Skip to comments.A Message to Rudy Giuliani and His Supporters (VANITY)
Posted on 02/23/2007 7:45:02 AM PST by Alberta's Child
There have been quite a few threads posted on the subject of Rudy Giulianis prospective candidacy for the Republican nomination in 2008, and the endless back-and-forth on these threads has reached a fever pitch at times. Ive refrained from posting extensively on these threads in recent days because theyve started to get someone repetitive and tiresome, but also because Ive been compiling a lot of material to include in a thread of my own. I post my comments here without any cross-dressing photos or Rudy trading card images (though I do appreciate them, folks!), and without any personal animosity toward anyone, though many of you may know me as one who has strongly opposed his candidacy for quite some time.
I dont post vanities here very often (and usually only when Im looking for advice!), so I think my comments here are worth a read.
The pro-Rudy arguments typically fall along these lines:
1. Rudy Giuliani is really a conservative. Freepers who use this argument will often cite examples -- sometimes accurate, sometimes exaggerated, but occasionally even downright false -- of cases in which his mayoral administration in New York City pursued a particular course of action that most of us would agree is conservative from a political/philosophical standpoint. His well-documented track record as mayor of NYC offers plenty of such examples, some of which would include his administrations success in fighting crime (for all his baggage associated with this, as described below), improving the business climate in the city, etc. The biggest flaw in this approach is that his track record is only conservative if you focus entirely on these specific issues and ignore the rest of them. I believe this specific view of Giulianis background has been sufficiently debunked by substantial, accurate references to his public statements and actual record in public office.
2. Rudy Giuliani is not a 100% conservative, and its unrealistic for anyone to think a 100% conservative could be elected president in 2008. The underlying point here is valid in general, but the argument is usually accompanied by accusations that opponents of Rudy Giuliani are "100-Percenters" who insist on a candidates fealty to the entire conservative agenda. This would only be a legitimate argument if applied to a candidate who is conservative on, say, 70% of the issues -- but it is awfully silly when used to support a candidate who is conservative on about 20% of the issues -- especially the "defining issues" for so many conservatives. Calling someone who refuses to support a liberal candidate a "100-Precenters" is comical -- and certainly isnt going to get a candidate any more support among conservative voters.
3. Rudy Giuliani is not a 100% conservative, but hell be relentless in the "war on terror" (whatever the heck that means) and therefore hes the best GOP candidate in 2008. This is basically a corollary to Point #2, in which a Giuliani supporter who knows damn well that hes conservative on only 20% of the issues will try to transform him into a hard-core conservative by pretending that one issue is somehow weighted disproportionately to the others and therefore this 20% is magically transformed to 80%. That doesnt fly with me, folks. Basing your support of a candidate on your own assertion of "the most important issue" is silly, especially when you consider that most voters may not necessarily agree with (A) your presumption of the most important issue, or (B) your view of which candidate is in the best position to address this issue.
4. Rudy Giuliani may only be 20% conservative, but thats better than Hillary/Obama/Stalin/Pol Pot/etc. At least this argument is based on an honest assessment of Mr. Giulianis political philosophy, but this is no way to win elections. Yes, a "20% conservative" is better than a "10% conservative," but then pneumonia is a terrible affliction except in comparison to tuberculosis, too. Supporting an unabashed liberal candidate is basically a complete abdication of our principles on the altar of "pragmatism," and while this is one thing when were talking about the minutiae of tax policy, entitlement reform, etc., it is entirely different when we are dealing with political principles that serve as the underlying foundation of our political views.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF REASONS WHY I HAVE BEEN ADAMANTLY OPPOSED TO GIULIANIS CANDIDACY FOR SO LONG. ILL LIST THEM ALL HERE, AND THEN FOLLOW THEM UP WITH A MORE GENERAL PERSPECTIVE AT THE END.
