August 29, 2005

How Guiliani Can Win, Redux
— Ace

Similar to my prescriptions, but Baseball Crank elaborates and hits ones I forgot, like this one:

1. Don't Run Against The Social Right

People vote on issues; they vote on personalities; but they also vote, on a deeper level, for that hazy space between the two, a set of ideas about the world and a sense that the candidate is more on their side than the other guy. Which is another way of saying that people can vote for a candidate they don't personally like (more than 50 million people pulled the lever for John Kerry), and they can vote for a candidate they don't always agree with, but they will not vote for a candidate if they identify him as being against them. And this is particularly true of social/religious conservatives (I use the two terms here as largely synonymous, although there are culture warriors on the Right like Stanley Kurtz who aren't especially religious), who are accustomed to feeling beseiged and sneered at by the leading lights of popular culture in journalism, entertainment and academia.

The classic example of running against social conservatives was the brief and unsuccessful 1996 presidential campaign of Arlen Specter, who openly cast himself as the man to save the GOP from the Religious Right. John McCain is perhaps a more graphic example: while McCain himself has a solidly socially conservative, pro-life voting record in the Senate (he voted for both Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork for the Supreme Court, among other things), he repeatedly picked fights with social conservatives in the 2000 primaries. Many of those fights were with the crazier people on the Right - Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Bob Jones - but what mattered was that McCain went beyond simply distancing himself from those figures to openly inviting the media to play the traditional morality play of Good McCain vs. Bad Religious Right. Unsurprisingly, the voters McCain thus implicitly portrayed as villains abandoned him in droves (see here for a contemporaneous example of the push-back).

I'll mention this again: for those put off by Rudy Guiliani's "pro-abortion" position...

1) That was in New York. He will not bring a pro-abortion agenda to the federal level.

2) Bush is well-liked by social conservatives, but he is not the most forward-leaning on the pro-life position. Alan Keyes is strongly pro-life, and he has no chance of winning. Even Bush's rhetoric is not strongly pro-life, or, rather, it's pro-life, but he doesn't mention it very often.

I think the difference between Guiliani and Bush on this (and similar issues) will be one of degree.

3) This is going to be decided ultimately in the courts, and while I do imagine there's a fair probability of Guiliani appointing a moderate or liberal to the court, I imagine he'll appoint mainly conservative judges with a strong bias in favor of judicial modesty and a strong bias against judicial law-making.

4) Social conservatives should think more tactically. It's always better to win 70% of a loaf than 0% of a loaf. "Conscience" doesn't dictate that you should help elect a candidate you oppose just because the one you could support doesn't agree with you wholesale.

And one more point. During the California recall election, I got into an argument over on Free Republic about Schwarzenegger. Yes, Schwarzenegger was liberal on certain issues, I noted, but on most he was strongly conservative, and even where he was liberal, he wasn't as liberal as the Democratic alternative.

One poster ripped into me, calling me a RINO and a sell-out and the like, and urging me to have the "courage of my convictions."

The problem was, of course, that he really didn't want me to have the courage of my convictions. He wanted me to have the courage of his convictions; my convictions were different. Similar at numerous points, but different at some terms.

I think social conservatives get upset because they feel they're always expected to compromises with social-moderate conservatives, whereas the socially-moderate conservatives never compromise.

That's simply not true. Socially-moderate conservatives frequently compromise in order to keep the criticial alliance with social conservatives intact. We frequently support and defend policies which are not of our liking (or, at least, not our top preference) simply because we know that a party split would bring back unfettered liberal government.

It's just not true that social conservatives do all the compromising. If it feels that way, it's largely just because people of course are most aware of when they're not getting what they want, and less aware of when others aren't getting what they want.

Posted by: Ace at 10:10 AM | Comments (61)
Post contains 774 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Dude, that was so earlier this morning. Either you get some new material, or I'm leaving and taking everyone back to my blog with me. Well, except Cedarford and VonKreeden, of course.

Cheers.

Posted by: Ridge at Gardave Field at August 29, 2005 10:31 AM (kVUW4)

2 The killer for me on Rudy is that he made vow and broke it.
He would have to swear an oath to be president, but what part of it would he take seriously?
Yeah, I know, he swore an oath as an attorny, and mayor, too.
So I suppose two out of three ain't too bad...or so Meatloaf said, anyway.

