Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This Candidate for Entertainment Purposes Only

Rudy Giuliani is not a serious contender for the White House.

I can't even believe I have to write this post, but I keep coming across people in the blogosphere who are certain Giuliani is the candidate to beat. Utter rot.

Because he was the two-term Republican mayor of ultra-liberal New York, he appears to have broad, bi-partisan appeal. In truth, Giuliani could have run a strong campaign as a Clinton-style Democrat, appealing to liberals hungry for a decisive, focused leader with a discernable pulse and personality (we're still mad at Iowa for John Kerry) as well as to swing-voters and Republicans who are disenchanted by their current party leadership. But throwing his hat in the ring as a Republican was his campaign's death knell. He'll never get the nomination; furthermore, he just might shatter the Republican party in the process.

Thanks to Karl Rove's cultivation of a Republican Party "base," the two main "bring out the vote" issues among conservatives are abortion and gay marriage. Of late, Giuliani has attempted to equivocate on both. While conservatives may be fools,* they have ears and they know what they like to hear. Equivocation isn't it. They are still smarting from what they view as Bush's betrayal: the failure, after 6 years in office, to overturn Roe v. Wade and to get a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

If abortion is your issue, you are not going to be seduced by a candidate who says of Roe v. Wade, "It would be okay to repeal. It would be also [okay] if a strict constructionist judge viewed it as precedent, and I think a judge has to make that decision." The GOP base doesn't think it's "okay" to repeal Roe, they think it's a moral imperative. To them, a "strict constructionist" by definition means one who won't view it as precedent.

If the "homosexual agenda" is what keeps you up at night, you're not going to be satisfied with a candidate who's okay with domestic partnerships and civil unions but stops short of endorsing marriage equality. You might as well vote for Hillary. If you think the proper role of a limited government is to rescue and defend heterosexual marriage but leave your pocketbook alone, you aren't going to settle for a candidate presently on his third marriage to a woman who is also on her third marriage with a record of open infidelity. There's almost certainly other scandals waiting in the wings; you think Bernie Kerik was the only nogoodnik Giuliani did business with?
If the best the Republican party can do for 2008 is a pro-gay, pro-choice, cross-dressing, thrice married social liberal, I'd say the Democrats are in good shape.
If these are your issues, you're not going to choose a Johnny-come-lately waffler when you have bona fides in Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback and Tom Tancredo. You're not going to vote for someone who twice ran for Mayor in New York both on the Republican and Liberal party lines but pointedly not on the Conservative line.

(I'm not sure Giuliani's Catholicism is an issue; ex-senator Rick Santorum remains wildly popular with predominately evangelical conservatives. I think it's less of an issue than Romney's Mormonism.)

Then there's that whole cross-dressing thing.

But let's say he manages to win the Republican primary.** Let's look at his so-called "broad appeal."

On foreign policy, Giuliani has adamantly and consistently supported the Bush Administration in its war on the people of Iraq. He continues to assert that occupying Iraq was the correct response to 9/11, does not feel that things in Iraq are going badly, and maintains that we need to stay the course there. This puts him at odds presently with about 74% of the American public. Buh-bye, bi-partisan appeal.

Then there's his personality. Put him onstage with the charming, earnest Barack Obama and John Edwards or the politically savvy and polished Hillary Clinton,*** and you basically have comic relief.

I'm telling you, Giuliani is not the guy.

* If you are more upset about gay marriage than you are about Iraq, you are a fool.
** If he gets the nomination, you can count on an ultra-conservative independent candidate.
*** Hillary Clinton's supporters consist entirely of Republicans who hope she'll run.


Gino said...

the conservatives really dont have a guy this time around.

sure, there are a few real warriors in the race, but they all lack the charisma a candidate needs.

politics is showbiz. first,foremost, and always.

you were joking when you said hillary was polished, werent you?

Iowa Guy said...

As an Iowan, I want to apologize for John Kerry. I didn't support him in the caucuses, but my man lost.

This year, my Democratic Party activist friends and I are supporting Edwards. Hopefully, we can do better this time!

Gino said...

yeah, you can definately do better.

Andy said...

We're all sorry about Kerry. I think Edwards is great, myself. Right now I'm in the Obama camp.

Jeff said...

Is that a pull quote in your blog entry?

And, I agree with you on Rudy. Rudy saw that he was being touted as a presidential candidate and decided he might as well try it. I think the hype came before his ambition, or else he never would have spent the 90s dressing up as a woman.

Thunder Jones said...

The thing is that Rudy sounds like a military zealot. As the GOP moves from a conservative party to a war party, their priorities have changed. He still uses the greatest of all conservative buzz words "Strict Constructionalist" and he believes in the absolutist power of the President, thus dismissing Congress. He does what the GOP needs him to do.

In the end, Rudy will kill our enemies; thus, Rudy is "our" guy.