February 15, 2007

Rudy's running... and talking about abortion.

On "Larry King":
[H]e declined to say whether it would bother him if the Supreme Court were to overturn the landmark decision Roe v. Wade.

“I don’t think it would hurt me or help me,” said Mr. Giuliani, who has long said he favored keeping abortion legal. “It would be a matter of states making decisions.”

He has said lately that he would appoint “strict constructionists” to the bench, a phrase taken by many conservatives — and, yesterday, by Mr. King — to mean judges who would not support the Roe decision.

“I don’t know that,” he said. “You don’t know that.”

When Mr. King asked him to define what a strict constructionist is, Mr. Giuliani said, “There are a lot of ways to explain that,” and did not elaborate.
Can Rudy walk this tightrope? I think he can. With the level of legal understanding that Giuliani obviously has, it's a very thick, stabilized tightrope. You pick great judges who follow a strong interpretive methodology, and they take their proper constitutional position in an independent branch dedicated to law. How utterly solid and responsible. If you want more than that, you're only showing that you don't understand the principles of law. Rudy can explain it again and make it even clearer that the one doing the explaining deserves to hold the power to appoint the judges. It's a very thick, stabilized tightrope.

91 comments:

Simon said...

I like him plenty, but that's kind of a chickenshit answer. "How do I define it? Well, there are plenty of ways to define it. Next question." That's almost Clintonian.

I don't really like that "strict constructionist" has become a political term of art that bears no relation to its actual legal meaning, but I suppose it's a convenient shorthand, and I don't have a better alternative. What can you use - "formalist"? That lacks pizazz, and whatever one might say about William Rehnquist, he wasn't really a formalist. "Legal conservative"? That sounds even more loaded.

Simon said...

Oh, and will he walk the tightrope? I don't know. I think that if he's going to, it serves his goal to have the debate that we should have had when Judge Bork was nominated: about the difference between descriptive views of the Constitution, normative views about policy, and their intersection in the Presidency and the Supreme Court. If he doesn't encourage that debate, then there's a real chance that he will fall off the tightrope. If he does encourage it, not only will he win, but the country will be profoundly more healthy for it, IMO.

AJD said...

"You pick great judges who follow a strong interpretive methodology, and they take their proper constitutional position in an independent branch dedicated to law."

Ah. So the key is "great" judges, "strong" methods, and "proper" positions.

Annie, that is a steaming pile of meaningless words. I can imagine what you'd say if Hillary used such a bunch of empty phrases!

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Kansas used to have sodomy laws, which ought to have been revoked. By the Legislature. Here in Kansas. Lawrence was very badly decided, in that such things are within the clear Constitutional purvue of the States ... if you're a strict constructionist.

It follows, therefore, that Roe was also very badly decided law. I'd like to see it overturned, and what happened in South Dakota last year seems to be both a reasonable -- and Constitutional -- way to handle such things. Abortion was banned at the State level, and that ban was overturned, not by some court, but by the people.

Relatively recent surveys (sorry no citation available) indicated that roughly 3 per cent of Americans favor a near-total ban on abortion. BTW, 22% favor absolutely unrestriced abortion, so by deduction three-quarters of Americans believe that abortion should be restricted -- stage of pregnancy, parental notification, age of the female, reasons, etc, etc. But not outlawed. That's the mainstream position on abortion.

Giuliani correctly calculates that the 3% on the extreme right of the issue aren't going to hurt him. Democrats are largely controlled by the 22%, so even if I (as an evangelical Christian) held with the 3%, what am I going to do? Stay home and see a representative of the 22% appoint judges for the next four years. Not if I've got half the sense God gave to a goose, I won't.

George Bush hit it just right on abortion in 2000. When asked whether he favored a constitutional amendment to ban abortion he said "No. Any America that could pass such an amendment wouldn't need it."

Besides, single-issue voters are idiots. Every significant candidate -- on both sides -- except for Giuliani and Romney are friggin Senators. They've never actually, you know ... RUN anything. New Yuck City is a bigger deal than either Arkansas or Georgia, to say nothing of some Senate committee.

There's a world of difference between a movement and a party. Too few people understand that.

Most importantly, Giuliani did a good job of taking on the Mob in New York. There are a lot of similarities there with how Islamists function. Honestly, that's what's going to matter most for the next 20 years.

This 'Culture Wars' stuff is, like, so 1994 ... and if we stay stuck there -- to say nothing of stuck in 1968 -- it will (literally) kill us.

Nathan said...

Simon, I prefer "textualist." It's not exactly the same as a "strict constructionist," as strict constructionists, at least as I understand them, seek to infer original intent. Textualists, on the other hand, insist on reliance on the plain meaning of the text (to the extent that such a meaning is plain) and certain canons of construction to help clarify less-plain language.

The Emperor said...

If you want more than that, you're only showing that you don't understand the principles of law.

I think that if all of the voters were lawyers with a good understanding of the principles of law, he might not have a problem. Actually, he probably still would have a problem, because even most lawyers with a good understanding of the law really just want their policy positions adopted as law.

David said...

I believe that Guiliani and King both know that a serious review of Roe V Wade would cause it to be overturned. The only way to address this political third rail is to appoint Judges who, despite stare decisis, would overturn it as the flawed decision it is.

The Judicial philosophy of a so-called living constitution is being redefined. Interesting that the process is beginning as the baby-boomer's pony-tails become greyer, longer, and thinner. Even the advertising agencies recognize the inevitable "You mean I'm not the maverick, non-conformist I think I am?" driving a Volvo.

Guiliani is saying that without the lefty media "It is so easy, even a caveman could do it." Apologies to Geico.

Simon said...

AJD, I think you're missing the important context that I don't think Ann would entirely agree with the kind of Judges Giuliani's intimating that he'll appoint. She explicitly supports Roe and implicitly Casey and Stenberg.

On the other hand, I would say she's very much a federalist (in contradistinction to what I more and more regard as essentially a modern antifederalist movement in America), albeit for somewhat different reasons than am I, so I can imagine Giuliani-appointed judges being something of a mixed bag for someone with Ann's legal views.

Bruce Hayden said...

It is going to be quite interesting. Rudy seems willing to give interviews at the drop of a hat, and then give interesting answers. Yesterday or so, he talked on Larry King about how weak the non-binding resolution makes Congress look (which they can't seem to pass anyway).

