Trying to scare me with this picture?
Sorry! It doesn't work. Rudy's "soft on gay marriage"? Amongst conservatives, that means he's not sufficiently against it. I know plenty of people who might use that expression to mean he's not sufficently in favor of it. I like a candidate in the middle on this issue.
What's the rest of Hawkins's case against Giuliani? He's "strongly pro-abortion." Now, now, nobody's "pro-abortion." It really is a matter of believing the government should stay out of the individual's life when it comes to the decision whether to go through a pregnancy. "Pro-choice" may be a euphemism, but it expresses something important. A non-euphemistic way to put it: pro abortion rights.
Hawkins faults Giuliani for accepting some gun control and for taking a moderate position on immigration. These aren't my issues. I see other people getting fired up or manipulated over them. I just want sensible people to make sophisticated policy decisions.
Hawkins raises the question of the nasty divorce, and I agree that looks bad. It would be better to have someone who's squeaky clean, but I don't think it should be disqualifying, because you will exclude too many of the vigorous, virile men if you get too prissy here.
Finally, Hawkins argues the electability point:
[A]s a candidate, he offers almost nothing to social conservatives, without whom a victory for George Bush in 2004 wouldn't have been possible. If the choice in 2008 comes down to a Democrat and a pro-abortion, soft on gay marriage, left-of-center candidate on social issues -- like Rudy -- you can be sure that millions of "moral values voters" will simply stay home and cost the GOP the election.This makes sense, undeniably. But what about the potential to appeal to people like me who are in the middle? What I like about Giuliani is his ability to embody the strong national security position and to argue for it in clear, persuasive terms, without bringing along that social conservative baggage. All those people who vote for Democrats, are they doing it because they are into the party and all it seems to stand for? Or are they put off by the social conservatives on the other side? The social conservatives like Hawkins want Republicans to be afraid to find out.
The other issue is in the South. George Bush swept every Southern state in 2000 and 2004, which is quite an impressive feat when you consider that the Democrats had Southerner Al Gore at the top of the ticket in 2000 and John Edwards as the veep in 2004. Unfortunately, a pro-abortion, soft on gay marriage, pro-gun control RINO from New York City just isn't going to be able to repeat that performance. Even against a carpetbagger like Hillary Clinton, it's entirely likely that you'll see at least 2 or 3 states in the South turn from red to blue if Rudy Giuliani is the nominee.
Also, the reason why George Bush's approval numbers have been mired in the high thirties/low forties of late is because he has lost a significant amount of Republican support, primarily because his domestic policies aren't considered conservative enough. Since that's the case, running a candidate who is several steps to Bush's left on domestic policy certainly doesn't seem like a great way to unite the base again.
IN THE COMMENTS: Paul A'Barge writes:
I'm not in the middle. I'm so far to the right, I have a neck ache from trying to see what the DIMocRATs are up to. And, I'd vote for Rudy in a nanosecond.That's important. I voted for Bush because of national security even though he didn't satisfy me on the social issues. I'm glad to see it works the other way around.
Rudy has heart and he has a pair.
As a country, we can figure out the abortion, gay, and immigration thing. But, we can't survive without someone who gives at least enough of a fig to be willing to slaughter our enemies.
Rudy turned down that money from that Saudi monster. To me, he beats even GWB on security.
Bring it on, Rudy. I'm there for you!