Topic category: Other/General
Exposing the "Rudy-as-Acceptable-Conservative" Myth
Columnist, journalist, commentator and author George Will is supporting his fellow baseball fan, Rudy Giuliani, for the Republican presidential nomination and saying that Mr. Giuliani's eight years as mayor of New York were "the most successful episode of conservative governance" in America in the twentieth century.
BUT, Mr. Giuliani was the candidate of New York's LIBERAL Party in each of his three mayoral races (the first a failure, the next two successful)!
AND, when running for mayor, Mr. Giuliani pledged to "rekindle the Rockefeller/Javits/Lefkowitz tradition" of the Republican Party and "produce the kind of change New York City saw with Fiorella LaGuardia and with John Lindsay."
Republicans have plenty of grounds for concern about Mr. Giuliani.
Given Mr. Giuliani's political and personal history, who should be more comfortable with his promise to appoint justices and judges like Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito, Jr.--pro-lifers or pro-abortioners? (Hint: Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richard: “It's encouraging to see that the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president supports the right to make personal private health care decisions free from government intrusion. Giuliani's principled stand disproves the old-school belief that you have to check your convictions at the Presidential primary door.")
Mr. Giuliani supported liberal Democrat Governor Mario Cuomo for re-election against his successful conservative Republican challenger, George Pataki.
Mr. Will, in "The Political Market is Working" (RealClearPolitics.com, February 18, 2007), opined: "Regarding the Republican race, for many months commentators have said that when the Republican base learns the facts about Rudy Giuliani's personal life (an annulled first marriage, a messy divorce, then a third marriage) and views on social issues (for abortion rights, gay rights and gun control, in each case with limits), support for him will evaporate. But such commentary is becoming self-refuting."
The next month, in "Three Good Options for the Right" (RealClear Politics.com, May 8, 2007), Mr. Will counted Mr. Giuliani as one of the "good options," while conceding that Mr. Giuliani "is comprehensively out of step with social conservatives, and likely to remain so."
Mr. Giuliani's shifting position on abortion has been the result of political calculation, not principle or enlightenment.
That's almost admitted. On August 17, 1999, Associated Press reported: "Republican Rudolph Giuliani, weighing a bid for the U.S. Senate and perhaps courting support from New York's Conservative Party, appears to be hedging on past strong support for abortion rights. 'That's something I think that I'll address myself to if and when I announce and I get a chance to think out all of those positions,' the New York City mayor said when asked about his past opposition to a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortions."
In addition, Mr. Giuliani's position HAS changed, as Mr. Will must know. On February 6, 2000, on ABC News' "This Week , Mr. Will asked Mr. Giuliani if his support of partial-birth abortion was firm and Mr. Giuliani replied, "All of my positions are firm."
Firm, until revised or (in the case of wedding vows), broken.
When it comes to a partial-birth abortion ban, Mr. Giuliani was against it before he was for it!
But he had insisted that he would not change his position to win votes.
On February 8, 2000, on Fox News' "Special Report with Brit Hume," in discussing his support of partial-birth abortions costing him conservative support in a possible Senate race, Mr. Giuliani claimed to be too principled to play politics: "I'm not going to twist myself all around for anybody's endorsement. I wouldn't do it for the Republican endorsement, much less the Liberal or the Conservative or any other. They know who I am. If they think I'll be a better senator, they should support me. If they don't think I'll be a better senator, they should support somebody else."
These days Mr. Giuliani's against partial-birth abortion, but otherwise for abortion as a permissible choice.
In 1999 Mr. Giuliani told CNN ("Inside Politics," December 2) not only that he opposed a partial-birth abortion ban, but that he didn't "see [his] position on that changing."
So much for his foresight.
On February 6, 2000, on NBC's "Meet the Press," Mr. Giuliani said that if he were a United States Senator, he "would vote to preserve the [partial-birth abortion] option for the mother."
The same day, on CNN's "Late Edition," Mr. Giuliani said he would vote to uphold a Clinton veto of a partial-birth abortion ban. Mr. Giuliani: "Yes. I said then that I support him, so I have no reason to change my mind about it."
Before September 11, 2001, specifically, on April 19, 1998, when CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked, "Do you think someone like you, who supports a woman's right to have an abortion, could have a place at the top or at least the number-two slot of the Republican Party's presidential ticket?" and "does that also hold for the late-term abortion procedure that's called the partial-birth abortion procedure?," Mr. Giuliani was not completely supportive of the so-called partial-birth abortion option: "I think that's more complicated, state to state. I mean, different states have different rules and different regulations, and I think that gets to be more complicated."
To those who think Mr. Giuliani is fit to be the next Republican presidential candidate, I say, Mr. Giulinai's own press releases show that he is not suitable.
When it came to combating illegal immigration, Mr. Giuliani chose to challenge the federal government instead of to cooperate.
See "MAYOR GIULIANI ANNOUNCES CITY HAS FILED SUIT TO CHALLENGE FEDERAL WELFARE AND IMMIGRATION LAWS," Release #511-96, October 11, 1996:
"Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today announced that the New York City Corporation Counsel has filed a law suit against the federal government challenging two provisions of the recently enacted Federal Welfare and Immigration laws. The suit contends that these laws are unconstitutional on the grounds that they violate the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution by invalidating New York City's 'Executive Order 124.'
"'I believe the anti-immigration movement in America is one of our most serious public problems,' Mayor Giuliani said. 'And Washington is only making the problem worse. I am speaking out and filing this action because I believe that a threat to immigration can be a threat to the future of our country. Just as they did in years past, immigrants today revitalize and reinvigorate the culture and economy of our cities and states.'
