Archive for the 'Marriage' Category

“The Height of Irresponsibility”

October 11, 2007

Following the Dobson Third Party fiasco at the end of last month, political experts and conservative pundits are increasingly coming out against the silly notion of a third party run against Giuliani.

Pat Shortridge at Truth vs. The Machine calls an anti-Giuliani third party run the “height of irresponsibility,” and very intelligently articulates the reasons pro-lifers should rally behind Giuliani in his recent article:

In the case of whether conservatives should support Rudy or back a third-party candidate, Dobson, Viguerie, Weyrich, etc, could not be more wrong.

First of all: Is conservatism so weak, is its hold on the GOP so tenuous, that nominating a social moderate is the end of both the conservative movement and the Republican Party?

Only a seriously declining movement would be so threatened by the prospect of nominating Rudy Giuliani. The Republican Party is, and will continue to be, a conservative party. Though, if it doesn’t get its house together in quick order, fiscal and economic conservatives will continue to abandon it at an alarming rate.

Supporting a third-party candidate who will get 3-8 percent of the vote and allowing Hillary Clinton to be elected President is the height of irresponsibility.

Off the top of my head, here’s a quick list of reasons why, if he is nominated, I would support Rudy Giuliani and actively work for him against Hillary Clinton, especially with Democrat majorities in the House and Senate:

  • Hillary Clinton appoints 2-3 liberal activists to the Supreme Court and makes hundreds of lower court appointments.
  • Hillary signs government run health care.
  • Hillary signs expansion of taxpayer financed abortion and a repeal of the partial birth abortion ban.
  • Hillary signs massive new taxes and spending.
  • Hillary is Commander-and-Chief in a time of war.
  • Hillary presides over more government control of education.

Read More>>

Next, RealClearPolitics contributor Tony Blankley explains how we can remain 100% committed to our pro-life values and still vote for a candidate who may not personally think 100% like we do:

It is the same argument that Barry Goldwater made so many years ago, when he told the conservatives of his time to grow up politically and not always threaten to walk off with the ball when they didn’t like every play their team called. Only a supreme dictator can get everything he wants out of politics. For the rest of us, politics is a team sport. Even vastly popular presidents — from FDR to Ronald Reagan — had to compromise on things they felt passionately about.

And whether one is a Washington professional or a citizen voter, anyone who considers himself a person of good conscience must have the courage to judge whether the net effect of his political decision advances his moral objectives.

Politics is the zone where one’s religious and ethical habits are not always the only and best guides. We can make a 100-percent commitment to, for example, obey our marital vows or adhere to the teachings of our churches — and consciously strive never to fall short.

But in the practicality of democratic elections, we cannot make such a similar commitment to every one of our governing ideals. Elections are very specific and limited choices between different outcomes. The decision not to vote or vote for a third-party candidate with no hope of winning is itself a moral choice for the outcome such a vote will effectuate. People of conscience will have to decide whether feeling pure by voting “none of the above” is the highest ethical act or not.

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W. James Antle III writes for the American Spectator about how the “third party” talk by the more extreme Christian right elements is actually marginalizing the entire social conservative community:

Ever since James Dobson threw down the gauntlet against the Republican Party nominating a pro-choice presidential candidate, the focus has been on the intransigence of the religious right. Obdurate evangelical zealots are said to be tearing down GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani and paving the way for Hillary Clinton’s presidency.

[Rudy Giuliani is] simply not your father’s Rockefeller Republican and cannot be campaigned against as such. On taxes, spending, and healthcare he is running well to Huckabee’s right. His record in New York City contains conservative accomplishment on crime, tax cuts, and welfare that few of his rivals can match.

Giuliani has cleverly pitched himself as the Republican best equipped to confront two challenges that concern religious conservatives: Hillary Clinton at home and radical Islam abroad. Combined with assurances on judges and exceedingly minor rightward adjustments on abortion, he hopes to win at least a critical mass of social conservatives.

So far, these efforts are paying off. According to a Sept. 28 Gallup poll, Giuliani wins plurality support from self-described conservatives and voters who attend religious services regularly — even though large majorities of both groups prefer other candidates.

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Others have also chimed in, like Steve Kornacki at the New York Observer, who points out that the vast majority of social conservatives are far more realistic and level-headed about politics than Dobson and co.:

Forget the endless talk about a mutiny from the right: Most “social conservatives”—a term that casts a much wider net than most analysis allows for—have been in awe of Rudy Giuliani for six years now and would be plenty comfortable with him leading the fight against Hillary Clinton.

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American Family Association Resorts to Defamation in Anti-Rudy Push Poll

September 20, 2007

AFA's defamatory push poll.ATTENTION:

The American Family Association, an organization that has traditionally been a reliable promoter of family values, has stooped to a truly low level today.  In a blatant act of dirty politics, the once-trustworthy AFA has shown it has no intention of living up to its own high moral standards, as it trashes presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and spreads falsehoods about where he stands on the issues.

The AFA today sent a push poll to an estimated 3+ million voters, asking whether or not they would vote for Rudy Giuliani knowing that he was “pro-abortion and pro-homosexual marriage.”

Calling Rudy Giuliani pro-abortion (which is basically akin to calling someone who in favor of keeping the death penalty ‘pro-death’) is a bit misleading.  The office of United States President has very little influence on abortion policy, but on every abortion-related issue that a U.S. President has the power to influence, Rudy Giuliani sides with pro-life conservatives.  From maintaining the Hyde Amendment and Mexico City Policy (which ban almost all federal funding for abortions) to the Partial Birth Abortion Ban to parental notification laws to promoting adoptions as an alternative to abortions to his (probably the most important) belief in sending conservative judges to the Supreme Court, a President Giuliani wouldn’t be any different than President Bush on the matter.  But AFA’s misleading generalization on this issue isn’t the real problem here.

Calling Giuliani “pro-homosexual marriage” goes beyond misleading to outright falsehood.  Rudy Giuliani has always been in favor of preserving the traditional institution of marriage between one man and one woman.  Here’s what Rudy has had to say on the issue:

  • 2006: “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, that it should remain that way, it should remain that way inviolate, and everything should be done to make sure that that’s the case.”
  • 2000 (even before he was running for President):”The institution of marriage should remain defined as a man and a woman.”

Social conservatives, regardless of whom they support for President (if we let the AFA get away with slandering Rudy, then they can get away with slandering any candidate) should speak out against the “American Falsehood Association.”  We should demand that they (1) send out another e-mail to their mailing list subscribers to correct the error, (2) correct the statements on their website (AFA.net), and then (3) issue a written apology to Rudy Giuliani for defaming his name.

We urge all social conservatives to contact the AFA at http://www.afa.net/contact.asp to demand that they take actions 1-3 mentioned above.

We also urge you to go here and sign the petition urging the AFA to renounce its dirty politics and apologize to Rudy.

AFA Defames Rudy.  Sign The Petition Demanding An Apology.

Rudy Recap — Educate Yourself On The Truth:

Fred Thompson Stumbles Out Of The Gate

September 13, 2007

After months of slouching toward a campaign, Fred Thompson finally breaks out of the gate, it seems, only to immediately stumble over his own lack of focus or ability to run a campaign, coupled with his hazy record on the issues and a weeklong slog of lackluster performances:

A Rocky Rollout For Thompson – George Will, Washington Post

Fred Thompson’s plunge into the presidential pool — more belly-flop than swan dive — was the strangest product launch since that of New Coke in 1985. Then, the question was: Is this product necessary? A similar question stumped Thompson the day he plunged.

New Coke was announced on April 23, 1985, with the company’s president piling on adjectives usually reserved for Lafite Rothschild — “smoother, rounder yet bolder.” Almost 80 days later, the public having sampled it, the company pulled the product from stores. Perhaps Thompson’s candidacy will last longer than New Coke did.

The Thompson Campaign – Paul Weyrich, Townhall.com

It is not entirely clear what Thompson believes. When he was Senator he seemed to support an open-borders approach to immigration. In recent speeches Thompson has not supported President George W. Bush’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, which was soundly defeated.

