June 18, 2007
Rudy Giuliani's Seattle visit

Rudy Giuliani was in Seattle Friday evening, speaking at a private fundraiser at a home in Capitol Hill.

I'm not committed to any Presidential candidate, but Giuliani is one of the candidates I'd be most enthusiastic about. His track record as mayor of New York City was one of successful conservative governance. He's a fiscal conservative. He's strong on national security. And his position on social issues, which is sometimes characterized as "liberal", is really less liberal than it is non-statist and close to the center of public opinion.

Some highlights from Friday's talk:

He opened by mentioning his two priorities -- First, remain on offense in fighting the war against Islamic terrorism. Second, the economy. He laid out the choice between a "much bigger government economy, which all of the Democratic candidates want to do", including 24 - 25% higher taxes "in order to fund government solutions to your problems", more impositions and regulations on businesses, more protectionism, "trying to deal with the global economy defensively". In contrast, Giuliani believes that "The reality is this country grows when we rely on people more than on government". He mentioned his experience as mayor of New York when he lowered taxes to stimulate the economy, and the increased investment and job creation increased tax revenues and also took 640,000 people off the welfare rolls.


He mentioned his 12 Commitments to America [on his website here], and specifically singled out:
* America has to be energy independent.
* America has to fix healthcare with private solutions, not government solutions.
* America needs to be on offense against terrorism. (which includes victory in Iraq)

On the war:

What Democrats want to do in Iraq is absurd. When in the history of war has an army ever been asked to print up a schedule of its retreat and give it to the enemy? I don't care if you're for the war or you're against it. I don't care if you like Bush or if you don't like Bush. What is that all about? Even if you decide we have to retreat, you don't tell your enemy the schedule of that retreat. Unless you want to put in jeopardy the people who are there ... We have 160,000+ now troops. Just think what it would be like if we put out a schedule of the retreat and you're the last 40,000 or the last 30,000... Unless you really think that our enemy is not aggressive. Which is why I think the Democrats do this. I don't think they are unpatriotic. I don't think they're stupid and I don't think they hate our troops ... I believe they're in denial of the threat. They minimize the threat. They don't want to face it. They have trouble facing hard difficult things. Clinton had trouble facing hard difficult things which is why he was in denial about Islamic terrorism the 8 years he was in office. The first attack on America, people like to say, was September 11, 2001. That's wrong. The first attack was 1993. Clinton was in office. They attacked us at the World Trade Center. He saw it as a criminal act. It was an act of terrorism, an act of war. You respond to an act of terrorism and an act of war differently than a criminal act. Because it's going to repeat itself. So you got to do surgery and figure out how to stop it. He didn't do that. Then we had a succession of killings that went on, you could almost describe it as serial killings. Except we never identified the murderers as serial killers. Khobar Towers. Tanzania. Kenya. Bin Laden declared war on us, we didn't pick it up. And then they killed our sailors on the U.S.S. Cole and we didn't respond at all. That's what I mean by being in denial. I'm not saying that to blame Bill Clinton. I really am not, because I think hindsight is very powerful. September 11 happened, everything I just said becomes much clearer. I do blame people after that though. I blame Harry Reid, for saying the war in Iraq is lost. I don't know how you're going to say a war is lost when you have 160,000 men and women in the field. And I'd like to know who wins if we lost. Al Qaeda wins and I can't imagine why Harry Reid wants Al Qaeda to win. I blame the ones, like the Democrats during the debate they had ... They had two debates and they could never mention the words "Islamic terrorism" It's not so hard to say. "Islamic terrorism". If you don't want to say it because you're afraid you're going to insult people, I'd like to know exactly who you think you're insulting. Not people who are Islamic. I didn't say Islamic. I said Islamic terrorism. I know that most people who are Islamic are not terrorists. I know that most people who are Arab are not terrorists. I had an Arab population in New York City and when September 11 happened I made sure I protected it. Because I didn't want people to overreact against it. I know that most people who are Islamic aren't terrorists. I know that most people who are Arab aren't terrorists. But I do know that a significant group of people in different parts of the world are planning to come here to kill us and they organize themselves under being Islamic terrorists. And if I'm afraid to say it, you shouldn't have me as your leader. Because then I can't protect you. If I can't face reality, the reality of the threat that you face, then I'm not going to make the right decisions to protect you. And the reality is, they don't and they can't.
On illegal immigration, in response to a question from the audience:
America should end illegal immigration. It should stop people at the border and make them identify themselves. And if you need a fence to do it, you should have a fence. If you need a technological fence, you should have a technological fence. It's a basic requirement of sovereignty and every country that I can think of that's a decent country requires that you identify yourself when you come into their country. It's asked of us as Americans. If you go to Europe, you just don't walk in. You have to identify yourself. They have to register the fact that you're there. We have to do the same thing. We need to know who's coming into the country. We should end illegal immigration. We absolutely can do it. It's not beyond our capacity, technological capacity, ability to stop illegal immigration. If we want to do it. And here's what we're stopping. We're stopping people coming in without identifying themselves. If you want to get into this country, you have to be willing to identify yourself. And we have the right to find out why you're coming here. And we have a right to find out if you're coming here for decent purposes
and after the border is secured:
We could find a way to have the ones that are already here that want to identify themselves, identify themselves, get photographed, fingerprinted, biometrically identified, have them pay their taxes, and then focus on the ones that don't want to get identified and throw them out. But if you try to do that without securing the borders, you will have another 10 million people that come over the border. You got to get the borders at least much more secure before you can do a regularization program for the people that are here so you do limit it to some number and you don't have it just constantly continue.
On the Democrats in the race, he quoted Hillary Clinton: "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good". Giuliani added humorously "which of course she can figure out", and countered with his belief that "this country grows when we give things back to you for the common good". On Barack Obama:
Sen. Obama is running on "it's going to be a new generation". I don't know what that means. I believe you run on specific promises that you make that people can hold you accountable for.
He didn't mention any of the other Republican candidates by name, nor did he directly mention his non-statist positions on social issues, but he did say this:
The other reason I'm running is I think I have the best chance of any of the Republicans to win. Because Republicans cannot go into the next election like we have the last two or three, giving away New York, California, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois. These are all states which the Republicans haven't won for the last two or three elections and we virtually give them away in a strategy of appealing only to what we think of as our base. So then what happens? It comes down to a single-state election. One state gets to decide who the President is. And if that goes wrong you have Al Gore or Kerry [citing Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, neither of which will necessarily be Republican in 2008.] We need a Republican who can put in play some of the other states that we give away in order to have a chance to win. And I need to convince the Republican Party, particularly those who disagree with me in the Republican Party, that Ronald Reagan is correct - that your 80% friend is not your 20% enemy. And we may not agree on everything but we sure agree on the critical things and I believe the critical things are what I said at the very beginning, are the two big things: what are we going to do against the terrorists. Are we going to get that right or wrong? and what are we going to do about our economy, domestic and foreign. Are we going to get that right or wrong? Because the rest of the things we can kind of work out. But if we get those wrong, we're in really bad shape.
It's going to be a long campaign, but I was favorably impressed.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at June 18, 2007 03:27 PM | Email This
Comments
1. He's anti-gun, probably anti hunting and against small business too.

