Don’t worry, he’s not speaking on behalf of any group, just in his capacity as a “private citizen.” Much like, say, Al Sharpton does when he makes political pronouncements.

No implied threats in, say, this paragraph:

This self-styled defender of marriage says he is “proud” of having submitted, as New York’s mayor, a bill creating “domestic partnerships” for homosexual couples. Admittedly, many liberal Americans will agree with the social positions espoused by Giuliani. However, I don’t believe conservative voters whose support he seeks will be impressed. Presidential elections are won or lost by slim margins. Rudy has an uphill slog ahead of him, even though he is the darling of the media.

Big finish:

Shouldn’t the American people be able to expect a certain decorum and dignity from the man who occupies the White House? On this measure, as well, Giuliani fails miserably. Much has been written in the blogosphere about his three public appearances in drag. In each instance, he tried to be funny by dressing like a woman. Can you imagine Ronald Reagan, who loved a good joke, doing something so ignoble in pursuit of a cheap guffaw? Not on your life.

My conclusion from this closer look at the current GOP front-runner comes down to this: Speaking as a private citizen and not on behalf of any organization or party, I cannot, and will not, vote for Rudy Giuliani in 2008. It is an irrevocable decision. If given a Hobson’s – Dobson’s? – choice between him and Sens. Hillary Clinton or Barrack [sic] Obama, I will either cast my ballot for an also-ran – or if worse comes to worst – not vote in a presidential election for the first time in my adult life. My conscience and my moral convictions will allow me to do nothing else.

What he’s saying here, in no uncertain terms, is that he’s fully prepared to hand the war to Hillary Clinton to avoid having to vote for a guy who’s promised to appoint justices in the mold of John Roberts and Sam Alito to deal with abortion. He categorically refuses, in other words, to make the same basic compromise libertarian conservatives are asked to make routinely on behalf of the war effort — to throw in with people with whom we disagree on social issues to ensure robust prosecution of the war on terror.

There’s no good counterstrike, either. If he walks, in all likelihood he takes enough votes with him to swing the election. Which will make the party pander to social cons even more desperately in 2012. The only option is for libertarians to walk and leave the party to its fate without us. But (a) I like the social cons in the race, i.e., Fred and Mitt, (b) we’re few enough that they might still win without us, and (c) if they can’t win without us, then we have to accept, as Dobson does, four years of President Hillary.

Exit question: What to do?

Update: “James Dobson has made his choice. He’s influential for sure and believe me, there will be people who listen to his national radio show and decide not to vote for Giuliani just because Dobson won’t.”