One of the chronic problems with the Bush Administration is that the President is insufficiently vindictive to deal with the enemies of this republic, both foreign and domestic. President Bush is often nicer to his enemies than he is to his friends.
Rudy Giuliani, however, strikes me as a guy who can be a really mean SOB, a man not to be crossed.
I am a social conservative, and I try to be a good practitioner of Christianity (with varying degrees of success; please don't blame Jesus for my failures). Admiring vindictive SOBs may strike the casual observer as a contradiction, but as it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time for peace, and a time for war. Spite for the sake of spite is a vice, but if an opponent has proven itself to be unwilling to accept the carrot, a stick is necessary. Failure to apply the stick in that situation is no virtue. Spare the rod, spoil the liberal, to misuse holy writ.
Giuliani may be just the SOB to be president, but his social liberalism is a catching point for folks like me. I think there are a wide variety of social matters that have corroded our society, and to be brutal, people like Giuliani are part of the problem.
If Rudy Giuliani would like to overcome his problem with the social conservatives in the GOP base, I offer the following pre-written speech from which he is welcome to crib without attribution.
It is no secret that the Mayor of New York will have social sensibilities that do not mesh with those of other great cities. Every region has an organic nature where like minded folk gather, live and work. If you like the fast paced, exciting beat of the greatest city in the world, you come live in New York with all its wonderful charm. If you prefer a different pace, a different proclivity, our great nation is filled with hometowns, each with its own sense of community, each unique in its own way.
While I am economically conservative, a believer in low taxes and minimally invasive regulation, fiscal wisdom and restraint, I am not socially conservative like many of my GOP brethren. I have been pro-choice for the bulk of my political career. I believe that our gay neighbors ought have the sort of relationship rights that I enjoy.
I am not, however, contemptuous of those who hold a differing view. I believe this, they believe that, but my heart harbors no suspicion of bad faith. We simply don't agree. I believe their arguments for a whole spectrum of social matters have substantial weight, but not all of them ultimately convince me that my belief is wrong and in need of change.
Why then, ought social conservatives support my candidacy for President?
Though out of step with my social conservative friends on some matters, we agree on this central thing. Liberals have abused the power of congress and the courts to impose by law policies that they could not achieve by persuasion.
Convincing your neighbor of the rightness of a particular view, and by extension, the policies that might flow from that is very hard work. Our political opponents for decades have been short-circuiting the process of democracy by focusing on convincing the elites of our nation, the lawyers who populate our courts and congresses, of a particular policy, especially the Federal Courts and our Federal House and Senate.
States across the union find their will thwarted by laws and judgments of the Federal Bench. Federal regulatory bodies under the authority of Congress have imposed heavy burdens that look good on a position paper handed off from a lobbyist to a congressman's aide, but end up making the business of running a state inefficient and difficult.
Our founding fathers specifically limited the role of the Federal government by specifically limiting the things it had authority under the agreed-upon framework of the Constitution. I believe that the founders envisioned our nation to be a union of small democracies, each working out its way.
To be sure, this federalism has been used as a shield for wicked proscriptions, such as in the pre civil-rights era where our African American citizens had been sorely and shamefully mistreated. Acknowledging this reality does not trump the concept. Even as federalism had been misused, so has the authority of a centralized federal government been misused, eroding the freedom we all ought to cherish.
On a wide variety of social matters, states and communities need to be given back their due authority. This is where my socially conservative friends will find an unexpected friend.
You can count on me to resist mightily the sort of laws that snatch the rights of states away and arrogate it to the federal government. You can count on me to stand against confiscatory taxation and regulation. Most of all, you can count on me to appoint judges who will rightly adjudicate cases to the Federal bench and the Supreme Court who will humbly confine their reasoning and ruling to the text of the constitution.
I believe the Constitution is a legal document, not a living one. There is room for some interpretation, but judges who will look into the penumbras and emanations, who find influence in the laws of other nations will not be nominated by me. We need more Scalia and less Kennedy, more of Thomas and less of Souter.
For that reason social conservatives will find me an ally, not an enemy. I don't agree with you on a small number of issues, but I agree even less with the shabby fashion our liberal opponents have rammed their preferences into our society.
When I am president, we'll see a shift in perspective, a shift in priorities. We will be less able to run to the courts and seek the heavy hand of Leviathan bring our communities to heel. All of us, liberals and conservatives will need to go back into our neighborhoods and do the heavy, difficult task of persuading our friends and neighbors to support whatever change in law we might think right. If we have learned anything from a court that legislates and a congress that lets it is that there is no shortcut to simply winning a fellow citizen to your side.
That is the way of democracy, that is how to keep a Republic.