He's very pro corruption. See who his friends are?

Posted by: kettle on June 18, 2007 03:38 PM
2. Kettle,

How is he pro-corruption? Who are his friends?

The guy's not only streamlined the notoriously cumbersome and unwieldy New York municipal government as mayor but also was the most successful mafia prosecutor ever. I don't quite buy the anti-small business charge either.

I'll grant that anti-gun and anti-hunting is a fair charge. The rest are a stretch at best.

Posted by: Artillery_Captain on June 18, 2007 03:48 PM
3. "anti-gun" and "anti-hunting"? Please. That sort of hysterical name-calling doesn't give you much credibility.

If Giuliani is on the record favoring certain restrictions on firearms that you don't agree with, tell us what those are so people can make up their own minds based on the facts.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on June 18, 2007 03:57 PM
4. Very funny.

Wait, you mean he's serious?

Even more hilarious. I love this one:

"I will end illegal immigration, secure our borders, and identify every non-citizen in our nation."

I grew up on the Arizona/Mexico border and all I can say is "good luck with that". Not possible to end illegal immigration and identify every non-citizen? They can't even get border guards to do what their own computer screens tell them to do (example: TB guy) and he WAS a citizen!

Of course, it's as laughable as it was during Reagan's time of "ending illegal immigration" (and you see how well that worked out). Illegals drive much of the economy and who knows that better than Republicans? Who is going to do all the work they do without OSHA regs and at their prices? You're willing to pay $5.00 for a head of lettuce and $10.00 a pound for apples? Really?

Decrease abortions? He's pro-choice! If he means more abstinence programs, okay but the teen pregnancy rate has been dropping and continues to.

New Yorkers are laughing their asses off over the new "friendly" Rudy who was an insufferable jerk when he was mayor.

Lastly, how much can you believe in a guy who can't even acknowledge his own children on his website? Family problems or not, they exist and to act as though it is just he and the wife is sad and pathetic. There's some family values for you.

Posted by: westello on June 18, 2007 04:08 PM
5. This particular libertarian got to meet Mr. Giuliani when he was here in Portland on Friday morning. While I differ with him on some things, a guy who's 80% on my side is NOT my enemy.

Go Rudy Go!

Posted by: John Galt on June 18, 2007 04:10 PM
6. With the presidency, I consider the gun issue much like the abortion issue. No matter what the politician's stand on it is, they are not going to change it much. Clinton was pretty anti-gun, and he didn't do much to restrict access. Just as Bush is anti-abortion, and that's still readily available.

I think the assault rifle ban is silly, and I own one, but I really wouldn't care if I couldn't buy another one or had to jump through an extra hoop in order to get it. And no president, Hilary, Obama, Guiliani, whoever is going to be able to completely eliminate access to firearms. If any one of them even tried, it would ensure their presidency was only one term.

Posted by: Palouse on June 18, 2007 04:11 PM
7. Does it really matter if he is 'anti-gun'? Is he going to single handedly wipe out the NRA's influence in Congress that runs so deep that even if the Dem's pick up 30% more seats they aren't going to change a thing. Is he going to single handedly ignore the constitution and lock up the supreme court if they dare rule for the 2nd amendment?

Let's get our priorities straight... give me a list of the candidates that will hunt down and kill any and all terrorists, then take that list and see which candidate we're most confident can defeat the defeatist democrats, and this is who to vote for. If a candidate is on the list but doesn't have a decent chance to beat the Democrat, then don't vote for that candidate. It is not worth risking losing the upcoming election or the war on terror for anything.

Posted by: Doug on June 18, 2007 04:11 PM
8. Yeah, I know you got tired of less crime and corruption in New York. But, I'd like a dose of that right now for my country, thank you!

Posted by: swatter on June 18, 2007 04:12 PM
9. Sorry, folks, your base will won't allow his nomination, and if he should slip past that lion at the gate, they'll not show up at the November polls. He's slippery on abortion, he's slide-y on gays, he's got a spectacular, video-taped adulterous divorce, and he's got as many shady dealings in his past as Bob Toricelli. Hillary's just lickin' her chops hoping he'll run. Doubt he could carry New York. Am I wrong?

