Best laid plans--with a blog post about this WaPo silliness all planned out, I discovered that Nicki had beaten me to it--I think she takes unfair advantage of time zones ;-) . To add insult to injury, she ripped it much more thoroughly than my meager capabilities allow. Still, I'm going to toss my two cents (probably overpriced, at that) in.
Anyway, the WaPo writer, David Greenberg, argues that the popular perception that Giuliani leans rather to the left of the Republican base is incorrect.
What's left of the case for Rudy's liberalism relies on three prongs: guns, gay rights and abortion. But even those positions, seen in context, don't render Giuliani a liberal or a moderate so much as an occasional and tepid dissenter from the GOP line -- which, over the past quarter-century, has become increasingly right-wing.Obviously, I don't write about gay rights or abortion. It's not that I don't have an opinion on those issues, just that in a blog about gun rights, I don't need to touch either of those powder kegs--so why bother?
So let's see what Greenberg has to say about Giuliani and guns.
Take gun control first. Some people demand that their candidate endorse the right to plunk down a wad of cash anywhere, anytime, for a submachine gun. But for most conservative voters, what matters is a "tough on crime" stance, and if any issue has defined Giuliani's career -- from his years as a prosecutor frog-marching corrupt bankers down Wall Street to his staunch support as mayor for trigger-happy cops -- it's his conservative posture on criminal justice. While liberals such as Michael S. Dukakis were thought to embrace gun control to conceal their distaste for tougher measures, Giuliani has always been known as an avenger.I consider myself a pretty hardcore advocate for gun rights, but I have never demanded that a candidate "endorse the right to plunk down a wad of cash anywhere, anytime, for a submachine gun." I don't think it's reasonable to demand that a clothing store, for example, sell firearms (so much for "anywhere"). I would also not expect even a gun shop to sell me a gun except during business hours (so forget "anytime"). Actually, if we're dreaming here, I'd kind of like to dispense with the "wad of cash" requirement.
(Lame) jokes aside, though, Greenberg seems to be arguing that all a candidate needs to do in order to mollify gun rights advocates is to take a "tough on crime" stance. Where he got that idea is something of a mystery. Gun rights activism has very little to do with crime. If the crime rate were zero, the Second Amendment would continue to be absolutely vital in protecting our freedom. In other words, I'm not holding onto my guns because I fear criminals--I'm keeping them because I want the government to fear me. My guess is that Greenberg will never get that.
Moving away from Greenberg's opinion piece (but staying on Giuliani and guns), a fair amount of ink has been spilled recently in reference to Rudy's vow not to deny blind (and otherwise disabled) people the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. I've never pretended to hold any affection or admiration for Rudy, but I'll never call him stupid--this claim to support gun rights for blind people is a prime example of his cunning. If I were him, and trying to pander to gun rights activists, I, too, would concentrate on the ones who couldn't see the following picture:
But guess what, Rudy--we're not all blind.