May 11, 2007

"I should honestly tell you the things that I can evolve on, and the things that I can’t, and then you should decide."

Said Rudy Giuliani today.
Today’s speech was part of a concerted effort that his aides said he would be making to be more open about his support for abortion rights — a sharp departure from the usual route of Republican nominees, who during the last 30 years have highlighted their antiabortion views....

He said, as he has before, that he personally opposed abortion but believed in a woman’s right to make her own decisions; that he believes in the right to bear arms, but that as mayor of New York, he favored certain aspects of gun control; and that while he opposes gay marriage, he supports protecting gay rights, something he said he did as mayor.

On abortion, he said he was open to seeking ways to limit the procedure, but he was not open to limiting the right to have it.

“In a country like ours, where people of good faith, people who are equally decent and equally moral and equally religious, where they come to different conclusions about this, about something so very, very personal, I think you have to respect their viewpoint,” he said. “I would grant women the right to make that choice.”

Is this really anything new about Giuliani? Presumably, it's some sort of refinement of his position, but I don't particularly see it.

ADDED: More here.

11 comments:

Simon said...

There might be something new in it if (and only if) what he means is that he believes that overruling Roe-Casey falls into the category of "limiting the right to have [an abortion]."

hdhouse said...

Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck;
And yet methinks I have Astronomy,
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well
By oft predict that I in heaven find:
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself, to store thou wouldst convert;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.

Eli Blake said...

What this shows is that the debate in this country is moving towards the left, especially on social issues; keep in mind that this is the Republican front-runner.

Conservative strictures in trying to tell people how to live their lives just aren't what most people want in society, and his status at the top of the polls even in a party which historically has gone along with them proves that what is evolving is not Rudy, it is society as a whole.

As more and more the old anti-gay, anti-abortion dinosaurs die off and are replaced by young people with more liberated social views I think you will see that the whole debate over issues like abortion and gay marriage will move from a central debate within society to being a local spat inside the GOP. And eventually, I think that even there, the liberal view will eventually prevail-- the new GOP will much more resemble the Libertarian party than it will the party of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the so-called 'Moral Majority.'

Tim said...

"As more and more the old anti-gay, anti-abortion dinosaurs die off and are replaced by young people with more liberated social views I think you will see that the whole debate over issues like abortion and gay marriage will move from a central debate within society to being a local spat inside the GOP."

As theories go, it's not a bad one to tell yourself, but demographic studies suggest liberal lifestyle choices and promiscuous use of abortion is killing off prospective liberal voters before they take their first breath. As conservatives don't have such a problem, our side will outnumber (and you know what that means in a democracy) your's before too long.

But, back to Giuliani - conservative, pro-life Republicans care about other issues too - so Giuliani can win the nomination as a pro-choice candidate. The pro-choice cartoon of pro-life Republicans makes the world easy for pro-choice liberals to understand, but it is hardly accurate.

Thorley Winston said...

What this shows is that the debate in this country is moving towards the left, especially on social issues; keep in mind that this is the Republican front-runner.

Really now, how many presidential primaries has he won?

Palladian said...

"What this shows is that the debate in this country is moving towards the left, especially on social issues"

I don't allow the "left" to claim classical liberalism, the same way I don't allow the right to claim religiosity. Leftism and rightism should be solely about economics.

"Conservative strictures in trying to tell people how to live their lives just aren't what most people want in society, and his status at the top of the polls even in a party which historically has gone along with them proves that what is evolving is not Rudy, it is society as a whole."

Again, I don't accept that the idea that social control is the sole province of "conservatives". What you consider "liberalism" is every bit as much about social control and stricture as "conservativism"; liberals simply want to control different things. Liberals want to ban plastic grocery bags and force people to ride bicycles and recycle and restrict "hate speech".

Being a liberty-loving liberal doesn't mean abandoning western society to abortion on demand, MTV and marijuana. Liberal should not equal libertine/ Of course people love things that are bad for them. The problem arises when there is no force left to temper people's baser instincts. There needs to be a balance of forces, something the extreme end of each wing fails to understand or accept.