Posted by: murtz on June 18, 2007 04:44 PM
10. I'm with Stefan on this one. Unless I see someone else really step up and impress me (maybe a Thompson...I am willing to give him a fair chance) I will back Guiliani for three reasons:

1) We need to win. Even if he is not with me on 100% of the issues, it is far, far better than President Hillary.

2) We need someone who has the guts to be unpopular in a time of war. We need someone who will make the "hard call" and damn the polls. So far, he seems to be the only guy in the race I trust on that.

3) Right now, social issues are not my main concen. We have a pretty good S.C. for that. Focus on the war on terror now....then down the road we can have the luxury of addressing social domestic issues.

Posted by: Matt Manweller on June 18, 2007 04:45 PM
11. Doug, yes, it matters a lot. It is his DOJ who will choose, for example, whether to take up certain cases where citizens' rights are being abused. I think it is very short-sighted to say the President doesn't have much to do with this issue, since the President is charged both with enforcing the gun laws, and, to some degree, with protecting citizens whose rights are infringed by the states.

However, that's not to say it matters a lot. He is far more likely to pick originalist judges who will be friendly to the Second Amendment than pretty much any Democrat. I also don't think he would be over-aggressive in enforcement of our gun laws, as many Democrats might be.

I unfortunately think his record in NYC shows that, in regards to his favoring of various gun restrictions (he supported the AWB, national *registration* of guns, not to mention his lawsuit against gun manufacturers for daring to make legal products) and other civil liberties is just not good enough for my Presidential candidate. Not bad enough that I won't support him if he's the nominee, but not good enough for me to consider supporting him to be that nominee.

Recently on Fox News, Sean Hannity asked Giuliani about guns, and Giuliani responded, "... a place like New York that is densely populated or maybe a place that is experiencing a serious crime problem ... maybe you have one solution there and in another place, more rural, more suburban, other issues, you have a different set of rules." So: one set of rights for me, another set of rights for city-dwellers.

Now, most of these are thing that really won't hurt him in the general election. They are just things I don't like. His use of racketeering statues (which I think are, in many cases, inherently unconstitutional) really bothers me too. I don't even want to get into that can of worms.

And then of course, there's abortion.

I do really like Rudy -- there's a lot more good than bad about him -- but while I don't want him to be the GOP nominee, I do think he'd make an excellent VP candidate, or cabinet official (I'd love to have Attorney General Giuliani).

And murtz: yes, you are wrong. Giuliani would win NY. The question is whether he could win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida ...

Posted by: pudge on June 18, 2007 04:55 PM
12. "And his position on social issues, which is sometimes characterized as "liberal", is really less liberal than it is non-statist and close to the center of public opinion."

Oh, come on, Stefan. He's as liberal on cultural issues as the day is long. This is a guy who, after all, not only is uncritical of Roe v. Wade but, remarkably, professes there to be a constitutional right to public funding of abortion. That is not even a conventionally liberal position; it is an extreme one. I certainly dispute the idea that he is close to the center of public opinion on this and other issues. He is to the left of it. He has the prototypical views of an Upper West Side Manhattan liberal. He may be good on some things, but he is going to have a hell of a difficult time getting Republican base voters to fill in the box for him.

Posted by: ram on June 18, 2007 06:05 PM
13. 10: Hey Manweller, how do you win (1) if you (2) damn the polls?! Last I heard the election IS a popularity contest.

Posted by: calvin on June 18, 2007 06:39 PM
14. OK Pudge: I'll give you NY. But sorry about the red south, and mid and far West, and the NE states you mentioned. He's a non-starter. A good candidate for cerebral libertarians like Stefan, but to the conservative base, he's a big city, pro-abortion, gay-friendly, adulterer. What's more- he's Catholic.

Posted by: murtz on June 18, 2007 06:52 PM
15. The fact that conservative activists like Matt Manweller and Stefan are willing to support Guiliani illustrates that the conventional wisdom is wrong. Rudy is winning over some conservatives and he can win the nomination.

Posted by: Chris Vance on June 18, 2007 06:55 PM
16. Face it, Rudy is the Democrats worst nighmare. He can win the presidential election hands down. The Dem's are doing everything they can to stur up the abortion and gun issues so we nominate some Neo-Con that won't stand a chance.

If you want the Republicans to win in '08, you better back Rudy, because he's the only guy who can win against an Osama Obama or HilDog.

Posted by: Andrew S. on June 18, 2007 07:26 PM
17. Somebody buy the hand warmers for the next Eyman intiative push.
The Republicans don't stand a chance with any of the platforms I have seen.
Defcon 5 and the corporate gouge isn't going to cut it this time.
They are going to need every pitch fork,shovel and pick- up truck they can find to try that again for another four years.

Posted by: Publicbulldog on June 18, 2007 07:37 PM
18. Jeez, Chris, why should we believe you this time?

Posted by: murtz on June 18, 2007 07:46 PM
19. My fear is that Rudy would continue the trend of big spending and Republicans behaving as me-too Democrats. It's not enough for a Republican to win, as we have seen. He has to govern as a Republican.

Posted by: russell garrard on June 18, 2007 07:49 PM
20. As a person who lived through 9/11 (I was in NYC just like Rudy), I am astonished by his lack of knowledge about basic concepts such as blowback. Whether you are for or against the war, not understanding that our foriegn policy affects others views and actions torwards us is simply unacceptable. That the man is running on the idea that he is a security expert makes it ridicolous.