Posted by: durand at August 29, 2005 10:32 AM (puZeU)

3 Of course, when it comes to abortion, it's a little hard to com-promise half-way with the most dogmatic anti-abortion crowd. If abortion is considered murder, what's the com-promise there? Half-murder?

Ditto gay rights. If you consider the gay lifestyle a sin, what's going Dutch there? Tush piracy only on weekends? Pier One shuts down, but Restoration Hardware gets to stay in business?

Ace, your point about com-promise is perfectly valid-- the center-right folks com-promise all the time to form coalitions with the social conservative folks. But that's because the things we're com-promising on typically involve degree rather than kind-- how much government regulation, how high the taxes, what rhetoric to use, etc.

Meanwhile, the social conservative core beliefs typically involve issues that, for they to remain intellectually consistent, can NOT be com-promised.

Of course, the same dynamic exists on the Left, to a lesser degree and for different reasons (signing on to welfare reform in order to win, or the mainstream Democrats tolerating the Kos Kids in return for the publicity / speeches to power).

Bottom line: I agree with you, I just think it's im-portant not to overstate the dynamic-- the far-right and far-left definitely make more com-promises than the centers (*by definition*-- the only way the far-right/far-left wouldn't have to com-promise is if they represented the mainstream, which by default would then redefine the center).

Cheers,
Dave at Garfield Ridge

P.S. Sorry about the dashes in the word com-promise, but for some reason Ace's site blocks comments with the letters M & P next to each other. WTF?

Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at August 29, 2005 10:38 AM (y1hCN)

4 Ace,

I was involved in those same fights on free republic, although probably on the other side from you.

If you were arguing Schwartzeneger vs. Davis, of course I - and probably most social conservatives - would vote for Arnold. If you were talking about Arnold vs. a conservative, which was usually the argument on FR, then it does not follow that you should support Arnold - that is where your case breaks down.

And, you seem to be making the same mistake here. If Guiliani is the nominee, I - and probably most social conservatives - would vote for him (assuming, of course, that the dems don't nominate a Zell Miller type).

However, in the primaries, I am not going to vote against a conservative to support Guiliani, and don't see where I should. The refrain of "electability" is not persuasive. Who determines electability? Kerry won over Dean on electability, and lost. Prior to his winning the nomination and the Presidency, moderate republicans did not think Reagan was "electable." It seems to me that electability is determined at the voting booth.

Posted by: vanilla thunder at August 29, 2005 10:44 AM (JFj6P)

5 Sorry, man, I'm not seeing it. Now, I can think of times when moderates lost to conservatives, but that's different than a willing accomodation. I can't recall a time in the past 15 yeras when moderates gave ground willingly to conservatives on social issues.

Posted by: Jimmie at August 29, 2005 11:02 AM (LIkgw)

6 Why support Giuliani when you can have McCain? Either of them could beat HRC. McCain, despite his ongoing love affair with the sound of his own voice, is at least somewhat conservative.

Don't get me wrong -- Rudy vs. HRC, I'll have a Rudy lawn sign on my yard.

But if the primary were McCain vs. Rudy, I'd go with McCain. In a heartbeat.

Posted by: The Colossus at August 29, 2005 11:02 AM (BwANo)

7 "Sorry about the dashes in the word com-promise, but for some reason Ace's site blocks comments with the letters M & P next to each other. WTF?"

Ace is so attached to traditional ("Vancian") D&D spellcasting, he forbids discussion of mana, spell point, or "magic point" systems.

Posted by: Than at August 29, 2005 11:05 AM (Y7aZf)

8 Please don't let it be McCain, please don't let it be McCain, Please don't let it...

Posted by: Defense Guy at August 29, 2005 11:07 AM (jPCiN)

9 Defense Guy, your words are a violation of existing cam-paign finance reform law.

Federal marshals are en route.

Posted by: at August 29, 2005 11:09 AM (Px80s)

10 The difference on abortion between Giuliani and W is that W talked the talk much better when it came to the Supreme Court, which is where everyone in the abortion fight realizes the action is. (I just saw NARAL's latest ad on CNN. It's centered around the fact that he wrote "so-called 'right to privacy.'" Yeesh.) He cited Scalia as his favorite justice. He echoed JP2's "culture of life" rhetoric to keep the Catholics on board. He derided judicial activists.

Giuliani might be able to do something similar, but he's going to have to work hard to explain his pro-abort previous statements without looking like he's just vote-hunting.

