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Rudy Awakenings

Reactions to a Giuliani presidential candidacy. Also: Sager and conservatives. Who teaches groupthink? Bush and the Happy Warrior. Plus much more.

6.28.06

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SURVIVING THE SOCIAL CONS
Re: Philip Klein's Giuliani and History:

Rudy Giuliani may be caught in the vortex of history and rise to the occasion given the circumstances, however, the protracted conflict being waged against Islamic terrorism will need more than Rudy for a backbone. Giuliani's stance (liberal) on abortion and gay rights are contributing factors to the demise of Western Civilization (Judeo-Christian) and only weaken our position in the mortal (and moral) battle facing the free world today. Let's pray he, and that poor excuse for a conservative party, find a running mate that will provide the moral and ethical "steel" that's needed to win this war that I'm afraid will, in one form or another, last for decades.
-- David P. Bennett
Chicago, Illinois

I strongly second Philip Klein's arguments in favor of Rudy Giuliani being elected President in 2008.

It is true that Giuliani is quite liberal on certain hot-button social issues, in particular, abortion and gay rights. However, while these issue are important (and I disagree with Giuliani's positions on them), they are peripheral issues compared to crime and welfare -- on all of which Giuliani offered strong, conservative, outspoken leadership during his eight years as Mayor of New York City (a city bigger than all but 11 states).

Giuliani literally saved New York City by releasing it from the death grip of terrible crime and rampant welfare. This was a greater accomplishment than almost anything any modern American politician, at any level of government, has accomplished -- and, frankly, much greater than anything Senator McCain, Senator Frist, Senator Allen, Governor Romney, and the lesser Republican hopefuls have ever accomplished in their political careers.

And let's not forget Giuliani's outspoken opposition to the vulgar, sacrilegious "art" displayed at the Brooklyn art museum. While Giuliani may hold libertarian views on many issues, at his core he is a traditional, "middle-class" American. And as Mayor he worked extremely hard to make the middle-class vision of the American Dream a reality in New York City. His middle-class vision, coupled with his steely determination (even arrogance) in the face of elitist liberal opposition (which he suffered as much as President Bush), is exactly what we need in our next President.

Mr. Klein already has explained why Giuliani is the best choice to lead the nation in the ongoing War on Terror. This is the issue of our time, and Giuliani has demonstrated time and time again the character, toughness, and eloquence to lead us for the next eight years.

Significantly, Giuliani also will be able to beat any candidate the Democrats nominate. He won't be starting behind versus Hillary Clinton, for example, as many potential Republican candidates would be. And he would positively squash Gore or Kerry through the weight of his stature alone.

Of course, it is still very early, and in the course of his campaign Giuliani may propose policies on various issues (taxes, federal spending, defense, environment, judicial appointments, etc.) that are too objectionable to warrant voting for him in 2008. But at this point in time, based on his extensive record to date, Giuliani is the best man for the job.
-- Steven M. Warshawsky
New York, New York

Giuliani smells like yesterday's fish to the "married women" voters. Do you think we will forget the spectacle outside Gracie Mansion? You RINOs can keep pushing all you want, but you would do well to remember Harriet Miers.
-- Annette Cwik

Rudy Giuliani has the ability to lead a major city through some very tough conditions and events, but those of us who value the lives of the unborn and our Second Amendment rights have sufficient reason in those two issues to refrain from voting from an otherwise good man. There is one reason that I would vote for Rudy: if his opponent were HRC.
-- SPC Snuffy Smith
Ramadi, Iraq

I like nearly everything I know about former Mayor Giuliani except his opposition to the Second Amendment. I know, his New York City background has trashed his thinking on this, but it would be a small price to pay for him to admit he's been wrong in that one instance.

He will never be able to prevail in Red State primaries until he realizes that today, Red State Americans are more afraid of their government than they are of criminals when it comes to the Bill of Rights. See Kelo for the most recent example.

