Giuliani, No

Rudolph Giuliani is speaking at the CPAC conference, broadcast (cablecast?) on C-SPAN.

Notwithstanding the fact that Giuliani is intelligent and has executive energy and has even acquired something of a presidential aura, it is out of the question for this man, with the things he has said and the things he has done, despicable things in public for which he has never repented, to be president of the United States. How can Republicans ever again stand for family values, for traditional values, if they make this man the leader of their party and elect him as president?

Further, consider his excuse-making for Bush’s Iraq fiasco. He relativizes it, by pointing to Gen. Eisenhower’s failure to foresee the German counteroffensive in December 1944. There is no comparison between the Battle of the Bulge, which was one big mistake in a much larger war, and Bush’s Democratize-Iraq fantasy which has been misbegotten from the start.

- end of initial entry -

David B. writes:

I just saw your note about Guiliani’s unacceptability. The main reason is that a successful conservative governor or senator of Presidential stature doesn’t exist in 2007. This reminds me of one of Samuel Francis’ many essays on the failure of the Conservative Movement. He wrote something like, “All of the candidate forums and other efforts of the Conservative Movement failed to produce a single politician of stature.”

Every GOP nominee since Reagan has been a Bush family member, or Dole in 1996. Now, it looks like Guiliani. Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity (who is too stupid anyway) are oblivious to this fact. They never wonder why this happened, and “can’t understand” why there is no conservative alternative.

My own feeling is that those who are politically ambitious are either liberals or absorb the education they get in colleges and universities, especially law schools. They also want to get good notices in the media. How many conservative politicians of Establishment background have there been since Senator Robert Taft? Taft was a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

Ronald Reagan was a liberal Democrat for twenty years. He was always something of a politician even in his acting days. The Democratic Party became too liberal for him, and he agreed with conservative positions. He moved further right up to his 1966 race for governor. Reagan always appeared to be a “Cultural Democrat,” I read somewhere once. This helps account for the votes of “Reagan Democrats.” I don’t think Tancredo is a “movement conservative” type, either.

Steven H. writes:

Giuliani came close to articulating the essence of the war but came up short of saying “Islam’s war against us” definition as he did on the Bill Bennett show. Nonetheless this as close as we get from any of the legitimate presidential hopefuls:

“Our desire, right now, is to have peace. And maybe we made a mistake in calling this the war on terror. This is not our war on them. This is their war on us. They…


“We desire peace. We want to sell you something. We want to buy something from you. We want to do business with you.

“This war is over when they stop planning to come here and kill us. When that ends, the war is over.”

LA replies:

I agree that’s good.

But while speaking of their “coming here,” he makes no connection with immigration, and the fact that they are already here. So his remarks could be understood as merely repeating the standard Bush-ite line that it is only by fighting terrorists in Iraq that we are spared having to fight them here.

Mladen A. writes from Israel:

Not voting for Giuliani because of family values or traditional values would to me be similar to rejecting Churchill in May 1940 because he liked to drink a glass of whiskey.

Today there are very few people in the U.S. eligible for leadership who definitely understand the threat we are up against . Newt Gingrich is one of them but he has not yet announced his candidacy. Giuliani is the other, and he has.

We in Israel are facing annihilation coming from Iran . You can see that even in Israel’s pick for the Eurovision song contest. However imperfect, Sharon would have known what to do. The current leadership gives all the signs to make us worry. Believe me, the next Prime Minster of Israel will not be elected based on what he will do for the poor or education or the religious. He will be elected solely on the ability to save the country from eschatologiocal Muslims like Ahmadinejad.

The same reasoning is quite applicable to the U.S.

The Giuliani–Gingrich ticket would be the best.


I don’t mean to be making light of Mladen’s arguments, but Giuliani and Gingrich have had six wives between them. Giuliani plus Gingrich equal Henry VIII.

Mladen writes:

Well, under Sharia all men will have the chance of being Henry VIII with the wives coming in parallel, not consecutively.