Posted by: Shralp at August 29, 2005 11:10 AM (1hRqD)

11 Bush is well-liked by social conservatives, but he is not the most forward-leaning on the pro-life position.

How do you mean, Ace? What policies has he instituted that go against the pro-life position?

Alan Keyes is strongly pro-life, and he has no chance of winning. Even Bush's rhetoric is not strongly pro-life, or, rather, it's pro-life, but he doesn't mention it very often.

Hmm, I'm beginning to think that you equivocate being "strongly pro-life" with being "unreasonable to the point of exuding spittle."

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at August 29, 2005 11:10 AM (qF8q3)

12 I think you mean "equate" rather than "equivocate" but your ridicule of the mention of Alan Keyes is dead on.

Posted by: geoff at August 29, 2005 11:12 AM (J0ZE/)

13 Absolutely. That guy is just flat-out nuts. Everyone says he's so f'n smart, but really, how goddamn smart is it to mock gay people and call for slavery reparations at the same time? Way to piss off every moderate on the left and the right at the same time, genius. Of course you lost to a puffpiece like Obama. You deserved to.

Posted by: Megan at August 29, 2005 11:21 AM (s22mC)

14 Oh, and because no mention of Obama is com*lete without this:

risingstar risingstar! Barack Obama risingstar!

Posted by: Megan at August 29, 2005 11:22 AM (s22mC)

15 PS. Ace, your spamfilter gets more retarded by the day. It doesn't like the word C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E now? What the fuck?

Posted by: Megan at August 29, 2005 11:23 AM (s22mC)

16 Can the religious right stomach the thought of Hitlery ensconced in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave again? (just the thought of that possibility makes me hurl)

If they can't, then they'll pull the lever for Rudy while holding their noses and puking because they know Hitlery political "rehabilitation" to the right is a transparent sham.

Its not often I get to vote for someone I truly like 100% and I don't expect this next election to be any different. Usually I'm voting against the other cretin who would be worse.

The last time the electorate "punished" a republican was Bush v1.0 and that bought us 8 years of Debbie does Dallas in the whitehouse. All the electorate needs to do is be reminded exactly how bad the alternative can be.

Posted by: Tony at August 29, 2005 11:24 AM (dYcZw)

17 Rudy running aginst the NRA, hope he can run fast.

Posted by: tarpon at August 29, 2005 11:25 AM (7evkT)

18 Defense Guy, your words are a violation of existing cam-paign finance reform law.

Federal marshals are en route.


Yeah, well since I have my IP spoofed to show me as Ted Kennady, who really cares. However, I'd love to see the look on that drunk bastards face when the speech police show up.

I picture him screaming something about Marj Jo and double jeopardy as they haul his fat ass away.

Posted by: Defense Guy at August 29, 2005 11:29 AM (jPCiN)

19 Let me expand on defense guy's post.

Please don't let it be McCain, please don't let it be McCain, Please don't let it be McCain...

Posted by: Dman at August 29, 2005 11:30 AM (m2CN7)

20 Sure, laugh now, but we can find you.

By the way, we found Kennedy. He was on a laptop, commenting on one of those "blog" things. Except he was using the name "Cedarford."

I don't get it.

Posted by: John McCain at August 29, 2005 11:32 AM (Px80s)

21 Geoff, it could actually go either way, because Lefties would classify all pro-lifers as frothing lunatics (which they're not). We're talking Ace here, so I don't think he intented to make it sound as if being strongly pro-life meant you had to behave as unhinged as Alan Keyes does, so I accept your correction and beg your pardon. But, I would like to know what the difference is between someone whose policies reflect a pro-life agenda and someone who is "strongly pro-life." I don't see any difference between those. So what if Bush doesn't talk about it all the time? He does have other things he needs to handle. That doesn't mean he lacks strength on his position, nor does it mean there should be any doubt as to which side he'd come down on.

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at August 29, 2005 11:36 AM (qF8q3)

22 "It doesn't like the word C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E now?"

For some reason it doesn't like the letters "M & P" together. Maybe it has something to do with a incident in Ace's past with members of the Military Police?

Posted by: Master of None at August 29, 2005 11:51 AM (2c7xL)

23 I don't think there's a chance in a zillionty jillion it will be McCain. From what I can tell, most of Da Base hates him with a blue-white flaming passion.

Giuliani, however, as got the law 'n' order thing and the 9/11 thing going for him. A long shot, but not out of the question.

(Okay, that stupid fucking filter just rejected this post because of a word that means "not possible". I can't use the word, of course, or it bounces again. What gives?!)

