Saturday, February 24, 2007

Guiliani On Top In GOP Race

A Quinnipac University poll places Rudy Guiliani way ahead of Sen. John McCain and the rest of the GOP field at a whopping 40%. As the only progressive candidate in the field on social justice issues that's music to the ears of folks like me. Here are the results:

Rudy Giuliani 40%
John McCain 18%
Newt Gingrich 10%
Mitt Romney 7%
Duncan Hunter 2%
Mike Huckabee 2%
Sam Brownback 1%
George Pataki 1%
Ron Paul 1%
Tom Tancredo 1%
Tommy Thompson 1%
Jim Gilmore -
Chuck Hagel -
Other (vol.) 1%
Unsure 15%

Speaking of the 2008 presidential race, Indiana's Jim Bopp, who is busy these days in his legislative and judicial efforts to replace the civil law with fundamentalist Christian law, is trying to convince the religious right to cast its lot with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. This choice seems odd given Romney's past support of gay marriage, gay equality and a woman's right to choose, but it's really not when you hear Bopp explain it.

In the latest edition of National Review, Bopp explains why social conservatives should support Romney. Bopp explain his analysis by reminding social conservatives that they cannot "achieve any significant success" unless they elect a president who "strongly supports social conservative positions" because of his power to appoint judges. "Social policy in America has been largely shaped by the federal judiciary, which has imposed an unrelenting liberal agenda on a reluctant people." "The law, as it concerns the issues of abortion, religious freedom, pornography, gay rights, sexual license, family, and marriage, has been shaped and even determined by judicial fiat." "Presidential leadership is vital to reversing these affronts." What Bopp is really saying here with a wink and a nod is that Romney has assured him and other social conservatives they can handpick his appointments to the federal judiciary, which ought to scare the hell out of a lot of all liberty-loving people.

Romney has apparently assured Bopp he is pro-life and pro-family, and he supports overturning Roe v. Wade. Bopp readily concedes Romney has undergone a major conversion on social issues. He writes:

But his sincerity is being questioned because, as he has acknowledged, he has changed his mind on these issues. In 1994, in his race against Teddy Kennedy for the U.S. Senate, and in his 2002 race for governor of Massachusetts, Romney was pro-choice on abortion. So it is right to question him about the sincerity of his conversion.

Explaining that his conversion wasn't as abrupt as it appears, Bopp notes that pro-abortion foes were saying backing in 1994 Romney wasn's sincere about his pro-choice position. "In 1994, NARAL’s Kate Michelman pronounced him a phony pro-choicer." “Mitt Romney, stop pretending,” she demanded. “We need honesty in our public life, not your campaign of deception to conceal your anti-choice views,” she said. "Romney now says that he was wrong about abortion in those years, that his position has 'evolved and deepened' as governor, and that he is 'firmly pro-life,'" Bopp explains.

Bopp doesn't even make an attempt to explain Romney's former positions stating his unequivocal support for gay marriage and gay equality. Based upon his analysis of Romney's conversion on the abortion issue, we can assume he believes it was necessary for Romney to lie about his position in order to get elected governor in Massachusetts. And Christians should not be concerned about Romney's Mormon faith Bopp says. "The Mormon religion, while having tenets that Christians do not share, is profoundly conservative in its support for life, family, and marriage," writes Bopp. "All people of faith believe that the best public officials are those with God, not man, at the center of their lives," Bopp adds. If you ask me, Bopp and Romney both practice "machiavellianism" more than Christianity.

Bopp's sure Guiliani is not a good social conservative. "He is pro-choice, pro-partial birth abortion, and pro-special rights for homosexuals," writes Bopp. Isn't it funny how support for equal rights for gays is deemed "pro-special rights" by Bopp, while he considers anyone who opposes equal rights for gays to be "pro family"?

In the end, it comes down to just one question to Bopp: "There is the simple question of whether social conservatives want someone who is currently on their side or someone who currently opposes them." Isn't it fair to ask if Jim Bopp is lying to Indiana lawmakers about the true impact of SJR-7 (i.e., what the second paragraph really does) just as he thinks it was okay for Romney to lie to Massachusetts voters about his true position on abortion and gay rights because it's all just a part of his end game?


Wilson46201 said...

The NYTimes today has a great article on the secretive Coalition for National Priorities and their quarterly meeting on Amelia Island, Florida. This is a leadership forum of the rightwing par excellance. It seems there's no single candidate those wingers have settled on. George W. Bush was the beneficiary of their backing in 1999 - who will they support this cycle? Guiliani is most unlikely to garner their backing.

Of note: Gary Hoffmeister in 1998 was one of the six members of the CNP from Indiana. That CNP is horrendously powerful and is allegedly the main organizing force behind the DOMA movement of the 1990s.

Wilson46201 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

So Mitt had a "conversion" instead of "flip-flopping"? He's just a political opportunist eager to fill a void in the present conservative presidential field.

I've never understood why people are willing to elect a guy solely on social issues like abortion - the Presidency is much bigger than than that.

Wilson46201 said...

Correction: It's the "Council for National Policies" - usually just called the CNP. That NYTimes story today is well worth reading!