Eric Johnston’s piece is indeed interesting and cleverly argued. Unfortunately, it is based on two propositions for which there is little evidence. The first is that Giuliani is opposed to Roe v. Wade. In the statement that Johnston points to, Giuliani explicitly says that a consistent originalist can uphold Roe on stare decisis grounds and ultimately expresses indifference to whether it is reversed or not. Rudy hasn’t publicly opposed Roe since his first run for mayor in 1989. His current position is actually fairly close to John Kerry’s (personally opposed to abortion but in favor of its legality, though less adamant about Roe).
The second is that Giuliani will veto taxpayer-funded embryonic stem-cell research because he was sensitive to taxpayer religious sensibilities in New York City. The trouble with this assertion — prediction? — is that it runs counter to Giuliani’s own stated position on the issue. With regard to the Virgin Mary painting, Giuliani was opposing the most aggressively secular and socially liberal elements in New York. But even some abortion opponents, like Orrin Hatch, favor embryonic stem-cell research, making it less likely that a pro-choice Republican will take a different stand (unless he feels it is essential to keeping social conservatives in his electoral coalition, an outcome that would be more likely if they would stop being such cheap dates).
My sense is some social conservatives like Giuliani personally, admire his accomplishments in New York City and his performance on 9/11, and believe he will be the nominee so they are trying to talk themselves into believing he is a social conservative too. Their arguments are counterintuitive and in some cases counterfactual.