Posted by: S. Weasel at August 29, 2005 12:06 PM (6ed4W)

24 the combination m followed by p is now disallowed.

You guys have to understand-- this domain is subject to spam attacks which shut it down last week. Pixy has do disallow certain word or letter combinations the spammers favor.

yes, it's becoming a real pain.

Posted by: ace at August 29, 2005 12:16 PM (W7JEQ)

25 Lets not forget Rudy's got a lot of marital 'skeletons' in his closet. iI his republican opponents don't open that door you just know the democrats will. He is not 'electable' on a national scale, abortion politics aside.

Posted by: BrewFan at August 29, 2005 12:17 PM (Byr3j)

26 People vote because they want to not because the Politician wants them to. Guiliani vs, Hillary will be determined by how many social conservative and regional voters(i.e. anti-yankee confederates) hate Hilary so much they'd be willing to stomach Guiliani. I am not so anti Hillary that I'd be willing to vote for Guiliani. I WOULDN'T HAVE A DOG IN THAT FIGHT, so why vote? You need to have a positive not just all negatives, as John Kerry found out. Hating Bush didn't win for Democrats and Hating Hillary won't win for Republicans.

Posted by: john at August 29, 2005 12:19 PM (HCxmX)

27 Brewfan I agree but its a wash if you put him up against Hillary or McCain. Both have their own marriage skeletons. Hillary's well known. McCain not so much but will be if marriage becomes an issue.

Posted by: Dman at August 29, 2005 12:23 PM (m2CN7)

28 BrewFan - You're kidding about those "martial skeletons", right? Didn't we just have a President with so many marital skeletons that Imelda Marcos herself wouldn't have had the closet space to hold them all?

Really, so long as he dealt with the issues with some modicum of honesty, and he has to the satisfaction of NYC voters, I can't see them being much of an im-pediment to his electability.

That said, Rudy's about third on my list right now (at least of the people I think will run).

Posted by: Jimmie at August 29, 2005 12:28 PM (GDgGM)

29 "Pixy has do disallow certain word or letter combinations the spammers favor"

Has Pixy considered using one of those random character generators (creates an image of the random characters instead of html so its not machine readable) which the commenter has to key in to comment? If that's too server intensive then maybe it could be combined with registration. The side benefit of registration is we don't have to deal with no-name commenters anymore

Posted by: BrewFan at August 29, 2005 12:29 PM (Byr3j)

30 "Didn't we just have a President with so many marital skeletons that Imelda Marcos herself wouldn't have had the closet space to hold them all"

We did but his earlier 'adventures' where mostly undocumented and could be dismissed as 'dirty politics'. I don't think he would have been reelected if any of the Monica stuff had come out prior to '96.

P.S. I'm not judging Rudy. I like him even though I'm a staunch pro-lifer. I *know* there's nothing the president can do to directly affect that issue (outside of his judicial nominees and I'm not so sure Rudy would appoint judges based on an abortion litmus test). So between McNutty and Rudy I could easily vote for the latter.

Posted by: BrewFan at August 29, 2005 12:35 PM (Byr3j)

31 I think social "moderates" underestimate how strongly pro-life voters feel about the issue.

A significant chunk of social conservatives will just refuse to vote, if the choice is between two pro-choice candidates. If you believe abortion to be murder, how do you justify voting for someone who thinks murder is "a choice"? "Yeah, I think Hitler's on the wrong road with that whole Holocaust thing, but at least he's fiscally sound, and has a great national defense record!" (hyperbole to make a point - no, I don't think Giuliani is Hitler, chill).

And for those moderates who denigrate the idea of "sending a message" - if you don't ever send a message, the message never gets through.

If Giuliani did get through the primaries without making a firm "I am now pro-life" statement, he's dead in the water come national election time - unless enough Democrats are Hillary-hating enough to switch sides. He'd have to rely entirely on the "swing vote", cause the base won't do it like they did for Bush Round 2.

Posted by: at August 29, 2005 12:48 PM (KRj9x)

32 bbeck said:
"Bush is well-liked by social conservatives, but he is not the most forward-leaning on the pro-life position. "

How do you mean, Ace? What policies has he instituted that go against the pro-life position?


bbeck, you ask the wrong question: what policies has Bush instituted that go *in favor* of the pro-life position?

Seems to me that getting an abortion in 2005 is about as easy as getting one in 1995. And this with total Republican control of two (three on a good day) branches of government!

