Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rudy can't fail?

[Re. the post title: Apologies to those whose youth, sadly, never encompassed the manifest glory that is ska music.]

I'm trying to work out what to do/think about Rudy Giuliani. As I mentioned previously, his stand on social issues leaves me bewildered. What I have read about his viewpoints on the social hot-button issues leads me to shake my head in spectacular disagreement. He is wrong on almost (almost?) all of them. I won't try to work out if his stances are a function of having to get votes in that citadel of hatred and collectivist groupthink that is NYC, or to what extent he holds them passionately and/or sincerely. I'll take his positions as read and leave it at that.

But here's the thing.

My positions on these issues are, unarguably, those of the vast majority of Republicans, including many whose pro-life/culture warrior credentials I am unworthy to unfasten. Yet...Giuliani has a commanding lead in the Republican nomination polls. So what gives? Why are several prominent pro-life/culture warriors endorsing him? Why are so many pro-life Republicans throwing their support to someone whose views on social issues are inimical to theirs?

A part of this can be explained by Giuliani's tough law-and-order record, having convicted a gazillion mafia types and generally being considered to have "cleaned up New York." There is also his putative fiscal conservatism -- although in the minds of the Upper West Side brights, not confiscating income at gunpoint pretty much counts as neoclassical economic theory -- and, my personal favorite, his eagerness to slug it out with political opponents. He is also probably the most natural campaigner in this race, speaking effortlessly and cogently in an extemporaneous way.

But that's hardly it, right?

The only thing that occurs to me is that Republicans, including the aforesaid stalwart prolifers, do not consider 2008 a "regular" political year. My ridiculously informal assessment is that winning the war on terror, especially in Iraq which particularly necessitates smacking down Democrats who seem, er, not especially concerned by Islamofascism nor the aid and comfort afforded Islamofascists by a Vietnam- or Somalia-like withdrawal. Republicans have the images of 9/11/01 pretty well engraved in their mind, and in those images they recall a Giuliani who exuded authority and leadership.

This election, this issue seems to take precedence over all those issues which would have rendered a Giuliani candidacy an unviable tissue mass in a normal election year. That's the only sense I can make of it.

-J.

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