Rusty DePass sent in an op-ed submission recently explaining why he’s a Giuliani supporter, and why he thinks Rudy can win. We did not choose it to run in our limited op-ed space, as any such unabashed advocacy piece raises questions of failure to all the other campaigns. But I thought it was interesting, and I may use it as a launching pad for a column (right now, the competitors in my mind for a Sunday column are this, the topic of Rudy’s appeal in S.C.; a piece on single-payer taking off on the meeting we had with advocates earlier this week; and something on the Romney-as-JFK speech today).
In the meantime, I share it with you for your edification (and yes, if any key supporters for other candidates have pieces that I find equally interesting, I’m open to posting them here). Those of you who know Mr. DePass will agree with me that this is classic Rusty:
The core support for Rudy Giuliani is truly amazing. It may be hard for some to believe, but I am convinced this guy is for real! I think 2008 promises to be a genuinely unique election year, and Giuliani might just pull this thing off, even in South Carolina.
Most of us, of course, particularly in South Carolina, never gave a damn about New
Yorkers, but somehow the attacks of September 11, 2001, made those people Americans again—even the ones who weren’t Americans—and the attack on this country was, and still is, unthinkable. Giuliani’s leadership in its aftermath, as we all know and observed, was stellar.
New York City, of course, is the ungovernable city, and for eight years Giuliani ran it—not perfectly, but well, the way it had never been run before—and in many ways turned it around after decades of gross mismanagement. Frederick Siegel’s The Prince of the City is a critical but generally favorable assessment of Giuliani’s effort in getting a handle on how to govern a very difficult city. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about this incredible man.
When I decided to support Giuliani, I had to confess that I disagree with the guy on a number of issues, and they are important, though mainly social. But when I first became interested in politics, there wasn’t any such thing as “social issues.” Abortion was wrong and homosexuals weren’t trying to marry each other then. The issues were government efficiency, economics, excessive taxation, a strong defense, and governmental interference in our lives and businesses.
Our society has deteriorated a lot since then and unfortunately social issues have become the stock and trade of conservative candidates’ campaigns. Outraged citizens demanded it. I believe in freedom of choice because I believe in freedom, but I don’t believe the government has an obligation to endorse the choices you make.
I have a sneaking suspicion that 2008 is going to be the year when Republicans tire of this fascination with social issues and make their choice on other leadership qualities and policy positions. I don’t think we’re going to change our beliefs; we’re simply going to change our focus.
We need to get away from the rigid, moralistic approach to Republican campaigns and get back to basics, and this guy Giuliani has got the basics down. Not only is he a crime-fighting, Mafia busting prosecutor, he is a superb manager and leader, and on budget and taxation matters, he is as sound as they come. Moreover, he alone among the candidates for 2008, has a grasp of and commitment to the War on Terror. He knows why we are in it and why we must win it.
Frankly I’m a little weary of this “family values” thing. I’m not opposed to what is meant by “family values,” but there’s an “I’m better than you” quality in that approach that makes me uncomfortable.
Just as Jimmy Carter ruined the term “born-again Christian” for me, all the presidents since Reagan have abused “God bless America.” “Family values” needs a rest, too.
When you look at abortion, we really haven’t done so well. We can talk about opposing abortion all we want, but the facts are these: A conservative Republican president appointed the Supreme Court justice who wrote the Roe v.Wade opinion and since then we have had three conservative Republican presidents who have been staunchly “pro-life,” and Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land. So I would aver presidents don’t have a whole lot of influence in this particular matter. Courts do.
And while we are speaking of courts, Giuliani has said he would appoint Supreme Court justices like Alito, Roberts, Thomas and Scalia. Friends, he is telling us something. He’s on our side. A few more like those and the social issues will take care of themselves.
It is interesting that all the major Republican candidates but one have been divorced while all the Democrats are happily married the first time—like the Clintons. Whether your marriage is a sham or the picture perfect relationship, ultimately the issue of presidential leadership ability transcends family situations. Let’s not forget that Ronald Reagan was divorced and estranged from his children.
All of the Republican candidates are preferable to any of the Democrats, but we need a candidate who can win. Again, Giuliani seems to be the best bet. I sure would hate to watch Rodham and Gomorrah being inaugurated on January 20, 2009, and think to myself, “Well, at least we nominated the most ideologically pure candidate.”