Oh and having lived in the city under his rule I know he is not the type of dictator err I mean president I want. He was not just anti gun, anti business as someone else said... He was pretty much anti individual.

Posted by: Travis Pahl on June 18, 2007 10:10 PM
21. Let's just get one thing straight: Guiliani is NOT pro-choice. He's pro-abortion. He can't find ANYTHING wrong with abortion. His postion is not in the center, middle or heart of anything or anybody on this issue.
And another thing -- support for aboriton is a statist position.

Posted by: Mary on June 18, 2007 10:11 PM
22. "give me a list of the candidates that will hunt down and kill any and all terrorists, then take that list and see which candidate we're most confident can defeat the defeatist democrats"

All republican candidates want to hunt down the terrorists. Of them, only Ron Paul has a chance of defeating the Dems. A pro war candidate is not going to win the general election.

Of course Paul has the added benifit that by being antiwar he is the only republican that is not only in favor of hunting down and killing terrorists, but he also will not create more terrorists in the process.

Posted by: Travis Pahl on June 18, 2007 10:13 PM
23. Chris Vance,

You. Crack. Me. Up.

Murtz raises a good question. Need we remind you?

You wrote the book on "conventional wisdom" and then want to pin it on those who disagree with you.

Do you think that Stefan's view--Rudy's position on abortion is "conservative" because it is a matter of "keeping the government out of people's underpants"--is typical of Republican activists?

Posted by: Michelle on June 18, 2007 10:24 PM
24. pudge dreams: Giuliani would win NY.

Not likely. Hillary was way ahead of him in the polls for Senate in 2000 before he withdrew due to prostate cancer. Since then she has been overwhelmingly elected and re-elected, NY has elected a Democratic governor, and Giuliani has been moving to the right. Anything is possible, but it's hard to see how he could win NY.

Posted by: Bruce on June 18, 2007 10:28 PM
25. Maybe so Bruce, but he'll take New Jersey and Pennsylvania and force Hillary to spend to the hilt to barely take New York leaving Giuliani to easily take California. Rudy is trouble for the Democrats, we just need to see if in a few months Thompson or someone else a bit more conservative can be trouble as well.

Posted by: Doug on June 18, 2007 11:06 PM
26. Michelle, you pose a fair question above. If I may pose a question to you -- Do you think that your position that Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney are all RINOS is typical of Republican activists?

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on June 18, 2007 11:17 PM
27. I'll repeat my mantra once again. I am for whoever stands the best chance of beating the socialist Democrat candidates. Rudy is definitely a strong contender.

Posted by: Jeff B. on June 18, 2007 11:18 PM
28. Cross posted at -

Giuliani 2008

Posted by: Giuliani 2008 on June 18, 2007 11:27 PM
29. Last 1st: After another long and wide-ranging thread, Jeff B. has the bottom line nailed:
ANY of the (R) contenders would be HUGELY better for both the long and short-term future of this Nation (note Ron Paul is NOT a contender; ZERO chance).

Thanks to Stefan for taking the time to post the long start 2 this thread. IMO Rudy's statements on the war, illegal immigration, and ''after the border is secured'' are terrific (how and just to what extent he could deliver on same is somewhat of another thread that I won't launch in to right now). I also REALLY like his 12 Commitments to America; and the order in which they are listed.

Some may say ''well, they're just words....''.
True; but they are prominently up-front on his website, and they're a good start.

I say the above as someone who up to now has not for whatever combination of reasons been particularly enthusiastic about Rudy, even though I recognized when he started his run that he is a leading contender for the nomination. But especially after this thread and Stefan's pointers, I may be ''warming'' a bit more than I thought I would.

FOOTNOTE: If I can be excused 4 ''hijacking'' Stefan's ?? to Michelle, I'll spin it a little and answer this way: IF all 3 of those (R) candidates are RINOs (not) and would be denied the nomination 4 that reason, then get ready for 4+ years of left-wing socialist (D) control of both Congress and the White House (and for various literal and figurative barbarian hoards to start gathering at the gates of our Rome). At risk of repetition from my comments in other threads:

If (R)s nominate one of the most conservative candidates 4 Pres in 2008 there may be a great party at the convention in Minneapolis. But there will be a huge hangover after the General, because the critial mass of Independents needed to win in the Electoral College will go 4 the (D); even if some of them have to hold their nose a bit to do it (I can already see the flavor of the attack ads).

WAKE UP, people: It is not much if at all a stretch to say that the future of our Republic is seriously at stake in 2008.

Total SIDEBAR (I'll give myself a short 1):
WA has 40 delegates to the national 2008 (R) convention in Minnesota. Three slots are auto 4 State party leaders. 19 will come from the Primary (it was nice 2 see WA (D)s generally take a beating on their refusal to let people vote in this case (legally vote, that is.....) ). The last 18 national delegates will come from the (R) cacuses. Any thoughts on how that will shake out; and what the make-up of the WA (R) delegation might look like ??

Posted by: Methow Ken on June 19, 2007 12:31 AM
30. Stefan,

Well, yes, I do try to be fair. Thank you for acknowledging that it IS a fair question. Though I asked it of Vance, you're welcome to answer it too.

Regarding your question, I rarely call anyone a RINO since it offends a FEW Republican activists like yourself, and if you read the post you linked to, I did not call anyone a RINO there either. But there are plenty of Republican activists, lacking my sensitivity to people like you, who have no problem using the term.