If Rudy can exercise a little critical thinking, and change his mind, then let everyone know how he came to his new belief, he can't be stopped in Southern primaries. His views on gays and abortion notwithstanding, he will beat McCain or Allen in those primaries because he is not a wimp.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

Klein is right I'd be tempted to vote for Giuliani, because of the GWOT. I also like him more than McCain, Hagel and Graham even though I agree with them on social issues. But does the author really believe conservatives would support Giuliani when they want back President Bush who in actual policy is generally more conservative than Reagan?

President Bush has been relentless and successful (unless you fall for the media line about Iraq) in fighting this war and still you hear them whine "he's a coward, gives in too easily, is wimpy, a New Englander masquerading as a cowboy, etc." While that is patently BS and is more a reflection of so-called "conservatives" willingness to be swayed by the drive-by media as a military officer I cannot imagine these sunshine patriots standing by Giuliani when he needs them much less winning the support of the cut and run Copperhead Democrats.

Right now there are three candidates I'm interested in -- Senator Allen, Governor Romney, and Mayor Giuliani. I just wish one had a military record. McCain and Hagel like Kerry and Murtha are going to use theirs and/or hide behind them to advance themselves on the national stage. What would be ideal is a conservative Republican with a sound military record, the charisma of a Reagan and the determination of a Bush to emerge in 2008. Then we'd whip the Democrats and McCain/Hagel (apparently Democrat wannabes) with one hand tied behind our backs.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Crownsville, Maryland

If the Republican Party wishes its core members to sit on their check books and stay at home on Election Day, they would further this self-destruction by nominating Rudy Giuliani as their next presidential-pestilential candidate OR do the same for any other Rockefeller or RINO candidate.

As a "Core Republican" I would favor any candidate who comes out, early and very publicly, for the following positions:

1. Opposition to abortions except in the case of a clear-and-present threat to the life of each such mother;

2. Opposition to the McCain-Feingold anti-free-speech law;

3. Opposition to "gun control & registration laws";

4. Support of the fact that most Muslims support ALL the teachings of their ideology, including: mandatory jihad; lying to "unbelievers" when it will do them harm; killing Jews, those who leave Islam and those who "insult" the Koran or Mohammed, the destruction of real religions and cultures; AND, all of the other horrors inflicted by the "Sons of the Prophet" over the last 1400-years and to this date; AND,

5. Support that our borders must be fully and quickly secured, by military forces until the Border Patrol can do the job BEFORE any other changes in our immigrations laws are even considered.
-- James Pawlak

You can say all you want about Rudy, but here is a diehard Republican that will vote for him regardless what some of his policies are. You see, the difference between us and them is, we believe in a lot of things, not just one item, like the war, that the Dems don't believe in. So, Rudy doesn't have to believe in everything that I do. That is going to be and already is a problem for Hillary Clinton, and I think you are trying to make it a problem for Rudy. I just don't think it will work for you. Besides, when they start bringing up the truckloads of baggage and white house furniture Hillary is carrying around, it will really get interesting.
-- unsigned

Good article. Although Rudy is a social liberal, his crime fighting background and handling of 9/11 are going to endear him to Republican voters. He could be the best Republican nominee in generations. If he does secure the nomination, it will do a number of things.

One, it proves to liberals and moderates that the GOP is indeed a big tent, and it will force the Democrats to nominate someone very far to the left, essentially calling their bluff. That will be a politically losing move for the Dems.

Two, if Rudy is smart and brings along Condi as his VP nominee, we could see a shift in minority voting patterns that will put the Dems out of power for well into the foreseeable future. Also, if Condi does agree to be the VP, Rudy shores up his support among conservatives. It will be hard to convince even the most die hard conservative who doesn't like Rudy's northeastern liberal views that he/she should sit this one out, if only because we all love Ms. Rice.

Three, we know that Rudy will continue the Long War against Islamofascism that conservatives recognize as the most important issue of our time, something that was touched on in the article. Our boys and girls in uniform already respect him, and I believe he'd be a great CinC.