If the Thompson balloon were launched high but then returned to earth, with Thompson falling behind other candidates, that would mean the several-month tease in the form of his exploratory committee would have been for naught.

Fred Thompson’s Campaign Clarifies Marriage Amendment Position – David Brody, CBN

[Thompson will] take some heat for that but the larger issue for social conservatives may be this: If California start to have legislatures endorse gay marriage and have a liberal Governor sign it into law then what Thompson is saying is that he’ll live with that because it didn’t come from an unelected judge but rather elected representatives. How will that go over with conservative pro-family groups?

An Almost Unforgivable Mistake That Should Not Have Been Made – Erick, Redstate.com

One would hope that on the fundamental, driving issue of national security — the issue that is driving so many as we head toward 2008 — having to backtrack on the very basic issue of what to do with Osama would be unnecessary.

The first Thompson statement was a tacit endorsement of the Clinton policy this nation repudiated after September 11th.

And at this stage in the game, even Hillary Clinton has answered more competently on that subject that the Thompson campaign’s first stab at it.

That the campaign required a second stab at that basic question makes me shudder with disbelief.

Sleepwalking in September – Gail Collins, The New York Times

When it comes to overhyped underperformers, Fred Thompson’s entry into the presidential race was right up there with Britney Spears at the MTV awards.

The Republican Party’s great tall hope announced his intentions on Jay Leno’s show, and timed it to coincide with his avoidance of the candidate debate in New Hampshire. That was supposed to send the message of – what? A fear of crowds? A preference for answering questions only while seated? His performance certainly could not have been more low-key. You do not often hear somebody say “I’m running for president” in the same tone Jay’s guests use to announce that they’ve signed on for the next season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

The Field So Far – Rick Brookhiser, National Review

Now that Fred Thompson is officially in the race, it is appropriate to say that he is, on the face of it, by far the weakest potential president of the top tier Republicans.

Strongest is Giuliani who, alone of all the candidates in both parties, has done something. Two things—saved New York City; and led America for two days six years ago.

Fred Thompson came to the offices of National Review some years when he was still in the Senate. I liked him fine. He has done nothing, anywhere, ever. The Hubble Telescope could not find what he has done, because he has not done it.

It would be unwise to put such a man in the White House at this moment in history.

Hat-tip to Race42008.com.

Ward Cleaver For President 2008?

August 10, 2007

For those who grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s (or for those with access to Nick at Night or TV Land in later decades), the show Leave It To Beaver epitomized the way a healthy, normal suburban family should work.  Most notably, the ideal parents in this post-War sitcom, Ward and June Cleaver, have become the golden standard of wholesome child-rearing.  It should come as no surprise then, that many Americans want those same Cleaver-esque qualities in our leaders, especially our President.  There’s something heart-warming about photo ops of our Commander-in-Chief finding the time to play catch or throw the ol’ pig skin around with his children.  Polls have shown that the most likeable First Ladies are those who are most June Cleaver-esque: quiet, submissive, noncontroversial, modest, and matronly.

Well, to put it straight and honest: Rudy Giuliani is no Ward Cleaver.  At least not in the public eye.  There’s no doubt that Rudy really does love Andrew and Caroline as much as Ward loved Beaver and Wally.  Rudy is fiercely protective of his kids, and he tells the political paparazzi where they can stick it when they violate his children’s privacy.  However, Rudy Giuliani has made several big mistakes in regards to his personal and family life, and he takes the heat for them everywhere he goes.

Let’s get it all out in the open: In 1968, after graduating from college, Rudy married his second cousin, Regina Peruggi.  After a trial separation in the latter half of the 70’s, they got their marriage annulled in 1982.  In 1984, Rudy married local television reporter Donna Hanover.  Together they had two children (the aforementioned Andrew and Caroline).  The latter half of the 90’s saw Rudy and Donna’s marriage slowly fall apart, leading to a separation.  Tabloids raging with rumors of secret affairs, the entire ordeal culminated in a messy 2002 divorce, which Rudy announced in a public press conference before telling Donna.  Rudy revealed that he had begun a relationship with a friend of his who had been helping him through his prostate cancer treatment, nurse Judith Nathan.  Rudy tried to move Judy into Gracie Mansion (NYC’s mayoral home), Donna protested and won, and Rudy was out of the house.  After that, a couple of Rudy’s gay friends offered him a place to stay, and in 2003, Rudy officially married Judy.  Rudy’s relationship with Ms. Hanover and their children has been visibly strained over the past several years, and for one period of time, Rudy and Andrew didn’t speak for almost a whole year.  Both children have said they won’t actively campaign on their father’s behalf (Andrew citing his attempts at starting a career in professional golf, and Caroline being in school).  In fact, Rudy’s daughter (a self-described “liberal”) has even expressed some level of support for Barack Obama!

How on earth, one must ask, could a man who divorced his wife so publicly, who had started a relationship with another woman before he’d even finalized his divorce, who has had such strained relationships with his children, and whose own daughter doesn’t even support his political ideals be fit to lead this nation, much less this political party?  Surely a man with this kind of personal history would do unthinkable damage to the institution of the family in America.  Surely, a man with so many private mistakes would be incapable of attending to such higher duties as the Oval Office would require.  But, perhaps, it’s not so sure.

We conservatives tend to idealize and immortalize our most successful leaders: Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich.  We remember them favorably, and curiously forget the shortcomings of their personal lives.  We forget the rocky marriage of Abe and Mary Lincoln, we mentally erase from history Reagan’s made-for-tabloids divorce of his first wife and his painfully distant relationships with his wayward children, and we amnestically overlook the mastermind of the 1994 Republican Revolution’s embarrassing indiscretions.  It is unthinkable, nay impossible, to assume that God and destiny would use such deeply flawed, morally wanting, thoroughly human people to accomplish such great things, right?

Conservatives drink up the magazine gossip about Judy Giuliani, who reportedly (and unverifiably) uses her position as Rudy’s wife to push people around and is so arrogant to actually demand an extra airplane seat for her Louis Vuitton handbag.  Could a man with such a choice in women really make good decisions in a time of war?  Of course, people retrospectively praise Abraham Lincoln’s almost divinely providential victory in the Civil War, concurrently ignoring Mary Todd Lincoln’s reputation as the White House “hell-cat,” the eccentric and difficult First Lady who reportedly used taxpayer money to fund her lavish personal shopping sprees, who (it was rumored) used her influence to subvert her husband’s policy-making decisions, and who was later committed to an insane asylum by her own son.  Hardly a 19th century equivalent to the Cleavers.

The Christian right vehemently denounces Rudy’s conduct in divorcing Ms. Hanover and finds grounds enough for rejecting him in his strained family life alone.  Could a man with so many mistakes in raising his children be trusted to run a government?  Of course, we conservatives politically deify Ronald Reagan for his strong foreign policy, his unwaveringly supply-side economics, and his promotion of culturally conservative family values, but how often in our discussions of the Gipper does it come up about how he divorced his first wife (Jane Wyman) in typical Hollywood apathy in front of all the tabloids and how distant he was from his own children during his political years?  We moralizers scoff at Giuliani because his daughter joins an Obama Facebook group, yet conspicuously never mention how Reagan’s daughter went off and posed nude for a Playboy cover.  We values voters laugh off Giuliani because his son chooses not to publicly campaign for his father, yet conveniently sweep Ron Reagan, Jr. (a self described “liberal atheist” activist) under the rug.  Surely a man who demonstrated such masterful control of conservative governance would evidence an equal immaculacy in the leadership of his own household.

