Saturday, March 10, 2007

Giuliani continued ...

In response to reader comments on Giuliani's pro-life credentials, I would like to respond with the following:
Some pro-lifers and social conservatives will support him, either on a "better than the Democrats" theory or a "the war is more important theory.

With respect to the latter, a factor for its' primacy would necessarily have to be an acceptance of the argument that Giuliani is functionally pro-life in light of his recent statement that if eleced President, he would nominate Supreme Court justices like Saclia, Roberts and Alito. Giuliani has also subtly suggested that he thinks Roe v. Wade was bad law and should be reversed.

That Giuliani is functionally pro-life is an intriguing concept. Whether this would enough for me to consider supporting him should he win the nomination is something I'm still working through.

With all due respect, I think that inferring that Giuliani is functionally pro-life on the basis of single statement is rather dubious. I also don't think that his statement is nearly as declarative as some seem to think it is since you can like Scalia, Roberts, and Alito without supporting overturning Roe. I also think that the claims about his willingness to adhere to the Hyde amendment are equally ambiguous - he supports it because it's the law, but what does he intend to do if there is a serious effort to overturn it?

One of the major reasons that I remain extremely wary about Giuliani is that he has never seriously engaged his differences with social conservatives and explained how he is going to address them should he win the nomination. He has either acknowledged that they exist in the passing and then move on to friendlier topics or he has simply ignored that they exist altogether. That may be good politics but it isn't a compelling reason to vote for him. I would also add that I believe that it is in part because many of his supporters on the right are so insistent that he is going to win regardless of his social views that has kept him from moderating his views in this regard.

The idea that Giuliani is functionally pro-life honestly strikes as an exercise in counter-factualism: his entire record as mayor and most of his public statements since leaving office state exactly the opposite. His more ambiguous remarks that suggest otherwise have to be compared to the vast body of explicit comments to the contrary and I think that the vast majority of the evidence suggests that he has neither moderated his views nor does he have any intention of doing so. This is what distinguishes him heavily from Romney in my opinion, since Romney has explicitly stated that he changed his mind on these subjects and now intends to pursue alternative policies.

Paul Zummo then writes:
The only hope that pro-lifers have with regards to Rudy is that though he is pro-choice, appointing pro-choice justices will not be a priority for him. That's the critical difference between him and any of the Democrats running. Knowing what I do know of his overall philosophy, betting that he would appoint originalist judges is a good bet.

But is that a bet we should be forced to make? That's the question that hopefully we won't have to answer in the end.

He may well appoint originalist judges (though I myself am somewhat skeptical of this), but I think that the scenario that Josiah sketches out is far more likely:
Some pro-lifers and social conservatives will support him, either on a "better than the Democrats" theory or a "the war is more important theory. Others will not, and will mount some sort of third party challenge ala Perot. Those who do go along will be regarded as traitors by those who don't, who will regard them as unrealistic fanatics in turn. The pro-life movement will be split, and the resulting recriminations will prevent it from being effective for decades.

As for the GOP, the only way Rudy wins in the general is if he pulls enough support from moderates and independants to make up for what he loses from social conservatives. Given the unpopularity of the war, the only way this will happen is if Rudy turns out to be a lot less conservative on foreign policy than people think. If he does win, though, it'll be the last election the GOP wins for awhile, as a GOP that canl no longer claim the pro-life banner will soon the reduced to the minority status it had before it became identified with pro-life politics.

I don't think that this is inevitable and would argue that pro-lifers should make plans now on how to deal with the prospect of a Giuliani victory that doesn't involve either a reversal of positions or political irrelevance, but I do think that it is an extremely likely scenario. All of the pundits who believe that Giuliani is going to achieve victory by basically ignoring the force that most pundits agree propelled the GOP to victory in 2004 are, I think, going to be in for a harsh surprise on election day. One of the reasons that I regard the rise of Giuliani as so amazing (and disturbing) is the number of conservative pundits who appear to be willing to ignore his fundamental policy differences with them on every issue ranging from immigration to gun control to abortion in order to support him. Is this simply because he "feels conservative" as David Frum puts it? If that is the case, then I will stand by descriptive of this support as being indicative of a cult of personality.

34 comments:

paul zummo said...

Fair points. I am torn myself between "I could at least support him in the general election" and "no way on Earth do I ever vote for him." I think there are two reasons for my ambivalence. First, as has been stated elsewhere, Giuliani does feel like a conservative. At the very least, he's an anti-liberal who tends to pick fights with the left rather than right. In that way, and I'm just echoing what others have said, he's the anti-McCain in that sense.

