Jerry Maguire 2?

By Leo K. O'Drudy, III
web posted April 10, 2000

We've all seen teenagers cringe and roll their eyes as their parents lamely attempt to be 'hip'. If the old folks don't mangle current catchphrases and jargon, they're using language that is painfully out-of-date: from last year, for instance.

Since getting young people involved in the political process (apparently regardless of what they vote for) is the widely trumpeted goal of everyone from MTV's "Rock the Vote" to John McCain's now-defunct campaign, I wonder how the youth of New York State will respond to the Senate race in their state. Particularly since it seems to echo with the hot catchphrases of 1996-7, "Show me the money" and "Help me help you."

Show me the Money

Speaking professionally, I stand in awe of what presumptive Republican nominee New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has done in direct mail, which accounts for a big portion of his mammoth fundraising totals. In fact, last week CNN.com reported the astounding fact that Giuliani has raised more than both Sen. Al D'Amato and then-Rep. Chuck Schumer did, combined, at this stage of their titanic struggle for New York's other Senate seat in 1998.

Of course, "Hizzoner" didn't do that single-handedly. He had the invaluable assistance of his certain Democrat opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Many Giuliani supporters freely admit that the outpouring of donations is caused not so much by support for Giuliani but by opposition to our illustrious First Lady.

It seems that quite a few people from all over America dislike her so much that they are willing to donate to a Senate candidate in another state, just to stop Clinton's effort to get into the Senate.

Perhaps what's causing this is the growing realization that Hillary Clinton may get into a political institution whose rules forbid anyone from shutting her up. In any event, Giuliani is truly showing us the money.

Help me help you

However, all is not golden for the Giuliani campaign, which is threatened by both the left and the right. The left, of course, is getting nearly all the media attention of late, but it is the right that may well do him in. The left is savaging Giuliani as a fascist or worse because of his desperately overdue crackdown on New York's bums, lowlifes, thugs, and criminals, of both the petty and hardened variety. Aggressive policing and a willingness to ignore the usual howls from the usual minority "spokesmen", have resulted in an astounding two-thirds drop in murders, most of the victims of which have been New York's minorities. But it is only in a dismissive, "yes yes but", throwaway line manner that the left can be dragged into acknowledging this dramatic improvement in minority quality of life.

Conservatives stand ready to defend Giuliani's record of accomplishment and success, but many are leery of his stances on family issues. Giuliani is in favor of nearly all aspects of the homosexual movement's radical agenda. Moreover, and more seriously, he is a doctrinaire "pro-choice" advocate on abortion.

This is a huge barrier to conservative support. After all, abortion is the sine qua non of no-compromise issues for principled conservatives. Still, many are prepared to swallow very hard and support Giuliani anyway. The problem is that Giuliani goes so far as to support the horrifying procedure of partial-birth abortion, an atrocity so gruesome and repellent that normally reliable "pro-choicers", such as the Democrat leaders of the House and Senate, support its abolition. Even the man Giuliani seeks to replace in the Senate, proud liberal Democrat Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has made an exception to his "pro-choice" position to support a ban on partial-birth abortion, calling the procedure "three-fourths infanticide."

Give or take a fourth, I think he's right.

Conservatives such as New York State Conservative Party leader Mike Long are literally begging Giuliani to bend on this matter, assuring him that if he does, they will take the difficult step of overlooking his liberalism on other social issues. But Giuliani's stubborn steadfastness, a normally admirable trait in a politician, is getting in the way.

Since it's nearly impossible for a Republican to be elected in a New York statewide race without support of the Conservative Party, many observers are scratching their heads over Giuliani's recalcitrance.

The great question, then, is: will the Mayor help conservatives help him? And, of course, the reaction of America's youth to the eerie congruence of this state of affairs to some out-of-date catchphrases remains to be seen.

Leo O'Drudy is the Free Congress Foundation's Direct Mail Coordinator.

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