We evangelical activists can’t fathom claiming Rudy Giuliani, a man who carried on a public affair and has taken two women to divorce court, as a leader of the conservative movement.  Could a man who showed such carelessness and unrestraint in his personal life at one point in time possibly be expected to restrain the growth and spending of a now-massively outsized federal government?  Of course, we conservatives reminisce nostalgically about the leadership that Newt Gingrich provided Republicans in 1994 when he led us to historic victory and we laud him as one of the greatest conservative thinkers of our time, but hesitant are we to mention how someone who accomplished something so great carelessly treated his second wife, when he came to her hospital bed when she was suffering of cancer not to console her but to discuss divorce proceedings.  We pat Newt on the back for getting the adulterous, perjuring Bill Clinton impeached, but reluctant are we to mention Speaker Gingrich’s equally abominable affair that he was carrying on at the same time.  Why is it again we are so eager to claim Mr. Gingrich as a spokesperson for our beliefs and values?

We are told to disregard Rudy Giuliani’s appeal to look more at his public record as prosecutor, US Attorney, and Mayor, and less at his personal shortcomings.  But really, when we are perfectly honest and realistic with ourselves, we have to ask the question: Lincoln, Reagan, and Gingrich were all three no Ward Cleavers–but how did it affect their leadership?  Lincoln unified a country and ended one of the most vile forms of oppression in human history.  Reagan re-energized a nation and stared down an evil empire.  Gingrich brought conservative values back to the forefront of the Republican Party and gave us a long-awaited majority in Congress.  These were some of our most imperfect people, and yet they were used to accomplish some of our greatest successes.

Now, with 2008 fast approaching, presidential candidates are playing into this unrealistic perception that they must have the most Cleaver-esque family — that family-life stability somehow directly translates into governability and leadership material.  When candidates release Norman Rockwellian home videos of their family Christmases with the grandchildren, it’s certainly heartwarming.  And it’s hard not to like a candidate whose kids get together to tour the country like the Partridge Family in order to help their pop get elected.  However, how much does it actually help these candidates in the long run?

True, you can’t help but smile a little when you see stories like this, but deep down, there’s something just a little bit disconcerting.  Every other normal person in America came from a family that was dysfunctional in one way or another.  You and I, normal average real American folks, had problems.  We had fights with our siblings, we had issues with the way our parents raised us, we had schisms in the family sometimes.  To many, whether we admit it or not, a candidate and his or her family who try to cast themselves as the Brady Bunch smells a little bit of dishonesty.  It maybe just makes that candidate seem unrealistic or inhuman.  For some reason, it’s just harder to relate to a candidate who has, apparently, never made a single identifiable mistake as a parent.

Also, candidates who play this role run another risk — that of setting the bar too high.  If you want to make yourself the trademark of all things wholesome and perfect, you’d better be expected to live up to that standard.  And when you make Ward and June Cleaver your standard, any slip-up or cracks that might appear become a big deal for you in a way that they wouldn’t be for other candidates whose private lives had already been vetted by the media.

Here’s the real question: Why do some voters think it important for a candidate to have a neat ‘n’ tidy personal/family life in the first place? One answer: Because, they want their leaders to use their influence to strengthen the societal institution of the family.  Can Giuliani do that?  Let’s see:

Finding Homes For Children

Giuliani has actually made the strengthening of the American family a seminal part of his campaign.  Rudy often points out that hundreds of thousands of children are currently in foster care, and though many of them are up for adoption, it is extremely difficult for families wishing to adopt to cut through all the red tape.  Rudy has committed to making the promotion of adoption a significant aim of his presidency, and he will do this by streamlining the process and cutting federal bureaucracy.  He did this as Mayor of New York, when he created the Administration for Children’s Services, the first NYC government agency of its kind.  While Giuliani had a tendency toward reducing the size of government (he cut city-funded bureaucracy by nearly 20% as Mayor), he did increase focus on children’s services, education, and law enforcement.  This resulted in a 133% increase in adoption during Rudy’s administration over the previous 8 years (as a side-note, the increase in adoption also contributed to NYC’s decline in abortions, which fell even faster than the national rate while Rudy was Mayor).  As President, Rudy has vowed to fix the problems of unreliable court schedules and overburdened case workers, give states control of child welfare spending instead of the federal government, make sure pregnant women are fully informed about the realities of an abortion and the benefits of putting the child up for adoption instead, and build partnerships with faith-based organizations to encourage adoption and provide assistance to women who choose adoption.  Also, being the tax-cutter he is, Rudy has proposed making permanent a $10,000 tax incentive for adoptions.  A President Giuliani means more orphaned children getting into good homes, faster, and he has the record to back up the rhetoric.

Cleaner Neighborhoods

Part of Rudy’s approach to strengthening the family means helping to create an environment where wholesome families can flourish.  A big piece of that means reducing crime and combatting drug use.  Rudy proposes sustaining drug prevention funding levels in the federal budget, which would otherwise be cut, and he wants to reform and focus interstate and intergovernmental cooperation in going after drug dealers and traffickers.  We can trust Rudy on this because he has the record to back it up–not just because he took down some of the most infamous drug and crime rings as a New York prosecutor, but because he remarkably cleaned up New York City while Mayor.  Using innovative Compstat programs that tracked and pinpointed the most effective ways to combat crime, as well as the “Broken Windows” approach that created an environment inherently inhospitable to criminal activity, Rudy and his Police Chief Bill Bratton dramatically cut crime in half, and now localities across the country are taking their lead.  However, perhaps the most notable success Mayor Giuliani had in his battle for cultural conservatism, was the turn-around in Times Square, the face of the city, where he cleaned up the dump of sex shops, porno theaters, and prostitution by using creative zoning laws.  When other candidates speak of cleaning up pornography and promiscuity in America, they speak idealogically, but Rudy has actually done it, and any one who has been in New York pre- and post-Giuliani can attest to the night-and-day difference in the cultural atmosphere.  When Rudy took over the city, it was the crime capital of America, and when he left, the FBI declared it the “safest large city” in America.  A President Giuliani means preserving the innocence of our children, and he has the record to back up the rhetoric.

Protecting Children From Predators and Abusers

Rudy is fierce when it comes to protecting children, and his vitriol against child abusers, predators, and pedophiles has been cultivated from his years as a tough-as-nails prosecutor who brought such creeps and scum to justice.  Rudy has committed to ensuring the full implementation of the Adam Walsh Act of 2006, which will expand the national sex offender registry, toughen federal penalties for crimes against children, make it much harder for predators to reach our kids online, create a child abuse registry, and require investigators to do background checks on adoptive/foster parents before they take custody of a child.  Rudy will also toughen child porn, abuse, and trafficking laws, he will work with private organizations to kick sexual predators and pedophiles off social networking sites, and he will undertake coordinated international efforts to bring an end to sex tourism, human trafficking, and Internet child porn.  When Rudy talks about cracking down on creeps, he speaks from extensive experience in the justice system doing just that.  A President Giuliani means preserving the safety of our children, and he has the record to back up the rhetoric.

Encouraging Parental Responsibility

Finally, Rudy also emphasizes the need for parents to take responsibility for their children.  This means that parents need to be working, need to have more opportunities to create a successful life for their family, need to have more options in educating their children, and need to be held accountable for their legal responsibilities to their children.  As Mayor, Giuliani was known for his crackdown on bum dads who didn’t pay child support, but he also realized the need to create as much incentive as possible for parents to be as responsible as possible.  Rudy did this by creating an economy and an education system that allowed and encouraged parents to raise their child in the best possible way.  By slashing the individual citizen’s tax burden by 22% and moving 60% of the city welfare rolls into employment via a “workfare” system, Rudy encouraged parents to work harder toward providing a better future for their families.  Rudy is also a crusading pioneer of school choice–he established the nation’s first and most generous charter school fund, and opened school choice to many New York families for the first time ever.  By allowing families to spend their hard-earned paychecks in the way best suited to their needs, and by allowing parents greater choice in where to send their children, Rudy promoted possibly the most key family values of them all: the benefit of hard work, and the dignity of personal responsibility.  A President Giuliani means stronger, freer families, and he has the record to back up the rhetoric.

So, we know that Rudy Giuliani, as a policy-maker, would make the absolute right choices for our nation’s families, however, there is another answer to our question that must be addressed.  The question is: Why do some voters think it important for a candidate to have a tidy personal/family life? The second answer: They want a leader who is decent.

