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Politics: February 13, 2007

Giuliani and Social Conservatives

A number of conservatives are working vigorously to find a way to make former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's dismal stand on social issues palatable for pro-life voters. Family and life issues are apparently not important to some of these Republicans, who down-play Giuliani's solid pro-abortion record and his support for gay marriage (i.e., gay pride parade-marching days). Others suggest that Giuliani could be "operationally pro-life"despite the core beliefs that have driven him to a public stand that is practically, realistically and politically pro-abortion.

Given Giuliani's charisma and highly acclaimed accomplishments as Mayor of New York, my position may not be popular, but I'm convinced social conservatives should and (eventually will) oppose his candidacy with vigor.

It is far more than just a few issues that separate Giuliani and social conservatives. Rather, we differ on the fundamental principles that should compel a governing official to seek justice by defending the lives of the unborn, oppose gross perversion of the marriage covenant and ban experimental research which destroys human life.

There are two strategies the Giuliani camp is using to pacify, obscure or deceive his potential opponents within the pro-life movement. First, he has represented his views on abortion using the doublespeak coined by Mario Cuomo and perfected by Bill Clinton. Giulini is "personally opposed" to abortion but does not believe the state has a role in protecting the life of the unborn. This despite that fact that the basis for opposition to abortion is the very reason it should be illegal. The rationale of being (personally) opposed to child killing but, as a governing official, not acting upon the same is, at best, dubious.

The second strategy used by Giuliani is to approach pro-life voters with the suggestion that he agrees with the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, and is likely to select a similar justices if elected president. These are safe statements to make, especially since both judges are widely respected and do not have an established record in the Supreme Court.

However, what if he also gave accolades for a pro-abortion justice like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a former counsel for the ACLU. Would you think differently about the potential pool of judicial nominations? This is what Giulinai told Hannity and Colmes:

COLMES: Now, Roe vs. Wade -- You are pro-choice. How important is it to you as a pro-choice Republican to have a pro-choice on the court as someone...

GIULIANI: That is not the critical factor. And what's important to me is to have a very intelligent, very honest, very good lawyer on the court. And [Roberts] fits that category, in the same way Justice Ginsburg fit that category.

I mean, she was -- she maybe came at it from a very different political background, very qualified lawyer, very smart person. Lots of Republicans supported her. I expect, and listening to Senator Nelson, I expect that John Roberts will get support from a lot of Democrats.

Why would social conservatives trust Giulini on life issues when he believes in the legitimacy of research that destroys human embryos and asserts that government has no role in protecting unborn children from being torn to pieces while in their mother's womb?

This comment by Daniel Larison elucidates the early support Giuliani has received from many social conservatives:

Many people support him because they[recognize] his name and project their own views onto the political blank slate that he represents. I suspect that the 16% who believe in the mythical pro-life Giuliani are not going to be happy when they discover that he never was what they thought he was.
Hopefully, Giuliani's very early status as the front runner for the Republican nomination for president reveals that his view are widely unknown rather than the demise of the Republican party of life issues.

Cross-posted: prolifeblogs.com

Posted by tim at February 13, 2007 1:19 AM

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