Bush has certainly done no harm when it comes to the anti-abortion crowd, but like I brought up this subject in comments to last week's Rudyfan post from Ace, Bush is to the anti-abortion vote what the Democratic Party is to the poor black vote-- talk the talk, but do no walking whatsoever.

As I also mentioned in the last Rudyfan posting, the only way for any movement on the abortion issue is for Roe v. Wade to go away, and abortion be deevolved down to the states. Unfortunately, neither of the extreme sides could stand such a deal-- NARAL couldn't stand to have abortion be illegal in, say, Kentucky, while the "abortion is murder" crowd wouldn't settle until abortion is illegal in Greenwich Village.

Bush's policy of ignoring the abortion issue has been wise politics-- it worked for Reagan and Bush 41, too-- but it has done nothing substantial (partial-birth abortion doesn't count) to advance the cause of outlawing abortion in America. "Culture of Life" is fine, it's better than what the Dems offer, but no progress lies behind those words for the anti-abortion crowd.

THAT'S the issue Ace was probably getting at.

Cheers,
Dave at Garfield Ridge

Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at August 29, 2005 12:52 PM (y1hCN)

33 my choice would be to vote for a liberal Democrat who hates me... or a liberal Republican who hates me. The difference is, just as with Bush Sr. vs. Rapist in 1992, if I just STAY HOME I not only get a chance to convince the party that I'm serious about not being taken lightly... but I get to keep my principles intact, something "social moderates" may not appreciate but I do.
Before y'all talk so dismissively about social conservatives, you had better look at a statistical abstract of the last ten elections or so. We can't carry an election by ourselves, but NEITHER CAN YOU. Time to stop telling us how misguided and ignorant we are(*coughInstapunditcough) and start trying to make us happy.

Posted by: DaveP. at August 29, 2005 01:03 PM (6iy97)

34 bbeck, you ask the wrong question: what policies has Bush instituted that go *in favor* of the pro-life position?

If I am not mistaken, Bush has been at the forefront of parental notification, partial birth ban and witholding funds from the UN.

Posted by: Dman at August 29, 2005 01:06 PM (m2CN7)

35 Before y'all talk so dismissively about social conservatives, you had better look at a statistical abstract of the last ten elections or so. We can't carry an election by ourselves, but NEITHER CAN YOU. Time to stop telling us how misguided and ignorant we are(*coughInstapunditcough) and start trying to make us happy.

Dave P.: I can understand your annoyance. Some social moderates seem to take their manners from the DNC. Anybody that disagrees with them has to be a superstitious, inbred idiot and we should be more like them.

Much of this goes back to what I said in the other thread. Many, if not most, social conservatives are voting (or not voting) based on their own moral standard, generally based on religion. They'd sit out the election before they voted for a pro-choice candidate. I know that may be hard to comqrehend for the social moderates. The easiest way to avoid a large block of non-voters is to simqly nominate a pro-life candidate. There's got to be somebody out there that we can all agree on.


Substitute the q's for p's, stupid filter. Even blogger has a better filter system than this.

Posted by: digitalbrownshirt at August 29, 2005 02:23 PM (ipjUv)

36 The Arnold analogy is a bad one, as McClintock would quite likely have won.

The thing folks may be missing is just how canny a politician Rudy is. Although he's more liberal than McCain, he's going to get a lot larger chunk of conservative primary votes than the Media's Favorite Republican.

Posted by: someone at August 29, 2005 03:00 PM (6Swlb)

37 On law-and-order related social issues, Rudy has a better track record than any of his opponents.

On national security-related issues, none better.

On separation of church and state, as well as funding for the arts, the Brooklyn Museum controversy will come in handy. Conservatives remember his suit to defund an exhibition featuring a Madonna smeared with elephant dung and plastered with nude cutouts.

Abortion remains a keystone philosophical issue to faith-based conservatives. If Rudy wants to win, he has to find a formulation acceptable to them. It isn't - er, unpossible - but it's his biggest challenge.

Posted by: lyle at August 29, 2005 03:01 PM (tZ/4W)

38 PS. Ace, your spamfilter gets more retarded by the day. It doesn't like the word C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E now? What the fuck?

Megan:

I had the same problem. The filter is kicking every word with "m*p", in my case, the word was "im*pression."