Giuliani’s private failures must be seen in their proper context.  The fact is, Giuliani has admitted that he has made mistakes in dealing with his wife and children, and he’s talked about how he’s learned from those mistakes.  Often, those with acknowledged mistakes under their belt are the wisest.  But those who can’t acknowledge any mistakes in their personal or family life raise an interesting question about themselves: Would they know how to deal with a tough personal issue when it arises if they’ve apparently been so spotless all their life?  But, acknowledged mistakes or no, the desire is a rational one.  We want our President to be a decent person.  And by that, we mean that we want him or her to be respectable, modest, fair, kind, generous, and appropriate.

One can sit and read through the tabloid accounts of Rudy’s second divorce, and say, “Gosh, well, Rudy certainly wasn’t fair or kind here… What he did here certainly wasn’t respectable… And that there was totally inappropriate.”  However, we must not forget that a decent man is still capable of being disrespectful, immodest, unfair, unkind, selfish, and inappropriate.  He is capable of being those things once, twice, or many times throughout his life.  But, what we really want to know is: Is this man, at his core, a decent person?  When all is said and done, is he still, deep down inside, decent?

It’s certainly hard to picture Rudy Giuliani embodying all those aforelisted qualities of “decency” when you look at the specific chapter of his life that included his divorce with Donna Hanover.  However, we must understand that people slip up, good people do bad things, and sometimes really truly decent people do things that are contrary to how they normally act.  There is one chapter of Rudy’s life in particular that really gives us a glimpse into his soul, his core being, who he really is deep down inside, and that is 9/11.

I realize that the last thing anyone wants, including me, is for the “9/11 card” to be overplayed on behalf of Rudy.  What happened on September 11th, 2001 is a national tragedy, whose sorrow and remembrace belongs to all Americans, regardless of their political party, political philosophy, or whom they’re supporting for President.  However, to bar Rudy Giuliani from talking about the events that happened on 9/11, and what they revealed about him, and how they influenced him, is as inane as barring George Washington from talking about his leadership at Valley Forge, or Dwight Eisenhower from talking about his leadership on D-Day.  The truth is that the events of September 11th opened, quite possibly, the clearest and purest view into the innermost soul of Rudy Giuliani that we ever have, and ever will, see.  It is said that as flame tests metal, so also the deepest view into a man’s soul can be seen when he is under the most intense pressure.

When his very life is in imminent danger, how does he respond to the needs of others?  An indecent man would put his own survival first and shut his ears to the suffering of others.  A decent man has a sense of duty and responsibility that would compel him to walk into the very flames of hell if necessary in order to ensure the safety of others.

When he has nothing to lose and nothing to gain, what roles and responsibilities does he take on?  An indecent man cares only about covering his own hide, trying to ditch as much responsibility as possible onto others.  A decent man rises to the occasion, and does anything and everything in his power to do what’s right.

When he is going through the most emotionally trying time of his life, how sensitive is he to the feelings of others?  An indecent man spends all his time weeping and bemoaning his own problems, while not caring about the problems of others.  A decent man has a genuine love for human beings that compels him to console and support as many people as he can. 

Here’s what Rudy Giuliani isn’t: Rudy Giuliani is no Ward Cleaver, but he is a decent man.

Here’s what Rudy Giuliani is: Rudy Giuliani is an occasionally-insensitive, sometimes-selfish, oftentimes-egocentric, and historically-tempermental man.  He is a man who, as NYC historian Fred Siegel put it, “made his own enormous ego serve [his] city’s well-being.”  Rudy Giuliani injected his flaws into the service of overarching ideals that transcend politics as usual.

It’s not unreasonable to desire a President who has a nice family life.  However, we should also want a President who we know has the focus and moral sense of obligation to do what’s right for the country, no matter what personal difficulties may arise during that President’s tenure.  We should want a President who learns from their mistakes and applies that gained wisdom in the most positive ways possible.  We should want a President who is real with us about just how human he is, and a President who will do what’s right for the nation, even if he once did what was wrong in his own personal life.

Rudy Giuliani may not be the most flawless man, but he is the most experienced, the most tested, the most focused, and the most capable to lead, and that’s what should really count.

Josiah Schmidt
SoConsForRudy.com

A Singular Issue: Why Abortion Shouldn’t Doom Giuliani’s Campaign

July 22, 2007

In June, Ramesh Ponnuru, a writer for National Review Online, explained in an article entitled “A Singular Issue: Why Abortion Should Doom Giuliani’s Campaign” why he thinks Rudy Giuliani’s stance on abortion alone should be enough to “doom” his chances at earning the Republican presidential nomination.   Ponnuru has four main concerns about a Giuliani nomination that he lays out in great detail: (1) Ponnuru feels Giuliani has not sufficiently reached out to pro-life Republicans, (2) Ponnuru feels Giuliani’s record is unredeemably pro-choice, (3) Ponnuru doesn’t trust Giuliani to put conservative judges on the Supreme Court, (4) Ponnuru thinks nominating Giuliani will cost the GOP votes in November 2008 because of Giuliani’s personal pro-choice stance.  However, each of these concerns can easily be allayed by simply looking at the facts.

Meeting Us Half-Way

Ponnuru stated in his article that he felt Giuliani’s nomination should come by meeting pro-life Republicans half-way.  If Rudy should win the nomination, he “wanted it to come only after [Rudy] had sweated blood trying to appeal to us.”  He (as all of us do) want Giuliani to reach a “modus vivendi” with pro-lifers.  This seems like a perfectly reasonable request.  However, when one looks at where the presidential candidate Giuliani is now and all that he’s already said and done on abortion, one gets a feeling of bewilderment at what exactly Ponnuru wants from Rudy.

Giuliani has already promised to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, uphold the Hyde Amendment (which bans almost all federal funding for abortion), appoint conservative judges in the mold of John Roberts and Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia, and make the reduction of abortions and the promotion of abortion-alternatives like adoption a key goal of his administration.  Rudy Giuliani has made it clear that he knows he’s in the minority in the GOP when it comes to abortion, and has gone to great lengths to assure pro-lifers that he’s not going to try to change the party platform, as well as the fact that he’s not running to advance some liberal social agenda.

Really, Giuliani has been working like crazy to build bridges, stake out common ground, and reach lots of important modi vivendi with social conservatives, many times going into the heart of pro-life fortresses like Houston Baptist Seminary, often for the primary purpose of discussing issues like abortion specifically and at-length.

In fact, Rudy has even made fighting abortions and promoting abortion-alternatives like adoption one of his 12 core campaign commitments.

It seems as though Rudy has been making all the right gestures for Mr. Ponnuru short of simply taking the exact same view on abortion that Mr. Ponnuru has.

Also, Ponnuru doesn’t take into account just how early it is in the presidential campaign season.  Rudy has hardly had a chance to develop his relationship with pro-lifers and social conservatives–he’s only just begun opening campaign offices and hasn’t even aired any commercials yet!  Perhaps Mr. Ponnuru is jumping the gun (just a little?) in pointing the finger at Rudy for not having offered enough outreach to pro-lifers at this early stage in the campaign.  He needs to keep in mind that the primaries are months away, the campaigns are just now picking up speed, and Giuliani hasn’t addressed the abortion issue as fully as he is going to.  Giuliani is intelligent, he knows he’s not going to get a free pass from pro-lifers and it is unimagineable that he does not plan to make a stronger appeal to pro-lifers and build more bridges with the pro-life movement.  Even if his general campaign strategy is to consolidate economic and defense conservatives first, he knows he’s not going to slip through the cracks of pro-life Republicans.

Partial-Birth Abortion

Ramesh Ponnuru’s essay goes on to question Giuliani’s character on account of Rudy’s apparent support for keeping the partial birth abortion option available to women.  Ponnuru states: “Our society is not so far gone that people cannot grasp [the] horror [of partial birth abortion].”  Ponnuru states that even many of those who are pro-choice in the first trimester of pregnancy oppose partial birth abortion and he implies that the fact that Giuliani didn’t strongly oppose partial birth abortion as Mayor means Giuliani is morally “far gone.”

