Giuliani for President?
By Alisa Craddock
Has anyone noticed besides me that nearly all the candidates whose names are being bandied about as the possible "Republican candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton in 2008" are all "moderate" Republicans -- that is, not real conservatives? RINO's? Republicans in name only? The top names being put forward are Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Bill Frist. (Condoleeza Rice will not run, though she is frequently mentioned among the possible candidates.)
Frist lost his shot when he endorsed embryonic stem cell research. You're either pro-life or you're not. You can't be partly pro-life any more than you can be "a little bit pregnant". But as Majority Leader, he could have furthered the conservative social agenda by bringing up for vote legislation on bills important to us, and was so negligent in that respect that the Family Research Council did not have anything to show on its annual congressional scorecard. They didn't even include the Senate on last year's scorecard at all! There was nothing to report.
John McCain is another lukewarm Republican, who was censured unanimously by the Arizona Republican Assembly, a grassroots conservative organization in his home state last year for his left-leanings. Those leanings, however, helped him get re-elected handily with the help of his liberal crossovers, which makes him a definite threat in 2008. He is one who has a reputation for "reaching out to the other side". Liberals love that. It's like getting a Christian to compromise on a Commandment. John McCain, a former POW and war hero, certainly a man to be respected and admired, nevertheless is responsible (half responsible, anyway) for the disastrous and unconstitutional legislation called McCain-Feingold that muzzled certain political speech at a time when voters most need to hear it. (The Supreme Court upheld it, to their shame. Perhaps soon it will be overturned.) He also refused to endorse the Federal Marriage Amendment, a fact that will be remembered come election time.
The latest poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, asked 1,900 voters to rate candidates on a "feeling thermometer" using a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest regard. The candidate who inspired the most warm, fuzzy feelings was none other than Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, who shone so brilliantly during the 9/11 terrorist attack. He garnered 63.5% in the poll. Conservative sites have been polling readers for months to see if people would vote for him if he were chosen to be the candidate and the alternative was Hillary Clinton. My initial response was…well, to keep her from becoming President, I'd vote for Bozo the Clown. But having had a chance to look at Mr. Giuliani's reputation, I'd have to say that, no matter how much I despise and fear another Clinton presidency, I cannot in good conscience vote for Mayor Giuliani either. From a social standpoint (and my biggest issues are social issues) a vote for Rudy would be no better than a vote for Hillary.
The party would be advised to find a worthier candidate -- one that respects the Christian conservative base that represents the block of voters that threw the last election over to George W. Bush so handily. If the party disses us, they will lose. I will not, and cannot without violating my most sacred beliefs, vote for a man who is pro-abortion -- especially not one who professes to be a Catholic. If that were not enough, I could never, ever vote for a candidate who dresses in drag and walks in gay pride parades.
Our presidents have to have some semblance of decorum. The people expect it. That's what got Bill ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman") Clinton in trouble. I personally believe he committed the offenses he was accused of by Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones, but there is no conclusive proof of it. While in office, he could have kept his nose clean, but instead he abused his office, and betrayed the American people (okay that's only one way he abused his office and betrayed the American people, but I'm talking about maintaining the dignity of the office here) and caused an epidemic of 5th and 6th grade imitators who figured "It's no big deal--President Clinton says it's not really sex".
I am frankly confused as to why the party is putting forward the names of men who are so far removed from conservative values, much less Christian conservative values, that we hardly recognize them as Republican. Moderate Republicans, it seems to me, are not likely to cross over and vote for Hillary if a Christian conservative candidate is offered. But a pro-"choice" Republican candidate will cause widespread outrage and dissent among Christian conservatives, who, like me, will be scratching their heads asking "why are they nominating candidates that neglect our most important social agenda? Are they blind? Suicidal?
