Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Category

Cross-Post: Giuliani and Libertarians

November 13, 2007

Over at my PA for Hizzoner blog a small thread as developed– well, I’m doing most of the writing– as a result of the appearence of my town’s first presidential support sign; a Ron Paul sign.

As a former card-carrying member of the Libertarian party who’s first vote for president was for the man who was, in fact, Ron Paul’s veep on the Libertarian ticket in ’88, I am not unsympathetic to those supporting Paul.  I did express, though, that I believe Giuliani is pretty darned friendly to Libertarians, a statement which one commenter thought needed elaboration.  That elaboration is below:

I understand the question.  You have to look at it from a perspective that respects one of Libertarianism’s fundamental requirements of the State:  That of protecting private property.

Giuliani’s priority as Mayor– the reason he was elected– was to make the City safer and more pleasant.  Read that as “Protect their private property.”

Hence this person’s perception of him as a “gun-grabbing” and “police state” mayor.  I think Giuliani was wrong at the time with his handgun lawsuits, but he thought he had two opposing freedoms he had to prioritize: Civil order and the right to defence.  I am a pretty dogged 2nd Amendment advocate, but even I can appreciate how the priorities of NYC in a crime wave and Idaho are different, and probably require different approaches.  So while aspiring to be President, it is natural for Giuliani to become more sympathetic to gun owners, which he has.

It is enlightening to also understand that the protection of private property is why– as a mayor rather than the President– he was Libertarian-ish on immigration.  He wanted illegals to be comfortable dealing with the local gendarmes so they could report on the bad apples.

Some suggest the Mayor has been doing a lot of flip-flopping.  Without getting into semantical arguments, I think it is important to understand that those issues on which he has drifted rightward merely reflect differently weighted priorities of two different jobs:  That of Mayor of NYC and that of President of the United States.  As he has pointed out, it would have been easier for him to just complete the flip-flop and lie.  A look at the GOP field illustrates at least one candidate who is comfortable doing this.  One thing, though, that appears to be consistent with the Mayor is that at the core he is driven by a respect for the freedoms of law-abiding individuals to pursue their own happiness, and an understanding that it is the State’s role to defend these freedoms.

I do not at all suggest that Giuliani would be at home in the Libertarian party.  I do suggest, though, that he is Libertarian-friendly:  His first priority is to protect your property and civil society in general.  His second priority– as evidenced by his actions in NYC and the associated favorable reviews from the Club for Growth and endorsement by Steve Forbes– is to minimize the vigor with which government dips into your bank account.  After that, he pretty much feels the states should decide on all the culturally divisive social issues.

That, I say, is pretty Libertarian friendly.  Does he buy into Libertarian ideology?  Probably not, as his habits of character can be quirky and pretty hierarchical.  Note his apparent distaste of ferret owners.  But when the time comes in a general election for Ron Paul supporters to pull a lever, I hope those that aren’t using their support for Paul merely as a way to promote isolationism will do the needful and vote for Giuliani rather than staying home or voting for his opponent.

Assuming, of course, Hizzoner can secure the nomination, which is a whole ‘nother article, as Nordlinger says.  I am not entirely sure how Paul’s supporters effect that process.  Not much, I tend to think…

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How Much Do Social Issues Matter…to Evangelicals

November 9, 2007

The response to Pat Robertson’s endorsement has run, on the right, from bemused– “Why would he?”– to sour grapes– “Well, Pat Robertson doesn’t matter any more.  Didn’t he say Katrina hit New Orleans because of gay people?”

There have been a few wise voices– Jonah Goldburg is one– who have pointed to, you know, data.  These folks suggest maybe the most important social issue to Evangelicals is the War on Terror.

As you may suspect, I think Mr. Goldburg is on to something.  Importantly, this opinion is actually backed by some data.  The first, most obvious data point is that Evangelicals are not lining up behind a single candidate.  If they were so monolithic and easy to lead one would believe they would figure out who lines up best with them, and all support that person.