"The suit filed today is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief challenging two federal statutory provisions that encroach on the power of the City of New York to determine policies to ensure public health and safety and regulate its workforce. These provisions prohibit the City from continuing its well-considered policy, embodied in Executive Order 124 and enacted under former Mayor Edward I. Koch.
"Executive Order 124 bars City employees from disclosing to federal immigration authorities the immigration status of aliens who come to their attention, unless required to do so by law, and more specifically barring the New York City Police Department from reporting the immigration status of victims of crime.
"The suit contends that the reasons for this policy are evident. Undocumented aliens who are witnesses to or victims of crime must not be deterred from coming forward for fear of deportation, nor should undocumented aliens who are infected with contagious disease be deterred from seeking treatment, nor should undocumented alien children be afraid to attend public schools and forfeit their right to an education. The safety and public health of the entire City are dependent on all residents, regardless of their immigration status, cooperating with the government and securing government services to which they are entitled. The federal statutes at issue prohibit the City from continuing this particular policy and thus require the City to allow its officials to provide information on the immigration status of aliens to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
"The City's lawsuit also contends that the Federal laws together prohibit States and local government entities and their officials from prohibiting such entities and officials from sending information to the INS regarding the immigration status of an alien in the United States. It further charges that these provisions run afoul of principles of federalism and the Tenth Amendment and Guarantee clause of the United States Constitution because (1) they directly prohibit States and localities from engaging in the central sovereign process of passing laws of otherwise determining policy; and (2) they usurp States' and local governments' administration of core functions of government, including the provision of police protection and regulation of their own workforces, in a statute that is not of general applicability.
Besides protecting illegal immigrants, Mr. Giuliani celebrated "gay and lesbian pride."
See "MAYOR GIULIANI PROCLAIMS JUNE LESBIAN AND GAY PRIDE AND HISTORY MONTH," June 24, 1997:
"Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani this evening honored the Coalition of Lesbian and Gay City Employees at the annual Out in Government Reception in City Hall and issued a proclamation declaring the month of June as Lesbian and Gay Pride and History Month. Coalition Co-Chairs Stanley Shor and Susan Halatyn accepted the proclamation from the Mayor which commemorates the 28th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.
"Joining the Mayor at the ceremony were Department of Transportation Commissioner Christopher Lynn and Commissioner of Homeless Services Gordon Campbell.
"'Today we welcome all of New York City to celebrate the history of our gay and lesbian communities, a history as rich in diversity as the City itself,' Mayor Giuliani said. 'Advocates for the lesbian and gay community have worked to heighten awareness and understanding throughout the City. Since its founding in 1992, the Coalition of Lesbian and Gay City Employees has become an important part of that diverse history, providing an intelligent voice and a strong support system for the men and women whose achievements help to make the City what it is today.'"
Mr. Giuliani was even more enthusiastic about NARAL.
See "MAYOR GIULIANII DELIVERS REMARKS AT NARAL'S 16TH ANNUAL AWARDS RECEPTION," Release 170-97, April 3, 1997:
"Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani tonight joined the members of the National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League of New York State (NARAL/NY) for the group's 16th Annual Gala Awards Reception at B. Smith's Restaurant in Manhattan.
"This year's awards were presented to Wendy Mackenzie, for her work in several pro-choice organizations; Department of Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg for promoting a policy that reproductive healthcare must be viewed as part of the overall scope of healthcare; Christy Haubegger, founder of the bilingual magazine Latina, which tackles issues like abortion and birth control; and Claudia Crown Ades, who underwent an abortion in her sixth month of a non-viable pregnancy and has worked diligently to keep this procedure legal.
"'As many of you may know, I have a long record of support for the struggles women have endured to gain equality in our society,' said Mayor Giuliani. 'And personally, I've always had great empathy for the obstacles women have had to overcome throughout this century. Perhaps the most intense struggle has been over the right of choice.
"'For 25 years, NARAL/NY has worked legislatively and electorally to protect women's access to safe and legal abortion and expand the full range of reproductive rights to all women, regardless of age, race or income,' the Mayor added. 'I congratulate NARAL/NY for taking the time to honor these outstanding four women and, on behalf of all New Yorkers, I would like to thank each honoree for her strength, dedication, and courageous efforts to ensure that future generations of American women have the right to choose.'"
Mr. Giuliani not only applauds NARAL, but insists it promotes Republican philosophy!
See Mr. Giulianji's Opening Remarks to the N.A.R.A.L. Champions of Choice" Lunch, delivered on April 5, 2001:
"Thank you very much for inviting me to say a few words of welcome. This event shows that people of different political parties and different political thinking can unite in support of choice. In doing so, we are upholding a distinguished tradition that began in our city starting with the work of Margaret Sanger and the movement for reproductive freedom that began in the early decades of the 20th century.
"As a Republican who supports a woman's right to choose, it is particularly an honor to be here. And I would like to explain, just for one moment, why I believe being in favor of choice is consistent with the philosophy of the Republican Party. In fact, it might be more consistent with the philosophy of the Republican Party. Because the Republican Party stands for the idea that you have to restore more freedom of choice, more opportunity, more opportunity for people to make their own choices rather than the government dictating those choices. Republicans stand for lower taxation because we believe that people can make better choices with their money than the government will make for them, and that ultimately frees the economy and produces more political freedom. We believe that, yes, government is important, but that the private sector is actually more important in solving our problems.
"So it is consistent with that philosophy to believe that in the most personal and difficult choices that a woman has to make with regard to a pregnancy, those choices should be made based on that person's conscience and that person's way of thinking and feeling. The government shouldn't dictate that choice by making it a crime or making it illegal."
Mr. Will is right that Mr. Giuliani "is comprehensively out of step with social conservatives, and likely to remain so," and wrong about Mr. Giuliani being a good option for conservatives.
Michael J. Gaynor
Biography - Michael J. Gaynor
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.
Gaynor's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.