All the other issues, like gay marriage, abortion, etc. do not matter in the face of the threat of the Islamofascists. The fact is, the GOP is having the debates about these secondary, but very important issues. The Dems aren't having any debates. This shows the American electorate that although you can be a liberal Republican, you cannot be a conservative Democrat. And that's a winner for the GOP.
-- Joel Natzke
Kansas City, Missouri

I wish to commend Mr. Klein for his dedication to Mr. Giuliani and his bid for the Presidency. There is no doubt in my mind that, if the citizens of New York, New Jersey, New England, and a few other metropolises are determinant in gaining the Presidency for their man, then Giuliani will, indeed, be elected President in November of 2008. Unfortunately, the rest of the country also gets to vote. Unfortunately, the election requires a majority within the Electoral College, not the popular votes cast.

It has been noted many times in the past that to win a war requires "boots on the ground." You must take and hold territory. This has been proven again in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the electoral wars between the Repubs and the Dems, we have seen that the Repub "boots on the ground" come overwhelmingly from the ranks of the social conservatives or so-called Christian Right.

Who will be manning the phone banks in Ohio for Rudy? Who will be licking the envelopes in South Carolina or Oklahoma for Rudy? Who will be going door to door for Rudy in Tennessee or Texas? Who will be erecting yard signs in Alabama or Arizona for Rudy? Will the New York/New England fiscal conservatives flock to fly-over country to do the myriad of chores necessary to win a campaign, and if they do, will they help Rudy among the locals or alienate the locals so much with their elitism that they depress voter turnout? How many hunters and gun enthusiasts will interrupt their time enjoying their sport to elect a candidate that would have no qualms whatever in signing gun control registry legislation?

This has been the classic argument between the country club Repubs, the Rockefeller Repubs, the fiscal conservative Repubs vs. the social conservative Repubs, the Christian Right Repubs for decades now. Just within my lifetime it goes back to Tom Dewey. Much to their chagrin, the fiscal conservative Repubs have shown that they can not get it done without the help of the social conservatives. Rockefeller could not win. Gerald Ford could not win. Reagan was said not to be able to win, yet he swept all before him in 1980 and increased his totals in 1984.

Now I am just an insignificant voter, who has pulled the Repub lever since 1960, but I predict here and now that Rudy will NOT win the Presidency in 2008. I have serious doubts that he can win the nomination. I say this even though I like many of the things that he did in New York City, and if I lived there, I would have voted for him. Rudy and John McCain are competing for the same pool of voters, in the main. The candidate will come from a different faction of the party, one that is NOT anathema to the social side of the equation, and that candidate CAN win in November of 2008....
-- Ken Shreve

One thing in his favor is the New York Times being against him.
-- Elaine Kyle

DEFENDING THE DEFENSELESS
Re: Patrick Hynes's Hurting the Ones You (Ought to) Love:

I read your recent column, "Hurting the Ones You (Ought to) Love" and wanted to thank you for defending my sister, Terri Schiavo.

Sadly, Mr. Sager and so many others in the popular media have distorted and misreported the facts of my sister's situation from its inception. So much so that I find much of my time responding to the inaccuracies that is written about Terri.
-- Bobby Schindler
St. Petersburg, Florida

Any libertarian worried about the Christian right should read Jennifer Roback Morse. She makes an extremely strong case for the fact that social conservatives, i.e. those who are pro-life, pro-family, are the prerequisite of limited government, because they (on the whole) raise responsible, virtuous children who then can take care of themselves. Anyone who is a social libertarian is asking for bigger and bigger government because when families break down or are never formed the children produced are less and less able to lead virtuous, self-reliant lives, and the need for the welfare/police state increases.

So beware, libertarians: if what you want is less government, then you must become social conservatives. The freedom of self-government is based on the covenantal, i.e., shared freedom of the traditional
family.
-- Lucy Tucker

Ryan Sager sounds like my kinda guy, and I certainly disagree with the conclusions of Mr. Hynes. Republican priorities suck, period.

The emphasis placed by the religious right (abortion/gays/Terri Schiavo/marriage/censoring TV options, etc.) appear to be far more "important" than securing our borders/immigration/spending and the humongous-ridiculous size of government as advocated by the disaster known as Dubya.