It makes him look decisive, articulate, and approachable. Yes, we may get tired of seeing him a couple times a week on a talk show or two, but that is going to contrast significantly (in his favor IMHO) with Hillary's refusal to interview with anyone who might even consider being not totally loyal and safe with her.

Simon said...

Bart:
"It follows, therefore, that Roe was also very badly decided law."

I agree, but it should be added that this is why Roe is such a good litmus test for a candidate. Asking a nominee about that case as an original matter lets them tell you a lot about how they think one should construe the Constitution, and asking what they'd do about it now gives you a broad hint about what they think about stare decisis.

Freder Frederson said...

Figures Ann would consider completely dodging a question a "utterly solid and responsible".

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that the concept of abortion bores many of us. I think that Roe v. Wade was an atrocious decision, a prime example of legislating from the bench, regardless of its outcome.

And, by now, while there are those at each end of the spectrum who want either unfettered abortion or none of it, most of us accept that no one is going to set the clocks back. A reasonable amount of abortion is going to be allowed in this country. If it comes to the point where one state can ban it, the next one over won't. The cost of traveling there is now almost de minimis, and Planned Parenthood can be counted on to help pay for it when necessary.

Ann Althouse said...

AJD: You are blind to the criticism that exists in the words to this post, so your comment makes no sense. And you are now on notice that I will delete any new comments from you that refer to me as "Annie." That is not acceptable, even in a discussion of why I find it unacceptable. You now must atone for your insolence by referring to me only as Professor Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

Anyone else can call me Althouse (or Ann).

Simon said...

Nathan
Well, that kind of got appropriated during the last round of nominations, as did "originalist," but I tend to think that if people are going to take, bastardize and debase legal terms for political ends, I'd rather that they did so with a term I don't use to describe myself.

In any event, to be honest about it, while textualism is an interpretative philosophy, it is the vital and correct one in my view, but it is not a complete legal philosophy in itself. To have an even halfway-complete legal matrix, it's become apparent to me as time has gone by, you can start with textualism, but you have to add originalism, you have to have a view on underdeterminacy, you have to add a view on stare decisis, you have to add a view on construction (which is a very different business to interpretation), you probably ought to add formalism.

Scalia goes around saying that his legal philosophy is easy as pie. He's wrong and he knows it. It has the luxury of being both right and possessing a certain intuitive superficial appeal, so to speak, but it is not easy.

Simon said...

Freder, are you aware that you yesterday challenged me to prove you wrong on this asinine assertion that you keep making about our hostess, I provided you with a recent example that proved you wrong, and you put your tail between your legs and silently skulked away? Why don't you try staying that way until you have a little more to substantiate the charge.

The Emperor said...

OK, after your comment, I admit I'm a bit lost. Did you think his response was a good one or not? (Either good in the sense of effective, or good in the sense that it made him a more appealing candidate to you.)

Simon said...

"while there are those at each end of the spectrum who want either unfettered abortion or none of it, most of us accept that no one is going to set the clocks back. A reasonable amount of abortion is going to be allowed in this country."

Bruce, what does any of that have to do with Roe v. Wade and whether it should be overturned? To say that Roe, as a matter of ConLaw, has anything to do with the normative debate over whether abortion should be legal is to concede NARAL/PP's framing of the debate. Overturning Roe will not make abortion illegal, it will - ironically enough - allow people to choose whether it remains legal. To be sure, there'll then be a fight over whether Congress has the power to regulate it (it doesn't), but I have some confidence that the moment that Roe is overturned, the antifederalists on the Supreme Court will undergo a conversion on the road to Damascus - or rather, Younger - as to the virtues of federalism.

David said...

AJD;

Show respect to Professor Althouse or take your cheap shots somewhere else. You undercut what little credibility you had.

Demean yourself somewhere else, please!

RogerA said...

With Rudy, I don't think it is so much what he says but how he says it. Contrast his speaking style with that of any of the numerous senators who are candidates--Rudy does it conversationally (seemingly) without using sound bites. I think that is going to have a very broad appeal to voters. Of course, I am prejudiced in favor of Guiliani.

Too Many Jims said...

I suspect he can walk the tightrope because he is well versed and has probably been articulating some version of this position for the better part of 30 years. That said (and not that this will hinder his ability to walk the tightrope), in light of the so-called Partial Birth Abortion Act I think it is disingenuous to say that “[I]t would be a matter of states making decisions.”

If the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe, Casey etc. tomorrow what would happen next? Initially states would have some say in what happens but unless you believe that such regulations do not fall within Congress' commerce clause powers sooner rather than later, we are going to see federal legislation one way or the other.

Nathan said...

Good stuff, Simon.

hdhouse said...

David said...
"AJD;Show respect to Professor Althouse or take your cheap shots somewhere else."

I do agree with the professor that she can demand to be called by whatever title she prefers, proper name or position....

but I can hardly read ADJ's post as a cheap shot. The professor wrote: "You pick great judges who follow a strong interpretive methodology, and they take their proper constitutional position in an independent branch dedicated to law."

Although somewhat of a tortured sentence, it clearly states "method balanced with position and independently wrought". However, Rudy didn't say that. He sidestepped. He answered nothing...he didn't tightrope, he refused to get on the rope altogether.

perhaps the professor's statement was a "i wish he would say..." position, hoping that he would adopt it and speak it in clear language.

I would hope so too. Until then, Rudy's responses were indeed meaningless and it is very true that if a democrat uttered that sidestep it would be ridiculed not admired.

pablo H said...

I always love it when Democrats and liberals talk about Republican politics.

Rudy is never going to be nominated, period. He is a social liberal and there is no reason to believe he going to nominate and fight for a SCOTUS judge who will overturn Roe V. Wade.

Souter, Stevens, and Blackmun were all presented as "strict constructionists"

The Republican party can only win with the Pro-life voters and Evangelicals. Nominate a "Moderate" Republican and they will stay home or vote Democrat based on economic issues.

Wade_Garrett said...

I like Rudy a lot, but sooner or later he is going to have a more detailed answer than the one he gave to Larry King. When he goes, that answer might play well in the traditionally Republican states, but it could kill him in New York and the other blue states. One of the strenghts of his candidacy is that he has more appeal to blue state moderates than Dole or either Bush ever did. Once his home state has turns, which will become more and more likely the more he campaigns outside of the east coast, then he'll look like Al Gore -- somebody whose "own people" have turned their back on him and who must sell out to the rest of the country in order to get elected.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, are you aware that you yesterday challenged me to prove you wrong on this asinine assertion that you keep making about our hostess, I provided you with a recent example that proved you wrong, and you put your tail between your legs and silently skulked away? Why don't you try staying that way until you have a little more to substantiate the charge.

