Rudolph Giuliani is starting to receive a lot of bad press. The right is starting to pile on more and more (and deservedly so); in particular, I note that James Dobson and Rev. Chuck Baldwin, a columnist of some note on the Internet, have issued scathing commentaries about him.
Now, I was probably ahead of the curve in criticizing Giuliani, as I gave him a shellacking back in February in this piece here; I exposed his leftist leanings and predicted that he could not win the Republican nomination (I stand by that prediction). Thus, I cannot be cast as a Giuliani apologist and don't want to see him anywhere near the presidency. However, some, including Rev. Baldwin, overreach in their condemnation of him. Moreover and more distressingly, these critics seem to be so blinded by emotionalism that they would have us bite off our nose to spite our face.
Lest I be misunderstood, from what I've seen of Chuck Baldwin, I'd have to say that he and I are mostly on the same page and that he seems like a good fellow. So, Rev. Baldwin, if you read this, don't view it as a personal attack, because it isn't.
I'll first mention that Chuck Baldwin has said that Rudolph Giuliani is as bad as Hillary Clinton and maybe worse, which is a descent into hyperbole of grand magnitude. Now, Giuliani is a liberal, no doubt about it, being pro-abortion, pro-homosexual rights, etc. But to equate him with Lady MacBeth . . . well, I'll be kind, is indicative of failed discernment. Clinton is an unreconstructed leftist, a liar, and a woman to whom we entrust our national defense at our own peril. For all Giuliani's many faults, he at least is a man who won't blink in the face of danger.
Second, the equivalence between the two ignores an extremely important factor: Supreme Court appointments. I'm not saying that Giuliani would give us Robert Borks, but he wouldn't visit Ginsberg clones on us like Clinton would. And this is a very safe bet. Remember, for all President Bush's faults, he has given us fairly sound (if not better) justices. Would we prefer to have had Gore or Kerry making those choices? Remember also that the Supreme Court has tremendous power and has been responsible for much of the social engineering that has been foisted upon us the last half a century. Thus, to just cavalierly dismiss such concerns would be irresponsible.
Anyway, there are many substantive differences between Giuliani and Clinton just as there are many legitimate criticisms that can be leveled at the former. As to those details, read the piece I cited earlier.
Chuck Baldwin also printed an email he received in which the respondent, a New Yorker, claimed that Giuliani was " . . . the worst mayor we ever had." Now, Baldwin obviously never lived in NYC (which he can be thankful for, believe me), because if he had he would laugh such a sentiment right out of his email box. I spent the first 27 years of my life in the Big Apple, and I can tell you that New Yorkers with a hold on their sanity know better.
Here's what must be understood: In NYC, you don't get near public office if you're any more traditional than Giuliani. Realize that the city's denizens are the people who elect socialists such as Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer. So, when seeking to rank Giuliani, you must consider his competition. And, trust me, in modern times he is the king of that hill, for sure. For instance, his predecessor was a man named David Dinkins, a thoroughly incompetent leftist ideologue who, through comparison, can make anybody look good.
Then, Baldwin mentioned -- and he obviously got this from hard-line leftists in NYC -- that Giuliani trampled the rights of minorities. This is what the left says of any man who seeks to secure law and order, and it's only true if you believe that minorities should enjoy the right to engage in criminal behavior.
As for Giuliani's handling of crime and stewardship of the city, when viewed in the context of the alternatives, it was stellar. I saw the difference in the city personally; crime dropped precipitously; the "squeegee " harassers were brought to heel; Times Square was transformed from a den of iniquity into a relatively clean, attractive tourist attraction; and the quality of life improved markedly. Again, I'm no fan of Giuliani, but, well, let us give the Devil his due.
You may be wondering why I'm wasting ink defending a man of whose politics I'm not fond. It's for a simple reason: James Dobson said that he would not vote for Giuliani even if he were running against Clinton, and Baldwin concurred unabashedly. Baldwin said that between the two there is no lesser of two evils. Again, this is overreaching; it's what happens when emotion trumps reason.
I have a tremendous philosophical problem with this attitude. Many may detest Giuliani, and more sympathetic I could not be. When I payed him my compliments, I was, in essence, saying he was a large dwarf in a land of lilliputians. I don't want him anywhere near the nomination, but -- and this is a big but -- if he were to capture it, I'd do my level best to get him elected over Clinton.
It's simple, and I'm issuing a challenge to one and all. As I said in vain in this piece, written prior to the 2006 mid-term election, the time to defeat the Giulianis, McCains and Bushes is during the primaries -- that means now. If the prospect of Giuliani being the Republican standard bearer turns your stomach, work harder. Become a campaign volunteer for Alan Keyes, Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul or whomever you think fits the bill. Wax passionate, sway people, use your influence. Act now, don't complain later.
And when later comes, what do we do? I, for one, will not become petulant and take my ball and go home. I'm not taken with the idea of wasting my vote, and I know that temper tantrums in the voting booth are self-defeating.
Lastly, I would point out that, in a way, every race is the choice of the lesser of two evils. After all, and I'm sure Rev. Baldwin will understand this, since we're all sinners, no one can be a perfect candidate. As Jesus said, "Only God is good."
Don't get me wrong, I don't equate a Giuliani with an Alan Keyes, but I do know this: If you find a perfect candidate, don't plan on voting for him. Because you are then in a place where the boss isn't determined by the democratic process.