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.
Some of my religious confreres will not be able to stomach Giuliani having marched in drag in gay pride parades or his stated pro-choice opinions. But many of us will take a practical look at him and at the office of President and ask, “How much could he hurt our cause?” The answer would be, “Not much.”
I would add, as of today, that if Giuliani were to run as an enforcement hawk on immigration, he’d be unbeatable.