The Corner

Converts Welcome

Kathryn, I do think it would be news if Giuliani now says he supports the Hyde Amendment. This was a bit of an issue in his first race for mayor, and at that point he came out on the other side—there was Giuliani campaign literature that plainly said he was opposed to the Hyde Amendment. Movement in the right direction, however modest it may be, is always nice to see, and should always be welcomed by those of us for whom this looks like the right direction. The same should be said of Romney, by the way, whose movement in the right direction has been much more significant, and should therefore be even more welcome. Criticism from pro-lifers of Romney’s “flip-flopping” in their direction is a little strange. Conversion, after all, is what a movement that seeks to persuade should prize most. The question is not whether there’s something wrong with Romney or Giuliani changing their minds, but whether what they say now can be relied upon—that is, whether they’ve actually changed their minds or at the very least whether they would govern as though they have.

In the 80s and 90s, the Democrats saw a lot of prominent formerly pro-life office-seekers turn pro-choice: Gephardt, Gore, Jesse Jackson, and on and on. It would be nice if the coming years saw the opposite trend among Republicans (and, for that matter, among Democrats).

Yuval Levin — Yuval Levin is the editor of National Affairs and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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