Yes, there is a picture of a three headed RINO in a suit with the name "Rudy McRomney" under it (a syncronym used by Vance in another recent thread here and among many Republican activists). All three have been called "RINO" by a wide range of Republican activists across the country. The picture was not created by me or anyone I know, but a typical Republican activist who answers the question, "Does RudyMcRomney.com support or oppose any candidate in the 2008 Presidential Race?" this way:

No, we do not have any political preference, do not support nor oppose any candidate. We are not an advocacy organization, political party, grassroots organization, 501c3, 501c4, 527, nor a PAC. We do not need to adhere to McCain/Feingold because we are no more than opportunistic capitalists trying to make an honest buck off of our trademarked portmanteau.

Certainly, you can relate to that, can't you Stefan? But don't opportunistic capitalists usually create or provide a product for which they know there is a demand? Where would there be such a demand? Why of course, among Republican activists! So yes, it's pretty typical of Republican activists.

Just a little experiment for you: google any of the three names and rino (ie. "McCain RINO") and see how many Republican sites come up. Then google "conservative government out of people's underpants" and see what kind of sites pop up. The first three will probably reference you. Other than that, you'll be stretched to find another Republican site sharing that view.

Posted by: Michelle on June 19, 2007 12:57 AM
31. Julie Rudiani is a not a RINO, but a ROTANT*.

But, wait! This is all MOOT.
MOOT!
It's MOOT I tell you.
The fact that the erstwhile mayor of New Babylon could never be elected because, on balance, he would have come off as well to the left of the Democrat nominee, Barak Obama, is moot because he will not be the nominee.
I am a Tancredo man on substance, but I recognize he is losing on showmanship. A Tancredo nomination would be the '69 Mets. Impossible. ;)
I was afraid we might end up with the cross-dressing New York gay rights activist as our nominee and, hence, lose to any Democrat, but there is an actual Republican who will toast the lone remaining member of the three blind mice (McCain and Romney are already crispy).
Fred Thompson will take the Presidency by a larger margin than he will the nomination. The whole process and controversy between now and St. Paul (September 1 through 4, 2008) is MOOT!
(I'm going to write a campaign cheer that starts, "MOOT, MOOT, MOOT, THE DEMS WILL GET THE BOOT!")
He is not the second coming, but assertions to that effect will dominate the cover of newsmagazines the last six weeks of 2008, including references to "Teflon," and hypothesizing the demise of the Democrat's Party.
Fred is demonstrably better on substance than the mice, but on showmanship there's no comparison.
And if he's as serious about Federalism as he seems, he will use that connection to Americans to lead the unfinished half of the Reagan fiscal revolution in an unprecedented, historic assault on the evil DC bureaucracy. We will have the Legislative, the Judicial and the Arthur Branch of government.

I'm still for Tancredo, though, just to preserve my reputation for demanding purity.

*ROTANT; Republican On Terrorism And Nominclature, Too.

Posted by: Doug Parris on June 19, 2007 01:03 AM
32. I'm still waiting for a candidate... any candidate... to tell us what they'll do with the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens that will cross the border from the cutoff date (1 Jan this year, isn't it?) until the bogus immigration bill is implemented.

(after all, we're repeatedly told we're helpless to effectively deal with the issue now... having read at least a version of the Immigration Bill, I fail to see where the testicular fortitude transplant takes place that will result in, if not ending, at least radically reducing this blight on America today.)

For me, the idea that those who've never respected our laws will magically begin to adhere to them; or that passage of this law (Which makes me ashamed that I worked myself sick to get Bush elected) will magically end the problem any more then the Reagan amnesty (where we received many of the same assurances we're getting today, right?) ended it is fantasy... criminal fantasy at that.

And that is the problem confronting us for the next election.

We will have the superior candidate. But that candidate will not have the money or the support they would otherwise get because of the GOP betrayal of the base.

Many will stay home... many more will keep their wallets in their pockets... a measurable trend already impacting.

In the end, when we look back on the wreckage of the 2008 election where, I believe, we will lose...

The singular moment responsible for that loss will be this immigration bill and the betrayal and disgust it causes us.

Our party is failing us... our president is failing us... and we can no longer accept it as an article of faith that being a Republican actually means something; that principles actually matter... and that we have not become the Party of Gordon Smiths, an allegedly conservative senator in Oregon who would sell out his own mother to get re-elected... where political expediency rules the day while loyalty to and implementation of the principles that once made the GOP great are now meaningless footnotes in our political history.

Posted by: Hinton on June 19, 2007 01:38 AM
33. Two comments from Rudy have me concerned, but maybe it shouldn't because he is a pander bear, but..

1. when asked about Lieberman's comment regarding Iran and the need for military action, Giuliani was asked if he would support the president if the president decided to go after the terrorist camp on Iranian land or after the nuclear facilities. Very glibly he responded that if all other options had been exhausted, he would. Very PC. I happen to think that just about all options have already been exhausted and by this time, Giuliani should be better informed.

2. He also wasn't too clear on enforcement of the fence issue with respect to immigration.

Posted by: swatter on June 19, 2007 07:02 AM
34. #23
Michelle,

No, I am absolutely certain that Rudy's position on abortion is not typical of Republican activists. I never said it was.

Yet he is still ahead in the national polls and at or near the top in the early states, and he is attracting the support/acceptance of folks like Stefan and Matt.

I think the conventional wisdom prevalent when Rudy got in the race has been proven wrong. He can win the nomination despite his position on abortion and other social issues.

CAN, however, is different than WILL. It is way too soon to predict anything about how this race will turn out.

