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5.01.2007

Why We Can't Stomach Rudy

It would be the end of the Reagan coalition:

Some conservatives claim that Giuliani's vague and vaporous statements on the appointment of conservative judges, and his barely audible support of the ban on partial birth abortion, offer evidence of sound instincts sufficient to palliate the concerns of the traditionalist wing of the party.

On abortion, the integrity of marriage, and the Second Amendment, Giuliani puts a stick in the eye of social conservatives. As revealed on YouTube, he is a passionate supporter of the expenditure of taxpayer dollars to destroy unborn children. And he deserves very little credit for summoning the energy to oppose infanticide, which is what the partial birth abortion issue is really about. Even Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the late Democratic Senator from New York, maintained that minimalist position with respect to the right to life.

But consider the damage Giuliani's nomination and election as president would be to the supporters of marriage, the right to life, and other issues that represent a clear line of demarcation between Republicans and Democrats. His ascendancy to the head of the Republican Party would orphan all these constituencies which have enabled the GOP to reach beyond corporate board rooms, chambers of commerce, and think tanks to embrace a more diverse set of constituencies.

Evangelicals and church-going Catholics have been pummeled by many pundits on the left and a few fellow-traveling Republicans of the old WASP elite. But they represent not only the base of the GOP in the South but an important swing vote in the heartland states in the Midwest including Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. All they have to do is stay home, and the Republicans can bid these key states goodbye.

Even if Giuliani can reconfigure the electoral map by winning California, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey, that is little comfort to the social conservatives who have made the Republican Party their home these past forty years. They will be hopelessly marginalized from the only political vehicle for the defense of marriage and the unborn.

To put it another way, some economic and national defense conservatives may be able to make the calculation that Rudy is their man and standard-bearer. Indeed, Giuliani has some claim to their loyalties based on his record.

But this is not an option for social conservatives. It would be a Faustian bargain without even the assurance of any quid pro quo. If they are shut out of the GOP, they are finished as a force in American politics. This is not a parliamentary democracy. No splinter party or rump organization, centered in traditional values, will have any influence on the nation's two parties.


Of course, the limousine liberals in the Republican Party don't care whether the GOP is a perpetual minority party or not. Drop the social conservative planks of the platform and the pro-life Catholics go back to the Dems, the evangelicals go third party or withdraw from politics, and the Burkean Whigs withdraw to their history books.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Vigilis said...

No argument with "vague and vaporous", Teflon, but do have an example of any Republican lawyer currently "serving" in national politics that conservatives can really stomach?

Ex-Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson is the only one who comes to my mind these days, and he is uniquely "non-careerist".

11:58 AM  

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