While I personally happen to be as opposed to partial birth abortion as Mr. Ponnuru, perhaps it is best we put the procedure in its proper context for the benefit of our readers:

The vast majority of partial birth abortions actually take place in the fifth or sixth months of pregnancy, and so-called “late term” partial birth abortions are, in reality, relatively rare.  We also have to understand where Rudy is coming from on the abortion issue, and when we do, we see that Giuliani, a person of equally good intention as any of us, has come to this conclusion through what is to many people a logical, moral line of reasoning.  One doesn’t have to agree with Rudy on this one particular bit of philosophy (I don’t), but understanding his view will help one see that Giuliani is not the sinister politician Ponnuru makes him out to be.

Giuliani’s take on abortion is that the decision of whether or not to have an abortion is based on each individual’s personal religious belief in when a human achieves personhood, or a “soul,” and Rudy believes the government should not legislate one particular moral/religious belief over another.  For instance, the traditional Jewish belief is that full life/personhood is not achieved until a child is born.  Because of advances in science in recent years that have shown that humans can be medically dead while their hearts are still beating and/or lungs are still breathing, the definitive line that separates “alive” and “not alive” in the scientific medical community has become brain wave activity, something that begins around the fifth month of pregnancy, meaning that many partial birth abortions (which most often take place in the fifth month or earlier) are performed before the baby is technically “alive” under this view.  These are all rational, understandable viewpoints, whether you agree with them or not, and people who adhere to them are not necessarily monsters.

We can disagree with Giuliani’s stance, but suggesting (however subtly) that Rudy is somehow morally depraved to the point that he cannot be classified in the same group as “people of generally sound mind and good will” is a bit over the top.  Giuliani’s view is based on the foundation of moral libertarianism–that the determination of personal moral/religious beliefs regarding the meaning of life and the existence of souls shouldn’t be decided by the federal government–the same view espoused, for the same reason, by Barry Goldwater (the founder of modern conservatism) and Gerald Ford.  We can disagree, but it’s just that–a single point of disagreement–and it must be considered in the full context of what a President Giuliani would actually do about matters of policy like the Hyde Amendment, Supreme Court nominations, etc.

Ponnuru also takes issue with the fact that Giuliani supports the current Ban on Partial Birth Abortions, while he declined to support a similar proposed ban in 1999.  Giuliani states that he supports the current ban because it contains a clause that allows abortions in cases where they are necessary to protect the life of the mother, while the old proposed ban was inadequate in that respect.  “Aha!” Ponnuru points out that the ’99 ban did include a “life of the mother” clause.  And Ponnuru is right.  However, the missing “life of mother clause” issue Giuliani brings up refers to the added phrase “including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself” in the sentence: “This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.”  Perhaps Giuliani spoke too simplistically in saying that he didn’t support the 1999 Ban because he wanted a “life of mother” clause, when in actuality, he was referring to the concern that the original “life of mother” clause was inadequate, because it could be interpreted to not cover the justification of the procedure when a “physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself” is the problem.

Surprisingly, after complaining that Giuliani had not moved close enough to the pro-life movement, Ponnuru then turns around and attacks Giuliani as a flip-flopper for coming out against partial birth abortion.  But even if Giuliani has inched closer to the right on the partial birth abortion issue, why should that be used as a talking point to attack Giuliani?  Such a minor shift in opinion, if it was even a shift at all (more like a shift in emphasis), hardly constitutes a “flip flop” or undermines Rudy’s sincerity or political authenticity, especially when compared with the fact that virtually all the other Republican candidates have also inched to the right on abortion in recent years as more information on the issue has become readily available.  Giuliani himself has been perfectly honest about the fact that he’s been gravitating rightward on the abortion issue, often candidly stating that his position on abortion has “evolved” somewhat over the years.

Rudy’s Record On Abortion

Ponnuru attacks Giuliani’s use of the fact that during his tenure, New York City abortions (and, importantly, Medicaid-funded abortions) dropped more steeply than the national decline, while adoptions increased 133% faster during Giuliani’s 8 years than the previous 8 years.  Ponnuru cites the fact that Giuliani probably didn’t set out to specifically achieve those goals, and that, rather, the abortion drop and adoption increase were probably incidental effects from the overall rise in economic prosperity and the standard of living resulting from the Mayor’s toughness on crime and economic conservatism.  However, just because Rudy didn’t specifically set out to achieve those goals in the beginning of his last administration doesn’t mean that he can’t notice and learn from those phenomena and then seek to actively replicate them (this time on purpose) in his next administration.

Ponnuru also goes after the fact that as mayor, Rudy did nothing to promote abortions, saying that because NYC abortion laws were already so lax, the only thing Rudy could have done to promote abortions would have been performing them himself.  Mr. Ponnuru, however, is mistaken.  He fails to note the night-and-day contrast between how Mayor Giuliani handled the abortion issue and how Giuliani’s predecessor and successor (Mayors Dinkins and Bloomberg, respectively) have handled the abortion issue.

While Giuliani incidentally caused abortions to drop, his predecessor Mayor Dinkins fought to keep abortion clinics open when the possibility arose of closing some of them, in 1991 went out and organized a coalition of 30 mayors from around the country to push the federal government to legalize the RU-486 abortion pill, proudly proclaimed that “there is no mayor in this country who has done more for support of freedom of choice!”, and ironically attacked Giuliani for not being pro-choice enough in his 1989 and 1993 campaigns, citing the fact that Giuliani has questioned Roe v. Wade’s legitimacy and that as a Southern New York prosecutor Giuliani often fought pro-abortion policies.

Likewise, while New York’s Conservative Party Chair Mike Long has stated that he never remembers Giuliani once promote the abortion issue and didn’t know of any Giuliani initiative that advanced abortion, Rudy’s successor Mayor Bloomberg has actively sought to unseat pro-life politicians and told pro-choice voters not to vote for pro-life candidates period, went to great lengths to ensure that the Plan B abortion drug is available at every public hospital in the city, even issued an executive order requiring abortion training to be included in all OB/GYN residency curricula at the city’s public hospitals, began a $3 million campaign to increase access to “emergency contraception,” publicly encouraged New York Gov. George Pataki to sign legislation that would allow “emergency contraception” to be sold without a doctor’s prescription, and recently had NARAL praise his pro-abortion policies as “unparalleled” in NYC mayoral history.

The dissimilarity between the personally anti-abortion but pro-choice-as-a-matter-of-policy Mayor Giuliani and the thundering pro-abortion crusaders that his predecessor Dinkins and successor Bloomberg have been could not be more unmitigated.

What A Giuliani Nomination Actually Means

The other contrast that couldn’t be more stark is that between a Republican nominee Giuliani and a Democrat nominee.  Ponnuru fears the GOP nominating Rudy will put the Republican candidate and the Democratic candidate in complete agreement on abortion (the only difference Ponnuru feels worth pointing out is that Rudy thinks the states should decide the issue, while the Democrat would think it should be decided on the federal level), but Ponnuru overlooks the key dissimilarities: Rudy has made fighting abortions a core component of his campaign platform and has vowed to uphold the Hyde Amendment and Partial Birth Abortion Ban, while Democratic candidates have pledged to vastly increase access to abortion and have vehemently opposed Hyde and the PBA Ban.  Rudy would fight to put more Scalias on the Supreme Court, while a Democrat would fight to put more Ginsburgs on the bench.

And perhaps the real icing on the cake for pro-lifers is the fact that Giuliani will (must) pick a pro-life running mate.  While Rudy probably will not get into the messy business of talking about potential VPs at this stage of the campaign, come Convention day, if Rudy is the nominee, there will be a pro-life running mate at his side.  Giuliani knows that if the ticket isn’t balanced in this crucial way, he cannot hold together the social conservative coalition.  Together, Rudy and his running mate will emphasize their plan to fight abortion, push adoption as an alternative, and fill the Supreme Court with conservative judges.

