Giuliani recently told my buddy Sean Hannity that he knows how to pick strict constructionist judges because he was in the meetings at the White House when the president was selecting judges. The fact is that Giuliani had little or no role in the selection of judges. I know this because I was later intimately involved in the process. As both counselor to the president and attorney general, Ed Meese was Ronald Reagan’s right-hand man in helping to change the judiciary, as he was in so many policy areas. This would be the same Ed Meese, Reagan’s closest advisor, who Giuliani or someone on his staff once called a “sleaze” during the course of another rogue independent counsel’s investigation. This was Giuliani trying to distance himself from the Reagan administration to appeal to liberal New Yorkers – the same Reagan administration he now proudly embraces. It was an act of political cowardice and betrayal for which Giuliani has never apologized.

Levin at NR

Republicans are not allowed to do outrage. It leads to the "angry white men" charges which the media like so much. Reagan was the anti-Rudy in this respect. His public persona was always warm and good humored.

I respect Sowell’s opionion on a lot of matters, but he is badly wrong if he thinks Giuliani would take on the media for the GOP. He certainly has not done so up to this point.

We can’t stop linking Giuliani to Reagan because it was Reagan that got Giuliani started. Without Reagan’s Justice Department, Giuliani never would have got his chance, never would have become U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Manhattan, and in short, never would have become the man he is today. Reagan provided the point of departure for the upwards trajectory of Rudy Giuliani. It was just another case of Reagan helping the American people, in this case, New York City residents. Giuliani was Reagan’s farewell gift to the Big Apple.

It’s well to recall that Reagan staffed his entire Executive branch with Conservative talent. GW by contrast, has staffed his with old men, time servers and groupies. Reagan provided a chance for an entire generation of Conservative talent. GW by contrast, may have poisoned against the GOP an entire generation of Americans.

One hell of a legacy, ain’t it?

Gary, your post required a separate response.

Abortion is clearly important, no doubt about that.

But the days of abortion are numbered, for a variety of reasons, which when combined, create a powerful symphonic effect, that will spell the end of the era of abortion.

The first tolling of the bell for abortion is the severe DEMOGRAPHIC decline in Westernized countries. Japan, Italy, Spain and Russia for example, and many another, are entering a demographic death spiral. When that fact is combined with the fact that these Westernized countries are in many ways, welfare states, CREATED upon the assumption of a constantly increasing population, then politicians increasingly have reason to revisit the abortion issue. As the demographic plunge accelerates, abortion is going to seem a luxury that these welfare states can no longer afford. As the West turns against abortion, this will create vast pressures within this country to emulate them, and start ratcheting down on abortion

Another tolling of the bell is the increase of medical knowledge triggered by breakthrough medical technology. Right now, for the first time in decades, a slight majority of WOMEN are against abortion, and that stat comes from Planned Parenthood itself, which was deeply shocked by the findings. Every single time that Time Magazine or Newsweek puts a fetus on their cover, {and they do it about once a year} then the whole scaffolding of unreason that surrounds and supports abortion begins to collapse. Medical technology has enabled all of us to peer earlier and earlier into a pregnancy. More and more women have seen sonograms, more and more women have seen their sister’s sonogram, their friend’s, their cousin’s, and these sonograms are increasingly clear. Those sonograms are blasting away at the foundations of abortion rights in this country. And the process is inexorable. Pro-choicers can’t fight those pictures. It’s that simple.

When Roe was decided, this ability to see within the womb, simply didn’t exist. But now it does, and it’s working the ruin of all abortion rights.

Abortion is on the way out. In fact, our attempts to hasten its demise may put off the date of its destruction.

LASTLY, we’ve had politicians speak a good game about abortion, now haven’t we? Carter for instance, he too, spoke a good game on abortion. We had Bush’s father who agreed to speak the words that Conservatives desired to hear about abortion. But just look at his judicial appointments. Likewise Reagan. It was Reagan who gave us two "flippers," Kennedy and O’Connor. So we’ve had politicians say one thing, all the while putting lawyers up there who when it came down to it, sided with the prevailing fashions, instead of ruling upon the Constitutionality of the thing. O’Connor’s last ruling in Casey NAKEDLY said as much, when she openly referenced the masses, the parades, the protests. We’ve had all of that.

So why not try another way...........

Why not try a man who would prefer to leave it up to individual women, BUT WHO promises to appoint only Originalists to the Court.

It’s the Originalists we want. We don’t give two damns what Giuliani says, now do we? We want the Judges. It’s all about that. GW never showed up for CPAC, now did he. When was the last time that GW appeared live before that yearly anti-abortion rally?

Enough of the Bush men, enough of the maneuvering on the issue. If Giuliani promises to appoint Originalists like Alito, like Roberts, then we’re good to go.

If you’re serious about abortion, then you have to realize that talk for Republicans has proven cheap, hasn’t it? Many a Republican talks a good game, then delivers over the choice of who gets to be on the Court to creatures like Sununu, Rudman, Card. New England creatures, Rockefeller Republicans. Enough of that bullshit.

Don’t you want to just puke thinking about Rudman and Card? I know I sure do.

If you’re serious, then it’s about the Judges, and about who picks those judges. You appreciate Rudy’s candor, then appreciate this, he worked with Roberts, he worked with Alito, and those are the types of men he’ll appoint. Isn’t that what the Doctor ordered?

I don’t want, nor appreciate, Republicans PREENING about their abortion position, when all the while they’re intending to sell us down the river, just like George Herbert Walker Bush, and just like his son.

As the father set off Thomas with Souter, so the son intended to set off Roberts with Meirs. And they did it deliberately. And nobody can convince me otherwise, for I trust my own instinct now on that family. And it hasn’t led me wrong about them, at least not since Souter.

If you get a chance to ask Rudy a question, on some talk show, or at some townhall gathering, you ask him this: "Do you promise to nominate men like Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito for all judicial positions, yes or no?"

The answer to that question should tell you all you’ll need to know.

Bush II said the very thing you take such comfort in about judges, then tried to give us Miers. Why does this shibboleth make you feel any better coming out of the mouth of a man who denounced Ed Meese, the best friend judicial restraint ever had, as a "sleaze?" Guliani is the latest incarnation of the east coast Rockefeller Republicans you profess to dislike. He thinks he is above immigration laws, above keeping marriage vows, above the very administration which gave him his start and which he repaid with disloyalty.

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