Reason #1: The Pro-Life Issue
Rudy Giulianis background and public statements on this issue have been well-documented here on FreeRepublic in recent months. Its bad enough that legitimate conservative opposition to him on this issue is dismissed so readily by lumping it together with social issues (as if the protection of human life is nothing more than a social construct and not at the root of any functioning culture that intends to survive over a long period of time), but what is particularly preposterous is that Giulianis views on this issue represent a radical, left-wing extremist position that even many pro-abortion Democrats find completely unacceptable (Joe Biden, Patrick Leahy, and Tom Daschle were three of many Democrats in the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of the Federal late-term abortion ban in 2003). Some people right here on FreeRepublic -- for some reason that baffles the hell out of me -- have even go so far as to suggest that his obfuscation on this issue makes him something of a sort of pro-life candidate. His track record particularly with regard to the issue of late-term abortion illustrates how utterly absurd this is.
Keep in mind that the Republican Party has not had a pro-abortion presidential candidate since Gerald Ford ran and lost in 1976 -- which means no pro-abortion GOP candidate has ever won a presidential election. In fact, much of the partys success at the voting booth over the last 30 years was attributable to its ability to capitalize on pro-life Democrats who had become utterly repulsed by their own partys stand on this issue. The Republican Party ought to think long and hard about turning its back on the pro-life movement right now.
Reason #2: Illegal Immigration
This issue has been a hot topic of discussion over the last 12-18 months in the mainstream media as well as right here on FreeRepublic, and any candidate who ignores it does so at his own peril. Unfortunately for Giuliani, it is impossible for him to reconcile his track record with anything other than the most permissive open-borders policy imaginable. While mayor of New York City he was an unabashed supporter of illegal immigration, and even went so far as to maintain a sanctuary city policy regarding illegal immigrants in direct violation of those provisions in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 that specifically outlawed this type of crap. His actions with regard to that Federal law were particularly disgraceful in light of the fact that he himself had been a Federal prosecutor at one time, and with this one issue he has effectively exposed his "law & order" reputation -- which people might otherwise consider a strong asset -- as a complete fraud.
It also made him terribly weak on other issues -- especially in the aftermath of 9/11. If the mayor of New York City could take it upon himself to blatantly ignore key provisions of this Federal law, would it be acceptable for a mayor or governor to knowingly and egregiously violate terms of the Patriot Act for purely political reasons? Would it be acceptable for the mayor of Dearborn, Michigan to harbor militants from Hamas and Hezbollah in his city? Would it be acceptable for mayors of other cities to ignore the various Federal laws that Rudy Giuliani himself called for incessantly when he was the mayor of New York City?
Reason #3: Gun Control
That last statement is a perfect lead-in to my third point. I thought the pro-life movement would be the most difficult hurdle for a Giuliani campaign to overcome, but the backlash among gun owners here on FreeRepublic to his recent appearance on Hannity & Colmes was pretty shocking. Watching Giuliani twist himself into knots while engaging in that pathetic display of political gymnastics even made me embarrassed for him. As with the pro-life issue, this is one in which his background and well-documented track record cannot possibly be rationalized from a conservative standpoint.
And for all the silly nonsense Ive heard about how tough Rudy Giuliani would be against terrorism, the reality is that he has an extensive track record of opposing the most effective means of protection Americans have at their disposal against the kind of terrorism they are most likely to encounter in their lives -- e.g., a couple of homosexual Muslims driving around the D.C. suburbs shooting people at random, some loser Muslim from Bosnia shooting people at random in a Salt Lake City shopping mall, an Iranian-born jack@ss driving his car onto a crowded sidewalk in North Carolina, etc.
And in the one specific case before 9/11 where Rudy Giuliani had to deal with a terrorist attack as mayor of New York City -- the case of the Palestinian malcontent shooting people on the observation deck of the Empire State Building in 1997 -- Giuliani was complicit in the media cover-up of the incident (in which the perpetrators political motivations were brushed aside, he was portrayed as a mentally unstable loner, and the gun he used became the primary culprit). His public statements in the aftermath of that attack contained no mention of terrorism at all -- and in fact he went so far as to use the attack to support his public anti-gun campaign. His statements in the days and weeks after the incident have been posted here a number of times, and ought to be a shocking, disgraceful warning sign even for his strongest supporters here.