The second thing mitigating my distaste is my personal experience growing up in Giuliani's New York. He was something of a personal political hero of mine, even before 9/11, so I have that affinity there.

That said, the stuff I've read on the Catholic blogosphere (here, Curt Jester, Dale Price, and elsewhere) has sort of persuaded me back into the anti-Giuliani position. As I wrote in my comment I do feel that Giuliani would be more likely to appoint originalists than Democratic Party pro-choicers, but even that might be not enough to overcome the bad signal sent with the Republicans appointing a pro-choicer. The GOP is basically known as the pro-life Party (I know, I know, not always in practice, but let's not drudge that all up again). That would be destroyed overnight by the nomination of Giuliani.

Don't get me wrong. I am not just talking about crass political considerations. Even if the national GOP hasn't always satisfied pro-lifers, I think it's important that the party remains at least functionally the home of the pro-life movement. Let me put it this way - I think that at the very least the party's continued pro-life plank at least sets the tone culturally that pro-lifers are not some fringe element of American politics. By having at least one of the political parties continue to - at least in words - support the pro-life cause, it shows the political strength of the cause, and hopefully that in turn convinces others of the rightness of said cause. But if both parties have pro-choicers as its standard bearers, what does that say about the pro-life movement to those on the fence.

And then there's the whole bully pulpit element of abortion. Bush hasn't exactly been the greatest rhetorical proponent of the pro-life cause, but even the minimal action of sending positive notes to the anti-Roe marchers is not something to be dismissed. Of course we shouldn't overestimate the impact that the President has on culture, but he at least has some impact. It's not as though a Giuliani presidency would completely obliterate the pro-life movement, but it sure as heck won't help it.

So we're left with Judges. It's till the most important thing as concerns the President and abortion. Is that enough, even if we are to assume that Giuliani will be good in this area? I'll keep pondering that as the year progresses, praying that a true pro-life leader emerges.

Come on Fred. Run.

kathleen said...

"you can like Scalia, Roberts, and Alito without supporting overturning Roe"

this is not true, from a legal standpoint (and note Giuliani is/was a lawyer). S, R and A are originalists, and Roe's problem is that it is way too unoriginalist in its interpretation of the constitution. even pro-choice liberals think Roe is a bad decision from a scholarly legal standpoint. it would be more accurate to say, "you can like Scalia, Roberts, and Alito (and therefore be anti-Roe) while also being personally pro-choice." in this sense the GOP can have it both ways until Roe is overturned -- i.e. work to get Roe overturned without having an absolute, express pro-life platform or candidate.

Donald R. McClarey said...

I will not vote for Giuliani under any circumstance. If he is nominated, something I do not expect to happen, I will vote for a third party candidate or a write-in. I say this as someone who thinks that Giuliani was magnifcent on 9-11 and that he performed a near-miracle as mayor of New York. The nomination of Guiliani would be a disaster for the GOP on many levels: schism within the Party, a personal life that reads like a low rent soap opera, a convention that would be a televised blood-letting to surpass the 64 convention, the certainty of a break-away third party pro-life conservative candidacy to siphon off Republican votes, etc. I suspect the majority of Republicans will realize this next year and I think the boomlet for him now is a consequence of the weakness of McCain, rather than the strength of Giuliani within the party. Once the pro-life vote unites behind one candidate in the primaries, this current boomlet will be a fading memory. This is assuming that Guiliani does not switch his position on abortion, which he gives no sign of doing. Guiliani would make a formidable secretary of Defense or ambassador to the UN, but he will never be President, at least as a Republican.

Roger H. said...

Actually, the argument that Giuliani is functionally pro-life does extend beyond a publicly expressed admiration of Justices Scalia, Alito and Roberts. I pasted a comment in the previous Giuliani thread where Giuliani said he regarded himself as a "strict-constructionist" and that courts shouldn't be usurping state legislatures on matters that just aren't covered by the Constitution.

Personally, this really isn't good enough for me to support Giuliani in the primaries. But if he does win the nomination, it just might have to be. What would be the realistic alternative?

Anonymous said...