Ponnuru’s fears about a Giuliani nomination are understandable, but a little bit overhyped when taken in historical context.  The GOP’s nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and that of Gerald R. Ford in 1976 didn’t set a precedent for pro-choice Republican nominees, and neither will that of Rudy Giuliani in 2008.  In fact, immediately after Ford’s nomination came the nomination of Ronald Reagan in 1980, who was arguably the most vocal pro-life nominee in GOP history.

The real question Ponnuru fails to answer is: How will having Giuliani, a Republican presidential nominee who is really quite moderate on abortion, but stands down on the abortion issue and promises to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, the Hyde Amendment, appoint strict constructionist judges in the stripe of Roberts/Alito/Scalia/Thomas, and make reducing abortions and promoting adoption a key goal of his administration, and who (very importantly) will be running with a pro-life running mate, give pro-lifers “no representation” at the level of presidential politics?  Perhaps a nominee Giuliani would give pro-lifers less (“less,” not “no”) of that superficial kind of rhetorical representation that presidents like Bush offer when they give the obligatory speech to March for Life and things of that nature, but hardly would a Giuliani nomination give “no representation” to those of us opposed to abortion.

Think about it.  On all the most vital issues that pro-lifers have worked so hard to achieve (the passage of the Hyde Amendment, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, and most importantly the nomination of strict constructionist judges to the Supreme Court who can one day overturn Roe v. Wade and send the abortion issue back to the individual states), we would have in Rudy, quite possibly, the strongest representation at the level of presidential politics that we pro-lifers have had in a decade.  Not even Bush 41, Dole, or Bush 43 have placed as much emphasis on the importance of conservative judges and making concrete statistical reduction in abortion a key goal of their administration as Rudy has in their respective campaigns.

Ponnuru pontificates: “The abortion lobby would not be alone in declaring the Republican party to have capitulated to this [pro-choice] consensus [that Roe and abortion are a settled matter] with Giuliani’s nomination.  So would neutral observers; and even some pro-lifers would give up the fight.” Now, no sane observer would declare the nomination of Giuliani to mean that a pro-Roe v. Wade “consensus” had suddenly arisen in the GOP.  Based on what Giuliani has already been through, and what he will surely go through in the near future, observers realize that Giuliani’s strength among Republican voters is based on his outstanding articulation of conservative principles and record on a wide range of conservative issues, not because of his personal pro-choice views.

In fact, suggesting that we pro-lifers would “give up the fight” if Giuliani was nominated is actually a severe insult to us.  It suggests that the convictions of the pro-life movement are so fragile that the moment we don’t have a Republican presidential nominee who scratches us behind our ear and claims to agree with us 100% on every issue, we’ll stop fighting for the lives of the unborn.  It implies that pro-lifers care more about access to powerful pro-life politicians than we do about taking actual action to fight abortions in America.  Ponnuru should be careful with what he insinuates in statements such as these.

And if all this is not enough, Ponnuru’s concerns over how committed Giuliani is to nominating truly conservative judges to the Supreme Court should be more than allayed by Rudy’s recent announcing of his judicial advisory team.  Rudy’s top-notch group has been called a conservative judge dream team, with many of our favorite picks for future Supreme Court nominees in it, including Miguel Estrada (2001 Supreme Court nominee), former Solicitor General Ted Olson, Federalist Society Co-Founder Steve Calabresi, former Deputy Solicitor General Maureen Mahoney (frequently nicknamed “the female John Roberts”), and many more.  If Ponnuru, or any social conservative for that matter, has any doubts that when Rudy says he is committed to nominating and fighting for strict constructionist judges on the Supreme Court, they need look no further than this sterling list of Rudy-supporters (and potential Supreme Court nominees in a future administration).

How (Or Who?) To Win The General Election?

Finally, Mr. Ponnuru expresses his concern that nominating a Republican who is personally moderate on some social issues but whose strengths lie in economic conservatism will lose a bloc of socially-conservative-but-economically-liberal voters who have been key to getting Bush elected.  First of all, the existence of such a nebulous group of capricious voters who are socially conservative and economically liberal but, in the end, will vote for the person they think is the ‘better Christian,’ and second of all, this bloc of voters’ influence on the election is pretty hard to discern, and relies basically on what statistics and/or polling data you choose to use.  The truth is, the effect is more the opposite.

Ponnuru implies that the GOP should sacrifice its commitment to economic, governmental, and defense conservatism for the sake of social conservatism, when necessary to win elections.  However, this theory is blind to the following fact: it was the very carrying out of such an approach over the past decade that resulted in the devastating losses the GOP suffered in Congress in 2006.  The GOP’s fixation on such issues as kicking gays out of the military and civil service, banning flag burning, and keeping brain-dead patients on life support, while at the same time allowing their ranks to be poisoned with corrupt lobbyists, producing record amounts of earmarks and pork barrel spending, and allowing the rise of the biggest and one of the most inefficient and unaccountable federal bureaucracies in American history, has already disasterously damaged Reagan’s Republican coalition that put 3 of the last 4 Presidents in the White House.

Neither Rudy nor I are saying that abortion should be left off the table this election cycle and pro-lifers should be sidelined, but we have to understand the newly discovered political principle that, while focusing simply on banning gay marriage might ‘mobilize the base,’ it polarizes America.  We need to mobilize America and we can only do that by restoring a government that is accountable to the people, that spends our tax money wisely, that allows us as much personal freedom as possible and gives us the opportunity to make our own success, and that keeps us safe by retaining a strong posture on the international stage.  Rudy Giuliani is just the man to do that, and his personal stance on the singular issue of abortion should be taken in the context of all those things.

Josiah Schmidt
SoConsForRudy.com

Mainstream Social Conservatives Flummox the Experts

June 6, 2007

They’ve been saying it for months. “They” are self-appointed spokespersons for social conservatives, especially conservative Christians – “they” are the ones the news media go to when they want to take the pulse of social conservatives. And what they’ve been saying is that “They may support him now, but once social conservatives realize his position on [pick the issue: guns, abortion, homosexual rights, his personal life], they’ll turn away from Rudy Giuliani.” However, regardless of what the “experts” think, Rudy Giuliani remains the frontrunner among socially conservative voters.

A June 5th article posted on Christianity Today’s website quotes Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, saying, “I think a lot of evangelicals are just getting to know Rudy…As they get to know him—not as the hero of 9/11 but as a supporter of tax-funded abortions—his support will decline precipitously.”

What is there that conservative evangelical voters don’t know about Rudy Giuliani? His personal position on abortion, gays, local gun control regulations, his personal life, even the fact that he dressed as a woman at various fund-raising events when he was mayor of New York, have been splashed all over the internet and the mainstream media for months. And yet Giuliani continues to be the frontrunner among conservative evangelicals and other stripes of social conservatives.

A May 28 article on Politico reported a recent poll and analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showing that Giuliani is the frontrunner among conservative evangelical voters, earning the support of 30% of this group compared to 22% support for Sen. John McCain. The Pew poll also found that 44% of social conservatives believe that Mayor Giuliani has the best chance of becoming the next President. And despite Richard Land’s view that as social conservatives get to know Giuliani “his support will decline precipitously,” the Pew survey found that evangelical voters are actually much more tuned-in to this presidential election than the average voter. The Pew survey found that 31% of self-identified social conservatives have given the 2008 presidential candidates “a lot” of thought, while only 23% of other Republicans have given the race the same level of scrutiny.

To explain the frontrunner status of Mayor Giuliani, John Green, a senior fellow at Pew who compiled the survey, said, “A significant number of social conservatives have adopted a pragmatic line.” Mr. Green is quoted in Christianity Today saying that he believes issues like abortion and opposition to same-sex marriage “are fading a little bit” as many states have banned gay marriage and evangelicals turn their attention to other issues. “They still care about social issues, but many also care about national security, economic issues, and the environment. It very well may be that Giuliani appeals to evangelicals on these other issues,” Green said.

