Rudy`s Party—Or Reagan`s?
"After months of conflicting signals on abortion,
Rudolph W. Giuliani is planning to offer a forthright
affirmation of his support for abortion rights in public
forums, television appearances and interviews in coming
The New York Times. [Giuliani
to Support Abortion Rights, By Adam Nagourney
and Marc Santora, May 10, 2007]
If true, it marks either the beginning of the end of
the Giuliani campaign—or the beginning of the end of the
For Reagan`s party was a
pro-life party. Life defined the man. Life defined
the movement he led. It was Reagan who insisted that his
speechwriters include mention of the life issue
in every State of the Union. At one lunch with
senior staff, Reagan choked up as he read a letter from
a woman who said she daily thanked God she had not had
an abortion 45 years before, as she had considered
doing, as now the son she had borne was taking care of
her in her old age.
Since Reagan, whatever GOP nominees have believed
privately, they ran as pro-life candidates.
If Rudy were to be nominated as a pro-choice
Republican, millions would stay home or vote third
party. For it was the life issue that brought them into
the party, or kept them there when they disagreed with
the party on almost everything else.
Nor is Rudy`s embrace of the pro-choice position
going to stop the questions—like the ones he kicked all
over the stage at the Reagan Library.
Asked if he would like to see Roe v. Wade
overturned, Rudy allowed as how it would be "OK"
with him if it was and OK with him if it wasn`t. Though
he "hated" abortion, he had funded it in New
York. If others don`t want to fund it, that`s OK with
Rudy, in short, is treating the issue like a ban on
smoking in bars.
A Rudy nomination would bring the culture war right
down onto the floor of the Republican convention. For
Rudy is not only pro-choice on abortion, he has
supported affirmative action, favored
amnesty for illegals, turned New York into a
sanctuary city where the NYPD was forbidden to ask
arrestees their immigration status, has championed
gay rights, marched in gay pride parades—once not
all that far behind the big float of the
North American Man/Boy Love Association.
He is thrice married, and he used to bring his main
squeeze into Gracie Mansion while still married to the
mother of his son. When she threw him out, he was taken
in by a couple of gay friends.
And Rudy is now suiting up to lead the family values
party into battle? Dr. Dobson, call you office.
Rudy`s cover on the abortion issue has been his
promise to appoint strict constructionists to the
Supreme Court, like
Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Samuel Alito and
Clarence Thomas, a crucial commitment that would be a
huge factor in 2008. For the court is on a knife`s edge,
and the replacement of the octogenarian John Paul
Stevens with a Scalia type could mean the end of Roe
But Rudy`s commitment, welcome as it is, raises a
question. What does Rudy Giuliani really believe?
If Rudy is honestly pro-choice, how can he
name justices certain to overturn Roe v. Wade,
thereby restricting choice to millions of women? And if
he intends to nominate justices like Roberts and Scalia,
why would any pro-choicers vote for him?
Rudy`s pro-choice, pro-Scalia stance seems
intellectually incoherent and politically inexplicable.
He loses part of
the pro-life vote and all the pro-choice vote? This
is smart politics?
Moreover, simply because Rudy declares himself
pro-choice does not mean the issue goes away. Rudy`s
opponents will bring it up again and again in Iowa, New
Hampshire and South Carolina. The press will go straight
to the contradiction between supporting "a woman`s
right to choose" and supporting justices who would
abolish a woman`s right to choose.
And, now, His Holiness has weighed in. Angered over a
vote by Mexico to permit first-trimester abortions,
Benedict XVI said on his flight to Brazil that the
Catholic legislators who had voted to legalize abortion
had excommunicated themselves and should be
denied Holy Communion.
This suggests the Vatican will not be silent on
Rudy`s bid to become the first Catholic Republican
president. Nor will
Cardinal Edward Egan of New York or Archbishop
Donald Wuerl of Washington—if the latter has any
interest in a cardinal`s hat.
With the national press trailing candidate Rudy to
church every Sunday, quizzing the parish priest and
local bishop as to whether Rudy will be denied
communion, this should bring the religious issue back to
presidential politics as it has not been since 1928,
when Democrats nominated another New York Catholic named
Somewhere, Mitt Romney is smiling.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
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