The Spectacle Blog

Re: Never Ever

By on 6.27.06 | 2:59PM

I remind all of my column last year, "Giuliani Time," here. Key grafs:

In 30-plus years, the religious right as a political movement has grown very sophisticated and practical about what it wants and what it can get at any given time. In the legislative arena, for example, pro-life politicos have picked careful battles, on partial birth abortion and parental notification. Meanwhile, elect more and more Republicans. The judiciary has the muscle on all the social issues, and has had ever since Roe.

Here, the great karmic wheel of politics has turned almost enough to excuse Giuliani social liberalism. After all, what can a President do to affect abortion politics? Most important, appoint judges. By the end of George W. Bush's term, he will have appointed two, perhaps three, justices to the Supreme Court. Would Giuliani appoint a Ruth Bader Ginsburg, either to SCOTUS or a lower court? Given the ex-mayor's bent toward free-market reform and stout crime enforcement, no. A judge conservative on economic and criminal justice matters is likely to take a conservative view of social issues, too.

Re: Never Ever

By on 6.27.06 | 1:10PM

I'm also skeptical about Giuliani. How will he fare in the withering glare of a presidential campaign? Three quick thoughts:

1. His judgment in personnel matters is way off at times.

2. He has a tendency to shoot from the hip. How will he react when he gets attacked by social conservatives for the first time? My guess he will be even less gracious than McCain was.

3. In some ways, he isn't a social liberal. He's a social radical. Is it too much to ask that he support a ban on partial birth abortion?

Re: Never Ever

By on 6.27.06 | 11:44AM

Dave:  Maybe it’s the New Yorker in me that puts me closer to Philip Klein’s take on Giuliani. While the obstacles are significant, I also believe that the historical moment offers him a serious opportunity to break through. It’s too early to say how large a role the social issues you mention will play; especially if the dreaded other shoe drops, and we experience another attack in the U.S., all bets are off. Meanwhile, Giuliani needs to make some headway reaching out to social conservatives justifiably skeptical about his stand on the social issues. He should talk about how many lives were saved in New York City by his crime policies, not to mention how many were turned around by his sweeping (and ahead of the curve) welfare reform.

Keller’s Arrogance, Part Two

By on 6.27.06 | 10:25AM

The New York Times reporting on the uproar over its bank records story:

The executive editor of The Times, Bill Keller, said in an e-mail statement on Monday evening that the decision to publish had been "a hard call." But Mr. Keller noted that since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush administration has "embarked on a number of broad, secret programs aimed at combating terrorism, often without seeking new legal authority or submitting to the usual oversight."

He added, "I think it would be arrogant for us to pre-empt the work of Congress and the courts by deciding these programs are perfectly legal and abuse-proof, based entirely on the word of the government."

Or... it might be arrogant to pre-empt their work by undermining those actually responsible for overseeing such programs and protect secrets in the interest of national security. The American people chose leaders they trust to do these jobs, Mr. Keller. You are not one of them.

More Newspaper Lies

By on 6.27.06 | 10:17AM

In addition to the Prowler's post last night on Bill Keller's apparent lies about the bank records story, Hugh Hewitt has caught the Los Angeles Times editors with different stories.

Never Ever

By on 6.27.06 | 10:03AM

In spite of Philip Klein's excellent portrayal of Rudy Giuliani as presidential, it won't happen. Giuliani made a fine leader in a time of crisis, but Americans will not vote solely on terrorism. Abortion and gay marriage will still figure largely into ballot decisions. And those social issues will appear to social conservatives as part of the same cloth as Giuliani's sordid personal life (remember a judge barring Judith Nathan from the Gracie Mansion?). Giuliani has a lot going for him, but he is still a non-starter.

And another thing (10:30 a.m.): Readers are pointing out another problem for Giuliani: his Second Amendment record.

Canadian Medicine

By on 6.26.06 | 9:36PM

Got this on one of my email lists. A definitive description of Canadian health care:

Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement. The first patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

The second sees his family doctor after waiting a week for an appointment, then waits eight weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another month and finally has his surgery scheduled six months from then.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

The first is a Golden Retriever.

The second is a human.