Returning to Mr. Land, there appears to be a hint of desperation in his analysis of the race and where conservative evangelicals may come down in this election. To cite the Christianity Today article, “Land believes that even if evangelicals overlook Giuliani’s abortion record, they will struggle to overcome his broken marriages. ‘He promised at least two wives that he’d love, honor, and cherish—till death do you part—and he broke his promises to them,’ Land said. ‘Three spouses is at least one spouse too many for most evangelicals.’”

The abortion red-flag doesn’t seem to be working to undermine the Mayor’s standing among evangelicals, so go to Plan B.

Aside from the odd implication made by Land that having two spouses is now perfectly OK for “most evangelicals,” the personal issue of a candidate’s divorces seems a peculiar issue over which to fall on one’s sword. Mr. Land, representing Southern Baptists in Washington, is skating on thin ice if he adopts divorce as his make-or-break issue. George Barna, the pollster who has made a career of surveying and analyzing the attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyles of evangelical Christians, noted in a report published in 1999 that among all Christian denominations, the one with the highest divorce rate are the Baptists.

Being married only once won’t balance the federal budget, enhance the security of America, reduce the size of government, defend and expand liberty, or win the war on terror. A good number of evangelical voters understand this, apparently much to the consternation of some self-appointed evangelical leaders. My wife said it best recently: “I might not want to be in a relationship with Rudy, but I want him defending this nation.”

Greg Alterton
SoConsForRudy.com

Rudy: Pragmatic Traditional Values — With Results

June 4, 2007

A lot of Republican politicians in Washington talk of traditional values. A lot of conservative pundits and leaders of interest groups raise the banner of traditional values. But where’s the fruit of electing politicians to federal office on a purely socially conservative agenda?

Rudy Giuliani has taken more than a few slings and arrows over the past few months for supposedly not toeing the line on traditional socially conservative values. However, isn’t it more important to show results consistent with these values than to simply give them lip service? Mayor Giuliani may not fit the conventional mold of a “traditional values” candidate, but among those running for the 2008 Republican nomination for President, he has a record of accomplishment that should make values voters take notice. Consider:

While Mayor Giuliani takes hits for his “personal” view on abortion, abortions in New York City declined while Giuliani was mayor – a drop of 16.8 percent during the Giuliani administration, according to the Center for Disease Control. University of Alabama political scientist Michael New has stated that, “The decline in abortions in New York City under Giuliani was greater than the national decline.” What other candidate for President can boast a record of actually decreasing the number of abortions?

And while abortions were going down, adoptions in New York City were going up. Children in foster care fell in the city from 47,509 in December 1993 to 28,700 in 2001, the last year of Giuliani’s term in office. While only 2,312 children were adopted in New York City in 1994, cumulative adoptions swelled to 27,949 over the next seven years.

Mayor Giuliani has also spoken in very traditional terms about personal responsibility, particularly parental responsibility. “Seventy percent of long-term prisoners and 75 percent of adolescents charged with murder grew up without a father,” Giuliani said in his January 14, 1999 State of the City speech. “So, I guess if you wanted a social program that would really save these kids, a lot better than the City of New York, the United States Congress, the Social Welfare Agency, and Administration for Children Services, I guess the social program would be called fatherhood.

As mayor, Giuliani supported the position that marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman: “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, that it should remain that way, it should remain that way inviolate, and everything should be done to make sure that that’s the case.”

In the midst of his tenure as mayor of New York, columnist George Will said of Rudy Giuliani, “He is America’s most successful conservative currently in office. He understands that culture, more than politics, determines a community’s success, and he has devised policies to drive cultural change in a conservative direction.”

While Rudy Giuliani may not pander to social conservatives in the way that many have grown accustomed from aspirants for the Presidency, his record of accomplishments speaks louder than lip service.

Greg Alterton
SoConsForRudy.com

Rudy’s Approach To Social Issues: Federalism

June 1, 2007

In an article entitled “Rudy’s Electoral Math,” a blogger for Race42008.com made the comment that, “The notion that Rudy Giuliani will…mirror the Democratic nominee on social issues is just not correct…We’re running a candidate who, while personally not conservative on many social issues, will govern as a functional social conservative on most of the big issues cultural conservatives care about.” (Click here for full Race42008.com article)

The drumbeat is that Rudy Giuliani is wrong on the “big issues” for social conservatives: abortion, gay rights, and gun ownership. However, consider:

On gun regulation, Giuliani has not proposed any new federal controls, and defers to the localities to determine what or whether to regulate firearms. On this, he is a solid proponent of states’ rights. So much for the “gun-grabber” charge.

The same with gay rights. Giuliani is on record saying that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that this distinction is to be respected. When he did not support the defense of marriage constitutional amendment proposal, neither did a number of conservatives who do not believe that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to address this issue. The voters in individual states – from Oregon, to California, to Ohio, to Michigan…27 states in all, so far – are stepping up to either affirmatively declare marriage as between a man and a woman, or are specifically banning gay marriage. Giuliani’s stance on states’ rights would oppose federal action to overturn the state-led initiatives on this issue.

And the same with abortion. Despite his personal views, Giuliani has pledged to appoint originalists to the federal judiciary. In the 34 years since Roe v. Wade, there has been only one major pro-life legislative victory – the passage and signing by President Bush of a ban on partial-birth abortions. One victory in over 34 years – a span of time that saw two strongly pro-life presidents in Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and 12 years of Republican control of Congress. The partial-birth abortion ban was challenged in the courts, and was only recently upheld by the Supreme Court, which indicates that it is in the courts that these issues will ultimately be won or lost. Hence, Giuliani’s intention to appoint originalists to the courts should be considered the most important pro-life impact that the next president will have. It may be that his appointments to the Supreme Court will be better, and more conservative, than Reagan’s.

Giuliani has said that he would have signed a partial-birth abortion ban which includes an exemption for the life of the mother. The pro-abortion Democrats want an exemption for the “health” of the mother. There’s a big difference. “Life” would provide an exemption where the mother’s life is in danger if natural delivery proceeds (and this should be rendered a non-factor because of cesarean delivery in the event of an emergency). An exemption from abortion prohibitions for the “health” of the mother, as favored by the pro-abortion Democrats, has been used as a catch-all exemption as “health” has come to include “mental health,” meaning that if a pregnancy or having a child might create “stress” for the mother, this is enough to fall within the “health” criterion, and would lead to aborting the child.

Mayor Giuliani also supports parental notification before minors can obtain an abortion, which is a long-time goal of pro-life organizations. His position, from appointment of originalists to the courts, to the distinction in his position on partial-birth abortion from that of the pro-abortion left, is reason to calm the fears, and rebut the hysterical charges of rightist extremists, that he’s a “baby-killer.”

Rudy Giuliani’s approach to these socially conservative issues is to de-federalize the issues, take them out of the gridlocked politics of Washington, and allow the states to decide them. Rudy Giuliani is the most pro-states’ rights presidential candidate we’ve seen in decades…maybe ever. What’s not conservative about that?

It should be clear to all that our nation is deeply divided, right down the middle, ideologically. The presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 showed a deep schism among American voters, and that schism is getting harder and deeper. This division has turned America into two camps, and has made each election a nail-biter as results of the last two presidential elections could have turned on the shift of only about 1.5% of the vote. This divide has also imposed a rigid gridlock in Washington on the whole list of so-called “socially conservative” issues. There’s no budge on either side, and consequently the chances of enacting any of the social conservative agenda is worse than slim and none.

The only way to break this political and ideological gridlock isn’t to surrender socially conservative principles, but to move these issues through a different approach. It’s been said that “Only Nixon could go to China,” because of his life-long record as an anti-communist. It may well be that only Rudy Giuliani can move this nation away from the opposing political encampments it’s become, and allow the people – not the federal government, not the Congress – to make progress on issues that reflect what is the inherent social conservatism of the American people.

Greg Alterton
SoConsForRudy.com

The Truth About Rudy and Gay Marriage

May 28, 2007

Have you ever read a news article about Rudy Giuliani that’s cited him as being in favor of legalizing gay marriage, and then sat back and thought to yourself, “Huh, I didn’t know Rudy was in favor of that.”

Well, it might just be because he’s not!

