Thursday, November 8, 2007

Does This Endorsement Make Me Look Phat?

Winning is a Family Value, Part II

Isn't it just great when people who have nothing in common get along?

They didn't exactly bury the hatchet -- since they didn't exactly ever have a relationship -- but Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Guiliani looks to be about as crass a marriage of convenience as one could imagine (Nixon and Elvis is in its own category).

Why does Rudy want it known that crazy grandpa likes him for the White House a year before the election? (Hoping that voters will forget by then is not one of the acceptable answers)
This is the Pat Robertson who said 9/11 was was God's retribution for America's countenance of abortion (only one of a vast collection of incomprehensible positions by the televangelist).

This is the Rudy Giuliani who has been married three times, lived with a gay couple for while between marriages and doesn't have a problem with dressing up in drag.

It gets stranger: Giuliani, who rakes Ron Paul over the coals for 9/11 blasphemy was, of course, mayor of the Retribution City. And he more or less supports abortion rights.

Pure Christian Mischief

Isn't just wonderful that each is now acting like a true Christian forgiving and forgetting and everything?

Sadly, not everyone see this as Good News.

"Surprised," is how True Believer Mike Huckabee reacted (at least whining isn't a family value). This is the Mike Huckabee who has considerable Family Values street cred: A former Southn Baptist minister, he refused as Governor of Arkansas to authorize a Medicaid payment for an abortion for a 15-year-old girl whose stepfather has been charged with incest (so he has the whole southern States' Rights thing going on too).

Should Mike be surprised? Maybe not. True Believer Sam Brownback had to drop out of the race with only $95,000 in the kitty for lack of interest by any of his natural allies. This is the Sam Browback who has said that "It would be a glorious day of human liberty and freedom" if Roe v. Wade was overturned and who really, really doesn't believe in evolution.

Crazy Grandpas for Rudy

Who looks worse in this hookup? I'm thinking Robertson, who doesn't exactly need to endorse anyone, especially at this stage. But this one-time candidate for the Republican nomination is a shadow of his former self in the influence department. My guess is that these days people stop talking when Pat enters the room and try to conceal their titters when he leaves. And even endorsement by real players don't necessarily help much. Remember how much good Al Gore did for Howard Dean before the 2000 Iowa Caucus?

So, why does Rudy want it known that crazy grandpa likes him for the White House a year before the election? (Hoping that voters will forget by then is not one of the acceptable answers).

Maybe it's like this: Dan Quayle's 1982 jobs training bill was always trotted out whenever anyone asked what the 1992 Republican vice presidential candidate had ever done to be considered worthy. An endorsement from a religious conservative gives Rudy's campaign one thing anyway to point to in the values column whenever his social conservative credentials are questioned. Well, I'm good enough for Pat Robertson, he can now say.

A Pro-Choice Candidate with Pro-Life Proclivities

Giuliani, despite his studied ambivalence on abortion, has said his appointments to the US Supreme Court would be in the mould of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the Court's two most conservative justices. John Paul Stevens, the Court's oldest member at 88 next April, has consistently voted to uphold Roe v. Wade. While there is arguably already a 5-4 majority to overturn in the right case (Scalia/Thomas/Robert/Alito/Kennedy) there can't be much more tire on the Stevens tread and his replacement with a True Believer would seem seal the landmark 1974 case's undoing.

Rudy's pledge is a pretty big signal and tough to back away from, even if the Senate becomes a filibuster-proof Democratic domain should Giuliani be in position to nominate anybody.

So this may not be as extreme a case of strange bedfellows as it appears at first blush. But because of the timing it's impossible not to conclude that this is simply a case of Pat wanting to back a winner early and often and Rudy starting to look like one.

After all, when it comes to family values, what is more important than winning?

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