"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, December 22, 2006

How Rudy the Social Liberal Can Sell Himself to Conservatives

As we all know Rudy Guiliani’s chances of being elected in Republican primaries appear to be slim because he’s a social liberal. And as we also all know, Republican primary voters are overwhelmingly socially conservative. Yet, as Jonah Goldberg states in a Thursday LA Times’ piece, and as I’ve read elsewhere, Rudy promises that he would appoint judges in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. This opens a door to the heart of conservatives in a way that an apparent flip-flop, a la Mitt Romney, cannot.

Let's say I’ve just been hired as a consultant to the Rudy for President Campaign, and here’s what I’m going to tell them.

Ever since Jimmy Carter Democrats have played the “I’m personally opposed to abortion” game. How is this game played? A Democrat politician with syrupy sincerity says, “I’m really pro-life, but I can’t impose my ‘personal’ moral values on society. Thus because of Roe v. Wade I cannot do anything to hinder women in America from being able to terminate the lives of their babies in vitro for all nine months of pregnancy.” Or something like that.

So, Rudy, let’s turn that around. You are “personally” pro-choice, but you choose not to “impose” your view of the issue on the American people. You feel that is exactly what Roe v. Wade did when it took the decision away from the American people by overreaching judicial fiat. You can state that you believe this is an issue too important for judges to decide, that the American people through their elected representatives are wise enough to work this out in a way most American’s can live with.


If the court in 1973 had allowed this common sense approach to continue the issue of abortion would not have become the contentious one it’s been these last 30 plus years. Personally if I were the all-powerful benign dictator of America I would completely outlaw abortion in every case. Unfortunately on this issue we have to deal with the representative republic we’ve inherited, and bringing the issue back to the people to decide is the best we can hope for in the foreseeable future.

I am convinced social conservatives would buy this version of Rudy. No flip-flop, no opportunistic waffles at just the right time. And of course Democrats would howl and hate Rudy even more, which would only endear him to conservatives of all stripes even more. Add to that the arguments Goldberg makes about tough guy Rudy, the defender of American culture, and I can believe that he would have a shot at the nomination. Maybe I should get my resume updated and give Rudy a call. You never know when they might be looking for another political genius to help with the cause.

6 comments:

Michael Simpson said...

That's not implausible, but I wonder. Given that the DC establishment is overwhelmingly pro-choice (even, I suspect, many GOP'ers who campaign as pro-life to keep the folks at home happy), for someone to nominate judges and veto pro-choice legislation takes some real backbone. And I don't think that this sort of Giuliani rhetoric would stand up to the establishment pressure. It might get him elected, true, but not a reliable president.

Mike D'Virgilio said...

Maybe so, Michael, but in NYC Rudy seemed to stiffen his backbone the more crap he got from the liberal establishment. He is not easily rolled. But you're right, it's a risk and any way we seem to go this cycle it's going to be a trade off.

Michael Simpson said...

That's a good point, but it's safe to say that he *believed* in cracking down on the things that made NYC unlivable. Since that wouldn't be the case here, Giuliani (to my mind) has to do more than promise that he won't govern as a social liberal - he's gotta demonstrate it somehow. I think he needs a "Sister Souljah" moment...

Mike D'Virgilio said...

That's what's going to make this election so interesting. Does he really believe in the kind of judicial restraint that would not, a la Democrats, allow the liberal social agenda to be forced on the American people. In other words, what kind of social liberal is he? Will he like I implied in my post be the kind that may hold these views but insist, as a conservative, that the American people through their elected representatives get to decide these issues, not judges? Good question.

Danny L. McDaniel said...

Rudy is nowhere outside the New York media market! He may have been America's mayor but that is as close as he comes to being America's president!

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Mike D'Virgilio said...

Danny, every poll says you're wrong. I'm not sure how close he'll get, but I can't write him off as easily as you.