Somehow, a completely concocted meme has cleverly infiltrated the media from top to bottom, that Rudy Giuliani is pro-gay marriage, when, in fact, he is absolutely not.  In fact, Rudy has been one of the staunchest supporters of preserving traditional marriage, even when his position was unpopular in the most liberal of cities.

Here’s what Rudy had to say about the marriage issue recently: “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, that it should remain that way, it should remain that way inviolate, and everything should be done to make sure that that’s the case.”

Here’s what Rudy had to say about the marriage issue back in 2000: “The institution of marriage should remain defined as a man and a woman.”

Rudy has always been in favor of traditional marriage, and has never changed his views based on the office he’s running for.  It’s as simple as that.  Rudy is not pro-gay marriage.

Perhaps the confusion comes because Rudy is pro-gay rights, supports civil unions, and has a couple of friends who are gay.  Let’s set some things straight here:

Rudy is pro-gay rights because he is pro-human rights.  I think all sane, caring social conservatives share Rudy’s stance on this one.

Rudy is pro-civil unions, but opposes those civil unions that too closely resemble traditional marriage, as he did in the case of the New Hampshire civil unions law that made them the equivalent of marriage.

Rudy is known to have a couple of gay friends, but that is meaningless in the policy making realm.

The fact is, homosexuality is a personal issue, not one that a President should have to deal with.  People have the right to personally feel that homosexuality is moral or immoral, and they have the right to politely discuss amongst themselves the “rightness” of such a lifestyle, but social conservatives and evangelicals like us must understand one thing: The government, particularly the office of the Presidency, is NOT our vehicle to impose our morality on others!  We do not have the right to hijack American politics to make other people follow our lifestyle.  For those of us who are Christians, it is not our responsibility to force non-Christians to follow the minutae of all our religious laws and regulations.

Conservatives should not be pressing for a nanny-state that tells people what they can and cannot do in their own bedrooms.  In fact, true conservatism demands that government lessen its size and scope, and step out of the personal lives of its citizens.

Homosexuality is not the issue in 2008.  We need a President who can fix the real problems our country is facing: the national deficit, government spending and taxes, global terrorism, the health care system, the education system, Social Security, the energy crisis, and so on.  Rudy Giuliani is the candidate with the proven experience and leadership needed in getting results on these issues.  Rudy Giuliani is the candidate we need.

Josiah Schmidt
SoConsForRudy.com

Rudy – The Candidate for Social Conservatives

May 26, 2007

Contrary to the mainstream pundits’ conventional wisdom that says former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani cannot win over the vast bloc of socially conservative Republican voters, Rudy remains a strong frontrunner in the race for the 2008 nomination.

Why do, and why should, social conservatives support Rudy as their guy in the presidential race?  Here’s why:

Rudy Giuliani is the consummate Goldwater-Reagan policy-maker and leader of our time.  His administration in NYC from 1994-2001 has been hailed by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will as the “most successful episode of conservative governance in this country in the last 50 years.”  Mayor Giuliani, who got his start running the US Attorney’s office in the Reagan administration, applied President Reagan’s principles of smaller government, fiscal discipline, less taxes, and more efficient law enforcement on an even more intense and focused arena: New York City, the rotting, drug and crime infested metropolis mired in decades of debt, bureaucracy, and outdated New Deal policies, and ruled by corrupt politicians, labor unions, and organized crime rings.

Finally fed up with the failures of such governance, New Yorkers elected a conservative Republican, Rudy Giuliani, as Mayor for the first time in a quarter century.  Rudy immediately set to work tackling the major problems: the city’s finances, the welfare system, rampant crime, and a failed education system.

At the close of his second term, Mayor Giuliani had cut the size of city government by an astounding 20%, turned a $2.3 billion deficit into a multi-billion dollar surplus, decreased the tax burden by 22% percent, increased school funding by $4 billion and added 13,000 new teachers, cut the welfare rolls by 60%, cut crime and homicides by 57% and 64% respectively, and turned the crime capital of America into what the FBI eventually classified as the “safest large city” in the country.

Rudy is not the typical politician.  Known for being a straight-shooter and a strong-willed leader, he does not do 180 degree turns on the big issues for political expediency or change his views based on the office he’s running for.  For instance, on the issue of abortion, Rudy is pro-choice.  On the issue of homosexuality, Rudy has pushed for gay civil rights and supports civil unions.  On the issue of guns, Rudy implemented some gun control measures (to great success) in NYC.  Throw into the mix the fact that Rudy has been divorced and has appeared in drag for a couple of comedy skits, and you can see why socially conservative Republicans might get nervous.  But there is really, truly no reason to worry.

Rudy personally disagrees with abortion and has stated numerous times that he feels it is the wrong choice.  However, he has taken the Goldwater stance that such issues should not be handed to the federal government to decide one way or the other.  But let’s be realistic here, a United States President’s realm of policy-making does not really include abortion.  The most influence a President can have is in the appointment of Supreme Court Justices (who might overturn Roe v. Wade) and in the signing or vetoing of certain legislation that Congress might pass to his desk.

Rudy has been crystal clear that the kind of Supreme Court Justices he would appoint as President would be in the mold of such strict constructionist conservative judges as Roberts, Alito, and Scalia.  A court of such conservative judges will likely overturn Roe v. Wade.  However, social conservatives must understand one thing: the overturning of Roe v. Wade does not mean the end of abortion in America.  It simply throws the issue back to the individual states to decide, where it belongs.  A President Giuliani virtually guarantees that this will happen.  As for the bills that might pass the President’s desk, Giuliani supports such key legislation as the Hyde Amendment (which limits federal funding for abortion) and the Partial Birth Abortion Ban.  As Mayor, Rudy Giuliani oversaw a 17% decrease in abortion (and, importantly, a massive 23% drop in Medicaid-funded abortions) in NYC, and this occurred because Rudy enacted no laws or initiatives supporting abortion, and, concurrently, strongly supported adoption as an alternative to abortion.

A President Rudy does not mean more abortions.  It means less.

Rudy feels that it is important that marriage remain an institution between one man and one woman, which is why Rudy has never supported gay marriage.  Rudy supports gay civil rights because he supports human rights, and he only supports civil unions if they do not too too closely resemble traditional marriage.  However, once again, this should not be the issue a President is elected upon.  While individuals can agree or disagree on the morality of homosexuality, this election is not about electing a Pastor or electing specific morals to be imposed upon the entire nation, but about electing an experienced leader who can deal with the big issues of how the government works.

A President Rudy does not mean legalized same sex marriage.  It means the preservation of traditional marriage.

Rudy unequivocally supports the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and kept that freedom in tact in New York City, even while implementing some particular controls and guidelines for gun ownership in his area.  Rudy acknowledges that not every place is like New York City, and that individual states and regions should be free to implement as broad of gun freedoms as they feel is wise based on their own particular circumstances.

A President Rudy does not mean more gun control.  It means guaranteed Second Amendment freedoms.

Likewise, Rudy’s personal history, which includes two divorces, has absolutely no bearing on how he will fight the war on terrorists, solve the problems we face in Iraq, bring fiscal discipline to our government, cut taxes and welfare, clean up our neighborhoods, fix the education system, and keep our nation safe and secure.  Rudy’s personal imperfections certainly did not stop him from doing all those things as Mayor of New York City, and his past, now behind him, should not be an issue in how he will administrate as the next President of the United States.

Some of the greatest conservative leaders in America have had less than spotless personal lives, but that did not stop them from doing what is right for our country.  President Reagan’s divorce did not stop him from vaulting a country languishing in the failed liberal policies of the Carter administration into a new era of prosperity and safety, House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s divorces did not stop him from leading Republicans to historic victory in Congress or from being one of the greatest conservative thinkers of our time, and Rudy Giuliani’s did not stop him from executing one of the most successful episodes of conservative governance in modern history, nor will it stop him from doing so in the White House come 2009.

This is why social conservatives continue to support Rudy Giuliani for President.  And this is why those who don’t, should.

Josiah Schmidt
SoConsForRudy.com