Now here’s a second data point, a CBS poll from a couple weeks ago.  [HT Crunchy Con]  There’s a bunch of interesting stuff in that poll, so please do check it out.  For our purposes here, though, check out the list of issues Evangelicals want to see their political leaders talk about:

Health care 23%

War in Iraq 20%

Immigration 8%

Economy/jobs 7%

What don’t you see in that list?  Also interestingly, social issues are still considered extremely important to Evangelicals, despite the fact that it does not rank highly on the above list.  I’m not too sure how to parse that.

Finally, I thought it rather illuminating that about 40% of Evangelicals think abortion should only be allowed to save the life of the mother or not at all.  That’s still more than twice the rate in the general population, but it does pretty well put to rest the canard of thinking that Evangelicals have cookie-cutter views and are easily led, eh?

Remember, I’m not making any value judgements here.  Personally, this blogger can probably be described as “tentatively pro-life”.  I’m talking politics.

Sam Brownback Considering Giuliani Endorsement

October 25, 2007

Wouldn’t it be something if a huge social conservative with  a large organization in IA who just dropped out of the presidential race decided to support Giuliani for president?

Well, apparently it isn’t out of the question, despite what Brownback’s aides seem to think….

New Gallup Pollage: Rudy Motivates the Most Republicans

October 16, 2007

There’s a new Gallup poll out.  Check it here.

Rudy is the favored GOP candidate nationally.  By a lot.  Of course, we’re used to that.  But let me tell you what is more interesting about this particular poll

Recently there has been some hyperventilating about the possibility of social conservatives potentially deserting the GOP for a third party if they are unhappy with the nominee.  Or, perhaps more likely, deciding to stay home.

First, please note the story line has now changed from “Rudy can’t win the GOP nomination because of social issues” to a presumption that it is entirely likely a candidate that is not Gary Bauer’s first choice will secure the nomination.

Well, as I always advise, let’s look at actual data.  Shall we?

In that Gallup poll 411 voters that are registered republicans or independents than lean towards the GOP were asked about how they would respond to particular hypothetical nominees in a general election.

Vote for enthusiastic-ally Vote for, mainly against the Democrat Vote for the Democrat Stay home, not vote No opinion
Rudy Giuliani 51 27 6 9 8
John McCain 38 37 5 10 10
Fred Thompson 37 30 5 11 17
Mitt Romney 25 38 9 13 17

So can we now please start putting to rest the canard that the GOP grassroots won’t support Giuliani in a general election?  Hizzoner has– by far– the highest “vote for enthusiastically” score, and the lowest (both individually and combined) scores for “stay at home” and “not vote”.

Of course, I imagine none of this is going to persuade Ramesh Ponnuru to throw in with Team Rudy, but I would like to hear what he makes of the data.  Is the GOP not particularly socially conservative?  Is the voting power of that faction in the GOP diffused?  Are there more socially conservative voters supporting Mayor Giuliani than we imagine?  I ask about Mr. Ponnuru specifically, as he is the most eloquent and polite spokesman for the social right I know.

UPDATE

Mr. Ponnuru actually did respond to my questions above here not long after this post, although he was responding to someone else’s e-mail.

Re. Funny Guy…

October 15, 2007

Also from the Italian American event last night we get the photo below, which we could call “La Cosa Originalista”:

That would be Alito, Giuliani, and Scalia.

Those that have problems with Hizzoner’s history on certain social issues should just medidate on this photo while pondering the political realities of how the president of the United States does and does not determine  actual policy on these sometimes contentious social issues.

Giuliani Doubles Up Nearest Competition in WSJ

May 15, 2007

The most recent WSJ poll of voters likely to vote in a GOP presidential primary suggests almost 40% of the Republican party:

1)  Does’t much care about socially conservative issues that greatly motivate a vocal minority of the GOP, or

2)  They are social conservatives that can grasp the concept that their goals can most effectively be moved forward by a president not easily caricatured by the MSM as a religious ideologue.

Being a member of category #2, I hope there are more of us than there are in the first category.  Unfortunately, all available polling evidence seems to indicate iconoclastic social conservatives are thin on the ground in the American electorate, so those hopes are probably in vain.

Re: How Important Is Abortion

May 11, 2007

UPDATE: See also this editorial in the WSJ.

Courtesy of Eric Devericks at the Seattle Times:

That was linked at a popular NW conservative blog in a post suggesting Rudy is fading. Discuss.