Posted by: Michael at August 29, 2005 03:03 PM (pRtzm)

39 McCain's chances are way overrated.

GOP primary voters are not casual Republicans. They are deeply loyal to the party and the president. For their loyalty they take daily abuse from the media and the left.

When McCain joins in the abuse as he always does, they take it personally.

GOP primary voters value loyalty in themselves and others, and they will repudiate Media-Whore McCain's candidacy with extreme prejudice.

Posted by: lyle at August 29, 2005 03:10 PM (tZ/4W)

40 I don't see the base allowing any northeastern Republican to run for the presidency, there would be too much suspicion that they were a RINO and bound to be a disappointment in office. The conservative agenda would be rudderless for years to come. We need someone like W but who also (1) will veto huge pork-laden spending bills, (2) do something, anything about illegal immigration, (3) explain the conservative agency without butchering the English language. I'm not familiar with Guiliani's record but I doubt he would curb spending or nominate conservative judges.

Posted by: at August 29, 2005 03:33 PM (h8eDn)

41 If it's the Hildebeest vs. the McCainiac, I'm voting third party. No question about it. Let him gnaw his liver in defeat. I'll be damned if I'll give that First Amendment trashing sonofabiatch my vote under any circumstances.

He's overrated because the Media loves him, and electability counts for more than principles for too many Republicans.

Plus, does anyone really think the Media Darling's honeymoon with the press will last a day past the conventions?

Posted by: Desert Cat at August 29, 2005 03:34 PM (1NG8F)

42 McCain's a non-starter among conservatives. Period.

For his disemboweling of the First Amendment to protect politicians from those mean old citizens and for letting the entire Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo discussion going by without once seriously dressing down anyone for their insane remarks (I'd think that, as someone who really was tortured for seven years, he'd have a little something to say about it), he's persona non grata. Sure, the media will love him, but that's it.

Giuliani is the guy only if we don't see serious runs from George Allen or San Brownback. Either of those two would grab most, if not all, of the conservative vote from Guiliani and he'd have to dogfight his way through the primaries. If I were Rudy, I'd seriously consider getting the one whose cam-paign isn't getting real traction early on my side early in the primary season. If he did that - especially if he got someone like Sam Brownback or John Cornyn on his side at that point in the cam-paign, he'd be nearly im-possible to stop.

Posted by: Jimmie at August 29, 2005 03:48 PM (GDgGM)

43 "He will not bring a pro abortion agenda to the federal level"

With all due respect Ace (and you know how I love you) Just that sentence alone shows you have no clue as to why we social conservatives vote pro-life. It isn't just because someone may or may not promote a pro-life view. I don't care if that person is running for dogcatcher, I am not voting for a pro-choicer.

It just tells us all we need to know about that person. I'm telling you, social conservatives WILL NOT vote for Rudy. Republicans can nominate him at their own peril.

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at August 29, 2005 04:39 PM (8/Rwv)

44 Ah, the ole spam filter....

I hate to be the broken record here, but...

He broke a vow, he broke a vow, he broke a vow.....!

Rudy cannot be trusted. And I vote accordingly.

We saw, as Americans, how world disrespect could affect an American Presidency. I do not believe that we as a nation need a repeat performance, no mattter how slight an effect 'moderates' may think such a 'minor' thing as divorce might be.

Would you play cards for money with a known liar? (it sounded better with po*&^, but that word isn't allowed)

Posted by: durand at August 29, 2005 05:18 PM (puZeU)

45 I'm telling you, social conservatives WILL NOT vote for Rudy. Republicans can nominate him at their own peril.

Oh, I don't know. I'm a social conservative, and I'm surrounded by them in my social circle. Most of us think abortion is a very im-portant subject, but think it's a battle to be fought in the courts. If Rudy wants to win social conservatives, all he has to do is appoint strict constructionists to the courts.

Plus, speaking for myself and some of the other conservatives I know, as significant as I believe abortion to be, I think fighting the war on terror is the priority right now. Rudy will fight that war, and that's why I'm going to support him in the next election if he runs.

And not to sound overly political on this, but where else are conservatives going to go in 2008? The Democrats, who are in bed with groups like NARAL? I know the other option is to stay home, but not voting in a presidential election has basically the same effect as supporting your opponents, and I hope social conservatives aren't that foolish.

Posted by: Slublog at August 29, 2005 05:28 PM (KUYsH)

46 I know the other option is to stay home, but not voting in a presidential election has basically the same effect as supporting your opponents, and I hope social conservatives aren't that foolish.