Tough on terrorism, my @ss.
Reason #4: If You Can Make it There, Youre Disqualified
In one sense, Giulianis approach to law enforcement, gun control, etc. was perfectly acceptable when he was the mayor of New York City. But it was for all the wrong reasons when it comes to presidential politics. In some ways his no-holds-barred approach to law enforcement (selective as it was, as I have pointed out above in Reason #2) and blatant antagonism toward the Bill of Rights would appeal to some folks the same way they would find the streets of Tokyo or Singapore safe and clean, or the same way they might be quite comfortable with Alberto Fujimoris strong-arm tactics against the Shining Path militants in Peru. But Tokyo is not an American city, and Peru is not the United States . . . and nor, quite frankly, is New York City. People who walk around New York City can take some comfort in the notion that there are 40,000 police officers in that jurisdiction, and that few of their fellow pedestrians are permitted to carry guns. The city is just a place to do business, and for all intents and purposes these people arent even Americans anyway (Rudy Giuliani himself formally acknowledged this when he climbed his pedestal as an unabashed champion of illegal immigration) -- so who really cares? New York City might as well be an international protectorate, and the political climate there is such that anyone who can win an election in that city has no business leading this country. Conservatives ought to be no more willing to trust this man to uphold basic principles of constitutional law than they would trust Michael Bloomberg.
Its no coincidence that there hasnt been a New Yorker on a successful national ticket since a nearly-deceased FDR won for the last time in 1944 -- a period that now exceeds 60 years even though New York has been one of the three largest states in the U.S. in terms of electoral votes for that entire time. Most of the issues that occupy the minds of voters in New York are completely alien to ordinary Americans -- which is why the Big Apple has been at the forefront among big cities in almost every recent story involving the intrusion of a big, nanny-state government into the personal lives of its residents . . . from smoking bans, to laws against trans-fats, to the latest half-baked idea to hit the airwaves: the prohibition against the used of cell phones by pedestrians.
None of this should come as any surprise to us, since New York City has long been detached from reality when it comes to American culture and politics. The American Revolution was fought throughout most of the Thirteen Colonies, but was won largely the South -- New York City having remained in British hands throughout most of the conflict. Mass immigration from Ireland and Wales made it a foreign city even as far back as 160 years ago, and the Eastern European immigration of the early 20th Century introduced an element -- radical secularism and (later) communism -- that has only grown stronger over time. Almost every rabidly anti-American ideology at work in this country can trace its roots to New Yorks academic and cultural institutions.
Today, much of Rudy Giulianis media support is coming from big-city, cosmopolitan neo-conservatives who have a long history of supporting interventionist foreign policy (I would have to devote an entire thread to this one issue), but have never been much for supporting traditional American values and often give some pretty clear indications that they have never even read the U.S. Constitution (the New York Post has a long-held editorial view in favor of gun control, and have the words Second Amendment or the phrase right to keep and bear arms ever been printed in the Weekly Standard?
These people have an agenda that is not mine, and any lapdog in the neo-conservative media -- and that includes Rupert Murdochs mouthpieces at Fox News, the New York Post, etc. -- who goes out on a limb to support such a radical left-wing candidate (that means you, Sean Hannity and Deroy Murdock) has basically lost all of his/her credibility as a conservative commentator.
. . .
What this all comes down to is that each and every one of us is either a Republican or a conservative. Because the Republican Party platform has been quite conservative (and downright hard-core right-wing, in comparison to the Democratic platform) in recent decades, weve managed to delude ourselves into believing that Republican and conservative are always synonymous. Rudy Giulianis prospective candidacy for the GOP nomination in 2008 should put this tenuous relationship between party affiliation and political philosophy in the proper light. We are either Republicans first, or we are conservatives first -- there is no middle road here.
Regarding one other item related to Rudy Giulianis campaign that pops up on these threads repeatedly (Ive steadfastly tried to avoid mentioning it, but it cannot be overlooked) . . .