Now if Rudy Giuliani became our party's candidate, In all likelihood the Left wouldn't mention his occasional cross-dressing antics, because that would imply there was something wrong with it, which would offend their constituency. And the Republican Party would probably not mention it because they'd like to sweep it under the rug. It might get mentioned in the primaries by the other potential nominees, but if it doesn't kill his candidacy, it could make him some kind of legend, or become some kind of appealing, good-humored personal attribute, like Bill Clinton's saxophone playing.
Is Giuliani the man who can lead America to a more perfect union? Establish justice? Insure domestic tranquility? Promote the general welfare? Will he preserve, protect, and defend the US Constitution? Will he defend anything we believe in?
I just can't imagine such a man being chosen to represent our party unless the intention was to hand it back to the Democrats. Perhaps the Christian Conservatives are becoming too powerful even for the Republicans who, however averse they seem to be to the liberal agenda, are still leading us into the One World Government and the "purposes and principles" of the United Nations. The obvious conclusion would be that we indeed have become a one-party system. The result would be the same (from a social standpoint) no matter who won -- Rudy or Hillary. But I would not want to have this man as President, no matter how he shone during 9/11. Even if I could overlook his cross-dressing antics, I could not overlook the politics behind them, nor his selective Catholicism.
I am perhaps naïve, but I am still looking for a white knight striving for the lost vision of a "shining city on a hill" or a Mr. Smith to go to Washington, or even a George Bailey to remind us what a great place Bedford Falls was, and how easily it turned into Pottersville, Rudy Giuliani is…well…just not the guy. The Republican Party had better wake up. Low taxes, free markets, and the anti-terrorism effort are laudable and necessary goals. But most of us don't make enough money to insulate ourselves from the filth in the sewer, so they might want to consider a candidate who recognizes that a growing number of Americans have begun to notice the stench, and are demanding a clean-up. It would not be wise to take us for granted.
So who should the Republican party choose to be its candidate? The most promising name I have seen on the horizon, though he's only just starting to be talked about, is Sen. George Allen of Virginia . I have read interviews with him, looked at his website, which includes his voting record, and have begun receiving his newsletter. It is my belief that he will be our candidate. There was cause for concern last year when Senator Allen appeared to violate a promise he had made to pro-family groups like the Traditional Values Coalition not to support adding sexual orientation to existing hate crimes laws. When confronted with the apparent betrayal of his promise, he initially stated that he had been against elevating sexual orientation to the level of a "civil right", but would support legislation protecting homosexuals from hate crimes. He apparently decided later to withdraw his support for the protections when he saw how those protections were being applied elsewhere, and how they had the likelihood of being applied once they were enshrined in federal law. Mike Thomas, Allen's state director, told Cybercast News Service in December 2005 that Senator Allen "[had come to recognize that] there are some courts that would use that as a building block toward civil rights status, which he is opposed to." In addition, he learned that it would have a chilling effect upon free speech. He cited the disturbing incident in Philadelphia last year of several protesters at a Gay Pride event arrested for reading Bible verses, and threatened with a possible 47 years in prison each.
Though I admit I find his initial support for the hate crimes amendment disturbing, I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, given the rest of his record, and accept that he really did not understand the ramifications of the amendment. Not many people do, and hate crimes are always reprehensible. But public and religious speech opposing a behavior is not a hate crime, though it is the goal of the gay rights movement to make it so.
Senator Allen also once supported embryonic stem cell research (on frozen embryos that might otherwise be destroyed), but also later amended his position on that. Whether he did so to align himself with the social conservatives for political reasons, or because he genuinely changed his stance after close examination of the facts on the issue, he is now solidly in the pro-life camp. I think he does listen to the organizations like the TVC that speak most eloquently for our goals, and appears to take them seriously.
Senator Allen has a strong conservative voting record in Congress, including those social issues that are of greatest concern to many Christians. He also has the advantage of having been a governor of Virginia from 1994–1998, a representative in Congress, and is the former chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He calls himself a "common sense Jeffersonian conservative" who "trusts free people and free enterprise". Sounds like our kind of man. We will be watching.
Alisa Craddock is a political activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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