Mladen continues:

Frankly, I cannot understand you giving such prominence to this multiple-wife issue. After all, neither Giuliani not Gingrich sent any of their wives to be decapitated as Henry VIII did.

Recently found Einstein’s letters revealed that he was a ladies’ man. Does this taint the General Theory of Relativity or just the Special one? Of course not. I agree that we should not be blind to the moral example set by our political leaders and role models . Bertrand Russell was a despicable father and one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, and since I’ve learned what he had done I look at what he has written on social issues from a different angle, but his contribution in math remains what it was.

Similarly I think that Giuliani multiple-wife issue compared the survival of our civilization is indeed infinitesimally small. You may think that I am exaggerating, but individuals do make a difference, and preventing them from doing what they are destined for will not work. I have a feeling that the electorate in the US instinctively senses this and that he will be the next President.

It could well be that we in Israel have become more aware of what matters and what does not. The other day at a Vivaldi concert there were two security guards with their Uzis dangling from their shoulders listening to the music, and I was wondering where else in the world would one encounter such a scene. Being under real threat constantly I think we are forced into reexamining our priorities in life.

LA replies:

First, Mladen’s argument depends on the premise that the fate of civilization hinges on Giuliani’s being president.

Second, various Republicans and neoconservatives have been making variations on this same argument since 9/11, and it’s been a disaster. Right after 9/11, John Podhoretz wrote gleefully in the New York Post that the culture war was over, because the only thing that mattered now was national defense. That was not a balanced, mature, or responsible statement; it was the statement of someone who wanted to do away with all politics and all concerns other than national security, in order, basically, to destroy cultural conservatism. And that is what has happened consistently under Bush. Every single leftish or liberal move he made was justified on the basis that he had to do this to unify the country in time of war. And further, since this “war” has no definition and therefore no end, we must accept the extinction of conservatism permanently. I never accepted that argument from American “conservatives” and I don’t accept it from Mladen. I believe, with all due respect for Mladen, that the argument is only made by people who are not social conservatives and who want to use the Islamic threat to get rid of social conservatism. Mladen by the dismissive way he speaks of immoral behavior makes it clear that he’s not just giving it a pass when there’s some kind of national emergency, he’s giving it a pass, period.

And that is exactly the effect that a Giuliani presidency would have. It would cease to be possible to use moral arguments in politics. Social conservatism would be dead. What Clinton did to the Democrats, leading them to say, “Everybody does it” in order to excuse him and thus eliminating moral judgment from politics, a Giuliani presidency would do to Republicans. Further, as I’ve already indicated, I believe that this is precisely the reason why many people are pushing Giuliani so vociferously: not because they see him as the only person who can defend America, but because they see his presidency as the way to destroy social conservatism once and for all.

So, far from the Giuliani supporters caring only about national defense and the social conservatives inappropriately injecting social conservatism into a situation where only national defense should matter, it’s the Giuliani supporters who have the cultural agenda here.

LA writes:

And as for the war, which some people feel is the only issue that matters, Giuliani’s comparison of Bush’s mistakes in Iraq to Eisenhower’s mistakes in the Battle of the Bulge indicates that Giuliani has learned NOTHING from the calamity of the Democratize-the Muslims policy. Giuliani believes the failures of the war are not based on Bush’s central premise of democratizing Iraq, but on mere tactical errors. Which indicates that Giuliani will continue Bush’s insane policy.

So with Giuliani we get the worse of both worlds: a publicly adulterous cross-dressing pro-sodomy marcher who wants to wage endless wars abroad to impose democracy on Muslims.

Sorry for another Bob Dylan quote, but it’s so appropriate I can’t resist:

Achilles is in your alleyway,
You don’t want me here,
He does brag.
He’s pointing to the sky
And he’s hungry, like a man in drag.
How come you get someone like him to be your guard?


