A number of my conservative friends are selling out to Giuliani on the basis of supposed electability. Going outside the conservative fold in hope of electoral success has proven in the past to be a mistake, and would be a mistake again.
My own view is that Giuliani is a lot like Nixon, who, as everyone needs to remember, was an electable compromise who turned into a disaster for Republicans with respect to policy, and who produced a thoroughgoing political debacle as well.
Like Nixon, Giuliani is not conservative. He is merely a statist authoritarian. But Giuliani is even worse than Nixon. He has only very recently become strongly self-identified as Republican at all or made even the slightest pretension towards conservatism. Unlike Nixon, who was at least occasionally allied with Republican conservatives, Giuliani has been an outright enemy of the Republican Right who endorsed the ultra-liberal democrat Mario Cuomo in 1994 rather than support George Pataki (who was back then erroneously believed to be a serious conservative).
It is perfectly obvious that Giuliani’s recent conversions are entirely related to the personal opportunities they offer in 2008, and, were he to be elected, it is very doubtful any of those new commitments would endure as long after the election as the interval that they preceded it. Once in office, Giuliani would have new priorities far more important to him than Republicanism, Conservatism, or keeping faith with people foolish enough to elect him. He would immediately start taking steps to create a personal legacy and secure a second term.
Both goals would be more easily achieved by changing course and (like his non-conservative predecessor Richard Nixon) supporting the key top items on the liberal establishment’s agenda. So expect Rudolf to get right to work on the contemporary equivalent of enacting Affirmative Action, betraying Taiwan, passing the Endangered Species Act (giving the federal government an excuse to preclude private use of any piece of property), and implementing Wage and Price Controls. The more support he can get personally the better for him, so watch for a series of democrat appointments and a major sellout on court appointments.
Can we predict specifics of Rudy’s betrayals? Some of them I think we can.
Giuliani’s equivalent of Nixon’s Affirmative Action will be federalized Gay Marriage. His equivalent of the Endangered Species Act will be the adoption of the Kyoto Treaty and the creation of Carbon Credits. (Al Gore and Kleiner Perkins get very, very rich.) Giuliani’s Wage & Price Controls? Expect hizonner to raise taxes, to go after the Hedge Fund industry, and to revive Anti-Trust. Giuliani will continue from the White House his practice of building personal power by playing the role of class warrior and brutalizing more nouveau and vulnerable economic contestants on behalf of more established sections of the Financial Community. Doubtless, he will also find allies in the tech sector on whose behalf he can break up “monopolies.” With whom Giuliani will make a deal overseas is less clear right now. Perhaps he would preside over the reunification of Taipei with the Mainland and get his own opera.
This is a good case for someone other than Rudy for the nomination, but it becomes tougher if he wins it anyway. As awful a traitor to conservative values as Nixon was, would we really have been better off electing Humphrey?
I think he’s more conservative than you think. Plus – he’s a lowly politician! Which you have to be to win elections.
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