Posted by: Chris Vance on June 19, 2007 07:28 AM
35. murtz: I would agree with you about the South, except for one thing: who are they going to vote for, then? Not Hillary, not Obama. MAYBE Edwards, but that's a stretch too. Remember, this isn't a popular vote, so we don't need to worry about overall turnout, just a plurality to win the electoral college votes in each state.

Despite what Vance says, Giuliani will have an extremely difficult time winning the nomination. I agree with you that he plays much better in WA than he will in many other places, and that he almost surely won't win the nomination. But should he do that, the general election is a completely different story. He's going to have to win some Southern states to win the nomination anyway, so that itself will be proof enough that he can do that.

The only way Rudy can win the nomination is if he has no strong candidates against him (and right now he has at least one in Romney, perhaps two with Fred, and maybe three if McCain can pull it together), or if he has too many strong candidates against him and wins a plurality ... but you need a majority to become the nominee, of course, so in the latter case it would be thrown to the convention and there's a strong possibility that the opposition to Giuliani would then rally behind whoever is in second place, and put that person past Rudy.

And this is why I want to go to the national convention next year. Could be some very interesting history in the making!

Posted by: pudge on June 19, 2007 07:43 AM
36. Bruce, no, Hillary was not way ahead of Rudy. Where are you getting those numbers? It was just about dead even, and that was before September 11, which massively increased his popularity. The Quinnipiac poll showed them deadlocked in February, and in May, just days before he dropped out.

I have a bunch of friends in NYC (the most liberal part of the state), and without exception, they all like Rudy, much more than Hillary. And they are all liberal (or at least, notably left of center, far moreso than Rudy himself). It's hard to see how Rudy wouldn't win NY.

Posted by: pudge on June 19, 2007 07:47 AM
37. Doug Parris: like "RINO," your new word "ROTANT" makes no sense. Again, McCain and Romney in particular are both far more to the right than the majority of Republican Presidents both in the last 100 years or so, and in our lifetime. I don't know if you were around for Eisenhower, but they are to the right of him, as well as of Nixon and the first Bush, if not the second.

My problem with the terms RINO and ROTANT are that they are so demonstrably false as to offend my intellect. Conservatives like us (not that I am like you, but we share very similar views :-) have no more claim to the name Republican than Nixon or Eisenhower does, so by what logical claim do we say that our former Presidents were RINOs or ROTANTs?

I've already answered my own question, of course: there is no such logical claim.

Posted by: pudge on June 19, 2007 07:52 AM
38. rudy seems to talk tough on terrorism, but not follow through.

while clinton was president in 1993 when the first attack occurred at the wtc, rudy became mayor in 1994 and did what about protecting nyc? he relocated a bunch of terror-related operations to the wtc. it might be nit-picking, but nyc proved itself not to be well-equipped on 9-11. rudy made some speeches, waved some flags and endeared himself to a lot of people, but really he simply turned that moment into a cash machine and he's profited from it handsomely.

in his divorce from 2001 he declared his net worth at 7k. in his financial disclosures for presidency, his net worth is at $30mm. he's literally profited from 9-11. nice work if you can get it.

see:
http://politicalwire.com/archives/2007/05/17/giulianis_wealth_biggest_surprise_from_disclosures.html

then's there is his absence from participation in the iraq study group.

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-usrudy0619,0,7996765.story

Posted by: dinesh on June 19, 2007 10:17 AM
39. My point, Chris, is that it is no surprise that Rudy would get support from activists like Stefan supporting him since they have the same views on abortion. And it is no surprise that there are even activists who support him, who don't have the same views on abortion as Rudy, but it is not a priority for them. Polling also shows, that some of his supporters don't know his position on abortion because not enough of them are paying attention to the campaign yet. He'll lose some of that support when they do find out. They're not pollint "activists" but voters.

There are enough Republican activists and voters who DO consider abortion policy a priority, to prevent him from winning the nomination. Add to that, his position on gun control and the fact that he is OK with a "sanctuary city" policy. Those are 3 big constituencies in the Republican base he alienates right there.

Posted by: Michelle on June 19, 2007 10:37 AM
40. #39

No argument, Michelle. Guiliani certainly is out of step with many conservatives. But are you saying that it is impossible for him to become our nominee?

Posted by: Chris Vance on June 19, 2007 10:54 AM
41. No. I don't think it's impossible at all. I don't think he will be popular with the majority of Republicans though. He could win the nomination by a plurality and then I do believe it will be impossible for him to win the general.

Posted by: Michelle on June 19, 2007 11:25 AM
42. Of course, as Doug says at #31, it's all moot, since there is that celebrity candidate who will just come in effortlessly, escaping all scrutiny, and take the nomination and win by a landslide.

Not my best case scenario. I like the '69 Mets impossibility.

Posted by: Michelle on June 19, 2007 11:33 AM
43. Why does Giuliani get a pass on national security? He likes the army? He's pugnacious? He sited his emergency command center next to a prime terrorist target that had already been hit once. He sent his fire and police personnel with inadequate communication equipment and weak command-and-control, which resulted in many more of them dying than was necessary. He rushed the cleanup by papering over health and safety issues, pandering to the firefighters but endangering their lives a second time. It's not enough to look tough; as George W. Bush's endless executive failures have proven, you have to actually make good, informed decisions as well.

Posted by: Eric F on June 19, 2007 11:33 AM
44. #41 & 42

Thompson has all the momentum TODAY; but remember, McCain had the momentum not that long ago. This thing is very, very fluid.

Posted by: Chris Vance on June 19, 2007 11:42 AM
45. yep.