Yes, of course it's foolish when you follow your conscience. You sure you're a social conservative? There might be a different definition where you live. In the South, it means no abortion. Period. There's no grey area.

Posted by: digitalbrownshirt at August 29, 2005 05:38 PM (ipjUv)

47 my choice would be to vote for a liberal Democrat who hates me... or a liberal Republican who hates me. The difference is, just as with Bush Sr. vs. Rapist in 1992, if I just STAY HOME I not only get a chance to convince the party that I'm serious about not being taken lightly... but I get to keep my principles intact, something "social moderates" may not appreciate but I do.

Sorry, I'm just not a big fan of the 'stay home' argument. I'm going to be a com-plete snot and quote my own column:

"In 1992, religious conservatives didn't like President George H.W. Bush and many of them stayed home on Election Day. This inaction helped lead to eight years of an administration that appointed hundreds of federal judges and three Supreme Court justices. Judges appointed to lifetime terms are the source of most com-plaints by social conservatives such as Dobson. The majority of political battles over the next decade are likely to involve the federal judiciary.

The problem is one between principle and pragmatism. Religious life operates in the realm of principle - what's right, what's wrong, no middle ground. Politics is more pragmatic - numbers, majorities, what works - com-promise. Unfortunately, most religious conservatives come to politics with the expectation that politicians they support will legislate principles in grand gestures and make sweeping changes, not realizing that politics is a game of inches. Principles are protected by passing one piece of pragmatic legislation at a time and slowly promoting an agenda.

Principles are also protected by ensuring constructionist judges are appointed to the bench. This is where the 'my way or we stay home' approach of Dobson fails. Judges have the potential to do more damage to the values Dobson holds dear than any politician elected to office. But it's elected officials who nominate and approve judges, so if conservatives stay home on Election Day, we're handing control of the judiciary over to those who disagree with us.

He should also realize that politics doesn't follow the same rules as religious belief, and sometimes practicality is necessary. Better to get half a loaf now and wait for the rest than not eat at all. If Dobson wants to know why Republicans often ignore the wishes of religious conservatives, he need look no further than his own statements and threats to the party. If religious conservatives want to be taken seriously as a political force, they should refrain from threatening to bolt every time they don't get their way. In politics, dependability is key to influence and petulance doesn't command respect."


Frankly, why should Republicans listen to a voting bloc that demands, demands, demands but doesn't show any sort of patience with opposing views?

Posted by: Slublog at August 29, 2005 05:43 PM (KUYsH)

48 Sorry, most of that last post should be bold.

And dbs, yes, I'm a social conservative. Anyone who reads my blog and my comments on this site should know that, so please don't question my conservative cred.

I believe abortion is wrong and evil, but am growing convinced politics is the wrong battleground on which to defeat it.

Posted by: Slublog at August 29, 2005 05:46 PM (KUYsH)

49 I do read your blog on occasion, I'm just not sure that social conservative is defined the same way in every part of the country. My religious convictions come before my politics. Everytime.

If the GOP doesn't want to lose the voters that care enough about abortion to not vote for a pro-choice candidate, then they'd better find an acceptable candidate. Just because I've been a Republican for 20 years doesn't mean they own my vote.

BTW, I think Dobson is a fool most of the time, but he's not always wrong just because I don't like him.

Posted by: digitalbrownshirt at August 29, 2005 05:59 PM (ipjUv)

50 I think Dobson is a smart guy, and worthy of respect for the organization he created and the good it's done throughout the years. But I don't think his political skills equal his psychological knowledge.

My religious convictions make me pro-life, but I'm not sure the church should focus as much on politics when it comes to this particular issues. I think our time and money would be better spent opening pregnancy resource centers around the country and making sonogram technology more available to expectant mothers.

Changing hearts will do a lot more to stop abortion than changing laws, in my humble opinion.

Posted by: Slublog at August 29, 2005 06:05 PM (KUYsH)

51 So, you see, the problem with Pixy's filter is that it makes it hard for me to talk about the sexually i%mpullsive feelings I have about Lipstick's feet.

Posted by: Michael at August 29, 2005 06:42 PM (pRtzm)

52 I would vote for Rudy... unless Condi were running.

Posted by: W.C. Varones at August 29, 2005 08:32 PM (tgBr5)

53 Social conservatives are becoming increasingly irritable due to an uneasy feeling that the GOP for all these years has been taking them for a ride, and that despite the rhetoric, no one is really going to stop abortion from being legal, or prevent states from gradually instituting gay unions and gay rights into the law, or keeping religion out of the public sphere.

