Campaigns/Elections

Rudy's Choice

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The New York Times reports that Rudy Giuliani has settled on an abortion position and plans to stick with it. Since I have criticized Giuliani repeatedly for hemming and hawing on the subject, I feel morally obligated to praise him for his now-unabashed pro-choiceness in the face of anti-abortion Republican primary voters. I'm still a little hazy on his view of Roe v. Wade, but it takes courage and candor for a Republican candidate to stake out a position at odds with the party platform and the sentiments of social conservatives. Or maybe just a calculation that the appearance of courage and candor will help shore up his image as a strong leader, which is pretty much all Giuliani has going for him. I guess I'm incapable of writing an entirely positive post about Giuliani, who strikes me as (and in my worst nightmare actually will be) the Republicans' answer to Hillary Clinton.

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  1. Aww crap Jacob, did you have to include that last sentence? That is a wholly depressing thought. Even more so because I think you are right and there’s a very good chance Rudy will be the GOP nominee (not that I like any of the other front runners better). In November the nation will then chose between “the Republicans’ answer to Hillary Clinton” and Hillary Clinton (whom, as I’ve said many times before, no force on earth can stop from obtaining the Democratic nod).

  2. the Republicans’ answer to Hillary Clinton.

    I figured it would have been Hugo Chavez.

  3. Maybe Rudy will duck out at the last moment and Hillary’s opponent will be Rick Lasio instead.

  4. Hillary vs. Rudy: A Good Reason to Move to Switzerland

  5. Is he trying to be Alan Alda’s character on West Wing?

  6. Rudy v. Hillary in a rematch of their 2000 NY Senate race. Maybe Rudy will get a recurrence of prostate cancer and drop out at the last minute, too late for the Repubs to find an effective replacement.

    It’s interesting that so many R’s have forgiven him for handing the Senate seat to Hillary the way he did.

  7. Aw, man, he’s flip-flopping again. Coming out as pro-choice is against everything he stands for:

    “Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.”

    Or is the government is going to choose on behalf of the women now?

  8. That quote alone should disqualify the little martinet from ever holding public office again.

  9. Hillary’s opponent will be Rick Lasio instead

    So forgettable, you couldn’t even spell Lazio correctly 🙂

    I, for one, relish the Giuliani/Hillary throw-down we were so cruelly denied a few a years ago. If only because ten years the thought of either of them getting a crack at President was so patently ludicrous.

  10. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

    Yeah, we call it the “rule of law”. Hardly as shocking as it’s being made out to be.

  11. Rhywun,

    That’s one possible interpretation. However, given Rudy’s multiple instances of disregard for the rule of law while mayor of NYC, I’d lean toward the creepy authoritarian interpretation of that quote.

  12. I’m still a little hazy on his view of Roe v. Wade, but it takes courage and candor for a Republican candidate to stake out a position at odds with the party platform and the sentiments of social conservatives.

    So, Jacob, have you also praised Senator Liebermann for courageously supporting the Iraq war at odds with the overwhelming majority of Democrats?

    It’s easy to praise the courage of someone who agrees with you, isn’t it.

  13. I for one don’t give a shit about abortion rights and I don’t understand why this is such a big fucking issue in this country.

    Wrap it up. That fucking simple.

    Better yet, don’t fuck unless you want a kid.

  14. I for one don’t give a shit about abortion rights and I don’t understand why this is such a big fucking issue in this country.

    Because it’s really about how it’s best for us to act with respect to family (which all of us have had, even if on a pathetically limited level) and sex (ditto).

  15. Like Rudy, I was raised Catholic on Long Island, and was taught that abortion was wrong, wrong, wrong. The legislature at Albany wrangled with the question for years, and finally abortion was legalized before the Roe and Doe decisions came down from the SCOTUS. Anti-abortion laws may have gotten on the books as a way for medical doctors to push midwives out of the market, but when political support was emerging to repeal them they were defended on the basis of individual rights. The idea that at some point during its gestation the unborn fetus should be considered an individual is controversial, but that’s separable from the other issues involved, such as the autonomy of individual women or of families. Remember that the privacy right that Roe depends upon was derived from Griswold v. Connecticut, the case that legalized contraception. Griswold relied on the marriage bond’s sanctity to tell the state that it wasn’t its business whether a couple’s copulation was open to procreation or not. Roe‘s reasoning ranged beyond the family, to the personal autonomy of individuals. The core conflict of the pro-Roe and anti-Roe argument is and always has been Who gets to be treated as an individual, and when, how or if the state should step in?

    I would recommend this talking point to Rudy:

    I’m convinced that fetuses should be treated as legal person, but until we can persuade enough people to make that a consensus view, trying to impose that belief on our entire society by law would be futile.

    I’m reasonably pro-choice, myself. My preference is to not treat the early-term embryo as a person, while extending that status to the late term fetus. Just don’t ask me where to draw the bright line between the two. I’m not that smart. We should get some medical and philosophical brains working on that project. Unfortunately, so many people’s positions are set in concrete that I fear that a useful dialog might not be the result.

    Should Giuliani get the GOP nod, I wonder how he’d fare in NY State. NY allows cross-endorsement (aka fusion), so the Republican usually depends on a good chunk of his popular vote coming from the Conservative and/or Right-To-Life lines. The Democrats used to expect the Liberal party to give them a second line, but of late they’ve used the “Working Families Party.” Rudy’s abortion stance might cost him the CON and RTL lines. I wonder if a Libertarian could garner the Conservative endorsement in such a scenario?

    Kevin

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