07 February 2007

Politics moving to the center?

Is it already a foregone conclusion that next year's race will be Giuliani vs. Clinton? That's the viewpoint of this essay, which strikes me as convincing, barring some unexpected scandal or major gaffe. The "social conservative" (Christian Right) wing of the Republicans is growing alarmed. They still dream of nominating a Brownback or a Romney (both polling far behind Newt Gingrich, who isn't even running), but I'm betting that the mainstream of the Republican party, whatever their own preferences, will realize that such a choice would practically guarantee victory to the Democrat in the general election.

A Giuliani-vs.-Clinton race would be a huge improvement over the polarized politics of the last decade and a half. I consider Giuliani clearly the preferable of the two; his tough stance on the war against Islamic imperialism and relatively liberal position on the social issues are exactly what the country needs, while the fact that he is widely respected on both sides of the political divide would make him a good candidate to overcome that divide and to marginalize the hate-filled extremists at both ends of the spectrum. Yet even Clinton, while more of a polarizing figure, has shown independence from the irresponsible head-in-the-sand pacifism of the left wing of her own party, as with her strong position on Iran.

If the Republicans are smart, they'll give us Giuliani. If they give us a "social conservative" instead -- well, I can live with Clinton. The polls suggest that the majority of voters feel the same.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so early, the runners are just getting warmed up. I don't see Clinton as the best Democratic choice, but I do think she'd be good. After the supposed near-middle views of McCain gave way to more extremist ones, I have a hard time trusting that Giuliani won't be the same. Too bad the media already sees only a couple of candidates rather than all of them. Good post, Infidel.

07 February, 2007 08:32  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I think that the positions a politician has taken over the course of his career are a better predictor of his actual views than what he starts saying when he's running for President. Any moderate Republican will tend to tack to the right during the nomination process, for the same reasons that a Democrat will tack to the left -- appealing to the base.

Giuliani, for example, has long been pro-choice on abortion. Lately he has said he would appoint Supreme Court judges "like" Alito and Roberts -- but "like" them in what sense? There's considerable room for interpretation there. Given his record, I don't think he would appoint judges who would endanger Roe vs. Wade.

You're right that the media shouldn't focus exclusively on the front-runners, and I don't think they are. Unfortunately a bigger problem is focusing more on horse-race stuff rather than substantive issues (Edwards has lately been more in the news for problems with his campaign bloggers than for his health-reform plan). But hopefully the prevalence of the internet will enable the public to learn what they actually need to know about the candidates, bypassing the media.

08 February, 2007 07:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you--Giuliani has all the attributes to truly be bridge to closing the political divide in our country. Of course, only time will tell and I'm certainly not ready to cast my vote yet. But I will say that Hillary would have to do one hell of a lot of impressing me to get my vote.

10 February, 2007 15:53  

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