As a Sullivan-Reynolds social libertarian, I have no problem with this. Despite being a devout Christian, I do not want my views either endorsed by the state or forced on others. Abortion, of course, is trickier, and I wouldn't mind seeing Roe overturned so the people could decide the issue, but I would certainly oppose any federal ban on abortion.

The point is, many folks who call themselves social conservatives want the federal government to endorse their religious views on homosexuality, marriage, etc, via civil laws, even if it means co-opting states' rights, infringing on personal freedoms, etc. And because the GOP has long been able to get lots of votes by making empty promises to this group, they've continued to play this carrot and stick game with the social right. And now that the GOP has everything, and they still aren't delivering, the social right is starting to wake up and realize they've been tricked. And they're not happy.

This is about more than 2008. This is about a major civil war that's going to happen in the party and in the country in the next few years. As more and more states begin to recognize gays as citizens with the same rights as everyone else, as stem cell research moves forward, and as most early abortions remain legal, the most fervent on the social right will do the same thing that the crazy libs did in the '70s, demanding their way or the highway. Well, we all saw what happened then. Just as there was never an ERA, there will never be an FMA.

Posted by: MD at August 29, 2005 08:48 PM (sozt6)

54 Slublog,

I agree that politics isn't the battleground for abortion. I also agree we must change hearts first, but you didn't understand my comment. It's not about how the candidate is going to change the political landscape (although I would hope they would) It's about WHO THEY ARE.

See?

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at August 30, 2005 04:55 AM (8/Rwv)

55 MD,

For the record, abortion is not just a religious issue. I know plenty of non religious folk who are pro-life.

It is a human rights issue. It's about the right to live.

I grew up in the south in the 60's, I know plenty about what happens when one group of people decide that another group of people shouldn't have the human rights that they themselves have based on the percieved "worth" of the other group.

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at August 30, 2005 05:00 AM (8/Rwv)

56 I think your point is sound, RWS. Where a candidate stands on issues related to life can tell you a lot about them. But I think we're going to have to agree to disagree (agreeably) about whether to vote for such candidates or not.

I believe Guiliani brings enough good to the table as a candidate, apart from his pro-choice position, to be considered a worthy candidate for president. I don't think his views would make him a bad president - just one I happen to disagree with about abortion.

Posted by: Slublog at August 30, 2005 05:08 AM (V7NgR)

57 I'm really surprised that tarpon is alone here in pointing out Giuliani's vulnerability on the Second Amendment. There may be as many three or four million gunny votes riding on whether he has a come-to-Jesus moment on the right to keep and bear arms.

Posted by: Ken at August 30, 2005 06:15 AM (6W2zl)

58 I wanted to throw this into the ring last night, but I couldn't find it until this morning. IMO, the best post ever on FreeRepublic. It explains the frustration of social conservatives to social moderates in the most direct way that I've ever read.

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at August 30, 2005 06:52 AM (rE+jU)

59 There's some admirable anger in that article, but it ignores what the Republican congress and Bush have done on abortion - the partial birth abortion bill was passed, federal funds have been denied to abortion providers, federal funds do not support embryonic stem-cell research, the born alive infants protection act was signed, the president supported the pro-life groups during the Terri Schiavo case, etc.

For pro-life supporters to vent that they have gotten nothing from Republicans ignores the incremental laws passed over time, which is how politics works. I think some people would like abortion to be wiped out completely, but that's not going to happen. Not under any president, ever.

Posted by: Slublog at August 30, 2005 07:19 AM (V7NgR)

60 Amen. I only wish it could happen...but I'm skeptical. By '07, the attacks on 9/11 will be six years distant. The small things about Giuliani that bug some folks will be more pronounced. People will be unable to select a great leader because they can't agree with every position of a guy with a strong personality, even though he would be absolutely committed to doing what he thinks is right for the U.S. and would do well. His executive abilities were well-established prior to 9-11.

Posted by: slickdpdx at August 30, 2005 07:53 AM (MjGRu)

61 Slublog,

That isn't Rudy's only problem. As I have said before. He cheated on his wife and child and humilated them while he was a public official. We can't condemn one man for doing that (Clinton) and nominate another.

Also, he is big on gay rights. He is as socially liberal as they come. Abortion is just one of his problems.

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at August 30, 2005 10:58 AM (8/Rwv)

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