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Opening Arguments

It's always the war

Jonah Goldberg, writing about Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, pinpoints something that has also occurred to me lately:

The war on terror hasn't just changed Giuliani's profile as a crisis-leader, it's changed the attitudes of many Americans, particularly conservatives, about the central crisis facing the country. It's not that pro-lifers are less pro-life or that social conservatives are suddenly OK with homosexuality, gun control and other issues where Giuliani's dissent from mainstream conservative opinion would normally disqualify him. It's that they really, really believe the war on terror is for real.

The conventional wisdom has been that Republicans have to cater to the ultra-conservative base to get the presidential nomination, the Democrats have to cater to the ultra-liberal base, then both candidates scurry back to the middle during the campaign. If the Republican base is changing, if it cares more about the war on terror than what were once its core issues, then the equation no longer works.

I have no clue what this will mean for the election. If a true Republican "moderate" -- meaning conservative on security issues, liberal on social ones -- runs against a Democrat who is obviously only trying to appear moderate, it should help the Republicans. But if there is still a lot of anger over the war and Republicans are blamed, that probably won't matter much.


Steve Towsley
Fri, 02/16/2007 - 12:30pm

I'm not sure that most Republicans view blue-state Republicans as fully vested in the party, precisely because of their overload of democrat beliefs.

If Rudy wants to be Pres, he'd have to swear off gun control for the duration. That's a poison pill for millions of actively political defenders of the Second Amendment.

A blue-state Republican will have to be more, not less, forthcoming about the hard political convictions on all of the make-or-break conservative issues.

We don't like Rudy nearly well enough to overthrow one tenth of the Bill of Rights, for example.

Silence will NOT be golden for the blue Republican candidate.

Sun, 02/18/2007 - 1:41pm

I will not support any one that is pro-abortion,or pro-homosexual, or pro-porn and any one who bashes Christian values is unworthy to be any more than a dogcatcher in my book::!