So Giuliani is about a mile ahead of the field. Stoller says we should stop listening to those who say Rudy can't win the GOP presidential nomination because he's "pro-abort" and "pro-gay":
Like a lot of us, [Josh Marshall] thinks that Republicans base their political judgment on issues, ie. gay rights, abortion, national defense, taxes, etc. He makes the same mistake that a lot of Democrats make, assuming that conservatives think the way that we do. They don't. They are authoritarians. Gay marriage, abortion, taxes, national security, none of it really matters to them. What they are looking for is an authoritarian to look like he's taking charge, and the way an authoritarian takes charge is to attack liberals and stomp on people who aren't like them. Giuliani did this in New York, so he's a rock star in Alabama. It's the same thing with Mitt Romney - he's not even being the least bit subtle about reversing everything he 'believed' in Massachusetts, but it doesn't matter. The right-wing base is entirely unprincipled, subduing any concerns they might have over political issues to a sheer authoritarian impulse.If we go by the Hunter Baker theorem - that GOP primary voters inevitably go for the biggest dog in the race - then Giuliani's looking like a lock.
And please please please stop assuming that they think like we do. They don't. Right-wingers are right-wingers for a reason. If they thought like us they'd be Democrats.
I think Giuliani is the least electable of the leading Republican candidates. His personal life makes Bill Clinton look good, his views on social issues from abortion to gun control are to the left of the American mainstream, let alone the Republican mainstream, his personality is nasty and abrasive, and his successes are mostly in areas that the public doesn’t worry about much anymore.Blake is responding to Steven Malanga's City Journal piece, which was the most significant effort so far to frame Giuliani as a genuine conservative (it should be noted that City Journal is published by the Manhattan Institute, which was closely linked with the Giuliani administration in New York). Blake argues that Giuliani's signature issues as mayor - crime, welfare and taxes - simply do not resonate these days at the national level.
America is tired of 9/11, and while the Mayor’s work in the aftermath is admirable and will no doubt help him, I don’t think being a competent mayor who stood strong after the attacks is going to be enough to win a national election seven years later, especially given all of his baggage.What's fascinating about this is how it suggests that conservatives will be making the case that Giuliani's 9/11 performance is irrelevant to his qualifications for the presidency. If and when Rudy does get the GOP nomination, Democrats may find it useful that the right has done some of that groundwork.