Anyone who has the time to do some research on Rudy Giuliani might want to sit down and do an extensive search through old newspaper articles, internet articles, etc. -- and try to find any such article where Mr. Giuliani is doing something that anyone would consider manly in any normal sense -- and by this I mean engaging in physical activity, playing a sport, or doing just about anything that most normal people would associate with manliness. Ive looked long and hard for this, and I simply cant find one. I mean, even something staged as a photo-op for PR purposes -- like Ronald Reagan riding a horse or chopping wood on his California ranch, George W. Bush clearing brush on his ranch or driving around Crawford in that big white Ford F-350 Super Duty truck -- is nowhere to be found.
If the cross-dressing photos of Rudy Giuliani arent necessarily bothersome in and of themselves, they raise some serious warning flags in light of the points Ive mentioned above. I suspect this is what Giulianis own campaign staff had in mind when they referred to the weirdness factor as a potential stumbling block in an election campaign. And its very important to note that this warning was documented all the way back in 1993, not 2007 -- which means it dates all the way back to his second mayoral race in New York City. Anyone who comes across as weird in New York City would be a bizarre freak according to the standards of at least 95% of the people in this country.
Call me paranoid, and call me judgmental, but something about this whole thing just aint right. Run down the list of all those things that ought to be setting off warning bells in the minds of normal, decent people . . . the cross-dressing . . . the public statements extolling the work of Planned Parenthood and eugenicist Margaret Sanger . . . the enthusiastic support from NARAL . . . the hosting of those Gay Pride and Stonewall Veterans Association events . . . those bizarre marriages.
Perhaps Freud had it right when he postulated that a fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. (General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, 1952)
The last thing this country needs right now is an effete, dysfunctional weirdo from New York City serving as its chief executive.
And lest anyone think Im an unreasonable man, Id like everyone to take a look at the article posted below. I wrote it in the turbulent aftermath of the 2000 election, and posted it here on FreeRepublic when the election results were finally certified in mid-December of that that year. (The link below is a re-post of that article from 2004).
The Triumph of Little America
You can be sure that the passionate (but also extremely objective) conservative who penned those words in December of 2000 will never support Rudy Giuliani in 2008. Ive traveled across this country too many times -- and know too much about what this country is really all about -- for me to support a big-government, liberal globalist from New York City in a presidential race, regardless of his party affiliation.
And anyone here who works for the Republican Party in any capacity -- and anyone regularly browses through various threads here on FreeRepublic on behalf of a GOP candidate or a GOP media outlet -- should heed this message . . .
IF YOURE TRYING TO SELL A PHONY CONSERVATIVE, THEN THIS FELLA AINT GONNA BE YOUR CUSTOMER.
Great post. Thanks.
Good article. It explains in detail why the reaction here to Rudy was to be expected.
Moronic? Insane? We are 22 months from the general election and already asking hypotheticals. There is a good chance neither will be the nominee. If Rudy is to win the general, he needs to convince people to vote for him, not to vote against Hillary.
As much as I don't like McCain, I think one of the funniest things I've ever seen is "McCain sings Streisand." (the video is out there on YouTube)
If one looks at the latest FR poll on a head to head with HRC, it can be concluded that some here will vote for Rudy. But, many more will vote 3rd party or are undecided at this point.
Trust me Rudy fans. Don't take the route California took. We screwed up big time with Arnold. Unfortunately all we've managed to do is stay on life support when we'd have been better off going into default under a democratic administration. No need in giving the GOP a bad name for the next century just to put a RINO in control.
Hillary for Pres is so comforting to me..........
Well reasoned. Well written. Well said.
Great post! It explains exactly why I could not vote for Rudy. And why the Rudy supporters aren't going to change my mind by calling us names and threatening Hillary.
I've remained neutral about Rudy on FR in the past since bashing candidates isn't my favorite way to spend my time. However, for the sake of fair disclosure, I will make it known here that I will not be voting for Rudy in the primaries.