Posted by: Michelle on June 19, 2007 12:07 PM
46. Pudge, et al: it doesn't matter that social conservatives--in the south or wherever--have no place else to go. What they do historically is stay home: 1996 is a good example. In the typical tiny margins we've won on, that spells losing. For social conservatives, the abortion issue is a litmus test no candidate can fail to pass. Am I wrong, Michelle?

I can't stress enough how Rudy's years in NY politics will come back to bite him once under the intense scrutiny of a nat'l campagn. -We cannot imagine out here the level of corruption that's just a threshold that's expected back there.

Everything's on video tape- his meltdowns, him in a dress, wig, and sheer nylons, his announcement to his 2nd wife of his intention to leave her that he made over local TV. this stuff was shocking even to New Yorkers. Hillary has much more, I'm sure, and is just waiting for him to be nominated to start dribbling it out.

Also Rudy would make me nervous as to his campaign abilities. He's famously ill-tempered. We'll see how he holds up, but he's got a temper that flames up inappropriately sometimes.

Putting energy and money in Rudy is a waste of time.


Posted by: murtz on June 19, 2007 01:29 PM
47. #44

I don't think McCain every really had any momentum. He was simply a Republican the media liked because he criticized Bush. I don't think any thoughtful Republican really believes McCain ever had a chance. The media may like Guiliani, but the rank and file Republicans don't.

Posted by: Don on June 19, 2007 02:53 PM
48. Pudge, et al: it doesn't matter that social conservatives--in the south or wherever--have no place else to go. What they do historically is stay home: 1996 is a good example. In the typical tiny margins we've won on, that spells losing. For social conservatives, the abortion issue is a litmus test no candidate can fail to pass. Am I wrong, Michelle?

That's right, murtz. Though there will be other options. The first is making sure he doesn't get the nomination. The second, if he does get it, is to vote third party, perhaps Constitution Party. Not because they'll be under any dillusion that it will work, but because they believe that we can't afford to have both major parties be pro-abortion. The movement will be determined to build a new major party and replace one of the two major parties.

It WILL be history in the making.

Posted by: Michelle on June 19, 2007 02:58 PM
49. Check out Catholics Against Rudy

Faithful Catholics, who believe abortion, euthanasia and "gay marriage" are non-negotiable issues, are increasing in number and were a key factor in President Bush's victory. Diss us at your own peril.

Posted by: Michelle on June 19, 2007 03:19 PM
50. Appreciate your passion, Michelle and respect you work to get your person nominated.

But, if the choice were between Clinton and Giuliani, would you throw your vote to a third party or would you stay home? Your answer affects my perception of your views.

And, if you were going to stay home or vote third party, what can a President do anyway, except nominate strict Constitutional judges?

Posted by: swatter on June 19, 2007 03:32 PM
51. Read Stefan's transcription of Rudy's position on Iraq. It is very clever. It sounds reassuring to Republicans, while not closing the door to advocating troop withdrawal. Rudy says we can't publish our withdrawal timeline, but he never says that we should not withdraw.

Rudy knows that he needs to sound like a hawk in order to get the Republican nomination, but he also knows that he has to swing left on this issue in order to win against the Democrat in November. His current comments are carefully designed not to hurt him in November when he advocates ending the war.

A Republican who stays hawkish on Iraq in the general election is guaranteed to lose, given that 60-70% now oppose our current policy in Iraq.

Giuliani is doing a better job of preparing for this shift than McCain or Romney, and for this reason he has a better chance of winning in November. And among these three, he is the lesser of evils in my opinion. His position on gun control is pretty ugly.

But I'll probably be voting Libertarian.

Posted by: Bruce Guthrie on June 19, 2007 04:43 PM
52. Swatter,

What can a president do, other than appoint judges? Read the national Republican platform. THere's plenty a president and congress can do. They don't, because we don't scrutinize them enough on how they represent our platform--which is a statement by the grassroots of the party on how we want our elected officials to represent us. The idea that is all up to the Supreme Court is bogus!

What I do with my vote is my right. I will do what my conscience, informed by my God tells me I must do. It's called FREEDOM! That's more important to me than the opinion of someone I've never met.

Posted by: Michelle on June 19, 2007 06:29 PM
53. murtz: again, it doesn't really matter if the voters in the south stay home, unless they stay home in numbers great enough that the Democrat can win.

So, to take the first one: Alabama. Bush won with 63%, by over 480K votes. Unless more than 480K voters stayed home (about 25% of the voters), Bush wins anyway.

So no, murtz, it doesn't really matter much if the social conservatives in the South don't like Rudy, not for the general election. There will still be enough people to vote for him to win.

And swatter, yes, that is why I would probably vote for Giuliani anyway, if he got the nomination: I think his judicial choices are far more likely to do things I like than any Democrat. I am not convinced of it yet, but he's been talking a good talk about appointing conservative justices. Bush is not all that conservative either (well, he is on abortion and guns, but far less so on the Tenth Amendment), but despite the near-mishap with Miers, we got two excellent justices in place. My feeling at this point is that likely, Giuliani will appoint similar types of justices.

Bruce Guthrie: you are either ignoring the fact that these polls are based only on the specific policy we have now, and are subject to change with new circumstances and new leaders, or you simply don't understand that fact. Which is it?

Posted by: pudge on June 19, 2007 07:37 PM
54. Michelle, you are a real piece. From all your comments on this thread I can guess that if a Federalist candidate, a Giuliani, whose position on abortion is EXACTLY what the current interpretation of our US Constitution is deemed to be is up against one of the liberal Dem's whose position on abortion is far left of what the current interpretation of our US Constitution is deemed to be, then you would rather not vote for either and instead vote for another party.

