Sunday, February 25, 2007

LIE, RUDY, LIE! Right-wingers of all kinds seem to love Rudolph Giuliani because he's a total fucking prick, which seems to be the personality trait that most excites such people.

Yet, as we have heard repeatedly, the former Mayor's customary pro-choice position on abortion is expected to give him trouble with the Cletus wing of the Republican Party.

This presents special problems for the makebelieve moderates and bullshit libertarians who are Giuliani's strongest spokespeople online. Like their man, they prefer an authoritarianism that is secular and stress-free -- one that preserves their upper-middle-class privileges without requiring anything of them, spiritually or civically -- and so would love to see the Manhattan Mussolini smack down the nation's squeegee men without any assistance from, or favors owed to, the style-cramping Christers.

Yet they have to deal with the fact that their fanbase includes many mouth-breathers who could be easily persuaded by a preacher to reject the marketable Rudy for some less electable Friend of Jesus in a chartreuse micro-constituency. (10-4!)

Giuliani has, naturally, shown himself agreeable to anything that might benefit Rudolph Giuliani by announcing that as President he would appoint only "constructionist" judges (meaning, in the language of our current politics, anti-Roe hitmen). While normal people would judge that a wise if cynical bargain, Giuliani's seconds find it necessary to explain that this flipflop is meaningless, that Mr. Nineeleven is still the same "anti-idiotarian" hero he was back when such glib neologisms appeared important.

Take Ann Althouse at the New York Times. Professor Althouse, who portrays herself as pro-choice, starts by minimizing Giuliani's opponents as sufferers from Your-Favorite-Republican-Name-Here Derangement Syndrome who will "hoot with derision," "smirking" with "ridicule" at Giuliani for his abortion prevarications. Then she explains why Giuliani's hedging is actually more honest than the plain-spoken anti-abortion statements of less electable Republicans -- because plain speaking is something liars do:
But it is the candidate who sets out to deceive us who has the most reason to keep it simple. By contrast, complexity may signal that the candidate is actually trying to tell us something about how he thinks. He may have a sophisticated grasp of the role of the executive in relation to the courts and the legislatures. We might do well to tolerate some complexity.
Some of us might think that "complexity" is a ridiculously inappropriate word for anything that comes out of the mouth of a Presidential candidate, but we must remember that Professor Althouse -- who hedge-rows her political posts with bleary-eyed, munchie-fueled appreciations of "American Idol" and "Project Runway" -- is accustomed to bestow many layers of meaning onto phenomena that are as shallow as the candy coating of an M&M. Case in point: her next paragraph --
What should a candidate say about abortion? To represent what the country as a whole thinks, the president ought to take account of the deep beliefs Americans have about both reproductive freedom and the value of unborn life. To deserve the trust embodied in appointment power, the president should have a sound understanding of the judges as independent decision makers who follow an interpretive methodology that operates differently from political choice.
If you do not recognize this as bullshit, I have a formless brown mass that you can use to frost your birthday cake.

Terrestrial Musings takes a more traditional but no less hilarious approach:
I know that this will be hard to comprehend, but it is quite possible to believe that abortion is wonderful, that every woman should have at least one, and still believe that Roe v. Wade was a judicial travesty.
Commonly, right-wingers in search of consensus posit liberals who are troubled by abortion and unconvinced by Roe v. Wade. This is the first I've heard of a fantasy lefty who finds baby-killing a real turn-on but still wants Roe overturned. Next I expect to hear of a gun nut who thinks the National Guard fulfills the Second Amendment's idea of a militia.

My very favorite citation is Eric from Classical Values:
...Giuliani is a Catholic, and is personally opposed to abortion. At least one Catholic bishop has said this is a "legitimate distinction."

I've never been able to understand why it isn't a distinction. Saying that a woman shouldn't be imprisoned for aborting her fetus is not the same thing as approving of her act, much less saying it is a good thing. I think drugs should be legal, but that does not mean I approve of or advocate heroin. If God disapproved of heroin, does that mean it would be immoral to oppose imprisoning people for it?
Wander the Classical Values site, and you will see much fist-shaking and finger-wagging at the moral relativism of Goddamn liberals. What then explains this who-are-we-to-judge dismissal of billions of unbaptized dead fetuses? I am not boor enough to suggest that Mr. CV's homosexuality (with which Giuliani is more cool than 99.9% of Republican Presidential candidates) has anything to do with it, so I will just credit it to his stupidity opportunism.

In general, I would say the Rudy revivalists are on, if not the right track, at least a possible one. Having lived in the City during Giuliani's crackdowns, I despise the guy, but I can still see how Americans, who hate New Yorkers almost as much as he does, would approve of him.

But I do think -- odd as it seems -- that most Americans would be more sympathetic to Giuliani's very few (and now apparently defunct) matters of conscience -- i.e., support from abortion, gay rights, etc. -- than they would be to the perceived necessity of his conversion to the Jesus position. That is to say: were Giuliani to break form and stand up for a position that could not possibly get him any closer to ther Republican nomination, they might think more of him for it.

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no chance whatsoever of that happening.

UPDATE. Did a wash-and-rinse on some language and length, and revised judgment on CV. He certainly isn't stupid.

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