Our problems remain epistemological.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Is the Honeymoon Over?

I caught this headline at Drudge and felt my heart sink just a bit: “Giuliani: Public funding for abortion OK.” This is a CNN blog and their headline is even more bracing: “Giuliani to social conservatives: Take it or leave it.” Frankly I’m more inclined to leave it. Here’s the way CNN's Lauren Kornreich put it:

Rudy Giuliani's message to social conservatives: If you don't like my views, don't vote for me.

The Republican presidential frontrunner Thursday reaffirmed his support for federal funding for some abortions, a position which puts him at odds with many conservatives. During a press conference at the State Capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, he said he didn't expect to win over 100 percent of the voters.

"If that's real important to you, if that's the most important thing, I'm comfortable with the fact that you won't vote for me," the former mayor said.
Well, if you put it that way, Rudy, I’m inclined not to vote for you, and I would bet so a majority of Republican primary voters as well. You have to wonder what Rudy and his advisors are thinking putting out such an in your face assertion, especially in South Carolina. He’s asking a lot for pro-life conservatives to set aside their commitment to the cause to vote for him, but it’s quite another thing for him to rub their face in it.

Who expects to win 100 percent of any voters? So why say it? I could see him saying something like this, though I wouldn’t like it, if he’d already won the nomination. But alienating strong pro-lifers, who are a majority of the voters he’s trying to persuade to vote for him in the primaries is not a smart strategy.

He declared his fealty to the Hyde amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortion to cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. Which is great, but he affirms that abortion is an individual right and that a woman “can make that choice.” He also states that he hates abortion, but not enough to do anything about it. Somehow it’s a woman’s “right,” I guess because a hand full of Supreme Court justices declared it so, so it is!

If this is part of Rudy’s strategy for winning the Republican nomination he can just quit now. As much as I love the guy for what he did in NYC and on 9/11, I would have a very difficult time voting for somebody who appears so tone deaf to the concerns of pro-life conservatives. Prior to this he seemed to be doing a pretty good job of walking the tight rope, but I think he may now have fallen off.


MUD said...

I think you missed the point. The "Pro life Conservatives" have just decided that this is a one item election and he will not bow to that one point just to get their vote. There is a big bunch of people that think that all the stances a person has make up the man and not just one side. You are welcome to your view, just realize that your 12.5% of the people won't be the ones that decide the final candidate. MUD

James F. Elliott said...

Ooo, I like how your blockquote looked. Pretty.

Mike D'Virgilio said...

Maybe I did. But what Rudy said rubbed me the wrong way. He's been very good to this point in not rubbing his pro-choiceness in our face, and taking into account that he's seeking the vote of a majority of Republicans who are in fact pro-life. I'm not sure where you get your 12.5% number, but abortion isn't just another issue among issues for pro-lifers. The fact that we are talking about human life here should make that obvious.

While a certain percentage of pro-life conservatives are not single issue voters, for a large majority it simply isn't a throw away issue, despite what you seem to be implying. The reason I have been willing to consider the Mayor is because I've looked at "all the stances" that make up the man. He needs to be very careful how he handles this issue or he'll loose people like me who very much like the man.

Mike D'Virgilio said...

It so happens after I posted my comment I came across this piece at The American Spectator: http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=11256

Here is the guy's first paragraph, with which I agree:

"Rudy Giuliani's affirmation of his support for public financing of abortions was undoubtedly the biggest blunder of his nascent presidential campaign. Not only have his comments undermined his efforts to assuage the concerns of social conservatives, they have reinforced the perception that he's running an undisciplined campaign."

That his campaign had to put out "clarifications" proves that they know he blew it. We may have all "missed the point" but that doesn't mean such statements will win him the nomination.