You and your ilk would gladly throw the election to the greater of two evils when God himself is presenting VIABLE alternatives to that greater evil...way to go.

Once again, as a card carrying member of the Right to Life foundation, I really am not afraid of Giuliani. He would appoint judges that most closely resember Federalist Society positions. I am afraid of all the viable candidates on the democratic side and a couple of the Republican candidates namely Romney (who I can't seem to trust what he will do with the courts) and McCain who has shown more than once that he is most willing to trample over the constitution.

Posted by: Doug on June 19, 2007 07:43 PM
55. Giuliani, a Federalist? What the current interpretation of the Constitution is deemed to be on abortion, assuming you mean by the Supreme Court, IS the far left. They have found a "Constitutional right to abortion" where there is none. How more left can you get? And he agrees with it and supports it with his money.

Posted by: Michelle on June 20, 2007 12:30 AM
56. Abortion on demand, anytime, anywhere, anyhow, you can get further left. Here is an example: Place Bill Clinton on the Supreme Court in place of ANY of the justices including Ginsburg - and voila - the interpretation of 'abortion rights' just moved left. Go Hillary go, I'm voting third party if I don't get my way.

Posted by: Doug on June 20, 2007 01:46 AM
57. Doug: while I agree with Michelle (and, I suspect, you) on the issues, and I agree with you more on tactics, her tactic is perfectly rational. She is thinking long term, and believes that her chances of getting what she wants politically increase by standing by certain core principles, rather than looking at short-term advantages to be had by electing someone who is simply less likely to as significantly harm those core principles.

And the fact is, of course, none of us can know what the right thing is, because there's a lot more factors that come into play. Bush is no strong conservative: was electing him good for the party, and the future of the country? On the one hand, we could have been a lot worse off if Gore were President in terms of terror and the economy; on the other, Bush has destroyed the Republican coalition and harmed the conservative cause for years to come with his liberal policies on immigration, social welfare, and high discretionary spending.

Of course, you could try to make an even less direct case, saying that Gore's leftist policies would have increased the desire for conservative governance; or, on the other hand, that Bush's mishandling of certain policies could in the long run do the same (we've seen a lot more people get involved with the local GOP recently in large part because they want to help fix the party).

So ... point is, we are talking about which tactics are best to achieve our goals, and the bottom line answer is, we just can't know. Both methods being discussed here are valid, and I won't condemn either. The most important thing to me is not whether you support a candidate you're unhappy with on principle (as long as you don't support the Democrat :-), but whether you work to change things you don't like.

Posted by: pudge on June 20, 2007 07:26 AM
58. And I doubt you ever will, Michelle. At least I hope I never, ever have that opportunity.

Posted by: swatter on June 20, 2007 07:45 AM
59. Thanks Pudge. Sometimes, you really are a class act. As much as you and I go round and round about these things and disagree, atleast you get it.

Notice, I haven't even said what I would do. I just know what the pro-life movement will do, and these guys are all bent out of shape as if I never help Republicans get elected. You know better, of course. My own vote is my own business, but it's no secret who I go doorbelling for, give contributions to, or write positively about, etc.

I've got my finger on the pulse of the pro-life movement (which is not limited to the National Right to Life--who will support anyone the Republicans put up, unless of course, in their desperate search for a Democrat who is even cosmetically pro-life, they actually find one. There are some in the movement who call them "National Right to Lobby"). The pro-life movement is divided on tactic, which is enough to through the election to the Democrats. It is growing increasingly the way I described above, because they are beginning to see Republican leadership taking our votes for granted.

Also, the pro-abortion Republicans see it as a huge victory to get a Giuliani elected, because they will be able to make their case that the party needs to do abandon the pro-life issue. I know this, because I read their stuff and they have said as much.

Posted by: Michelle on June 20, 2007 11:08 AM
60. Rudy does not win New York, but he does win New Jersey, Florida and likely Pennsylvania in a general election against any of the top three democrats if you look at polls. Here in New York Republicans simply do not win National elections since Ronald Reagan. But fortunately he will not need it or Ohio for that matter. He can also lose Iowa and New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado which Bush barely carried and still win if he gets both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Posted by: Kent Webb on June 20, 2007 07:23 PM
61. Michelle, I'm happy you are fighting for the Right-to-Lifer's, I just hope in the end when it comes time for the General Election, your vote matters.

When radical Islam's web reaches through our country and across the world, with their culture of death, I'm not going to look back on that and think that I was complacent in allowing that to happen by helping elect a terrorist sympathizer so I could teach my party a lesson.

I truly believe God's battlefront isn't just the front line of abortion, we are steadily moving that front line, best watch our flank because that is where we won't be expecting the enemy and they will be there in force.

Posted by: Doug on June 20, 2007 08:28 PM
62. I stopped reading around the 30th post, so someone might have brought this up already...

"If I can't face reality, the reality of the threat that you face, then I'm not going to make the right decisions to protect you."

Of course Rudy was talking about the Dem's, but Rudy's attack on Ron Paul pretty clearly demonstrated that he's not willing to face the reality as well. Of course it doesn't justify terrorist attacks, but our foreign policy decisions are going to come back full circle eventually, call it blow back if you want. I wish Rudy would face that reality. So I guess that Rudy will not be able to make the right decisions to protect me.

On the other candidates; McCain, a good senator but I don't see him as a Leader; Romney, got labeled as a flipper, so what chance does he have now of people actually listening to him? on Thompson, he's conservative, so what. He's from the sun belt, so what. He showed very little leadership in the Senate and no real initiative. Between then all I'm partial to Romney.

Posted by: Niemsters on June 22, 2007 08:52 AM
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