Josiah says:

I don't know what Rudy means by "strict constructionist" but if he considers himself one, then it can't mean much. Rudy supports Roe v. Wade, supports gun control and campaign finance reform, took the INS to court to keep them from operating in NYC, and threatened to stay in office extra-constitutionally after his term had expired in 2001. If that's what he means by a strict constructionist, God help us.

As a lawyer, I can also tell you that it is possible to like Scalia, Roberts, and Alito and still support Roe v. Wade. Dozens of pro-Roe Senators voted to confirm Scalia and Roberts, and a handful voted to confirm Alito as well.

kathleen said...

"As a lawyer, I can also tell you that it is possible to like Scalia, Roberts, and Alito and still support Roe v. Wade. Dozens of pro-Roe Senators voted to confirm Scalia and Roberts, and a handful voted to confirm Alito as well."

sorry, but i'm a lawyer too and this just doesn't make any sense. how would you coherently characterize the judicial philosophies of Scalia Robert and Alito, and then find in them some basis for upholding Roe? it just doesn't exist. none of those judges would support the use of "penumbras" to add rights to the constitution, indeed their judicial philosophies militate against precisely that.

besides which, votes for judicial confirmation are made based on political expediency, and cannot be considered an express endorsement of a justice's particular legal philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Josiah says:

Here is what Giuliani said about Roe v. Wade in the Hannity interview:

"I think that it's been precedent for a very, very long time. There are questions about the way it was decided and some of the bases for it. At this point, it's precedent. It's going to be very interesting to see what Chief Justice Roberts and what Justices Scalia and Alito do with it. I think probably they're going to limit it rather than overturn it. "

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,250497,00.html

Giuliani thinks that Roberts, Alito, and Scalia aren't going to overturn Roe v. Wade. Maybe that's a naive position to take, but that clearly is his position.

As for how a person could coherently support Roe v. Wade and Roberts and Alito, the answer is stare decisis. With the exception of Justice Thomas, every conservative justice on the court has been and is willing to temper their originalist instincts with a respect for precedent. Whether Roberts and Alito would vote to overturn Roe notwithstanding issues of stare decisis is as yet unknown. I certainly hope that they would. But they might not, and it was this ambiguity that allowed many pro-abortion pols (including Giuliani) to support them.

Flambeaux said...

As I argued in law school, before I discovered Feddie's now-defunct Southern Appeal blog: Stare decisis is fo' suckas.

Roger H. said...

Rudy supports Roe v. Wade...

Borrowing from a certain oft-referenced Catholic apologist, documentation please.

Giuliani thinks that Roberts, Alito, and Scalia aren't going to overturn Roe v. Wade. Maybe that's a naive position to take, but that clearly is his position.

OK, so what? All Rudy is apparently expressing is what he thinks Roberts, Alito and Scalia might do if confronted with the issue. I don't get the impression that it is something Giuliani wants them to do.

As for how a person could coherently support Roe v. Wade and Roberts and Alito, the answer is stare decisis.

Being an originalist or strict constructionist does not automatically translate to being an adherent of stare decisis.

Anonymous said...

JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO SAYS...

Ultimately, this issue about Giuliani's support for legalized abortion doesn't rest on him, the Supreme Court or activists like James Dobson. It rests on whether "social conservatives" want to use the federal apparatus to enforce virtue, or relinquish the temptation to use that apparatus and apply the truly conservative principle of local control superceding federal control -- which has a Catholic component: subsidiarity.

My guess is that if the Republicans nominate Giuliani, "social conservatives" who wish to use the federal apparatus to enforce their version of virtue will fear a fatal blow to their dreams, if not their morale.

Believe it or not, we already had that experiment in American history. It was called the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Not exactly a paradise of republican (as opposed to GOP) freedom, if you know what I mean.

The Founding Fathers rejected that model in favor of a riskier, untried -- yet, in retrospect, more stable -- model of Constitutional protections that we enjoy today.

This fight involves the fact that "social conservatives" have, for all intents and purposes, turned into secular liberals when it comes to using government to implement their pet programs.

Perhaps more such conservatives should take Cal Thomas' cautions about political activism more seriously.

paul zummo said...

Joe:

Social conservatives are peeved precisley because abortion is being legislated nationally, it's just that the imposition of (a)morality has been given from the bench. Conservatives are actually working to return the issue to the states via SCOTUS Justices who will interpret the Constitution correctly.