Well, this post helps substantiates my charge. Giuliani goes on Larry King and Ann falls all over herself in admiration for Rudy because he completely dodged the question.

"When Mr. King asked him to define what a strict constructionist is, Mr. Giuliani said, 'There are a lot of ways to explain that,' "

How about one Rudy?

And I might actually pay attention to your links if you actually learned how to link through HTML. But I did go back and listen to your link. Is that really the best you could do? Stop the presses, Ann thinks segregation and Jim Crow were a bad idea and has tainted federalism. Next topic is her heartfelt opinions on drowning kittens (although she won't necessarily take a stand on whether we need polar bears around or not).

Roger said...

Pablo: I would have agreed with your point prior to 9/11. I have no data to prove it, but I will assert there is a new type of republican who is more socially liberal on domestic issues but "hawkish" (for want of a better term) on national security issues. I believe that is the voter to whom Guiliani will appeal. And given the democratic primary structure, the democrats are likely to nominate someone from the left who will have to move, somewhat unconvincingly to the center. And IMO, opinion Guiliani will be perceived as more centrist.

As far as your point about economic issues, why in the world would any republican vote democratic based on economic issues? Increased taxes or at least repeal of the demonstrably successful Bush tax cuts is not an option I think most republicans would look at.

Too Many Jims said...

I have no data to prove it, but I will assert there is a new type of republican who is more socially liberal on domestic issues but "hawkish" (for want of a better term) on national security issues.

Data point #1: Ann Althouse (though she might not label herself a "republican")

Nathan said...

More likely, pablo, is that a third-party candidate from the Religious Right will emerge and siphon some support from Rudy. A Giuliani candidacy will create a vacuum on the Right that will be filled by someone. Whether that "someone" can seriously dent Giuliani's support remains to be seen, but we've seen Nader and his 2-3% affect that last two elections.

And there's more to Rudy's Religious Right problem than his stances on social issues. His personal life will become an issue, rightfully or not, and many on the Right will not be able to hold their noses for him, I'm afraid.

Fox said...

To use another rope analogy, I think Rudy is going to walk the moderate rope very effectively.

I have nothing but my cute gut to back this up, but I truly feel Rudy could wipe out anybody on the Dems side in '08. When it comes to moderate support, hands down, Rudy has it. Can you really see a Dem being more popular with the middle than Rudy? MAYBE Obama (b/c of his congressional virginity) ...but never Hillary or Edwards. Not a chance.

At this point, for the Republicans, I think it would be giving up the Presidency to back anyone besides Rudy.

(I'm still REALLY REALLY worried that Gore is gonna enter at the last second.)

Fritz said...

Rudy made the same argument Conservatives made over the nomination of Harriet Miers. We want trained Justices that have deep rooted beholding to the law so that in time they won't expand their personal role in decisions. I think he could trap his Democratic opponent with the Ruling Mullahs in Iran truly harms democracy philosophy.

Ann,
So for ADJ, the sun won't come out tomorrow?

Bruce Hayden said...

The fact that I think that the decision was atrocious has nothing to do with whether it should be overturned, either judicially or Constitutionally. You are correct there. And, yes, I think that one of the biggest problems with the decision is that because it was legislating from the bench, it cut off the debate that we were having the 50 legislatures to find a consensus (my memory is that we had just legalized it here in CO right before R v. W). Cut it off w/o giving everyone their say.

So, should Roe V. Wade be overturned? I think so, because it is bad law and it is bad policy. But will it be overturned? Extremely doubtful. Maybe curtailed a bit around the edges - allowing for example banning late term elective abortions and for parental notification. But beyond that, no.

Yes, maybe I buy into the NARAL line. That may come from having family members contribute to that organization. But I think more that it is that I am realistic.

But I am tired of the specticle of every presidential election, candidates from both parties have to scramble to conform their stand on abortion with that of their party activists. So, you have Rudy and Mitt, having first to pander to pro-choice liberals to get elected in NYC and MA, and now having to move strongly towards the pro-life side. On the other hand, you had Al Gore, with moderate pro-life views while running as Senator, moving strongly pro-choice when he ran for president and VP.

Of course, both Rudy and Mitt looked more pro-choice when running and winning in extremely liberal venues. I think that it is silly to penalize them for this, as their attraction to those in the middle is precisely what makes them the most electable nationally.

And, yes, maybe a Rudy nomination may result in a third party candidacy from the religious right. And maybe all those on the right who would rather see Hillary than Rudy in the White House will have their way. And maybe all those who sat at home this last election to teach a lesson to the Republicans in Congress are happy that the Democrats now control both Houses.

Fritz said...

I don't think this issue matters. Iraq is the elephant in the room. In 08 the only way Rudy could get the nomination, measured progress in Iraq. With that in place, he would win in a landslide bringing back Republican control of both houses that would keep Rudy's social liberalism in check. Conservatives would be quite happy to have such a circumstance.

Roger said...

Fritz is on it, I think. And the while we have been discussing the possibility of a breakaway republican far right faction, that issue may be even more salient for the democrats--I think we could see the equivalent of Gene McCarthy campaign on the left that is strictly anti-war. And they would have a credible, principled, candidate like Ann's own Russ Feingold.

Freder Frederson said...

So, should Roe V. Wade be overturned? I think so, because it is bad law and it is bad policy.

It's easy to call Roe v. Wade bad law. But if Roe v. Wade is bad law, isn't Griswold v. Connecticut also bad law? It was decided on almost exactly the same grounds. If Roe falls, shouldn't Griswold too?

Simon said...

Too Many Jims said...
"in light of the so-called Partial Birth Abortion Act I think it is disingenuous to say that “[I]t would be a matter of states making decisions” ... unless you believe that such regulations do not fall within Congress' commerce clause powers sooner rather than later, we are going to see federal legislation one way or the other."