We libertarian types may be a disjointed minority, but we could well cost the GOP a sufficiently large chunk of votes that the stupid Republican Party might have to possibly rethink the super-sanctimonious tone of the religious right and its priorities. The GOP's myopia is appalling

Comes down to principle, and (again) priorities -- possibly the reason(s) why there are only two choices for me in the next presidential election, Joe Lieberman or Rudy Giuliani, not necessarily in that order. They're the only ones I'd trust with my vote.
-- Geoff Brandt (who will vote to reelect Dr. Ron Paul in November)

Ryan Sager is free to raise the bogeyman of the Christian/Religious Right because bigotry against Christianity is "approved" and "makes sense" to so many Americans, much like in living memory many of us heard just about any problem "rationally" blamed on Jews or blacks. Somehow the fact that some people believe they ultimately answer to a both all just and all merciful Creator is an unacceptable mental condition, rendering any judgment of those people incompatible with the democratic process. Although a religious person may often not agree with the politics of an irreligious person, I have yet to hear that an irreligious nature per se is incompatible with the democratic process.

Sad to say, my anecdotal experience is entirely consistent with Sager's hypothesis. Libertarians go mad dog over Christianity and turn a blind eye to the much larger groups that are far more contradictory to their fundamental goals. And Sager is right about Californians moving their neighboring states to the left, simply cashing in and exploiting the wild property valuations in their native state. In a similar process, Massachusetts natives are wrecking New Hampshire, the last Republican state in the northeast.

Anyone with a better than room temperature IQ understands the almost unique nature of the Schiavo case: a not brain dead woman who failed to craft a living will, whose legal husband had clearly moved on, living with another woman and having children by her, and whose parents were willing to assume all responsibility for her. Nevertheless the very thought of "don't tell me what I can and cannot do" overrides all other considerations.

Ask any Libertarian: you wake up tomorrow, there are nine John Ashcrofts on the Supreme Court, one in the White House, and 500 something in the Congress. Exactly what did you do yesterday that you fear you cannot do today? Or what did you decline yesterday that you will be compelled to do today? Again in my anecdotal experience the response is always silence.

This makes sense?
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

TOLERANT, EXCEPT WHEN WE'RE NOT
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's Groupthink vs. Freedom:

The parents of these students should ask for a refund from the schools. Don't these kids understand just how stupid they sound? Free thinking indeed, just as long as you only agree with me. Love it.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

Great article by Mr. Reiland! The left has the same attitude toward speech as Muslim nations have toward religious freedom: Everyone is free to become a Muslim!
-- Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Mr. Reiland correctly points out the hypocrisy of the self-proclaimed guardians of free speech on the left. Every time I hear about a new crusade concocted by these self-serving demagogues to protect the "diversity" of any organization or group by suppressing ideas they deem to be insufficiently sensitive to their point of view, it makes me wonder why anyone takes them seriously. Perhaps we should ask ourselves where the students leading these protests got their perverted notion of tolerance and diversity, but I think we already know the answer to that question. They are simply mass-produced replicas of those entrusted to educate them. Their professors are not content to confine their influence to an inner circle of like-minded so-called intellectuals. They were bequeathed the right to teach our children so they feel emboldened to indoctrinate them with their duplicitous ideas. Groupthink is not a naturally occurring phenomena, it has to be developed and reinforced by ideas taught in classrooms by ideologues with an agenda.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

Mr. Reiland gives us yet again, another glimpse into the current state of higher education in America today. Young Ms. Charlton has swallowed the lessons of groupthink and intellectual intolerance beyond Mr. Orwell's and her professor's most fervent hopes. I suspect she's giddy over this demonstration of her intellectual prowess. No doubt, her comments were the high water mark of her academic career. The hegemony of the academic hard left in America's colleges and universities is no less pernicious than the elitist liberal media groupthink attitude that bestows upon the New York Times and the Washington Post, the supreme, unchecked, power to decide which of their actions will place America at great risk. The pampering of the American left has led to this heightened hubris, that exalts the likes of a Ward Churchill and Yale's President, Levin, in academia and the Punch Sulzberger's and Bill Keller's in the MSM. Their unbridled, legends in their own minds, egos, will not allow for the possibility that not only do they not have the intellectual and moral authority to blithely do as they please, but maybe, just maybe, not even the wisdom either. Oh, but what do I know? In a month's time, the disgraced Ward Churchill will find employment at The New School and Ms. Charlton will be a six-figure intern at the New York Times. And so it goes.
-- A. DiPentima

