The Spectacle Blog

More in Favor of Rudy G.

By on 8.30.06 | 8:06AM

I recall visiting New York City for the first time about eight years ago. I was working in the greater Washington D.C. area (meaning Reston, VA!) and a good friend prevailed on me to make the trip.

As a small-town southern boy, I was frankly terrified in anticipation. I'd grown up on a steady diet of cop shows on television and comic books that portrayed NYC as a concrete jungle with terror lying in wait around every corner.

Imagine my surprise when I drove into town and found that walking around Brooklyn and Manhattan was significantly less fearsome than the same stroll through downtown Atlanta. Way fewer panhandlers, too. I've never been panhandled less in any major city than in NYC. We're talking zero in my two visits there, versus about twenty times in a recent trip to Vancouver.

I remember thinking on that trip to the city and on a subsequent venture to a hotel in Times Square, "This is Rudy Giuliani's New York. This guy is a leader."

When it comes to a president, ideology isn't everything. As long as Rudy is a little right of the democrat, I'll support him.

Re: More Giuliani

By on 8.30.06 | 12:38AM

Dave, based on your two earlier posts, we agree on at least two things: 1) The terrorism/national security issue will prove crucial in 2008. 2) Giuliani is the best-positioned Republican on this issue. I will not attempt to deny that Giuliani has taken liberal stances on many (if not most) social issues, and that for some social conservatives this makes him simply an unacceptable candidate. But, given his advantage on national security, he doesn't have to be the ideal social conservative candidate. His much narrower task is to win over some social conservatives and prevent an all out revolt against his candidacy by those who don't like him. I think this is achievable.

Re: South Park Democrats

By on 8.29.06 | 10:17PM

John, fair enough that there were 10 Bush voters in that informal Reason poll, but I also counted 47 participants. So, with only 10 votes out of 47, I'm willing to stand by my statement that "most everybody" did not vote for Bush (I didn't mean to imply everybody).

Re: South Park Democrats

By on 8.29.06 | 8:44PM

It's about more than voting blocks. In a 1975 interview with Reason no less a conservative than Ronald Reagan said, "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." Now, obviously the power dynamics and constituencies are different these days, but the truth is the more Republicans win, the more the philosophical backbone of the party seems to weaken under the understandable if not particularly admirable desire to hold onto power. So libertarians may not win Republicans elections, but it's difficult to look at the behavior of this Congress and White House without getting the sense that we could use a little more principled opposition in the ranks. Right-leaning libertarians carry more worth than a simple vote.

Here's more Reagan from that interview, by the by:

Re: South Park Democrats

By on 8.29.06 | 7:43PM

Philip: It's not really true that "most everybody quoted in that informal poll of libertarian-ish people either said they would vote Libertarian, vote for Kerry, or stay home." Count them: There were 10 votes for Bush, and one who was waffling between Bush and the Libertarian candidate. But we libertarians are an eccentric and fractious bunch; we're divided amongst ourselves on issues as central as foreign policy, judges, and immigration. It doesn't really make sense to talk about a single libertarian voting block.

More Giuliani

By on 8.29.06 | 6:45PM

Larry, from that point of view, he probably won't hurt me. But by that standard, neither would just about any president who promised not to raise taxes. If you throw in constructionist judges (and there is room for improvement over Bush on the lower courts), that is a bonus. But there are still many social areas besides the courts in which I would want a more reliable guy in the office.

Philip, you are correct that Giuliani has the best stripes on national security. I would say he bests McCain in light of McCain's torture resolution. So if national security is your trump issue, then Giuliani is your guy.

As for Romney's flip-flopping, I am not sure what to make of it. For me, it could be sincere. I believe people can change for the better, and I hope this is a case of that. Flip-flopping has a bad rap. If it is strictly for political purposes, it is dishonest and cynical. If it is honest, and for the better, wonderful. Politically speaking, Romney may be able to convince enough pro-lifers that his change is sincere.

Andre and Rudy

By on 8.29.06 | 5:50PM

Quin, some years ago, Pete Sampras was scheduled to meet Andre Agassi the the final of the Lipton tournament. Sampras got sick and could not take the court at the appointed time. Agassi insisted on waiting until Sampras felt good enough to play, though he was entitled to win through a forfeit. "I don't want to win that way," he said.

On the Giuliani issue, I point everyone to my column of several months back, "Giuliani Time" (here), in which I made the point that pro-life conservatives would probably ask themselves, "How much could this guy hurt me?" And the answer would be, "Not much," especially if he pledges to appoint consructionist justices, and especially if George W. gets to make another pick for the SCOTUS.

RE: Another Death Tax

By on 8.29.06 | 5:40PM

Shawn, looking through that article, I see that the author uses statistics like infant mortality and overall mortality to compare the health care systems of Canada and the U.S. Sigh. Such statistics tell us next to nothing about the quality of a health care system.