That's precisely what I believe. I think that FPBAA is unconstitutional, and Congress' power to regulate abortion is very limited. I also think that post-Lopez the Supreme Court might be willing to strike down such laws, even notwithstanding Raich. While Lopez may not "have scrapped the substantial effects test," it has none-the-less "limited that test to activities that arise out of or are connected with a commercial transaction, which viewed in the aggregate, substantially affects interstate commerce." A. Althouse, Inside the Federalism Cases, 574 Annals of the Am. Acad. 132 (2001) at 137, text accompanying n.19 (internal quotation marks ommited; emphasis deleted). What's the argument that obtaining an abortion is commerce? That you have to be born to participate in commerce? That abortions are usually paid for using funds that have traveled across state lines? That's a hell of a leap, even under existing commerce clause precedent. As I said here:

"I strongly dissent from the idea that Congress has the power under the commerce clause to legislate generally on abortion. Certainly there are specific ways that Congress can legislate about abortion: conditioning federal money, for example, or legislating for D.C. or the military. But in my view, abortion is simply too far disconnected from commerce (under conservative legal theory of the commerce clause, at any rate) to count. If the test for whether an action is sufficiently connected to interstate commerce is whether money changes hands, then surely - by even stronger reason than Justice Thomas' Raich dissent - then Congress can regulate practically anything? Abortion is morally wrong, but it is not commerce. Merely paying for it by credit card rather than some kind of speculative purely-intrastate fungible commodity doesn't suffice to extend Congress' grasp to the issue. Or if you want to make the argument - as Andrew Hyman has done - that the mere fact that abortion "create[s] a need for medical supplies that have to be obtained via interstate commerce," then you have to explain why that is any different to Lopez: if abortion's connection to interstate commerce is that it must be paid for using some means of exchange which travels across state lines, and that it "create[s] a need for medical supplies that have to be obtained via interstate commerce," why is it not equally true that guns must be similarly paid for using some means of exchange which travels across state lines, and that guns similarly create a need for bullets that have to be obtained via interstate commerce?"

Simon said...

Freder Frederson said...
"It's easy to call Roe v. Wade bad law. But if Roe v. Wade is bad law, isn't Griswold v. Connecticut also bad law? It was decided on almost exactly the same grounds. If Roe falls, shouldn't Griswold too?"

Absolutely.

Freder Frederson said...

I don't think this issue matters. Iraq is the elephant in the room. In 08 the only way Rudy could get the nomination, measured progress in Iraq. With that in place, he would win in a landslide bringing back Republican control of both houses that would keep Rudy's social liberalism in check.

So I guess Rudy is toast.

Simon said...

By the way - ten points to the first commenter to name the famous case that poses a serious problem for my rejection of Andrew's argument that I quoted above.

Nathan said...

Bruce, I'm not saying it should happen -- I'm saying it will happen.

Fen said...

I'm wondering how cloning will effect the abortion debate. If I "copyright" my DNA, don't I have a say in how its managed?

With that in place, he would win in a landslide bringing back Republican control of both houses that would keep Rudy's social liberalism in check.

Not so sure. Absent the war on terror [which is primarily a POTUS duty] the GOP base is not happy with its congress-critters. We worked our tails off to give them a majority, and they frittered it away - betrayed us on immigration, earmarks, and the harvesting of interns for sexual relationships.

Patrick said...

As far as your point about economic issues, why in the world would any republican vote democratic based on economic issues? Increased taxes or at least repeal of the demonstrably successful Bush tax cuts is not an option I think most republicans would look at.

There's a strong and developing movement within Evangelicalism moving it left. This is especially the case for a lot of people in regards to social programs and economic policy. There are those other teachings of Jesus after all, which the religious left takes seriously, and many on the religious right are taking more seriously. Obama is not as out of place in Rick Warren's church as many would think.

pablo H said...

Roger-

I'm sure there are 911 Republicans out there. But I doubt there are many of them. People who are socially liberal and economically conservative are overrepresented on the web and in the Media. A lot of them also live in Blue states, who are going vote blue in 2008, no matter what.

Look at the voter demographics there are lot more people who make less than $75,00 then do. And a lot of people who made less than $30,000 voted Republican in 2000/2004.

So if you're a poor or working class white why do 1/3 of them vote for Republican?

Certainly the Democrats will offer them more economically. The reason for most of them is social issues. Take these off the table and these people will sit home or vote Democrat. They are not going to vote for Rudy or any other social liberal.

There just aren't enough 911 Republicans (former Democrats now voting Republican) to replace what used to be called "Reagan Democrats".

Fritz said...

Patrick,
This may disappoint you, but the underlying principle of Christianity is individualism. I don't understand the leftist belief that coveting thy neighbor for thy vote is Christian.

Freder Frederson said...

This may disappoint you, but the underlying principle of Christianity is individualism.

What warped and distorted version of Christianity do you ascribe to? Individualism is precisely contrary to the underlying principle of Christianity.

Simon said...

Fritz said...
"[T]he underlying principle of Christianity is individualism."

Uh... What? If you're a catholic, individual interpretation isn't even a principal of Christianity, let alone individual discretion in life. The underlying principles of Christianity, I had thought, are that Jesus is "the way and the truth and the life [and] [n]o one comes to the Father except through" him, John 14:6, and the two basic commandments: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matt. 22:37-39. Can you explain what you mean by "individualism" and/or provide a citation in support of that contention?

Simon said...

"Certainly the Democrats will offer them more economically. The reason for most of them is social issues. Take these off the table and these people will sit home or vote Democrat. They are not going to vote for Rudy or any other social liberal."

Then they're idiots who will have blood on their hands, as explained here: "A pro-lifer who refuses to support a candidate who is better on abortion than one who is worse because [they] think the former is insufficiently pure, since one of those candidates will prevail and [they] are helping the worse one do so, IMO, you are making yourself an accomplice to an evil" (emphases added).

Simon said...

Fred-
"I might actually pay attention to your links if you actually learned how to link through HTML."

D'you want me to cut up your food for you as well? Help you tie your shoelaces? Good grief. You make an unsustainable argument, and when you get a counterexample that you demanded, you fret because you have to copy and paste?

Patrick said...

Fritz, doesn't disappoint me at all. I know exactly what Christianity is. I've a lot of years studying it and working in it and doing all the sorts of things that would give me quite a bit of confidence in saying what I'm saying.

Freder is spot on.

Well mostly. In Christian theology, good Christian theology, the individual is equal to the community. We become individuals, become who we are, so that we participate in community. It is only in community that we can truly discover who we are as individuals, and only as individuals that community can truly discover itself.

God, the Scriptures say, came to save the whole world, not me as an individual. How this works out in policy is a political debate, but the fact is that if I'm not caring about others before myself I'm just not a Christian at all, and not worth anything as an individual.

