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February 15, 2007

Rudy On Abortion: Strict Constructionists All The Way Home

His rhetoric is fine here, at least as far as pro-lifers who kind of understand the way things work. Which is, alas, not all of pro-lifers.

He's basically parrotting Bush's position, which is, felicitiously enough, my position, and a principled, coherent position to take on the issue. Put strict constructionists on the court to adjudicate not legislate new dubious rights, and Roe may or may not fall, and then the states can decide on the question (and three quarters of states will be pro-choice to one extent or another, meaning women seeking abortions in a pro-life state will have to face the grim decision of a back-alley abortion or buying a Greyhound ticket to Chicago).

Oddly enough, the most contentious issue is also the one most easily (and principledly) finessed, and, stranger still, many pro-lifers are (this really surprises me) willing to accept the good rather than insisting on the perfect.

But Rudy's still got problems, because on issues upon which he'd have much, much more direct control, he's sounding... well, like John McCain on immigration and like Carl Levin on guns and like Al Gore on the environment.

I think he can calibrate his rhetoric better to offer a policy platform which will be acceptable to both conservatives and centrists, but a lot of the time he doesn't seem to try very hard. He discusses, for example, what restrictions on guns he believes are reasonable, without offering, to reassure gun-rightsers, complimentary statements about what restrictions he considers unreasonable.

Ah, well, it's early. I guess he has time to figure this stuff out.

But I really think that each of his liberal statements should be surrounded by a bodyguard of conservative-leaning guarantees.

PS: I don't believe he's actually a liberal on these issues. I think he's a moderate. But I keep seeing quotes that undescore his liberal-ish thoughts and very vew that indicate his conservative impulses.

If I guy keeps talking up a liberal program, people are going to figure, justifiably, he believes in the liberal program.

It might be that he is in fact offering a lot more conservative rhteoric, but the press isn't reporting it, finding such statements unsurprising and therefore not newsworthy or to simply make trouble for the guy they're most afraid of.

He can't really help that. But everytime he gets to talk unscreened to the public, on Lary King, on Leno, on Fox, wherever, he'd better take that opportunity to show off his conservative, or at least center-conservative, bona fides.

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posted by Ace at 08:52 PM

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