Tim said...

"There needs to be a balance of forces, something the extreme end of each wing fails to understand or accept."

Yes.

Revenant said...

What this shows is that the debate in this country is moving towards the left, especially on social issues; keep in mind that this is the Republican front-runner.

You're reading too much into the fact that Giuliani is the front-runner. He's polling at 25% -- and 31% of Republicans are pro-choice. That's not a new phenomenon; the Republican Party is, after all, home to countless people who vote Republican for economic or defense-related reasons and couldn't care less about social conservatism.

Furthermore, the majority of Republicans favor at least some gay rights, oppose gay marriage, favor some restrictions on gun ownership, but believe in the right to keep and bear arms. So Giuliani's not significantly to the left of the Republican mainstream on those subjects.

Anyway, it is a bit silly to point to Giuliani's front-runner status as proof that the "debate" is "moving towards the left" when the Democratic front-runner is to the *right* of the Democratic base on several major issues, too. A more rational view is that both candidates are trying to position themselves to claim the unaffiliated middle during the upcoming election.

Conservative strictures in trying to tell people how to live their lives just aren't what most people want in society

The majority of Americans favor laws against drugs, prostitution, pornography, gay marriage, and the abortion of unwanted but healthy fetuses.

You're right that people don't like being told how to live their lives, but they LOVE telling OTHER people how to live their lives -- and since most Americans are against the things I listed, they have no problem forbidding them to other people.

Contrary to popular mythology, what puts the Republican party outside the political mainstream isn't its embracing of tax cuts, Christianity, and social conservatism -- most Americans love those things -- but its positions on business deregulation, health care, and middle-class Welfare (social security and medicare).

Code Red said...

Leftism and rightism should be solely about economics

If only it were that easy... Is the country moving left? No more so than it moved right as we approached the 2000 elections. Yet, republicans liked to tout the fact that America shifted right! The truth is: politics defines people now, not the other way around. 9/11 helped the so-called "shift right" because our country was frightened and upset,... just as the Iraq experience will help the so-called "shift to the left."

Do you support the war on Iraq, believe it is crucial for our nation's security, Iraq's stability, believe democracy can't exist without infringing on our citizen's privacy rights and sacrificing necessary casualties of war to fight evil? If so, there is a good chance you're a republican,.. maybe a moderate, maybe. Or, are you anti-war, upset about the politicizing of our troops, annoyed that the words "patriot" and "American" were seized by Bush and co., don't trust the government, no longer feel free, 95% chance you're a liberal.

We're so bound by our own parties, that its rare to see people have thoughts independent of political platforms. So what has changed since 2000? We've seen a number of conservative judges appointed, so there is a chance our law will become more conservative, more Christian,.. and with the Supreme Court replacements .. there is a good chance that a more conservative law will reign until we're all dead (or our justices kick the bucket and the "shift" happens).

Where does that leave politicians like Giuliani? Follow the "political shifts" with your policy interests if you want to be President or win over a State that is split down the middle. Just be careful how you do it, or you'll end up going the way of John Kerry.

hdhouse said...

Outside of picturing James Dobson hurling himself off a cliff after he reads this. In stark contrast remember Mr. Bush's breathless news conference were he went on the attack at those who "would weaken our society by challenging its most fundemental principle...marriage between a man and a woman".

I however, read this is mere Rudy pablum. The real question is "will you nominate judges who hold your position" and by golly and by jimminy what do you want to bet on that answer.

James Dobson is saved. Deus ex mechina. saints be praised.

Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck;
And yet methinks I have Astronomy....

TMink said...

Reading hdh eloquently express his opinion, including James Dobson, I am reminded that Christianity does best as a minority religion. In the minority, we get too concerned about power and coercion instead of love and sacrifice. As evidence, Dobson spends more time, energy, and money working on changing law than in adopting children. When the clampdown against Christians and all things Christian gets here, we will take wings and find our base and purpose.

Trey