There's a huge leftward leaning movement in young Evangelicals, and that's a fact. And not necessarily a disappointing fact.

Fritz said...

Simon,
Yes, treat your neighbor as yourself. The individual's responsibility for their own behavior towards others. As Locke made clear, tolerance is not tolerating, but acting in a tolerant manner towards others. Citizens that don't recognize that any money government has is from their fellow citizens and should be revered, respected, do not adhere to that tenet.

Fritz said...

Patrick,
Yes, each individual is responsible to get off their dead ass and do things that help the community (work, raise their children), not rob Peter to buy Paul's vote. Socialism is not Christian. Go read RERUM NOVARUM

Too Many Jims said...

Simon,

I don't doubt that you think that the Act is unconstitutional but that is currently the minority view. I find it a bit odd that you cite Prof. Althouse to support this position when she has elsewhere written : "Simon: The Commerce Clause argument is very easy."

More to the point of Prof. Althouse's post, Rudy is apparently of the opinion that Court should uphold the Act.

Finally, given his concurrence in Raich, I would be interested to see how Scalia would reach the position that this Act is ultra vires but that act was o.k. On this issue, it sounds like you are closer to Thomas or Rehnquist or even (egads) O'Connor.

Too Many Jims said...

"Socialism is not Christian."

Then why do so many "Christians" support this President who has done more than any President since LBJ to advance socialism in this country?

Paul Zrimsek said...

By the way - ten points to the first commenter to name the famous case that poses a serious problem for my rejection of Andrew's argument that I quoted above.

Wickard?

Fritz said...

TMJ's,
I hardly consider Medicare Part D delivered by the private sector as socialism. Pharmaceuticals were eventually going to be part of the elderly medical benefit. Why are Democrats trying to change the delivery system? Today Part D, tomorrow Parts A&B delivered via the private sector.

Fen said...

"Socialism is not Christian."

Socialism demands that humans surrender themselves to the State. Christianity, allowing for free will, encourages humans to surrender themselves to a Higher Power. They are opposites.

Socialists rightfully see Christianity as an obstacle to their goals.

Alan said...

Roger,

While 9/11 brought a lot of voters to the GOP, I suspect the scales fell from the eyes of many pre-9/11 Republicans over the absurd Shiavo fiasco. They're suspicious of anyone who claims to be a social conservative. Now that the dam is broke and the Democrats control Congress, they can step back and observe what else the GOP has given us--a mismanaged war and unprecedented expansion of size and scope of government. The GOP's only hope is to nominate Giuliani. If he isn't the nominee the GOP can kiss my vote goodbye. And this coming from a lifetime Republican who voted a straight ticket in FL which included that social conservative dunce Katherine Harris...all because of the war.

Henry said...

Then why do so many "Christians" support this President who has done more than any President since LBJ to advance socialism in this country?

Nixon. Wage and price controls. Nothing else has come close.

Simon said...

Jim -
Three points in reply to that.

First, I think it's pretty clear that I don't always agree with Ann. ;) She and I have very much compatible views on federalism - indeed, her scholarship on this subject is what made me something of a devotee - but those views are different in some regards, and importantly, they spring from quite different wellheads. Ann's proceed, as I understand them, from a similar premise to that of Justice Black's opinion in Younger v. Harris, which is that federalism protects individual rights; see, e.g., various essays cited here. Mine proceed purely from a formalist exegesis of the text and structure of the Constitution. That difference can and does lead to different results in different cases (and even if it didn't, to the extent that interpretation leaves room for construction, I am a lot more conservative than is Ann); I actually agree with her view on normative federalism, but I disagree with her as to the extent to which Constitutional federalism leaves open the field for normative federalism. For example - we would both have joined the Printz opinion, I think, (she might have written a concurrence), but would probably differ as to how far we would extend the principle in other cases.

So, y'know, she thinks the commerce clause argument is easy. That's her view. I very respectfully dissent. ;)

Second - As regards Rudy and the FPBAA, I don't know what Rudy has said about it, but I think you have to consider Carhart in terms of the challenge that it actually presents. Carhart asks the court, in essence, whether Stenberg is still good law, and if so, does it foreclose this statute; neither litigant, nor so far as I know a single amicus, have raised the question of whether Congress had the power to pass the statute. Unless we believe that the court should be in the business of invalidating acts of Congress on grounds raised sua sponte and neither argued nor briefed, the best decision in this case - in my view, and maybe this is what Rudy has in mind too - is indeed to uphold the act against this particular challenge, while expressly holding open the point that it might be vulnerable to another kind of challenge.

Third - In terms of the commerce clause. I hover somewhere between Justice Scalia and the late Chief Justice "on this question; although I'd overrule Wickard, at this point, I would probably leave NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. in place, and would have joined the court in Heart of Atlanta Motel. I don't know what I'd have done in Raich." Scalia takes a somewhat broader view of the commerce power than dis Rehnquist, particularly when conjoined with the necessary and proper clause, as he explained in his Raich concurrence; cf. A. Scalia, Two Faces of Federalism, 6 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 19 (1982). Plus, Scalia and I take a stronger view of stare decisis than does Justice Thomas, and given the court's expansive commerce clause jurisprudence in the 20th century, we have to make some kind of sense of that. Thus, even if I disagreed with Heart of Atlanta Motel or (here's a massive hint for the 10 point prize mentioned above) Katzenbach v. McClung as an original matter, I wouldn't overrule them today.

* * *

Fritz, I wouldn't call individual responsibility for one's actions "individualism." "Individualism" is "the principle or habit of or belief in independent thought or action" and "the pursuit of individual rather than common or collective interests," not the principle that one bears responsibility for those thoughts, actions and pursuits.

Simon said...

Paul - good guess, but that's not it. There's another commerce clause case that even more directly cuts against me, and one that -- worse yet -- forces me to take a position that I think will make Ann mad at me in view of December's fun and games. That's another clue.

Patrick said...

Fritz, read Jurgen Moltmann, or any other contemporary theologian. Socialism is not Christian because it eliminates the individual. But any movement that eliminates the importance of the community helping others in the community is breaking down another Christian value.

Robbing Peter to buy Paul's vote isn't Christian. It's Christian, however, to sell everything we have to give to the poor, as both Peter and Paul did. Which means Christian politics is somewhere neither Socialist nor unrestrained capitalism.

Too many Jims, you are spot on. Bush's expansion of government within other conservative values is quite a representative position. I don't say it makes sense.