David Brody asked for feedback from readers on the question of whether or not they would vote for Rudy. I didn't see my reasons exactly within the text of your vanity, so I'll reprint my email to Mr. Brody for FReepers to consider.
Great effort, Alberta's Child!
Dear Mr. Brody,
If a man cannot honor sacred marriage vows and remain faithful to his wife, it raises great doubt in my mind that he can be trusted to behave honorably in other areas of public life. A man who has been an unfaithful husband is not an example of the best among us despite his other fine qualities, and one should hope a person elected to represent the nation will be an example for our society to emulate in every regard.
When I began voting in 1972, and in every election since then, I have viewed infidelity in marriage as a disqualifying factor when selecting a candidate in the primary election who will best represent my beliefs and values. This simple litmus test of character has certainly served me well in the past to steer me away from presidential candidates who later proved to be immoral reprobates in office. I will apply that standard again in 2008 and will not vote for Rudy Giuliani in the primary election. Mitt Romney is the candidate who faithfully represents my conservative values in social and fiscal issues and he will have my full support.
If Rudy Giuliani were to become the Republican Party nominee for President in 2008, I would support him in the general election reluctantly. I will vote for Giuliani for President to deny ascension to power by a Democrat candidate who would lead the nation into danger and a more rapid decline into social liberalism with little hope of reversing the slide.
Or are we Americans first? And are we pragmatists?
Unlike many on FR, I care more about the actual governing then about the game of politics and the gotcha of the other side- as entertaining as that may be.
One can fantasize about what candidate they would love to see in office or set their analysis on reality.
Having been a witness to NYC pre Giuliani, and the miracle he performed, I believe he is uniquely what America needs today. When he was shot, Reagan joked that he hoped the doctors were Republicans. It was only a joke. To save his life, a Communist doctor would have been just as well if that doctor was proven to be highly proficient for the treatment needed, and no Republican was an equal.
I anticipate that the next Presidency will be a very troubling one. Conservative principles will have to take a back seat to competence dealing with huge international and economic issues- the nuts and bolts of a Presidency.
Dream all you want, but the next Republican nominee is either Giuliani or Romney, with McCain a more distant possibility. I believe only Giuliani would win the General. No "Conservative" is viable. If Gingrich, who I would like to see as President, cracks up and gets into the race, and Republicans crack up and nominate him, the election- sad to say- will be a massacre of Republicans.
Promises could be extracted from Giuliani today. On abortion, gays and guns. Also on what sort of person he will choose for VP. That will keep Conservative principals alive and raise a varsity player for a future election.
So really, in my opinion, you asked the telling question- almost. Are we Republicans first, Conservatives first, or do we compromise and do what's best for America first- acknowledging the circumstances - and candidates- which we face today and in the near future.
I will not join the "perfection" or "rejection" caucus, and sit idly by, or actively support a center-right third party fringe candidate, and allow the hildabeast to insinuate herself into the Oval Office. I will adamantly support the GOP 2008 general election standard bearer with everything I can muster.
We don't need a gun-grabbing, pro-choice, pro-CFR, pro-illegal, pro-global warming NE liberal who saw the Head of Homeland Security as a plum place to park a corrupt crony - and especially one who coveted 9-11 victim compensation monies as a cash cow for one of his companies.
Please remove me from your navel gazing commentary.
That argument is not getting any traction. I suggest it be retired for the duration.
His promises won't be worth jack, quite frankly, given how extreme several of his past views and actions have been. I simply will never trust him to not succumb to the same gun-grabbing, pro-illegal and anti-First-Amendment inclinations he had as mayor. He will have FAR more power to enact such actions as president, and the temptations will therefore be that much greater.
Brilliant, sir. Thanks for the ping.
I'd probably vote for him in the general over a Dihimmicrat, but please people don't tell me he's a conservative.
Well written reply, and a breath of fresh air. If more Giuliani supporters would talk about why they like the guy instead of belittling those of us who will not support him, this would be a more civil discourse.