Monday, November 20, 2006

Rudy, because he gets it

Somebody out there gets it.

First, an example of one of the people who doesn't get it:

South Carolina Republicans love Rudy Giuliani.

But will they go so far as to vote for him for president?

Probably not.

Why?

Because the former New York City mayor is a moderate Republican who supports gun control, same-sex civil unions, embryonic stem-cell research and abortion rights — stands that put him at odds with the majority of the GOP’s conservative base.

--Lee Bandy, The State (Hat tip: Rich Lowry.)

Ah, but Chuck Todd gets it, and Rich Lowry noticed that too:

Both Romney and Giuliani sense a chance at beating McCain on the right. The mainstream media mistakenly views Giuliani as another centrist, going after the same portion of the GOP electorate that McCain attracts. That's just not correct. Giuliani's strength in Republican polls is with conservatives, or more specifically, with those Republicans who have stayed the most supportive of Bush. The Diageo/Hotline poll showed evidence of this phenomenon last spring.

What's most fascinating about Giuliani's popularity with the GOP base is that his liberal stances on social issues like gay rights, abortion and guns, run diametric to the conservative rank and file. The media seem to believe these folks don't know Giuliani's stances, but that once they do they'll reject him. I'm hesitant to assume voters don't know these things about him; I think they do but are so consumed with fear for national security that they are willing to give him a pass.

(Apologies for not linking to the original source; the National Journal article will turn into a firewall-protected pumpkin at some point, and I don't link that way.)

Personally, I think the phrase "consumed with fear" is perjorative, and worse, inaccurate. (People who take the threats emmanating from Radical Islam seriously are not, generally speaking, quivering, panic-striken victim-cultists.) Rather, I think they're serious people who have seriosly assessed the current national and international situation, and decided that the threat to the country from Radical Islam is greater than the threat to the country from the NARAL.

For these voters, it won't matter how thick the southern accent, how sincere the religious beliefs, or how closely the candidate hews to the NRA position papers; anyone who doesn't have credibility on the "War on Terror" question can just skip most of Red State America.

(As to gun control, all Rudy has to do is a minor juke to the Right ("No law-abiding citizen should be denied a gun; no criminal should have access to one") to calm those potential rough waters).

The bottom line is, Rudy has a reputation of bringing law and order to the most lawless and chaotic city in America. That earned Rudy a nearly bottomless resevoir of respect. And then his actions and demeanor on and after 9/11 etched a picture of a man who had seen the enemy and learned exactly what is at stake.

People who have supported Bush through thick and thin have one thing in common, I think. They (and let me be honest, "We") believe we're in a war unlike any other in history, and that it is far from over. We could tuck tail and accept defeat in Iraq, and the War would not be over. This war came to us, and declaring it over won't keep it from coming back again.

We have the impression that Rudy gets that.

Anyone who wants to get past Rudy had better damn well start "getting that" or forget about being the 44th President.

Even if Rudy decides to give his Nomination Acceptance speech in drag.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We Willnae Be Fooled Again!*

From today's Opinion Journal:
Melanie Sloan, the liberal head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was cheered on by Democrats six weeks ago when she helped reveal the Mark Foley scandal. Now she says that "Ms. Pelosi"s endorsement of Rep. Murtha, one of the most unethical members of Congress, show that she may have prioritized ethics reform merely to win votes with no real commitment to changing the culture of corruption." [Emphasis added.]

I for one am shocked!, shocked!, by this turn of events.

* The Nac Mac Feegle view on the role of the State looks better and better every day.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just like old times....

Ah, I remember the heady blogging days of 2004, when John Kerry provided WhatsAPundit with so much material....

So, ust when it looks like the Republicans are stuck with talking about Republican problems (which pretty much ensured their majority status in both houses would go down in flames) John Kerry commits the cardinal sin of modern politics.

He says what he really means.

Compare and contrast:

You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you dont, you get stuck in Iraq.
--What Kerry said.
I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.
--What Kerry supposedly meant to say.

Let's disregard for a moment the Kerry v Bush educational comparison (which makes the putatively prepared joke very much a pot v. kettle proposition). Instead, let's examine why Kerry might have mangled the joke in the very particular way he did.

This is not a man who trusts the United States military, from the Commander in Chief down to the privates on patrol, to be anything other than a stupid, malicious force for evil. For Kerry, the military will always be the military as imagined by anti-Vietnam protesters, dead-end draftees led by sadistic officers led by a corrupt oligarchic power structure.

That Kerry should slip up in his delivery, going from a calculatedly specific target to what he believed to be a valid generalization, really wouldn't be a surprise.

As an aside:It's actually funny to see how indignant John Derbyshire is that the anti-troops interpretation is the one most of us came to. My only conclusion is that Derb has read the quote totally out of the greater context, and is damned proud of his ability to focus on the tree, and forget about the forrest. (BTW, I love it that Kerry is claiming people are reading his quote out of context. It's exactly his well-documented context he should be hoping people ignore....)