This, of course, makes the present Republican party a really interesting situation, as Evangelicals and Libertarians are in many ways entirely the opposite.

Roe gets blown out of the water, politics is going to get really interesting along very different sorts of lines.

Cat said...

Pablo said. "So if you're a poor or working class white why do 1/3 of them vote for Republican?Certainly the Democrats will offer them more economically. The reason for most of them is social issues. Take these off the table and these people will sit home or vote Democrat."

Pablo, I think you are so wrong I am speaking as one of those white people and as someone who lives in an area with that demographic. Democrats aren't interested, in our view, with the working class white person anymore (other than if they happen to be in a Union, but not as individual Joe Avg.). The people see breaks all over for illegal-immigrants, racial preferences, welfare recipiants (ask me how I felt working full time and paying full tuition for school while pre-Guiliani welfare recipiants went to school for free in spite of the fact that could barely read and would waste that tuition by dropping out?)and so much more. Whites don't count as a special interest so the democrats left us in the dust a long time ago.

Then there's the dems stand on crime and law and order issues, education (vouchers to help pay for their kids tuition to parochial schools as no one will send them to a crappy NYC public school). You scratch by on what you have and another tax makes your pay check even smaller.

I could go on, but I have to earn a buck.

Bottom line, they don't vote republican because of abortion or gay marriage. There are so many other reasons!

vbspurs said...

I think that the concept of abortion bores many of us. I think that Roe v. Wade was an atrocious decision, a prime example of legislating from the bench, regardless of its outcome.

And, by now, while there are those at each end of the spectrum who want either unfettered abortion or none of it, most of us accept that no one is going to set the clocks back. A reasonable amount of abortion is going to be allowed in this country. If it comes to the point where one state can ban it, the next one over won't. The cost of traveling there is now almost de minimis, and Planned Parenthood can be counted on to help pay for it when necessary.


I agree with Simon's first two posts, saying that Rudy is stonewalling however expertly, in answering the direct question.

But Bruce here, also has a point, in that once done, this cat's cradle of abortion is almost impossible to make right.

I think most Americans are not comfortable with Roe v. Wade, but that by now, the topic is boring and completely offputting to many who don't have an ideological dog in the race.

Which is about...oh 80% of Americans?

Cheers,
Victoria

Simon said...

Victoria:
"I think most Americans are not comfortable with Roe v. Wade, but that by now, the topic is boring and completely offputting to many who don't have an ideological dog in the race. Which is about...oh 80% of Americans?"

I kind of dissent on that point. I have a simple test that I use when someone says that they aren't interested in the culture wars, or that abortion isn't an issue for them. Or rather, it's a thought exercise:

you ask the person how they'd feel about a law that banned all abortions, in all circumstances, at any time after conception, in any place, without exception, punishable with mandatory jail time. If their answer is anything other than "I'd be fine with that," they are just as invested in the culture wars as everyone else, you're just on the other side. It's a trick question, BTW: anyone who answers that they would be fine with that is obviously someone with a very strong view on abortion. And I'd bet 100% of Americans would have a view one way or another on that thought experiment. People may be bored of it, but it's an issue that demands an opinion, one way or another.

Roe, of course, is a separate issue than the normative question of abortion, but it's a threshold question: the debate is stuck until that decision and the Casey framework are overturned. Once that's done, we can actually have a constructive debate, but until they are, this issue isn't going to cool off.

Wade_Garrett said...

Fen,

That is patently false. In almost every European nation Christianity's role in politics is center/left. The United States is the only nation for whom the Christian voters favor conservative economics and hawkish foreign policy. Then again, our country has more crazy evangelical-evolution-denying speaking-in-tongues-type people than do those other countries, so make of that what you will.

Too Many Jims said...

Simon,

If you think that Rudy is saying that it should be affirmed but then get overturned by the right kind of challenge you are either giving him a lot of credit because you like him (and want him to hold views similar to yours) or you are smoking some of the stuff that Raich outlawed. It is a political calculation he made not a legal one.

vbspurs said...


Roe, of course, is a separate issue than the normative question of abortion, but it's a threshold question: the debate is stuck until that decision and the Casey framework are overturned. Once that's done, we can actually have a constructive debate, but until they are, this issue isn't going to cool off.


Hmm, I have to look into your point, Simon. It seems very logical.

However, I would point out randomly thought, that when the topic of same-sex marriage comes up in a state vote, this 80% figure I came up with, suddenly becomes more energised, and opinionated, if you will.

That is for two reasons, unlike that of abortion:

A) The law on allowing abortion is out of most citizen's hands, and oftentimes, what we cannot control, we are not motivated enough to dissent/assent about.

B) Most people will get married in their lives, whereas most people will not have an abortion sometime in their life. So marriage has a concrete meaning to them.

I suppose it's a more visceral reaction, in that sense than abortion, which sounds odd.

Cheers,
Victoria

Simon said...

Jim - I have no idea what Rudy's view on the legal fine points are. You have to keep in mind that a lot of folks regard legal reasoning as hair-splitting; that's something I think should be changed, but as MKH said the other day, you go into an election with the electorate you've got, not the one you'd like. Thus, whatever his actual views are, he's going to present them in a way that makes sense to the people he's speaking to. D'you think Shawn Hannity understands the difference between an as-applied challenge and a facial challenge? D'you think the people who watch his show understand that they're using "strict construction" as a political term of art despite the fact that most legal conservatives explicitly disclaim the methodology (none more forcefully than Antonin "I'm not a strict constructionist, and no one ought to be" Scalia)? He's going to present it in the terms that his audience will understand, and that's okay. And, I mean, lookit - if Rudy vetoes a Congressional ban on abortion, I really don't care if he does so because he disagrees with it, or because he regards the ban as unconstitutional and that he's duty-bound to veto it regardless of his normative views. As long as he vetoes it, and as long as he's going to appoint the right kind of judges, I'm good with him.

Victoria - It is logical. ;) I've written at some length on the subject here, I'll try to find a link or two.

Fen said...

"That is patently false. In almost every European nation Christianity's role in politics is center/left."

That has more do to with European culture than Christianity. Both Socialism and Christianity are in competition for the soul of each individual. State vs God.

Freder Frederson said...

That is for two reasons, unlike that of abortion:

A) The law on allowing abortion is out of most citizen's hands, and oftentimes, what we cannot control, we are not motivated enough to dissent/assent about.