Ralph Reiland decries the groupthink ethos of students at The New School and Columbia University for protesting the appearance of Senator John McCain at this year's commencements. I agree with him, and find in his comments an interesting point which he seems to have overlooked.

He quotes a student sage as saying that McCain's appearance, which she found to be "extremely distasteful and hypocritical," was so because he is "someone who does not value the ideals we have consistently been taught [emphasis added] in our education." He quotes this protest leader again: "In all of our classes we're taught the value of inclusion of all people," to which principle she must conclude that McCain is opposed, notwithstanding his extreme coziness with the Senator from Chappaquiddick.

Now, the essence of Mr. Reiland's lament is not the "lack of rational argument... or their inconsistencies in making their case" of the quoted protest leader and others mentioned. Rather, he bemoans the fact that they "seem not to have learned [emphasis yet again added], after spending years in higher education, that censorship is far more dangerous than free speech ...."

Quite so. I won't belabor that point.

What I find more interesting is that the student leader's focus is upon what she and her fellows have been "taught," while Mr. Reiland supposes that they must have "learned" something from their experience of years. Poor Mr. Reiland! He remains under the delusion that higher education is about learning! Au contraire! It is about being taught, at least in the judgment of those obediently enduring the brain washing.

The student leader maintains no pretension to learning anything, judging by her choice of words. She is there to be taught! What, me learn something?

Is it any wonder that she hasn't been troubled to construct a rational argument or to sort out inconsistencies in her remarks before venting her pie hole? Those are things that are learned, not force-fed. One might hope that the rudiments of such things would be learned no later than high school and refined after matriculation at such prestigious institutions as The New School or Columbia. I suppose that I am also delusional to imagine such a thing.

American education has been on the downtick for decades, most recently with the connivance of Senator McCain and our President. The Senator should be gratified at the expression by this student leader of the fruit of his labor and that of his predecessors in the vineyards of political indoctrination for the masses.

If one looks again at the remarks of the student leader, another conclusion can be suggested. Notice that she is quite the judge of social propriety, as seen by her use of the terms "distasteful" and "hypocritical." I presume she knows what the words mean, or hasn't that been taught yet?

In addition, she seems to have acquired quite a highly refined sense of "values." It's a sense at least sufficient for her to presume to banish a man who is, after all, a United States Senator, invited by the highest muckety-mucks reigning over her own chosen school. She may be utterly unable to make a rational or consistent argument, but, by golly, she has the values thing down cold.

A wonderful future awaits her in our politically correct world.
-- Mark Fallert
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Ralph Reiland justifiably laments the decline of free speech and the rise of political correctness and groupthink on American campuses. This instance is especially absurd, since John McCain is innocuous as an ideologue. In all fairness to college students though, no one really expects them to be perspicacious or wise. Personally, I see a lot more to worry about in the world of adult "deciders." If the present administration had studied and understood The Abilene Paradox and Other Meditations on Management by Jerry Harvey, we wouldn't be in Iraq today.
-- Paul Dorell
Highland Park, Illinois

THE SHOPPING WARRIORS
Re: Judd Magilnick's Who Killed the Happy Warrior?:

I can tell you -- President George W. Bush when he told America after 9/11 to "go out and shop." Here was an opportunity of a generation, like Pearl Harbor, where Americans of all stripes were willing to band together to protect our nation. In my town liberals, conservatives, and those with no political interests at all were willing to take action. We discussed volunteering to patrol power grids and airports. Do a civilian "sky watch" as they did in WWII. We turned to our leadership, awaiting instruction.

