Looking over the blog awards ballot (yes, we really will shut up about the awards soon, I promise) has had me visiting a lot of blogs that I haven't read in a while. One of these is ZippyCatholic.
Now Zippy is a really smart guy, so far as I can tell. And from the hints he drops, clearly a more successful businessman than I am. But we also manage to have our fair share (or perhaps more) of philosophical disagreements when we run into each other.
Anyway, the post he has up is one that I agree with in principle, and yet mystifies me in assumptions. He writes that the "perfect is the enemy of the good" approach to life is often simply a recipe for betrayal of ideals and failure (at least if you consider achieving your ideals to be the definition of success.) So far so good. I'm in agreement that it's very important what "incremental steps" you agree to support on absolute moral issues, lest you end up supporting things that you don't actually agree with.
The thing I don't get is the idea (and I guess this comes from a post he commented on over at Right Reason) that the only ways that the Republicans can win the presidential election in 2008 is by running Rudy Giuliani. The way I see it, they almost certainly couldn't win by running Rudy Giuliani.
Maybe I'm living in a political hole in the ground, but I just can't see a pro-gun control, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, twice divorced New Yorker whose been repeatedly photographed in drag being elected president. I think he could make a strong showing for quite some time based simply on having done a good job of being mayor of NY City right after 9/11. But once enough details about his stances and enough pictures of him in a pink dress and heels got out, it just wouldn't fly.
Giuliani is not the kind of candidate who will do what "moderate Republican" candidates are supposed to do: bring in moderate to liberal votes. Giuliani is abbrasive, and he's got plenty of past to exploit. Nor does he stand for any signature issues. He'd get torn apart by the left, and would not inspire confidence in the serious right. Honestly, if we were going to have a "moderate" Republican candidate, the winner would be McCain, not Giuliani.
Now I've got to say, as a strong conservative I don't know how far I trust McCain. But I think that conservatives should trust him far more than Giuliani. And on the moral front he is (while not perfect) at least mostly in the pro-life camp. So far as I know, at least as much so as GWB. I think he would probably do about as well as Giuliani in running the War on Terror (a name with which I am increasingly tired -- would we move to "middle east war" or something like that?) and goodness knows he should the credibility and integrity to address the "torture issue" to the satisfaction of everyone except possibly Mark Shea.
This is not to say that I definately like the idea of a McCain ticket. I'd much prefer to see Sen. Brownback or some such. But it is to say that I don't understand the idea that running Giuliani is some sort of perfect devil's compromise for the conservative voter. I just don't see that he could win.
Though I suppose Zippy would rejoin: You never can really win by making what you think is a devil's compromise.
In which he would, of course, be right.