B) Most people will get married in their lives, whereas most people will not have an abortion sometime in their life. So marriage has a concrete meaning to them.

But a lot more people will have an
abortion than will be in a gay marriage. And I doubt that if gay marriage is legalized, anyone is going to wake up one morning and find that they are married to that guy they met last night and they made a big mistake. But even today in some parts of this country, getting an abortion is so difficult women who want one have to travel hundreds of miles and jump through all kinds of hoops to get one.

People always claim that gay marriage will profoundly affect the institution of marriage, but they never say exactly how. Why on earth should it harm my marriage one bit just because the guys who live across the street from me (and yes I have a gay couple living kitty corner from me) can get married? How does that threaten my marriage, harm my neighborhood, or society as a whole?

Simon said...

Freder,
I don't want to get into an argument about this, and I don't claim that my reasons are anyone else's. But I will tell you what worries me about it. What troubles me is where the logic leads: by longstanding tradition, marriage involves one man and one woman. But if you discard the role of tradition in defining marriage, you can never invoke it again: next the polygamists will say "if you were willing to discard tradition to let the gays get married, why won't you discard it now for us?" So the threshold question for me is simple: you show me a rationale for letting gays marry that doesn't undercut the premise that (a) marriage is an institution individuals enter on the institution's terms not theirs and (b) the terms of that institution are defined by tradition, and I'll happily get on board.

Too Many Jims said...

"as long as he's going to appoint the right kind of judges, I'm good with him."

But in your estimation the "right kind of judge" would reject this Act and apparently in his estimation the "right kind of judge" would let the Act stand. On balance maybe he is more of a "right kind of judge" appointer than his opponent (whoever that may be) who knows.

On the whole though, I think he (as I think you suggested earlier in the thread) is just saying things (e.g. "I'll appoint the right kind of judges"; "let states decide") that make people think that they agree with him without actually saying much of anything. In short, he wants to be a walking talking Rohrshach test. Saying nothing and hoping people see something they like.

Simon said...

Jim - where are you inferring that from? The "right kind of judge" pays attention to what the challenge before the court is, as I suggested above ("Unless we believe that the court should be in the business of invalidating acts of Congress on grounds raised sua sponte and neither argued nor briefed, the best decision in this case ... is indeed to uphold the act against this particular challenge, while expressly holding open the point that it might be vulnerable to another kind of challenge").

As I said, we don't know exactly what Rudy's view on it, but I think you're wrong to say that he and I think the right kind of judge would do opposite things in this case - the key term is this case. In this case, I think the right kind of judge would UPHOLD this law, on principles of judicial restraint. If you don't agree with that, then you're asking the court to reach out and decide issues not presented in the case at bar. There's a lot to be said for that latter approach, and to be honest, I go back and forth on the point, but if you disagree, then your beef isn't with me, it's with the Chief Justice and his "call the balls and strikes" metaphor.

Simon said...

And besides - there is a candidate in the race who's a walking Rohrshach test, but it isn't Rudy.

Kirk Parker said...

Too Many Jims,

"unless you believe that such regulations do not fall within Congress' commerce clause powers"

Unless someone develops a way to do mail order abortions (remote surgery kits, maybe), the response to the above is "Darn right it's outside Congress' powers!"

Freder,

In addition to what Simon said about tradition and marriage, there's also the issue that what's expected to be effected is marriage at the margain. Of course you can always come up with an example couple where this doesn't apply, and of course it's irrelevant. The ghost of Daniel Patrick Moynihan is lurking around this conversation, but too many people pretend not to notice it.

Naked Lunch said...

"I'll appoint the right kind of judges" is a head nod to the GOP that he will appoint Wall Street friendly judges just like any other Republican. Like the federal appeals judge in MS that ruled that insurance claims from Katrina excluding water damage were "valid and enforceable". Oops there goes the roof - could be wind. Oops there comes waves crashing in - could be water. And insurance industry stock go up across the board after the ruling. Aside from activists on both sides, and campaign contributions - there is really no money at stake in the abortion debate for law-makers, and is definitely not their top priority, in my opinion. Politicians mostly will say whatever it takes to get elected, as Guiliani is demonstrating.

Thorley Winston said...

Rudy is never going to be nominated, period. He is a social liberal and there is no reason to believe he going to nominate and fight for a SCOTUS judge who will overturn Roe V. Wade.

I think a lot of social conservatives were and many still are willing to give Giuliani serious consideration so long as they believed him (or convinced themselves that they believed him) when he made what many took as an implicit promise to let these sorts of contentious social issues be decided by the legislatures of the States. The problem is though that based on his support of the lawsuits against the gun industry in the 1990’s a lot of them are going to start questioning whether they can take him at his word on this.

Simon said...

Naked Lunch -
"'I'll appoint the right kind of judges' is a head nod to the GOP that he will appoint Wall Street friendly judges just like any other Republican. Like the federal appeals judge in MS that ruled that insurance claims from Katrina excluding water damage were "valid and enforceable"."

There's three immediate problems with that comment. Firstly, the judge you're talking about was not an appeals court judge, but District Judge L.T. Senter - and he's a Carter appointee! Second, the result may have been unfair, but it was hardly illogical. The policy at issue in Buente v. Allstate categorically warned that it did "not cover loss to the [insured] property consisting of or caused by: Flood, including, but not limited to surface water, waves, tidal water or overflow of any body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind ... and water or any other substance on ... the surface of the ground regardless of its source." Construing that language to apply to the damage at issue seems pretty reasonable. It isn't a question of what's fair, or what's right, it's a question of reading comprehension: what does this contract say? If the contract excludes certain forms of damage, and those forms of damage happen, the insuree's out of luck.

Revenant said...

Like the federal appeals judge in MS that ruled that insurance claims from Katrina excluding water damage were "valid and enforceable".

Imagine that -- a judge ruling that insurance policies that don't cover water damage don't have to pay water damage claims.

So basically your argument is that Giuliani will appoint judges that obey the law? And this is an argument against him, is it?

Too Many Jims said...

Simon,

You are right that you and Giuliani would both want judges to handle this case the same way. But what I mentioned was how the two of you apparently would differ handling the Act and I think it was fairly clear that I was adressing how the two of you have different views of the Act and its propriety given the Congress' commerce clause powers.

I agree that "we don't know exactly what Rudy's view on it" is(which is why I used the word "apparently" in my preceding comment) but I have not seen anything to suggest that he deviates from the majority of legal thinking on the commerce clause. I am not alone in my view that it is unlikely that Rudy shares your view on this matter.

