Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

When Did Rudy Become Inevitable?

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.


Anonymous said...

FWIW, I have no idea whether or not Giuliani is a viable Republican candidate. But when ostensible Republicans as smart as William Vallicella and Francis Beckwith start making the case for Giuliani it frankly comes as something of a shock.

But maybe the difference is exactly in the fact that William Vallicella, a brilliant philosopher, is by admission not either a practical strategist nor tactician; whereas my own resume is something of a catalog of ruthless practicality, if not specifically in the realm of politics. Which makes it all the more ironic that I am the one arguing that we ought to stick to our ideals.

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

If the GOP choose Rudy as the nominee, I'm going third party. And I'm registered as GOP, too.

I'm pulling for Brownback, no matter how enamored of Guilliani and Romney the conservative press gets.

Darwin said...

Fair enough, Zippy. I think I'd seen a piece on Mark Shea's blog just before, with the same set of assumptions. So when I ran into your article as well, I really started wondering what was up.

I've got to say I don't get the Giuliani craze. Maybe it's the idea of Giuliani (or at least of 30 minutes of news coverage of him right after 9/11) that appeals to people more than the reality.

Whatever it is, I think running him would be a very, very bad idea for the Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Giuliani bothers me immensely. He's been given superhero status for his role in the 9/11 aftermath, however he strikes me as a "Me too!" type republican. He's a socially a democrat with some republicanish tendencies.

Republicans have been getting hammered for this type of stance. Drifting towards the so-called "moderate" area does nothing but water down conservative ideas. They have been trying to "appeal to a broader base," and in effect, their ideas have become bland or stale and no one really doesn't have much use for them.

Tancredo or Brownback please.

Pro Ecclesia said...

Actually, McCain is NOT as pro-life as Bush. He is one of the main proponents on the Republican side of funding ESCR. There are other areas that raise doubts about his commitment to the pro-life cause, as well.

As for Giuliani being "inevitable", I think there are many who should know better in the conservative movement who are working overtime to create this impression. And there's one word that has caused them to do - by jumping on the Giuliani bandwagaon - what you would think principled conservatives would never do: that word is "Hillary!".

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

As I keep saying, once the GOP gets the idea that it can win nominating a pro-abortion candidate, it will never again have a reason to nominate a pro-life candidate.

If pro-lifers will support a pro-abortion candidate, why should the GOP nominate a pro-lifer when they can appeal to pro-aborts without paying any penalty in pro-life votes.

I am a Republican because, and only insofaras, the GOP is the party of life.