And that is precisely why Giualini's position matters. Will he or will he not appoint originalist (if anyone utters the phrase "strict constructionist" again I will scream) Justices? This goes beyond the narrow issue of abortion, but pro-choice inidividuals might be inclined to appoint Justices who adhere to broad interpretation. I myself have posited that Giuliani might be more inclined than other pro-choicers to appoint originalists, but his position regarding abortion should give us pause in that reagrd.

Anonymous said...

Josiah says:

Here's a press release from Rudy's press office documenting his support for Roe v. Wade:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/98a/pr034-98.html

Video of Giuliani saying he supports Roe can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVBtPIrEleM

Roger H. said...

"I take this opportunity to restate the commitment of the Administration to protect women’s right to seek reproductive health advice and services if that is their choice," the Mayor concluded.

No argument that Giuliani, from a legislative standpoint, supports legalized abortion. I don't, however, see this as support for Roe v. Wade's usurping of the issue from the state legislatures.

As to the YouTube video, there's only a short blurb of Giuliani saying "yes" to the question of whether Roe v. Wade is good constitutional law. Does Giuliani's "yes" mean he thinks the case was rightly decided and that individual state legislatures should be barred from banning abortion? Or could it mean he agrees with the case only to the extent it mirrors his own pro-abortion position? There's no way to tell from the short video clip.

Look, I'm not trying to sell Giuliani on anyone, and in fact hope he fails to win the GOP nomination. But unless there's a recorded statement from him saying he unqualifiedly opposes the reversal of Roe v. Wade and allowing the state legislatures to decide the issue, I think it's unfair to surmise he supports it because he himself is pro-legalized abortion.

Anonymous said...

Josiah says:

So saying "yes" when asked if you think Roe v. Wade was rightly decided doesn't mean that you think Roe v. Wade was rightly decided? Who do you think you're fooling?

kathleen said...

"As for how a person could coherently support Roe v. Wade and Roberts and Alito, the answer is stare decisis."

well, yeah, i guess scalia et al. could throw their legal philosophies out the window entirely and decide they should never reverse *any* decision handed down by the court, because stare decisis is such an important and overriding principle. but the likelihood of that happening is far less than the likelihood of them chucking the absurd legal reasoning behind Roe, once and for all. give them some credit.

as for giuliani, politicians say things to appease. have we not learned that yet? they ALL have to play both sides of the fence to get elected. (likewise Hillary clinton has to tell everyone how horrible she thinks abortion is, how "rare" it should be, blah blah.)

Anonymous said...

JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO SAYS...

Paul, if Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land (and it seems that it will for the forseeable future), to what degree should those who oppose abortion place *any* confidence in political or judicial means to overturn it?

From what I've heard, abortion is declining in this country (I don't have the raw data; I wish I did). If that's true, is that because of legistlative and judicial decisions? Or has the rationale against abortion has become more persuasive on its own merits? And, if that's the case, then what can *any* president or court do to counteract that rationale, except by violating First Amendment protections against free speech?

I truly believe that conservative ideologues, like their liberal counterparts, have become so infatuated with their own causes and potential for power that they've lost all perspective.

Therefore, I strongly believe that "private sector" efforts (as opposed to the public sector of courts and legistlation) are more effective and offer more promise of at least reducing abortion. regardless of Roe v. Wade's status.

Paul Zummo said...

Joe, the number of abortions has declined, but that decline has abated in recent years. There are still well over 1,000,000 abortions performed per year.

Again, conservatives are pushing for the very thing that you want - a return of the issue to the states. We can't place 100% confidence in the judical picks of the President - look at O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter - but it would be folly to ignore the issue.

It's good to pretend that everything will be all right if we just let the culture move in a pro-life direction. But how many millions more will die while it is given judicial sanction? It's like those who said that slavery would die a natural cause. You're just kidding yourselves.

Paul Zummo said...

BTW, I do agree that culture is very important, and that's not something that we can fully control through the political process. But as I said in the very first post on this thread, that's why electing a pro-choice Republican could be dangerous - it could send a very negative message culturally, making abortion seem a little more acceptable to some. I think we overemphasize the importance and power of the President in this country, but it would be naive to think there's no significance to a president's views on abortion.

Anonymous said...