Too Many Jims said...

Simon,

With regard to the Rohrshach comment, did you think my reference to that was accidental? It was not. I don't thinkit is perjorative to say a politician is a Rohrshach test. To be frank I think the best politicians are effective because they are such blots.

Just take Rudy's comments on partial birth abortion He allays the fears of some social conservatives by getting to say that he disapproves of Roe; he allays the fears of some moderate pro-choicers by saying that he supprots abortion rights (once the states decide); he gets to say he doesn't approve of partial birth abortion which scores him points with the middle and he says that he will appoint the "right judges" (I am still waiting for the candidate who commits to appointing the "wrong judges").

Naked Lunch said...

Simon
It was Senter, but a different case against Nationwide. It was always going to be messy, but thousands of policyholders got jacked, I don't think there is any dispute about that part. If your dwelling was blown off the foundation, and storm surge came after - or if your roof was blown off, and water came in after, and your claim has been denied it's pretty hard to prove otherwise. Anyways this is badly off topic.

Cedarford said...

Simon - I think that if he's going to, it serves his goal to have the debate that we should have had when Judge Bork was nominated: about the difference between descriptive views of the Constitution, normative views about policy, and their intersection in the Presidency and the Supreme Court. If he doesn't encourage that debate, then there's a real chance that he will fall off the tightrope. If he does encourage it, not only will he win, but the country will be profoundly more healthy for it, IMO.

I think the cancer of 35 years of abortion politics derailing America from addressing other major problems and dominating Party dynamics may be finally drawing to a close. America has big, huge problems and I don't see abortion or judicial appointment philosophy in any way being an overiding Primary topic. Democrats will go with someone they believe that can fix America's burgeoning problems and who will "appoint judges that care about the children and reflect America's wonderful diversity. Republicans will nominate someone they believe is best suited to fix America's massive problems and who they trust to appoint no Sandra Day O'Connor or Harriet Mears or Souter.

(The sainted O'Connor is actually the archetype of the vapid jurist who for 20 years injected her personal feelings into law rather than go with deep-rooted intellectual judicial philosophy...a reason why the quite dissimilar Scalia and Ginsburg are such good friends..they are not the dilettant sort O'Connor was. )

Rudy convincing voters he is serious about strict constructionists, no Souters or Miers types, and wants more States Rights on issues like abortion and guns is a Republican winner. The religious zealots may have to hold their nose for a guy that screwed around and dressed in drag....lived but did not "play" with two wealthy homo roomates during his divorce...but if it is Rudy or Mormon Mitt against Hillary or one of the other Leftys, what choice? They'll never trust McCain...

With Rudy, though, other factors may come in. He has an exceptionally large skeleton closet and "Bernie" was just one bone in the ossuary. How he manages his past and discloses to minimize scandal will be a challenge. But he is adept with the media - even when they hated him for overturning so many cherished liberal beliefs in NYC, they could not ignore his successes.

Democrat, Republican, we need a fixer to begin cleaning up the messes.

mcg said...

Well, I know I'm late to the game, so it may seem weird to register a slight disagreement with the first post, but I must. Yeah, on its own his answer "there are plenty of ways to define it" seems chickenshit. But you know, I wouldn't ride him too hard on that. For one, I'm not entirely sure that Larry King is necessarily the right venue to deliver a lecture on a philosophy of constitutional interpretation. For most who really care about the question, "strict constructionist" really kind of says enough, because they'll already know roughly what he means. And if you need further details you can refer to his previous statements about his approval of Bush's judicial appointments.

So yeah, it was a dodge, but not in my view because he's trying to avoid answering the question in general. I think over the course of the campaign we will get a fuller answer in pieces.

mcg said...

So yeah, it was a dodge, but not in my view because he's trying to avoid answering the question in general.

Oops, I mean, he's not trying to avoid answering the question in general.

Eli Blake said...

Pity the poor conservatives in the GOP.

They don't trust Rudy because he was pro-abortion and pro-gun control in New York (though he is doing his best to 'fix' both positions so he can pander to the traditional Republican base). They don't trust John McCain because he IS Senator Flip Flop (even taking both sides of some positions literally within hours of each other). They don't trust Mitt Romney because they think he's going to Hell.

So who does that leave? Eye of Newt, anyone?

hdhouse said...

We can only dream it will be Newt.

Serious Swiftboating of Rudy will occur about 2 seconds after his nomination....and should. He left NYC in a horrible financial mess and like the GOP koolaide kid, just moved on and left it for the next guy.

He has zero chance of carrying his home state (New York) which is about to drop the entire GOP into Long Island Sound. The comment that Iraq was the elephant in the room is appropos. Rudy had to jump and he jumped badly. When the Kabul turns to dust in the spring and when Bush conducts a preemptive strike in Iran sometime, anyone who is on that side of the tracks will be toast.

hdhouse said...

oh and Simon...I forgive you all your posts. I just realized you are just a kid. Sorry

Kirby Olson said...

I like Rudy's forthright way. He makes sense to me even when he doesn't completely answer questions. He was on Hannity and Colmes the other night about a week ago and he was asked what he intended to do about the wall possibility between the US and Mexico. He said he wanted walls in city areas such as near San Diego, but not generally. Even this is more of an answer than you ever get from any Democrat. They just won't discuss tricky issues.

Rudy on the other hand practically cuts through Gordian knots like Alexander the Great would do. I prefer SOME answer to just endless obfuscation.

TMink said...

HD, we agree. No, really! I really like the way Newt thinks, but he could never get the nomination. Too much baggage.

Trey

hdhouse said...

Kirby Olson said..."I like Rudy's forthright way. He makes sense to me even when he doesn't completely answer questions...He said he wanted walls in city areas such as near San Diego, but not generally. Even this is more of an answer than you ever get from any Democrat. They just won't discuss tricky issues. Rudy on the other hand practically cuts through Gordian knots like Alexander the Great would do. I prefer SOME answer to just endless obfuscation."

Ahh Earth to Kirby....come in Kirby...did you read in the original post: Giuliani said, “There are a lot of ways to explain that,” and did not elaborate.

It is just this clarity of thought, this big picture glimpse, this cut to the chase type of answer that you refer to? Howsabout you drop to your knees and give Mr. Dynamic, "chips fall where they may" Rudy, a big everlovin' smooch on his big old behind.

Did you have to swear a loyalty oath or something?