Instead, we were told to charge up our credit cards and pile up the debt. There was no talk of working together for the common good. Americans weren't asked to sacrifice or to be inconvenience. Just give power to the federal government and leave it to them.

There are many missed opportunities in the Bush administration, but this was the biggest, and with the longest lasting consequences.
-- Diane

NERVOUS TIMES
Re: Jed Babbin's The New War Profiteers

After a few days to think about this a little, try this on for size :

The Bush administration is upset, sure, but not to the point of prosecuting the Times or other media outlets who print this stuff. Why is that? First, I have come to think that it's because at the end of the day the administration thinks it will succeed in the GWOT regardless of what the media do and rather fight them over each and every issue, there will be one, huge "I told you so" moment at some point in the near future, certainly before the 2008 elections.

Second, if by some chance there is another attack directly on the U.S., the media will be on the defensive for years trying to deflect blame for aiding and abetting such an attack as a result of their constant disclosing of methods being used to thwart such an occurrence.

Either way, actions of the Times and their co-conspirators will look pretty shoddy (or worse) in retrospect. People who care to think about this will soon realize (if they haven't already) what poor and disreputable service has been rendered by these news outlets.
-- Rich Belaire
Ann Arbor, Michigan

SYMPATHY, PLEASE
Re: Mark Gauvreau Judge's Doubting Coulter -- At First:

I wonder why Mr. Judge doesn't consider the fact that there is a huge difference between the 9/11 widows and others who talk about their grief over loved ones who've died. This difference completely explains the detail with which the "Jersey Girls" described their pain: they were being attacked and accused of enjoying the men's death.

Can he imagine the pain of being so accused? I do not see the women "announcing" the details -- I see them being outraged and hurt, defensive, afraid of being outcast from their social/safety network, and feeling like they have to explain why Ms. Coulter's statement is so very beyond the pale.
-- Richard Shandross

A MORBID LOTTERY
Re: Stephen Sboray's and Greg Furman's letters ("The Shrinking Moderates") in Reader Mail's None Dare Not Call It Treason:

What you and so many of those on the left continually overlook is that the Jersey girls were made instant millionaires by the federal government, using your tax dollars. That does not give them the intelligence nor political acumen to berate everything that is not "non-leftist claptrap." Nowhere in history (Oklahoma City comes to mind) has a government bestowed such largesse on victims of a tragedy. As usual, you folks accuse the right of playing "the blame game" when in fact, the left developed such a strategy and plays it to the hilt.

FACT: Dr. Coulter earned her millions by dearth of her own intelligence and hard work. The Jersey girls won a morbid lottery!
-- C.D. Lueders
Melbourne, Florida

THE ANTI-HATE
Re: Ben Stein's Why I Am a Republican:

I have always loved Ben Stein. In this article, he said exactly what I have been saying to others. I don't understand the hatred that comes from some of these liberals. I don't think I ever liked Bill Clinton, but I am pretty sure that I never said that I hate him. I just don't get it.
-- Scott Stenger

POETIC INJUSTICE
Re: Diane Smith's letter ("Everyone's a Poet") in Reader Mail's None Dare Not Call It Treason:

Very good Diane, and I loved the Burma Shave signs. Does this tell our age?

Keep to the right
of the oncoming car,
and get your close shave
from the Burma Shave jar.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

Umm, looks like the battle for TAS Poet Laureate is on. Let's have a contest, no seriously, let's have a contest. Two submissions from each contestant by end of this week, a two day hiatus for the rest of us to evaluate, then Reader Mail poll results, by end of next week. Rather than bearing the burden of having the "spot on" you, Diane, you'll be "on the spot"! Hey, what are friends for?

Do I still get my fruitcake?
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

DOOM WATCH
Re: David Hogberg's Can Social Security Reform Be Saved?":

Why is it that we can get some folks to cobble together some very complicated computer code that can predict Armageddon on Global Warming and we can't get the same energy expended on the economic Armageddon that is awaiting our grand children from the Social Security System?
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

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