The Corner

The Meaning of Giuliani

An e-mail:

In your view is the fact that Rudy has come this far a marker of ideological erosion in the Republican Party’s predominately social conservatism?

Or is “Rudy” merely happenstance, an individual, statistical artifact of the Darwinian processes of

politics? That is, there being no larger significance to his candidacy?

There have always been a substantial number of Republican primary voters who are pro-choice, and there have always been a substantial number of Republican primary voters who are pro-life but do not consider abortion one of their top issues. So I think it was always possible, under the right circumstances, for a pro-choice candidate to do well in the Republican primaries. (If Colin Powell had run in 1995-96, for example, he would have done well and may have won.)

But the actual pro-choice candidates who ran were duds. Either they were unimpressive, or they tried to make their pro-choice position the basis of their run. Giuliani is impressive in many respects, he has not tried to play up his support for legal abortion, and he benefits from a crowded field. If he wins, I think it will cause the party to become less pro-life; but if he wins, it won’t be because the party has become less pro-life.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More
Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Elections

Biden Lies Again and Again

Joe Biden is a career liar and he lied some more in the debate, for instance when he dismissed the now well-supported New York Post story about Hunter Biden's business dealing as "a Russian plant." There is zero evidence for this. He offered this line: There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said ... Read More
Elections

Biden Lies Again and Again

Joe Biden is a career liar and he lied some more in the debate, for instance when he dismissed the now well-supported New York Post story about Hunter Biden's business dealing as "a Russian plant." There is zero evidence for this. He offered this line: There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said ... Read More