Josiah says:

Kathleen,

If believing in stare decisis meant that you could never overturn a precedent, then you would have a point. But we both know that's not true. Scalia, for example, has said that there are several constitutional doctrines (such as incorporation) that he thinks are wrong, but which are so widely accepted he doesn't think they should be overturned. This is, in fact, one of the key differences between Scalia and Justice Thomas:

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1090180289132

In terms of Roe v. Wade, Scalia has of course already said he thinks it should be overturned notwithstanding stare decisis. Roberts and Alito have not given their position on this matter. I hope that they will do so, but if a person thinks otherwise, that doesn't mean he's being irrational.

As for politicians saying things out of political expediancy, I agree. This is why it will take more than Rudy saying "I like Roberts and Alito" for me to consider voting for him.

kathleen said...

Josiah, given what we know about the conservative justices recently appointed, it's safe to assume that they would agree with scalia on a decision as ridiculous as roe was. as i have stated previously, even rabidly pro-choice legal scholars think roe is a terrible decision. it's exceptionally bad law.

kathleen said...

PS: I might also add that had Rudy not taken the positions he did in NYC, he would not have been elected mayor, and therefore would not be a national candidate today. discussion of his merits or demerits would not even be on the table -- something to consider.

Anonymous said...

JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO SAYS...

Paul Zummo: It's good to pretend that everything will be all right if we just let the culture move in a pro-life direction. But how many millions more will die while it is given judicial sanction? It's like those who said that slavery would die a natural cause.

You're absolutely right, Paul, and I'm not being sarcastic when I say that. But do you know how slavery ended in this country? As the result of a bloody civil war that claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives. We already have a war on our hands against barbaric Islam (and the appeasers who enable it); we don't need another such catastrophe.

When I talk about "private sector" solutions, I'm talking about the following, taken from a commentary I wrote for the Orange County (Calif.) Register three years ago:

Yet how often have priests and prelates publicly encouraged abstinence or adoption? How committed is the diocese serving our county to supporting Casa Teresa in Orange, Mary's Shelter in Santa Ana, Toby's House in Capistrano Beach or the Precious Life Shelter in Los Alamitos - where women can have their babies safely and take time to make decisions about their future?

Abortion exists not only because of a feminism that serves as an ideological fig leaf for criminal narcissism. It also exists because many churches have abandonded their calling for intellectual fashion -- and, also, because the Catholic Church has become more infatuated with politics than with service.

paul zummo said...

I don't disagree with you when it comes to the lack of a strong unified voice condemning abortion. Many young priests are speaking forcefully on the issue, but more can be done.

That said, even if Priests were more active in speaking on the issue, will it dramatically reduce the number of abortions? Yeah, some. But it isn't gong to get us where we need to go.

This issue requires political and cultural action.

Anonymous said...

Josiah says:

Kathleen,

Most legal scholars would agree that Roe was badly reasoned. I doubt most would favor overturning Roe, though. In any event, Rudy (who is certainly not a legal scholar) doesn't favor overturning it, and says he doesn't think Roberts and Alito will vote to overturn it. Maybe he's lying; maybe he's ill-informed. Either way it doesn't speak well of his candidacy.

And yes, I realize that Rudy would not have been elected mayor of New York if he'd been pro-life. So what?

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Here's what Cal Thomas (no abortion advocate he) said about growing evangelical support for "pro-choice" Republicans, from this March 13 column on TownHall.com:

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/CalThomas/2007/03/13/the_maturing_of_the_right

Key excerpts:

That substantial numbers of conservative evangelical voters are even considering these candidates as presidential prospects is ... evidence that many of them are awakening to at least two other realities - (1) they are not electing a church deacon; and (2) government has limited power to rebuild a crumbling social construct.

No politician can "fix" broken heterosexual marriages. If they could, some of those mentioned above would have fixed their own. The crumbling "traditional" family is the result of many social and cultural factors. The solution, like the fault, lies neither with government, nor with politicians.

While "character issues" can overlap with other concerns when considering for whom to vote, conservative evangelicals are beginning to see them as less important than who can meet the multiple challenges faced by the nation. Put it this way: if you are about to have major surgery and your only choice was a church-going doctor with a high mortality rate, or an agnostic with a high success record, which would it be? I'd choose the agnostic.

kathleen said...

"And yes, I realize that Rudy would not have been elected mayor of New York if he'd been pro-life. So what?"

Josiah, there's no point in responding to my comments if you don't read them.

anyway, y'all have it your way. refuse to vote for giuliani, should he be the candidate, and watch decisions like Roe get handed down for a generation more at least. that's fine with you, so long as you can strut around feeling all proud of yourselves for being principled and above the fray. go ahead, make yourself a political non-entity.