Mladen replies:
Well, I think it is only logical to see that in order to have your right to have your own views not trampled on, you first have to have a free, democratic country. That will happen only if our leaders defend the West from the jihadist threat . That is priority #1. Your statement “[people who are not social conservatives] want to use the Islamic threat to get rid of social conservatism” is surprising. You definitely have got your priorities reversed. The jihadist threat is real and it does not serve as a pretext for anything. I want to be able to listen to Vivaldi, enjoy the beauty of Maxwell’s equations or watch “24 “, without someone telling me it is forbidden. In one sentence: I do not want to live in a society where everything which is not forbidden is compulsory.

LA replies:

What have I ever said that indicates that I don’t think the jihad threat is real? The Separationsist strategy that I have been proposing is aimed at defeating the jihad threat in the West, by removing Islam from the West while keeping close watch over the Muslim world and destroying any regimes that are dangerous to us.

Bush, whose policies Giuliani would continue, is not protecting us from this threat adequately, since he’s sunken our country into a futile democracy-building effort in Iraq which is irrelevant to protecting the West from jihad, even while he continues to embrace and welcome Muslims into America. So you are one who has reversed reality, by supporting Bush and Giuliani who both imagine that the hopeless effort to spread democracy in the Mideast is the way to defend the West, while they refuse to take any actual measures to defend the West.

With Giuliani, we not only get a continuation of Bush’s wrong-headed and disastrous approach to the war on jihadism, but we get a moral reprobrate whose presidency would destroy the conservative movement. In sum, here’s what you’re advocating: An endless, utopian, neocon war abroad, combined with the continued growth and strengthening of the Muslim population in America, combined with the installation of a man in drag as the Republican president of the United States, whose presidency would destroy whatever is left of social conservatism in America. No thanks.

Mladen writes:

Your statement that anyone could use the jihadist threat as a pretext for some other agenda is to me an indication that you yourself do not consider the threat seriously enough. For if you did you would understand that no other sane person could use the jihadist threat as a pretext.

So your Separationist strategy should trump your concerns over the multi–wife issue, not vice- versa. You could have started with the argument about Giuliani’s strategy against the jihadist threat being the reason you are against him. However, even your initial statement in this blog itself is first about family values and then about Iraq. The Separationist strategy appeared only now long after Henry VIII reigned supreme in your discourse.

I have seen several appearance by Newt Gingrich in which he openly discusses the jihadist threat across the globe. These appearances surprised me because they were the first I had seen by a prominent American politician.

Giuliani rejected the $10m offer by the Saudi prince Alwaleed so he understands the threat. I do not expect him to be as explicit about it as you, Bat Yeor, Serge Trifkovic, Robert Spencer and Ibn Warraq are.

I am not advocating an “endless, utopian, neocon” war abroad. In fact, I have said that the Bush administration has failed in Iraq because they had read to much Natan Sharansky and too little Bat Ye’or. So the way forward is to make the candidates read the above mentioned authors and not concentrate on the number of candidates’ wives.

LA replies:

Your argument about how and when I introduced the Separationist issue is besides the point. My point was that none of the candidates has a separationist strategy, so none of them is good on defending America, but that RG is worse because of his personal record.

You yourself admit that RG has an inadequate view of the problem when you write, “So the way forward is to make the candidates read the above mentioned authors …” So on one hand, you act as if RG is the man on the white horse, the only answer to the jihadist threat, for whom conservatives must give up their principles in order to elect him as our savior. On the other hand, you say that RG will needs “education” as president in order to come to a correct view of the problem. So you’ve just exploded your own position.

Mladen replies:

Giuliani has the best view taken from the eligible pool of candidates. I said he “definitely understand the threat we are up against” which does not mean he understands it on the level you, Bat Ye’or , Serge Trifkovic or Robert Spencer do. With his leadership qualities and resolve Giuliani is the optimal combination. In my assessment the multiple-wife issue does not change that either way since other issues had much higher impact on the decision.

LA writes:

I would like to see some evidence that Giuliani’s understanding of the issue is even marginally better than Bush’s. The statements I’ve seen from him are of the “We’re fighting the enemies of freedom” variety. Somebody show me some evidence that Giuliani is not just another liberal universalist with a gun.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 02, 2007 12:38 PM | Send

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