This is where Rudy Giuliani excels as a GOP candidate. Foreign policy/the war is the issue of our time, and a social conservative like myself likes what he has to say on the issue.
Based on Clinton’s answers in recent debates, Giuliani said during a town hall meeting that he cannot figure out her position on Iran.
“We’re dealing with a level of ambiguity that I don’t believe is a good sign in a would-be commander in chief in a time of war,” said Giuliani, who has positioned himself as the one Republican able to thwart another Clinton presidency…
In a debate late last month, Clinton refused to say whether she would pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq by 2013, what would be the end of her first presidential term. “It is very difficult to know what we’re going to be inheriting,” she said.
The New York senator also ducked a debate question about whether Israel had the right to bomb Iran if Tehran posed a nuclear threat. She called the question a “hypothetical,” and said, “That’s better not addressed at this time.”
Giuliani said he has made it clear that he would not allow Iran to become a nuclear power and would not rule out military action to stop that from happening.
He said the U.S. must win the war in Iraq so that country “will act as an ally for us in the Islamic terrorist war against us.”
“If you listen to Democrats and some people in the press, the whole reason we’re in Iraq is to figure out how to withdraw,” he said. “That’s all they talk about. I don’t know if they realize how counterproductive that is. I don’t know if they realize how strategically irresponsible that is.”
I have nothing to argue with in any of that. Democrats like Hillary, who are endlessly talking not about winning but withdrawing, are giving the enemy a reason to believe that they can outlast us and win. It’s a confirmation to them that the Giap strategy that defeated us in Vietnam can defeat us in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rudy is right.
But so are all of the other Republican candidates on this issue, with one glaring exception. If this is all Rudy has, plus his and his supporters’ belief that he’s the only one who can defeat Hillary Clinton in the general election next year, it’s fairly thin gruel.
Rudy and his supporters ought to be clear about something in their own minds, as I think clarity will help them deal with social conservatives like myself. In the GOP field, I don’t see a perfect candidate. There are some very good candidates, some less good, and one awful one. If I were to design a perfect candidate, he would probably be a combination of Rudy and Romney and McCain and Hunter. I like Hunter’s biography and the fact that he’s a rock solid conservative, so solid that he even spoke at the third Gathering of Eagles a few weeks back. I like the fact that his own sons have chosen to go to war, as he did in Vietnam. I like McCain’s biography too, but I don’t like his many betrayals of conservative principle. I like the star power that Rudy and Romney bring to the table, and I like Romney’s business background and his unflappability. He’s just as cool as can be under fire. But he tacked left to win in Massachusetts and now he’s taking right to win the White House, making it difficult to know who he really is. And then there’s Rudy.
Giuliani has record of cleaning up NYC, he has the record of how he responded to 9-11, he has the record of being tough on most crime, but he also has the record of being socially to the left even of most Democrats. And he has that record on his own personal life.
What are the odds that if we have a President Giuliani, we’ll have a major sex scandal of some kind? I figure it’s about 60% or higher, and I’m only basing that on his own record. It’s not a record that James Dobson or anyone else made up out of false accusations. Like Bill Clinton’s record, Rudy’s is based on his own actions. It’s his own fault. It’s not demagoguery to point it out, and to wonder if it’s a good idea to put him in the White House knowing the potential for scandal that he carries with him. And when you add this potential to all of the other damage President Giuliani could do to the country and the conservative cause, well, it’s legitimate to wonder if he’s really the best man to be the Republican standard bearer next year. Do we want someone who might bring Republican bimbo eruptions to the White House, in the middle of a war? Do we want to be a bunch of James Carvilles, out there arguing the definition of “is” or whatnot, and in the face of a press that will be gunning for this kind of thing from the day he takes office?
Yes, President Rudy could well win the war, and in a way that it’s tough to imagine any Democrat winning it. He might, in other words, actually win it. He has the right attitude on the threats that we’re up against, and he was ahead of the game and still is ahead of the game when you compare him to most politicians. But if at the same time he keeps us unsecured by not paying attention to the border, and if he gives us a squishier Supreme Court and moves us left economically and fiscally, and if he gives us a Republican party that’s socially indistinguishable from the Democrats, what’s the long term effect of his presidency? I don’t know the answer to that, but I don’t think it’s wise for his supporters to continue to slam Giuliani’s socially conservative critics. Social conservatives are part of the brake on the Democrats, as part of the conservative/Republican coalition. The libertarian wing of the GOP, which tends to be smaller than the social con wing, just can’t say enough nasty things about us social cons, and just can’t stop slamming various social con leaders for doing nothing more than offering an honest opinion on real issues of the day and where the various candidates stand or fall in relation to those issues. That kind of thing is not going to win Giuliani any votes in the primaries, and it may lose him votes if he’s the nominee, with the net result that the other side wins.
Just something to think about.