Anonymous said...

Josiah says:

Kathleen,

Actually, my opposition to Giuliani is based precisely on my desire *not* to become a political non-entity, which is what will happen to the GOP and the pro-life movement if he wins.

kathleen said...

so giuliani appointing judges like scalia isn't good enough for you. excuse me, but is there some other magical way of reducing abortions that i don't know about? short of a nationwide religious conversion and a wholesale dumping of the current congress, how else do you plan to get rid of abortion on a nationwide basis except by ultimately reversing roe? and in turn, how would one reverse roe without judges like scalia? i'm all ears.

also, it's quite clear to the GOP that they need pro life votes, thank you very much. that is why giuliani is sending the signals he is sending. it might make you feel smart to call other people stupid, but sadly for you they are not as stupid as you think.

Anonymous said...

Josiah says:

First, as should be clear from my prior comments, I'm not convinced that Giuliani would appoint Scalia-type justices to the Supreme Court. The fact that Giuliani said he likes Scalia but doesn't think he'll vote to overturn Roe doesn't inspire much confidence.

Second, if I thought that Giuliani would appoint Scalia-type justices, but that his election would do serious damage to the GOP and the pro-life movement, I still wouldn't support him. Is that so hard to understand? I've given my reasons why I think a Rudy win would be bad for pro-lifers and the GOP, some of which are quoted in the main text of this post. I haven't heard anything to make me think I'm wrong in my predictions.

I don't know whether the GOP needs pro-life voters. They'e needed them in just about every election for the past 30 years. There's this meme going around that Giuliani is more electable than the other candidates, but I don't really buy it. If independant voters were mainly social liberals who were extremely hawksih, there might be something to this. But they're not. Just the opposite - independants (especially in the midwestern swing states) tend to be socially conservative but have soured on the Iraq war. Why a pro-abortion, pro-gun controll, pro-illegal immigration, pro-gay and pro-war candidate is supposed to be "electable" is beyond me, and I suspect that if Rudy does win the nomination, those people who are expecting Republican wins in California and New York are in for a rude awakening on election night.

kathleen said...

"Second, if I thought that Giuliani would appoint Scalia-type justices, but that his election would do serious damage to the GOP and the pro-life movement, I still wouldn't support him. Is that so hard to understand?"

*Yes*, it's impossible to understand because it's oxymoronic.

kathleen said...

PS: having gone to law school, you must certainly be aware that no judicial candidate can state "i will reverse roe" at any time before or during the approval process. it depends on if the case comes before the judge, if it's the right case with the right facts, etc. so i can't imagine any better scenario for a pro-lifer than a GOP candidate/president setting out to appoint people like Scalia, unless you want him to appoint a legally incompetent pro-life idiot who goes before congress and says "I WILL VOTE TO REVERSE ROE! I WILL VOTE TO REVERSE ROE!" like the robot on Lost in Space. get real please, and quick, before the cause is lost entirely.

Anonymous said...

Josiah says:

It's only oxymoronic if you think overturning Roe would magically end all abortion in America. Returning the issue to the states will be a hollow victory if in the process the pro-life movement is politically marginalized and fractured.

At the risk of repeating myself, allow me to repeat myself: I don't think Rudy would appoint Scalia-type justices. The case that he would do so strikes me as being fairly weak and based on quite a bit of wishful thinking. As you yourself noted, politicians often say things more out of political expediency than conviction. Given Giuliani's record of taking anti-originalist positions (and appointing non-originalist judges), and given the muddled and often ambiguous nature of his recent statements, I'm inclined to treat everything he says on the matter with deep skepticism.

kathleen said...

"It's only oxymoronic if you think overturning Roe would magically end all abortion in America"

I'm not holding out for magic, you are. i'm not looking for a magic, unrealistic "end to all abortion", you are. Overturning Roe is the ONLY place to start -- that should be obvious to you. But if magic is the only thing you consider worth fighting for, then get back to your Harry Potter fantasies and leave the real stuff to people who get it.

kathleen said...

"The case that he would do so strikes me as being fairly weak and based on quite a bit of wishful thinking."

how is it wishful thinking to suppose that the GOP nominee would act to keep its base happy, insofar as they wish to remain identified with the pro-life movement? you yourself said if they abandon that they risk becoming a "politcal non-entity". if you buy your own arguments, then, you'll see it's realistic thinking, not wishful thinking.